What to buy:
If you are a wearer of glasses you may wish to invest in a pair or two in Syria. They can take the prescription from your current pair and ready between 1 hour and 1 day. Worth dipping into your travel budget...
What to pay: Cost between US$20-$30 for a really good pair
Whether you are visiting the covered markets in Aleppo or Damascus, you will generally find the same things for sale. Popular items for tourists include silk scarves, backgammon games, carpets and water pipes. All can be bought for much less than they would be in Turkey. In Damascus, I bought a leather camel whip for $3. If I had bought this in Turkey it would have cost at least $15. Swords, copper trays and musical instruments are some of the other things that can found. If you are looking for shoes, deal can be found.
What to pay: When in the covered markets, negotiate. Never be the first one to give a price. Ask the shop owner how much he wants. When he tells you the price, act shocked. Offer him considerably less. If he tells you he wants $20, offer him $5. You can probably buy it for $10, but if you negotiate you can probably get him down to $7. Say to him, "Another shop owner was going to sell me the same thing for $5." Before he can counter, tell him you will give him $7 because you think he is a nice person. You will then be shaking hands, you will have your item and he will have his money. Some shop owners inflate prices, others do not. To you, paying an extra $3 may not mean much. But to the shop owner, that extra $3 will help him support his family. I'm not saying you should overpay, but be reasonable.
True, the souqs might be closed on Friday in Syria but in big cities like Aleppo & Damascus, people still come to the souqs to set up tables to display their wares. People still doing their shoppings, mostly cheap offers or bundle offers...The time would be just before the Friday prayer or after the Friday prayer.
This is the sight at the souq on Friday.
Many people like to buy the Syrian sweets & spices to bring home ! Well, if you like to give to kids, the sweets would do !
If you are a good cook the spices would be an excellent choice but you must have good recipes on how to use the spices as they could be different in tastes of the menus that you get in your home country...
So, don't forget to get a good cookbook when you intend to buy the spices...
In The Souqs, you can get some good belly dance costumes !
Even though on Friday, The Souqs could be closed but there would be some shops opened & some street sellers might hang the costumes instead of dispaying them in their shops...
Nevertheless, if you want to get good antiques, you might as well look for some specialist shops which can be found in big cities like Aleppo & Damascus.
Please discuss the prices first & make sure that they are genuine; In addition to that make sure you know how to transport back the antiques back to yuor country !
Not all antiques can be brought out from Syria.
If you want to buy some souvenirs for people back home, might as well you get them in The Souqs !
Almost everything is in this old market place. The ones in Aleppo & Damascus are just so amazing !
Competetive prices & lots of choices !
In fact, even if you are not buying anything, getting lost in The Souqs will be a highlight for you in those places ! Believe Me !
What to buy:
You really should buy yourself a keffiyeh while you're in Syria. Not only do you see them everywhere, they can come in handy. Strictly speaking of course, they are men's wear - you never see a woman in one - but when the sun gets hot on the back of your neck, who's going to quibble.
By all means buy an 'iqal (the black cord) to complete the set, but I'd save the dressing up with that until you get home.
Keffiyehs come in all qualities - the more densely patterned it is, the better the quality usually, the fringing is an indication too, and although they are nearly always red or black, you do see blue and green ones. There's only ever one size though.
What to pay: No more than $5
Syria is mainly a Muslim country and therefore Friday is the day when shops are closed. So if you are planning to visit the souq you should come any other day.
I must say it was an experience though, to visit the dark and empty souqs in Aleppo a Friday. So different from the day before when it was full of colour, people and comers. I’m happy I was not alone in the long dark alleys, but had Firas and Zeid as company!
Most of the shops have metal doors but at a few places there are shops still having the old wooden doors.
The souk is the wonder land for the tourist, and the favorite place in many times and cases, and for sure how to resist when you are a female LOL
so going there will give you the choice to chose the typical Syrian gifts, take a look please to my Shopping tip of my Aleppo page to have an idea of what you could buy there!
What to buy: Souvenirs
What to pay: Depends on your skills LOL
I went to the Souk with Malena, I was shocked how honest and experiences less Malena is in negotiating to low the prices!
but to tell the truth I adored her more even after that!
I helped her to buy 3 pieces in the price of one!
I'm a good negotiator LOL
Shopping in Ma'lula is not that big choice for a tourist, but despite it could be attractive for some special qualities of Ma'lulas gifts and souvenirs.
There are the traditional hand made metal jars and vases, also there is the local wine made in Ma'lula :*Nbeet* is what we call in Syria. of a good quality and exotic taste somehow.
Yes even in small villages the Gold still the most wanted thing for women!
this shop is almost the same of what you can see in the souks or shops in big cities such as Damascus or Aleppo!
What to pay: it depends but its between 20$ up to 20000$
Sea stuffs and equipments are almost every where in the streets of Latakia!
I don't think you'll have a problem to find them!
also you don't need to bring any other things with you except the swimming underwear!
What to pay: Its cheap and its about 5$
On the way between Hama and Musyaf you will pass several appletree cultivations. Along the road there are apples to buy.
On my request the bus stopped and I went out to buy some apples. I choosed some big green apples that looked very delisious. Unfortunatly they were very, very sour and I could not eat them all. Guess I should have taken another kind.
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