Damascus Travel Guide

  • Omayyad Mosque at night
    Omayyad Mosque at night
    by mikey_e
  • Modern Damascus at dusk
    Modern Damascus at dusk
    by stevemt
  • Mihrab & Mosaics of the Mausoleum (March 2008)
    Mihrab & Mosaics of the Mausoleum (March...
    by MM212

Damascus Highlights

  • Pro
    Bavavia profile photo

    Bavavia says…

     Not overrun by tourists, inexpensive, great history 

  • Con
    JohnniOmani profile photo

    JohnniOmani says…

     Crowded, traffic and dominated by men 

  • In a nutshell
    Masalla profile photo

    Masalla says…

     more fascinating than Istanbul 

Damascus Things to Do

  • Omayyad Mosque

    The Ummayad Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Damascus (Arabic: جامع بني أمية الكبير, transl. Ğām' Banī 'Umayyah al-Kabīr), is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. Located in one of the holiest sites in...

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  • Souk El-Hamidiyeh

    If Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world – if not the oldest city in the world – one would expect it to have a considerably old souq. Damascus does not disappoint whatever the visitor’s expectation might be in this regard. Al-Hamidiya Souq is a massive complex, teeming with merchants selling everything imaginable, as well as restaurants...

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  • Azem Palace

    Azm Palace is one of the grand old houses that can be found in the Old City of Damascus. It was built in 1750 and served as the house of Asad Pasha Azm, then Ottoman governor of the city. Today, the complex serves as a folk tradition museum that includes a number of ethnographical exhibits on the customs and clothing of the people of Syria. The...

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  • Mausoleum of Saladin

    Saladin (Salahadin in Arabic), much feared in the West, is seen as a hero in Damascus and throughout the entire Muslim world. Saladin was a Kurdish Muslim who founded the Ayyubid dynasty and reigned over Syria and Egypt, taking Damascus in the 1170s. His capture of Jerusalem sparked the Third Crusade, but he was also known amongst the Crusaders for...

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  • Hejaz Railway Station

    Rail travel may not been quite as well established in the Middle East as it is in Europe, but it’s not for lack of trying. During the Ottoman period, and again under British and French Mandates, colonial powers sought to connect the Middle East to the European rail network. The Ottomans built tracks all the way into the Hejaz (modern day western...

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  • Citadel

    Ironically, the Citadel of Damascus does not occupy as commanding a presence as one might expect. The densely populated old town, with its compact souqs and the importance of its religious sites (chief among them the Umayyad Mosque) dwarf (figuratively) the main defense of the old city. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only reason why...

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Damascus Hotels

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Damascus Restaurants

  • jabri house

    I've been many times to Beit Jabri, the atmosphere is very nice and you make an encounter of meeting either a famous Syrian actor or actress there by only having a drink or a meal there. There are different sections in the restaurant and it assures your privacy if needed and the availability to accommodate more than all your friends (I already had...

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  • An experience

    I've been many times to Beit Jabri, the atmosphere is very nice and you make an encounter of meeting either a famous Syrian actor or actress there by only having a drink or a meal there.There are different sections in the restaurant and it assures your privacy if needed and the availability to accommodate more than all your friends (I already had...

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  • great restaurant in the old part of...

    The jabri house is a favorite hangout both among locals and tourists.It´s located in the old part of town just around the corner from the Azem palace.It has a very nice big courtyard with lot´s of space and the place has a very good vibe mixing the orient and the west nicely.You can both eat there or just have a tea or a water pipe if you prefer...

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Damascus Nightlife

  • Damascus at night

    Kindness of the destiny Tender smooth is so fewThat makes life's fatality Like one softness I knewLet me draw a foulard silkSimulating a touch of your skinIf I fail in my paint of milkPlease don't blame a man that sinMeeting happiness soon replaced By the pain of the sad goodbyePast that is gone with its betrayedA future based on a brand new...

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  • Friday night...

    If you plan to go out Friday night, and you want to really enjoy it, you will need a table.If you show up last moment it is difficult to happen, so try to make a reservation from before.If you don't mind standing with your drink+bag+coat+being pushed by everybody,you have to show up early.If you are boys alone...things are difficult for the last...

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  • Many places

    There are many good choices.1)Laterna.Very trendy,behind Cham Palace Hotel.2)Underground. At Abu Romane.3)Tornado4)Amigos.It is the bigest one. Outside Damascus. There you can have a lot of fun, but it is extremely difficult to find.5)Sheraton Hotel Pub and Club.The pub it's pa cool place,when I went to the Disco, there weren't many people,but it...

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Damascus Transportation

  • No stops for minibuses(van)

    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...

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  • Private car with driver

    If you plan to make to make short tours around Damascus (or even all over Syria) and you have lack of time and you want to see as much as possible you can use the services of Mr Joseph Bashoura who lives in Damascus (whom we met him in Palmyra and we arranged to make a tour in Bosra and surrounding cities).He drives a nice spacious car with CD...

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  • Taxi around the city

    The most convenient way to go around Damascus is by taxi. There are a lot of microbuses but if you're not familiar with the route and cannot read arabic signs, it would be difficult. In anyway, the taxi fare is very reasonable, generally SYP50 (a little over $1) is the average rate for short distances. When you travel for a couple of kilometers...

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Damascus Shopping

  • Shopping malls

    Cham City Center The perfect place to relax with your family and friends ,Cham City Center . It has plenty to offer you- a choice of over 100 superb shops, restaurants, fast food outlets, a children’s entertainment center, Health and Fitness Gym, and Business Center. Located in the heart of Damascus, in one of the most beautiful and quiet...

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  • Shopping malls

    Damascus BoulevardDamascus Boulevard, situated near the Four Seasons Hotel is preparing to roll out the Red Carpet for Damascus.This development is a joint venture between SSTI, Khorafi (Kuwait), The Ministry of Tourism and the Municipality developed in conjunction with the Four Seasons Hotel.The mall layout, overlooking the park and views of the...

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  • Shopping malls

    Damasquino Mall was opened in 2009,devided in 70 shopping units in 7 flours.There are all you can find form cloth to furniture to food to electronics ..Opening hours :shops from 11am till 11pm cafes and restaurants from : 09 am till 1 am

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Damascus Local Customs

  • Ottoman Engravings

    Ottoman artists are renown for their architectural and design achievements. One such achievement is the use of calligraphy and its carving and etching into architecural monuments. There are plenty of examples around Damascus that exhibit the development and apex of this particular art, which is present across the Eastern Mediterranean from the...

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  • Tortured Politics

    It is by way of being a platitude to say that politics in Syria are a bit complicated. I visited the country in January 2011, two months before the outbreak of the unrest that would, eventually, lead to civil war. Then, there was a tense sort of calm that prevailed in the city: there were no protests, and the presence of danger was not immediate,...

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  • Religious divide

    After the civil war that erupted in Iraq following the US invasion, the fact that there are two major sects in Islam – Sunni and Shia – is fairly well known throughout the English-speaking world. The schism stems, initially, from a dispute over the inheritance of the leadership of the Muslim umma, or community of believers. Sunnis opted for a...

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Damascus Warnings and Dangers

  • Driver horns,Trafiic and busy at night

    In Damascus It 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 earplugs 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.

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  • Is it acceptable to drink alcohol? What...

    Is it acceptable to drink alcohol? What about drug use?Drug use is strictly prohibited in Syria, and carries very stiff penalties for usage or possession, and no distinction is made between “hard” or “soft” drugs”. If you’re carrying pot, weed, hash or marijuana for medical use or otherwise, do not attempt to enter Syria.Drinking Alcohol in public...

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  • 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.

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Damascus Tourist Traps

  • Visa info

    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,...

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  • 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.

    more
  • 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.

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Damascus What to Pack

  • Recommended Reading

    Below are a few books I recommend reading prior to a trip to Syria:Syria - A Historical and Cultural Guide, by Warwick BallDamas - Miroir Brisé d'Un Orient Arabe (Éditions Autrement, Séries Monde)Monuments of Syria - An Historical Guide, by Ross BurnsSyria - A Selection of Reports, by Carol MillerDamascus - Hidden Treasures of the Old City, by...

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  • Shoes Sandals

    Bring comfortable flat shoes ,and I suggest to avoid white tennis shoes ,Specially in the winter time.and on Summer advisable to put on men's sandals since the weather is too hot.

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  • Syrian Pounds

    It is impossible to get any Syrian Pounds overseas (except in some Arabic countries). There is a FOREX outlet just outside the arrival hall which accepts USD and EURO. Remember to change all the Syrian Pounds to foreign currency before you leave!

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Damascus Off The Beaten Path

  • Jebel Qassioun

    They shine at night, they seems to be so far from us, standing up on this mountain...Drinking a hot tea, my eyes lost in yours, no words are needed cause our hearts are talking already...Oh God, i dont wanna go away.....please, let me stay here, forever...Doesn't split what is born to be One.....Those citylights, the same i saw from the plane, as...

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  • Arab Poetry Institute

    Poetry occupies a very important place in Arab culture. It, not the novel or the epic, is the repository of Arab literary tradition, and Arab poets have created a canon of forms and styles that are well-known and well-studied throughout the Arab World. I'm not aware of the Arab Poetry Institute occupying an important role in the Arab World, and...

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  • Malik Faisal Street

    Malik Faisal Street is what the French call a "quartier populaire" or a working class neighbourhood. Nevertheless, it is an interesting window into the lives of average Damascenes, as its markets lack the historical sheen or the opulence of some of the ones you will find inside the old city. The shops are traditional, but in another vein of...

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Damascus Favorites

  • old town

    The Old City is my favourite part of Damascus. I guess it is everyone's. It is fascinating for its history, architecture and culture. Highlights include the Umayyad Mosque, Straight Street, Al-Hamidiyya Souq, Azem Palace and the Citadel. But it is also great just to wander around the various souqs, khans and narrow streets that people have lived...

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  • omayyad mosque

    Clean your feet, wash your sins...get ready to met God, get ready to pray Him... How to describe that feelings i felt?You understand me, always. No more secret between us, no more lies...the dirty is clean, now.

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  • new town

    Central Damascus is the modern heart of the city to the west of the Old City. It is characterised by medium-high rise office and apartment blocks topped with a sea of satellite dishes, small shops, big roundabouts, street vendors, roads full of small Chinese and Korean cars and hazy air, which is usually polluted enough for you to notice it. This...

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Explore Deeper into Damascus
National Museum
Things to Do
Sayyida Ruqayya Mosque
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Christian Quarter
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Recommended Reading
Favorites
Old City by Night
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Minaret of the Bride
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Qaitbay Minaret
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Dome of the Clock
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Dome of the Treasury
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Temple of Apollo
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French Mandate Houses
Off The Beaten Path
Argentine Monument
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Museum of Arab Medicine and Science
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Saladin Statue
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Aramani Hammam
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Four Seasons Hotel
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Iranian Cultural Centre
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Minshieh Park
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Qaymarryeh Street
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Syriac Catholic Church
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Merjeh Square
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Ottoman Luxury
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Sulaimaniya Tekkiya
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Damascus' Defense
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Environmental Park
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Umayyad Square
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Malik Zahir Hammam
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Bab Touma
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A Gentleman's Resting Place
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Mariamite Orthodox Cathedral
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Prayer Hall and Courtyard
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The Tomb
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Sculpture Garden
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5000 years of history
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Train to nowhere
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Make way for shoppers!
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Building on one another
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Dressing up while entering the Mosque.
Local Customs
Damascus Mosque´s two Faces of Religion
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Umayyad Mosque of Damascus City
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Map of Damascus

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