Be aware that generally Syrian Banks do NOT accept overseas debit/credit cards, you really need to find an overseas bank to be able to get money.
There are ATM's that accept overseas credit cards, but you have to find them.
Information on the visa) visa)
First - General instructions for tourists visiting the country Syrian:
Must be on the incoming Arab and foreign to be in possession of the following:
1. A passport valid for a period of not less than one month after the expiry of the visa to be issued by a state recognized by Syria, and he does not have an Israeli visa, and not to be the name of the holder on the list of those barred from entering Syria.
2. Entry visa or transit visa issued by the Syrian embassy or consulate in the country of origin of foreign or place of residence, visas are granted entry or transit by the Centers for immigration and passports at the border to nationals of foreign countries where there is no diplomatic representation in Syria and foreigners with permanent residence provided they show their residency cards.
3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions and exit visas for diplomatic and courtesy and task.
4. Visa: It is of two types
- Six months: valid for one or multiple trips can be an exception granted for one year.
- Three months: valid for one time only.
5. Transit visa: They are two
- Three months valid for a single trip.
- Three months valid for multiple entries.
6. May include entry or transit visa foreign wife and minor children to be the names and ages in the space provided.
7. A foreigner who wants to stay in Syria for more than fifteen days from the date of his entry, see the Department of Immigration and Passport Department or its branches in the governorates to apply for a residence permit
8. Permission to stay directly to both the Arabs and foreigners born in Syria, and wives of Syrian nationals
9. In case of loss or damage to the residence card holder to review the Department of Immigration and Passport Department in Damascus branches in the governorates, within three days from the date of loss or damage to give them a new card instead
10. Permission is not granted a license to reside and work on those wishes to work in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic to obtain permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
11. On every Arab or foreigner over fifteen years of age and was recorded on a card and a parent to get a new card similar to an independent and parents in terms of type, duration, date, and the remaining fees regardless of whether a passport of its own.
12. Not entitled to the Arabs and foreigners who have special or ordinary residencies absence abroad for more than six months.
13. Not entitled to the Arabs and foreigners who have temporary residencies and an exit visa to return the country to stay outside for more than three months.
Lebanese citizens should review the police station within six days from the date of entry into Syria to obtain an ID card to facilitate their stay and movement in Syria.
Secondly - facilities and exemptions offered to tourists arrivals:
1. Allows for Arab nationals to enter the Syrian Arab Republic and traffic which is the requirement to obtain an entry visa or transit is sufficient by registering assets "in the records of arrivals and departures after Touchih passports or travel documents or tickets Lebanese nationals who enter under the ID card or output is in the hearts of certified assets under the seal of entry or leave.
2. "Foreigners coming to the tourism of the categories is listed under the books issued by the offices and travel agencies from the country coming from individuals or groups and overprinted seals these offices and under the passport mass stuck on it are granted or passport for each individual of them, on the condition that properly licensed tourist offices in diameter and depart on the responsibility and grant visas to those for free.
3. Citizens of all Arab states, Gulf Emirates and Sultanates from entry and transit visas, residence permits and exit visas.
4. Are exempted from duties:
¨ Foreign and Arab students officially registered in one of the recognized universities.
¨ experts and Arab and foreign contractors.
¨ journalists and correspondents of news agencies.
¨ Non diplomat workers in the political and consular organizations foreign and Arabic.
¨ The parents of the member of diplomatic or consular mission accredited in the country and his children and wife, brothers and sisters and his followers of governesses and servants.
¨ Palestinian refugees and their minor children.
¨ Foreigners and Arabs whom the director of the Department of Immigration and Passports Department exempt them for special considerations: courtesy, or lack of physical ability.
5. Exemption of Syrian Arab citizens overseas foreign passport holders to obtain a residence and ask those who have not registered them up in the records of civil and subjected to an exit visa when they want to leave Bjoisathm foreign month after the entry after presenting the approval of recruitment for those who are of military age and identity card for those who exceed fifteen and assigning them to pay, scheduled to leave on departure like Syrian citizens and allows them to enter foreign Bjoisathm if the entry is stamped with features of the Syrian Arab missions abroad, and given the features needed by the Centers for free from the border.
Facilities offered to investors:
1. Raising the price of neighboring countries, translated in the bank to the equivalent of almost foreign markets.
2. Increase the amount to be replaced from the remaining foreign currency with travelers when they leave the country and through / / 15 days.
3. Exemption coming to the diameter of the push / 100 / USD and that the bank on the drawer taken from all comers.
4. The bank is working on the completion of the credit cards.
1. A foreigner to enter the gifts and personal effects and tools for travelers and intended for personal use without any customs duties.
2. Allows car owners residing permanently abroad and coming to Syria with the intention of temporary residence and enter their cars nicknames registered lawfully in the country of exile under a power of attorney by using the driving tourist outside the country of registration of customs duties according to the following:
· Fees due for the car under a temporary entry card for a period of / 15 / day of $ / 1685 / l. Q is switched equivalent amount of / 40 / USD or equivalent in other foreign currencies + / / 30 dollars for the obligatory insurance of car to be paid to the escrow company Syria.
· Duties of the book granted to cars registered in the Arab countries / 5035 / l. Q switch is equivalent / 117 / USD or the equivalent in other currencies accepted + / 30 / dollar insurance company pay for mandatory insurance.
· Allows for a wife or a family member or adult to bring a car to drive it in the Syrian Arab Republic provided they meet the conditions of residence outside the country.
1. Travelers coming from places infected by yellow fever when entering a vaccination certificate against this disease.
2. Those wishing to stay in Syria for a period exceeding one year, free certificate of AIDS (AIDS).
3. The tourist who brings a pet to accompany his health certificate in English authenticated in his country but for cats and dogs must be accompanied by a certificate of vaccination against rabies.
Traffic at day and night
Damascus is normal to hear car and taxi drivers use the car horn to push the other drivers in front to move further,even there is no traffic so my tip is to make sure you have earcotton if your hotel is near high road to be able to asleep the drivers use horn24/7 they do not care if people are sleep at night.
When is best time to visit Syria
When is the best time to visit Syria?
- The best time to visit Syria is spring or autumn, as the temperature is in the mild mid 20s. Winter is too cold and Summer is probably too hot for all but the most hardy traveler, add to that frequent electricity and water shortages during the hot summer months.
Mosques call to prayer
Syria is a Muslim country and therefore Damascus has many mosques. religious Muslims must pray 5 times a day (called the salaah).
The imam of the mosque called the muezzin, climbs to the top of the minaret (tower) and call for people to pray.
The call to prayer can be very loud, guaranteed to wake you up unless you are a very heavy sleeper!
Make sure your hotel is far from a Mosque.
Bear in mind that in Syria They speak Arabic.
They have different letters They write and read from right to left,Here are some handy phrases and words (pronounciation) :
Hello : Marhaba
How are you : Ki fak
I am fine : al hamid lil lah
Thanks very much : shokran ktir
you are welcome : Afwan
Money : Masari
far : ba'eed
Near : Areeb
Nice : Hilo ,Jamil
Delicous : Laziz
How much : b'kam
Why : Lesh
Size : Qiyas
Taxi : taxi
Yes : Na'am
No : La
Please : min fadlak
what's your name? :Sho ismak ?
My name is Robin : Ismi Robin
where are you from? : min wen inta ?
I am from Holland: Ana min Hollanda,America,Britania etc
It's not really a problem, but you need to amend your proxy settings for internet to work in Syria
you need to set the web proxy to "proxy.net.sy:3128"
This I believe is due to government control of internet use
eg: Facebook use is banned here
PS when you leave Syria, don't for get to reset your proxy settings
If, browsing the souq around Umayyad mosque, you hear a shopowner saying that is a “happy hour” and ask you to have a tea at his shop, just turn round and run! Ok, I’m joking, simply don’t accept the invitation. The invitation to tea is just an excuse to try persuading you to buy something and some of the merchants are really pushy.
Unique Suggestions: I was always handling –or at least trying to- this situation with humor, but I saw many tourists with red-blue faces, ready to have a nervous break down!
This souq upon visual inspection is vibrant and lively. If you've seen other souqs though, you'll know this one has been done up to pull all the tourists visiting the Omayyad Mosque in. If you really want to purchase something, stroll around a bit. All of the souqs are worth checking out and there are a few things worth purchasing. Or just wait until you are in Aleppo.
Unique Suggestions: Don't fall for the "Please just come have tea in my shop bit". You will be there for a while and pressured to purchase a lot.
Fun Alternatives: The surrounding souqs. Or Aleppo.
"In the blue harbor of your eyes
Blow rains of melodious lights,
Dizzy suns and sails
Painting their voyage to endlessness.
In the blue harbor of your eyes
Is an open sea window,
And birds appear in the distance
Searching for islands still unborn.
In the blue harbor of your eyes
Snow falls in July.
Ships laden with turquoise
Spill over the sea and are not drowned.
In the blue harbor of your eyes
I run on the scattered rocks like a child
Breathing the fragrance of the sea
And return an exhausted bird.
In the blue harbor of your eyes
Stones sing in the night.
Who has hidden a thousand poems
In the closed book of your eyes?
If only, if only I were a sailor,
If only somebody'd give me a boat,
I would furl my sails each evening
In the blue harbor of your eyes."
Fun Alternatives: None
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Photograph courtesy of
Prof. Phillip V. Stanley
This is a view of the main street of Apamea, the cardo maximus, looking towards the north gate. The city was founded in the 3rd century BCE by Seleucus I and was named for his Persian wife. It was built at the crossing of the two main trade routes through Syria. It was visited by Antony and Cleopatra and the name was almost changed at that time. It was an important trade center in Roman Syria.
Taxis from the airport...
Taxis from the airport sometimes take you to a different hotel than requested, saying that your hotel has burnt down, or changed it's name 'yesterday'. If you use a taxi firm from the airport, you pay beforehand, so at least the meter isn't escalating while you argue over hotels, and you can also report the taxi driver to the firm. If you use a firm, it will cost US$10 to anywhere in central Damascus. If you know where you are going, you could take the airport bus - how this bus keeps moving is nothing short of a miracle, but it is very cheap, costing only S£10 plus S£10 per bag. It 'shuttles' ('limps' would be a more appropriate word) between the airport and Shoukry al-Quwwatly Street.
Changing money: US dollars...
Changing money: US dollars work best, although you can change Sterling and French Francs, but the rates aren't brilliant. Traveller's Cheques are usually accepted at most banks, but the paperwork is ridiculous. It is far better to change money on the black market, but it is also very easy to get ripped off. Many of the tourist shops in the souk will offer to change money, but at lousy rates. Martyr's Square is a better area to change, but most foreigners in Damascus will know of a reliable shop (usually an Adibas or Abidas sport's shop) where you can change money. Usually the first time you change, you will get a good rate as they want you to come back, but then they will become more reluctant to give you good rates on repeat visits. Tension with Israel is often cited as a reason why the rates have dramatically dropped since your last visit, whether or not any tensions have taken place. This is hardly ever true, and chances are that the moneychanger in the next room will 'have excellent rates, mister'. Bargain hard, and make sure you keep up to date with the official rates at the bank, as the black market rate is usually about 6 liras (pounds) more to the dollar. If you don't like the price, don't change! In some of the posher hotels (Cham Palace, Ommayad, Meridien and Sheraton) you might be able to persuade the staff to give you cash advances on credit cards, although I'm not sure if this is entirely legal! It would help if you are a guest at the hotel. If you get stuck, there are cash machines in Beirut (Lebanon) and Amman (Jordan), but this might create visa problems if you don't have a multiple entry visa.
Israeli stamp on your passport
Be aware that you wont be allowed to enter Syria if you have Syria Israeli stamp on your passport.Also do not mention Israel while you are in Syria.People prefer not to speak about it at all.
Always trying to sell you something
The guy in this photo with the gray hair seemed to be everywhere in Damascus! i saw him in a few spots, at least three different spots, trying to sell " special maps of Damacus"!