Discovering Syria’s Timeless Beauty: The 5 Best Places to Visit
Syria, a land steeped in history and adorned with architectural wonders, has captivated travelers for centuries. Despite its recent challenges, the country’s beauty and cultural significance continue to shine.
Join us on a journey to explore the five best places to visit in Syria, each a testament to its rich heritage and enduring spirit.
Map of Syria
Map Showing Syria Location in Asia
Countries Bordering Syria
Syria is located in southwestern Asia, is officially known as the Syrian Arab Republic and is bordered by Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, and it shares maritime borders with Cyprus on the Mediterranean Sea to its west.
Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic; it is likely also the country’s largest city, following the decline in population of Aleppo due to the battle for the city. It is colloquially known in Syria as ash-Sham and titled the City of Jasmine. The population of the Syrian Arab Republic in 2023 is estimated around 23.5 million people.
Our Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Syria
1. Palmyra: Ancient Oasis of Grandeur
Palmyra, often referred to as the “Venice of the Sands,” stands as an awe-inspiring testament to ancient civilizations. Its monumental ruins, including the majestic Temple of Bel, transport visitors back to the height of the Silk Road’s glory.
Don’t miss the captivating views from the Palmyra Citadel, which overlooks the city and its surrounding desert.
2. Aleppo: Enchanted by the Old City
Aleppo, a city with a history that spans millennia, is a treasure trove of historical and cultural wonders. The Aleppo Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands sentinel over the city, offering panoramic views and a glimpse into its past.
Wander through the bustling labyrinth of Aleppo’s Old City, where vibrant markets and ornate mosques echo with stories of bygone eras.
3. Damascus: An Oasis of Tranquility
Damascus, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth, is a sensory delight for travelers. The Umayyad Mosque, adorned with intricate mosaics, stands as a spiritual and architectural masterpiece.
Stroll through the courtyards of the Azm Palace and the fragrant gardens of the National Museum, where artifacts from Syria’s storied past are lovingly preserved.
4. Bosra: A Window into Roman Splendor
Bosra’s Roman Theater, remarkably preserved, is a testament to the city’s importance during antiquity. Immerse yourself in the echoes of ancient performances as you explore the well-preserved ruins.
The city’s monumental gates and fortified walls tell stories of the civilizations that once thrived within its boundaries.
5. Krak des Chevaliers: Fortress of Legends
Krak des Chevaliers, a medieval Crusader fortress, stands proudly atop a hill in Homs. Its impressive architecture and strategic location made it an essential stronghold during the Crusades. Wander through its towering walls, admire its defensive features, and soak in the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape.
Honorable Mention: Maaloula: A Linguistic Gem
Nestled in the mountains, Maaloula is one of the few places where Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, is still spoken. Its ancient monasteries, such as Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla, offer a spiritual retreat amidst breathtaking landscapes.
Did we mention the food? EAT!
Embarking on a Culinary Odyssey in Syria: Savoring Flavors of Tradition
Syria’s culinary heritage is a captivating journey through flavors that have been perfected over centuries. From bustling markets to family homes, the country’s food scene is a true reflection of its cultural richness.
Be prepared to savor a medley of aromatic spices, tender meats, and fresh ingredients that tell stories of tradition and hospitality. Indulge in savory dishes like “Kibbeh,” a mix of minced meat and bulgur, or “Hummus,” the creamy chickpea dip that’s a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Satisfy your taste buds with “Shawarma,” succulent slices of meat wrapped in flatbread, and “Moutabal,” a smoky eggplant dip that’s a burst of flavor. Syria’s sweets are a delight too; don’t miss “Baklava,” delicate layers of pastry drenched in honey and nuts.
As you explore the country’s culinary offerings, you’ll discover that every bite is not just a taste sensation, but also a way to connect with the warmth and generosity of the Syrian people.
Essential Things to Know Before Traveling to Syria
Traveling to Syria requires careful consideration due to its complex political situation and recent history of conflict. Here are essential things to know before considering a trip to Syria:
1. Safety Concerns:
Syria has experienced significant conflict and instability in recent years. Safety remains a primary concern, and travel advisories from various governments often discourage or prohibit travel to certain regions or the entire country.
2. Travel Restrictions:
Before even considering travel to Syria, check the travel advisories and entry requirements of your home country. Some countries have strict travel bans or advisories in place due to safety concerns.
3. Visa and Documentation:
If you decide to travel to Syria, you’ll need a valid visa. The visa application process might be complex, so ensure you have all the necessary documentation and apply well in advance.
4. Travel Insurance:
Comprehensive travel insurance is crucial, covering medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and evacuations. Make sure your insurance provider covers travel to Syria.
5. Local Contacts:
Having reliable local contacts, such as a tour operator or guide, is essential for navigating the country. Local knowledge can help you stay safe and informed about the current situation.
6. Approved Tour Operators:
If you plan to visit, you must book your trip through an approved Syrian tour operator. They will help arrange your itinerary, accommodations, and transportation within the country.
7. Currency and Banking:
The official currency is the Syrian pound (SYP). However, due to economic challenges, the use of foreign currencies might be more practical for tourists. Carry enough cash for your expenses.
8. Language and Communication:
Arabic is the official language. English might be spoken in some tourist areas, but local languages will be more prevalent. A translation app or a local guide can be helpful.
9. Cultural Sensitivity:
Respect local customs, traditions, and religious practices. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Always ask for permission before taking photos of people.
10. Infrastructure and Services:
Infrastructure in Syria has been affected by the conflict. Services might be limited or disrupted. Electricity, water supply, and internet connectivity might be intermittent.
11. Health Considerations:
Check with your healthcare provider about necessary vaccinations and health precautions before traveling to Syria. Access to quality healthcare might be limited in some areas.
12. Accessibility of Sites:
While Syria boasts remarkable historical sites, some might have been affected by conflict. It’s important to check the accessibility and safety of the sites you plan to visit.
13. Political and Social Sensitivity:
Engaging in political discussions or expressing opinions about local affairs can be sensitive. It’s advisable to avoid such conversations, as they might lead to misunderstandings or potential risks.
14. Communication with Authorities:
Be prepared to provide information about your travel plans to local authorities or security personnel. Cooperation is essential for your safety and compliance with local regulations.
15. Evacuation Plans:
Before traveling, research and establish evacuation plans with your embassy or consulate in case of emergencies.
Traveling to Syria is a complex decision that should be made with careful consideration of safety, advisories, and ethical concerns. It’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being while respecting local customs and regulations.
How to Get to Syria
As of my last update in September 2021, the situation in Syria remains complex due to ongoing conflicts and safety concerns. Travel to Syria is generally discouraged by most governments due to the unstable situation. However, if circumstances change and you’re considering travel to Syria, here are some general guidelines:
1. Check Travel Advisories:
Before planning any trip to Syria, check the travel advisories and warnings issued by your own country’s government. Many governments have travel bans or advisories in place due to safety concerns.
2. Entry Requirements and Visa:
If you decide to travel to Syria, ensure you have the necessary travel documents, including a valid passport and the appropriate visa. Visa requirements can vary depending on your nationality.
If commercial flights are operating to Syria, you would typically fly into Damascus International Airport, which is the main international airport. However, flight availability can be limited and might be subject to change based on the situation.
4. Land Borders:
If neighboring countries have open land borders with Syria, you might be able to enter by road. However, crossing borders can be challenging due to safety concerns and border control procedures.
5. Transportation Within Syria:
If you’re in the country, transportation options might be limited and could vary depending on the region. Traveling within Syria could involve private transportation or local transportation if available.
6. Travel with Approved Operators:
If travel restrictions are lifted or circumstances change, it’s likely that you’ll need to travel with an approved Syrian tour operator. These operators can help organize your itinerary, accommodations, transportation, and ensure your safety.
7. Contact Local Authorities and Embassies:
Before traveling, it’s advisable to inform your embassy or consulate of your travel plans and whereabouts. They can provide you with information on safety, local regulations, and assistance if needed.
Given the ongoing conflicts and complex situation in Syria, travel to the country is not recommended without thorough research, careful consideration, and guidance from local authorities. Any information provided here is subject to change, and it’s essential to stay updated through official government sources and travel advisories.
It’s important to prioritize your safety and follow the guidance of your own government’s travel advisories and regulations. As circumstances in Syria are ever-changing, it’s crucial to stay well-informed and make travel decisions accordingly.
How to Get Around Syria
The situation in Syria remains complex due to ongoing conflicts and safety concerns. Travel within the country can be challenging and might not be recommended by most governments due to the unstable situation. However, if circumstances change and you find yourself in Syria, here are some general guidelines for getting around:
1. Private Transportation:
If you’re able to travel within Syria, private transportation might be the safest and most reliable option. Consider hiring a local driver or using a reputable taxi service to move between cities and regions.
2. Local Buses and Minibuses:
Local buses and minibuses are common modes of transportation for Syrians. These can be a budget-friendly option for short-distance travel within cities and towns.
Syria has a limited rail network, and trains might not be widely available or reliable. If train services are operational, they could be an option for traveling between some cities.
4. Domestic Flights:
If domestic flights are operating, they could be a faster way to cover longer distances within the country. Check for available flights and flight schedules if circumstances allow.
5. Roads and Highways:
Road conditions can vary, and some areas might have restricted access due to conflicts or security concerns. Always prioritize safety and avoid areas with known risks.
6. Checkpoints and Security Measures:
Traveling within Syria could involve passing through checkpoints and adhering to security measures. Be prepared to provide identification and answer questions from security personnel.
7. Local Guides and Contacts:
Having local guides or contacts can be invaluable for navigating the country safely. They can help you navigate checkpoints, provide advice on safe routes, and assist with any language barriers.
8. Safety Precautions:
Prioritize your safety at all times. Stay informed about the local situation, follow advice from local authorities, and adhere to any curfews or security guidelines in place.
Local communication might be challenging due to disrupted infrastructure. If possible, have a reliable local contact or means of communication in case of emergencies.
Given the ongoing conflicts and complex situation in Syria, travel within the country is not recommended without thorough research, careful consideration, and guidance from local authorities. Any information provided here is subject to change, and it’s essential to stay updated through official government sources and travel advisories.
It’s crucial to prioritize your safety and adhere to the guidance of your own government’s travel advisories and regulations. As circumstances in Syria are ever-changing, make travel decisions based on the most current and reliable information available.
FAQ – Our Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Syria and Traveling to Syria in General
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling to Syria
1. Is it safe to travel to Syria?
As of the latest update in September 2021, most governments advise against travel to Syria due to ongoing conflicts and safety concerns. The situation is complex and constantly changing. Prioritize your safety and follow official travel advisories.
2. Can I travel independently to Syria?
Traveling independently to Syria is not recommended. If travel restrictions are lifted and conditions change, it’s advisable to travel with an approved Syrian tour operator who can arrange your itinerary, accommodations, and transportation.
3. Are there entry requirements for Syria?
If you plan to visit Syria, you’ll need a valid passport and a visa. Visa requirements can vary based on your nationality. Check with the Syrian embassy or consulate for the latest information on entry requirements.
4. Are there any travel bans in place for Syria?
Many countries have travel advisories in place that discourage or prohibit travel to Syria due to safety concerns. Check the travel advisories issued by your own government before considering a trip.
5. How can I stay updated on the situation in Syria?
Stay informed through official government travel advisories, news sources, and international organizations. Conditions in Syria can change rapidly, so it’s crucial to have reliable sources of information.
6. What should I consider before planning a trip to Syria?
Consider the safety situation, travel advisories, entry requirements, and the availability of infrastructure and services. Thoroughly research the current conditions and assess the risks associated with travel.
7. Can I book flights to Syria?
Commercial flights to Syria might be limited or not operating at all due to the situation. If flights are available, you would typically fly into Damascus International Airport.
8. How can I ensure my safety while in Syria?
If travel conditions change and you decide to visit Syria, prioritize your safety at all times. Follow local advice and guidance, stay in secure accommodations, avoid conflict areas, and adhere to security measures.
9. What are the main cities to visit in Syria?
Cities like Damascus, Aleppo, and Homs have historical and cultural significance. However, the safety and accessibility of these cities can vary. It’s essential to stay updated on the situation before making any travel plans.
10. Can I use credit cards and ATMs in Syria?
Infrastructure and services might be disrupted. It’s advisable to carry enough cash in local currency for your expenses, as credit cards and ATMs might not be widely available.
11. Are there health concerns when traveling to Syria?
Check with your healthcare provider about necessary vaccinations and health precautions before traveling to Syria. Access to quality healthcare might be limited in some areas.
12. What cultural sensitivities should I be aware of?
Respect local customs, traditions, and religious practices. Dress modestly, especially in conservative areas. Avoid discussing sensitive topics and always ask for permission before taking photos of people.
13. What should I do in case of emergencies?
Before traveling, register with your embassy or consulate and have a clear understanding of their contact information. Establish evacuation plans and have a means of communication in case of emergencies.
14. Can I cross borders to neighboring countries from Syria?
Crossing borders can be challenging due to safety concerns and border control procedures. Check the latest information on border crossings and travel advisories.
15. What’s the most important advice for traveling to Syria?
Given the ongoing conflicts and complex situation in Syria, prioritize your safety, follow official travel advisories, and stay informed about the latest conditions. Your safety should be the utmost concern in any travel decision related to Syria.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places to Visit in Syria
1. Are there still safe places to visit in Syria?
Due to ongoing conflicts and safety concerns, travel to Syria is generally discouraged by most governments. However, there are historical and cultural sites that were once popular attractions. Check with local authorities and official travel advisories for the latest information on safe places to visit.
2. What are some of the historical sites in Syria?
Syria boasts numerous historical sites, including the ancient city of Palmyra with its Temple of Bel, the Aleppo Citadel, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, the Krak des Chevaliers Crusader castle, and the Roman Theater in Bosra.
3. Can I visit these sites independently?
If travel conditions change, it’s advisable to visit these sites with an approved Syrian tour operator who can ensure your safety, navigate any potential risks, and provide guidance on local customs.
4. Is it safe to visit archaeological sites in Syria?
The safety of visiting archaeological sites in Syria can vary based on the current situation. Before planning a visit, ensure that the site is accessible, safe, and approved for tourists by local authorities.
5. Can I visit the ancient city of Palmyra?
Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its historical significance. However, due to conflicts, the accessibility and safety of Palmyra can change. Always consult local authorities and travel advisories before planning a visit.
6. What are some other cities worth considering?
Historical cities like Damascus, Aleppo, and Homs hold cultural treasures, but safety conditions can fluctuate. Check official sources and advisories for the latest information on these cities.
7. Are there natural attractions in Syria?
While the focus is often on historical sites, Syria does have some natural attractions like the Orontes River and the Mediterranean coastline. Be sure to inquire about safety conditions before planning to visit these areas.
8. Can I explore local markets and bazaars?
Local markets, known as souks, are integral to Syrian culture. However, current conditions might impact their operation. If you’re in a safe area and markets are open, enjoy the opportunity to explore and experience local life.
9. Are there guided tours available?
If travel conditions allow, guided tours can provide insights into the history, culture, and significance of each site. Tour operators can ensure your safety and provide context to enhance your experience.
10. Can I photograph these sites?
In culturally sensitive areas, especially religious sites, always ask for permission before taking photos. Respect local customs and privacy.
11. What are the best times to visit these places?
If conditions allow for travel, spring and fall are generally pleasant seasons to visit, with milder temperatures. However, always check local circumstances and travel advisories before planning your trip.
12. Are there accommodations near these attractions?
If travel conditions change and tourism is allowed, there might be accommodations near these attractions. However, services and availability could be limited.
13. How can I stay updated about visiting places in Syria?
Stay informed through official government sources, travel advisories, and international organizations. Be prepared for the possibility that conditions might change rapidly.
14. Is it safe to visit sites affected by conflict?
Visiting sites affected by conflict can carry additional risks. Prioritize your safety and seek guidance from local authorities before planning any visits to such areas.
15. Can I travel independently to these sites?
Travel to Syria, especially independently, is generally not recommended due to safety concerns. If circumstances change, it’s advisable to travel with an approved tour operator who can ensure your safety and compliance with local regulations.
Always prioritize your safety and stay informed through official sources before making any travel plans related to visiting places in Syria. Conditions can change rapidly, so exercise caution and good judgment.
You want more on Places to Visit in Syria? ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️
Our Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Syria – Final Thoughts
Rediscovering Syria’s Splendors
As Syria rebuilds and opens its doors to travelers once again, its historical sites stand as resilient reminders of its enduring past.
These five destinations and more are waiting to be explored by intrepid travelers eager to witness the timeless beauty, rich history, and cultural treasures that make Syria a destination unlike any other.
Best Places to Visit in Spain 2023
Spain, a country rich in history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes, beckons travelers with its vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and captivating architecture. From the enchanting streets of Barcelona to the sun-kissed shores of the Costa del Sol, Spain offers a diverse array of destinations to explore..
Europe, a continent as diverse as it is beautiful, is a traveler’s dream come true. From the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean, Europe offers an enchanting mix of experiences for every type of traveler. Join us as we embark on a journey through the heart of Europe, discovering…
Discovering Kuwait: Journey Through its Hidden Treasures Hey fellow wanderlusters, let’s dive into Kuwait’s kaleidoscope of culture, where the past meets modernity. I’ve uncovered five must-visit spots for the young and adventurous traveler. From sipping on sweet tea under Bedouin tents to catching epic sunsets, Kuwait is an adventure waiting to happen. Map of Kuwait…
Dominica: Where Adventure Meets Paradise Welcome to Dominica, the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean. If you’re seeking a destination that’s off the beaten path, brimming with natural wonders and adventure, you’ve found it. Here, you’ll explore lush rainforests, soak in rejuvenating hot springs, and dive into sparkling turquoise waters. Let’s embark on a journey to…
My Journey Through Jordan’s Top 5 Destinations If you’re ready to dive into a world of ancient wonders, surreal landscapes, and incredible experiences, then Jordan is calling your name. Let me take you on a ride through my unforgettable journey as I uncovered the 5 best places to visit in this captivating country. Map of…
Lebanon Unveiled: Exploring the Mystique of the Middle East Welcome to the captivating land of Lebanon! Nestled along the Mediterranean Sea, this enchanting country is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of the most mesmerizing places that Lebanon has to offer. Map of Lebanon…
Unveiling Guinea’s Hidden Treasures: 5 Must-Visit Places Are you ready for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in West Africa? Guinea, a hidden gem nestled between Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, awaits your discovery. Prepare to be captivated by its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and welcoming people as we explore some of the must-visit…
Best Places to Visit in Italy 2023
Italy, a land of romance, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes, beckons travelers with its magnetic allure. From the captivating cities adorned with timeless architecture to the picturesque coastal towns and rolling vineyards, this Mediterranean gem offers a plethora of unforgettable experiences..
Exploring Greece’s Timeless Treasures: Greece Best Places to Visit Top 10
Exploring Italy’s Treasures: The Best Places to Visit in Italy in 2023
Our 10 Best Places to Visit in Venice: Come Explore the Enchanting Floating City
Unveiling the Enchanting Beauty: Our Best Places to Visit in Florence
Our Best Free Places to Visit in New York That are yes, Absolutely FREE!
Our Best 10 Affordable Vacation Destinations if you are on a tight budget.
Our 10 Best Budget Travel Tips: Explore the World Without Draining Your Bank Account.
These are our Top 10 Best Travel Destinations Worldwide 2023
Our Absolute Best list of 10 Less Touristy Places to Travel in Europe 2023
Australia: A Traveler’s Paradise: Best Australian Destinations 2023
Our Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Syria – By David John
5 Best Places To Visit In Syria Cover Image Courtesy: hh
Best Places To Visit In Syria flickr images licensed under CC BY 2.0
Were our Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Syria: helpful to you?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below..
And if you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below..