Damascus Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by Robin020
  • Local Customs
    by Robin020
  • Local Customs
    by Robin020

Best Rated Local Customs in Damascus

  • xaver's Profile Photo

    Mosques

    by xaver Written Jan 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What susrprised and amazed me about mosques in Damascus, was, above all the atmosphear, as I said, you see people really concentrated in their deep comunication the divinity, but you also see kids studying corano, or persons chatting, or someone resting, everything, is so not formal, who sits down who stands up, who simply walk around who kneels down, it is a place for the whole comunity something like a refuge from the corrupted outside world.

    mosque

    Was this review helpful?

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Hammam.

    by cachaseiro Written Oct 26, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in Damascus you should try to visit one of the many hammams (turkish baths).
    It´s really a fun experience and it is sure to wash off any dust you might have a aquired in the desert.
    The hammam is list here has "womens day" on tuesday and wedensday for any females wanting the hammam experience.
    The opening hours are from 12 noon till 5pm.

    Hammam Al Wad.
    Sarouja.

    Hammam Al Wad.
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Women's Travel
    • Spa and Resort

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Visit a Hammam

    by PierreZA Written Apr 16, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visiting a hammam is most probably something you should try to do while in Damascus. There are several to choose from in the old city.

    Syria does have some beautiful hammams. It is authentic, clean and not expensive.
    They usually have a price list at the entrance, where you can see exactly what it will cost you, including admission, soap, wash, shampoo, massage, drinks etc.
    You can take your own soap and shampoo if you wish to do so.
    There are different ‘rooms or areas’ which vary in temperature. Some steam rooms can be VERY hot.

    Average price for the full ‘menu’ could be between 400 – 600 SYP. It is generally expected to leave a tip for the guys helping around with the towels, tea etc.

    Hammam Nureddine is located at Souk el-Bzouriyeh, close to Khan Assad Pasha – go here for a good experience. It is clean and service is good.

    Hammam Nureddine - Entrance Hammam Nureddine - Interior

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Cars of Damascus

    by MM212 Updated Feb 13, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lovers of old cars will find great delight in walking the streets of Damascus. Sights such as those in the attached photographs are common in Damascus, and all of Syria. I am uncertain whether these cars were driven (and still running) because of poverty, or just as a matter of style!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Coffee Shops

    by PierreZA Written Apr 16, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are many old traditional coffee shops around the Old City. Just around the corner from the very popular Cafe Al-Nawfara is a beautiful old coffee shop. They sell tea, coffee, soft drinks and nargileh. It is mostly frequented by locals, and mostly men.
    I enjoyed going there late afternoon, sitting with tea and a pipe watching the people going by.
    I do like the wonderful spicy arabic/turkish coffee very much. If you are not use to it, remeber to let it settle before you drink it. It is usually ordered with or without sugar, as you do not add sugar after it is served.

    Tea/Coffee and pipe is SYP 100

    My favourite Coffee Shop in Damascus

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Ice Cream

    by PierreZA Written Apr 16, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ice cream rolled in crushed pistachios – a Syrian delicacy. You can find Bakdash, an old ice cream shop in Souk El-Hamidiyeh.

    It is amazing to stand and watch how popular and busy this shop is. I wonder how many kilograms of ice cream are made there every day.

    There are many ice cream parlours in the old city, but this one seems by far the most popular.

    Bakdash

    Was this review helpful?

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    walking on art - tridimensional street art

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    damascus... ok, heavenly city... i said it before.... there's really beauty everywhere. Look around: beautiful palaces,souqs, shrines and mosques. Look up: mynareths of perfect beauty. And finally look down: the pavement... wonderful... all decorated with stones of different colours laid out in geometrical designs... Definitely a tridimensional beauty!

    pavement in old damascus

    Was this review helpful?

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    Al MArsa, 7/7 internet cafe

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Al-Merjeh square is the place to go to find internet cafös.. there's plenty of them! However I feel like recommending this one for two reasons: first of all it has a decent speed (thanks ADSL) and secondly because it's open on Friday as well, while most others are closed. The owner speaks good English, which is quite a plus. It's on the first floor of the Al Murabit building

    business card, internet caf��

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Milad Majeed!

    by MM212 Updated Feb 17, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Despite being a predominantly Moslem country, Syria has a national holiday on Christmas day for its estimated 10-15% Christian population. When I was in Damascus over the holiday in 2006, I was quite surprised to see how festive parts of the city were, particularly the Christian Quarter. The city is home to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. While their percentage of the overall population has diminished over the centuries, they are still a thriving community, with largely equal rights as other religions in this strictly secular state. Attached are (blurry) photos of Christmas decorations in the Christian Quarter of Old Damascus.

    Merry Christmas in Arabic is "Milad Majeed!" or "ميلاد مجيد".

    Milad Majeed Decorations on Via Recta
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Eid Mubarak!

    by MM212 Updated Feb 17, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eid al-Adha, one of Islam's two big holidays, happened to fall on 30 December 2006. In Damascus on that day, eager to do some shopping, I was quite disappointed to see large sections of the souk closed in celebration of the holiday. On the flip side, it was fantastic to see masses of happy Damascene families strolling in the streets and enjoying the holiday. The entrance of Souk Al-Hamidiya by the Omayyad Mosque is a large gathering area and a great place for people watching during Eid.

    An appropriate greeting is "Eid Mubarak!" or "عيد مبارك".

    Was this review helpful?

  • albateh's Profile Photo

    Damascus

    by albateh Updated Aug 16, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    By channeling the Barada it has been possible to create gardens right to the very heart of the lower town. To the north-west however the city has flung itself far up the rocky slopes of the Jabal Qassiun, whose summit (1,115 m) is topped by a television mast.
    These higher parts of the city are populous and poor, with the exception of the district known as Al Mouhajarine (bounded to the south by the rue Beirouny, and the rue Nazem Basha), where great modern blocks face out over the vast urban panorama extending away to meet the green Ghouta. Saahat Khorshid, a small square where several bus lines have their terminus, offers a similar view; there is a café there with several terraces from which to enjoy it. A new road has now been built up the mountain from the other side, emerging near the summit to command another fine view over the city.

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Barbers

    by PierreZA Written Apr 16, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like in most Islamic countries, barbers can be found all over the place.

    I never bother to take my own shaving kit when visiting the Middle East etc, as it is such a treat to sit down for a shave. It is very cheap and you should not be concerned about safety, as a new blade is always used for every new client.

    Tea and chatting

    Was this review helpful?

  • Some Syrian Mezze (starters ) or for breakfast

    by Robin020 Updated Feb 2, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MAGDOUS

    Ingredients

    Eggplants
    Sweet red pepper paste
    Crushed walnuts
    Olive oil
    Salt
    Sliced garlic (optional)

    The stuffing
    Mix together the sweet red pepper paste with the crushed walnuts and the garlic.

    MOUHAMMARA

    Ingredients
    100 gr. bread crumbs
    50 gr. sweet red pepper paste
    10 gr. crushed dried hot red pepper
    20 gr. cumin
    40 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
    100 ml. olive oil
    100 gr. crushed walnut
    150 ml. water
    20 ml. lemon juice
    15 gr. sugar
    Salt

    VEGETABLES OMELET (EJJEH)

    Ingredients
    1 bunch of parsley
    7 eggs
    1 teaspoon of flour
    1 onion
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 teaspoon of dried mint
    1 teaspoon of dried sweet red pepper
    1 pinch of cinnamon
    200 ml. olive oil
    Vegetable oil

    EGGPLANT FATTOUCHE

    Ingredients
    1 kg. eggplant
    2 tomatoes
    1 onion
    1 bunch of parsley
    Lemon juice
    Olive oil
    Vegetable oil
    Arabic bread
    Salt

    MOUTABBAL

    Ingredients
    500 gr. eggplant
    1 green pepper
    1/2 bunch of chopped parsley
    4 branches of green mint
    150 gr. sesame oil
    1/2 glass of lemon juice
    25 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
    30 ml. olive oil
    1 tomato
    1 clove of garlic if desired
    some grains of pomegranate
    Salt

    BABA GHANOUGE

    Ingredients
    1 kg. eggplant (about 5 big pieces)
    Olive oil
    Garlic (optional)
    Lemon juice
    Concentrated pomegranate syrup
    Chopped parsley
    Pomegranate grains
    Salt
    OLIVE SALAD

    Ingredients
    250 gr. green olives
    60 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
    40 ml. olive oil
    2 green onions
    1 peeled tomato
    1/2 bunch of parsley
    Grains of one pomegranate for decoration
    Salt
    Branch of thyme for decoration

    FATTOUCHE

    Ingredients
    500 gr. tomato
    500 gr. cucumber
    100 gr. onion
    75 gr. green mint
    75 gr. purslane
    1 bunch of parsley
    1 lettuce
    2 cloves of garlic
    50 gr. of black olives
    1 lemon juice
    3 teaspoons of vinegar
    1 teaspoon of sumac
    125 ml. olive oil
    Vegetable oil
    Bread cut into triangles as desired
    Salt

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tipping

    by Robin020 Updated Jun 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A tip for the waitress or taxidriver?

    In Damascus or in Syria in General, it is up to you to give tips to the waitress in a restaurant (if he/she was friendly and helpfull and the food was good of cours). They need the tips to live since the wage is very little.

    In bars and café's some people give a tip, others don't.The servers will appreciate it if you do.

    It is common to give the taxidriver a tip. Only if they were nice and friendly, of course!
    Never give a tip if someone asks for it.The amount of the tip is not specific you decide how much to tip.:-)

    Was this review helpful?

  • No stops for minibuses(van)

    by Robin020 Written Jun 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be aware that there no stops for minibus (van) except the main or start point,you can stop it by rasing your hand,or giving a sign that you want to stop it and when you are on board you can also ask the driver wherever you want.

    No ticket required You pay cash ONLY when you are on board.Bear in mind the front board of the bus is ONLY writen in arabic you need to askdriver or any body on board if it pass through your wanted location They are friendly and wil guide you to your wanted destination,make sure you have local currency to pay.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Damascus

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

21 travelers online now

Comments

Damascus Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Damascus local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Damascus sightseeing.

View all Damascus hotels