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.
You can get to Syria from Istanbul by plane, train or bus. Trains are long and infrequent. Several buses travel between Istanbul and Syria each day, but the journey is long. And direct flights can be expensive. An alternative may be a plane/bus combination.
Book a flight on Onur Air from Istanbul to Adana, in southern Turkey. I paid $92 for a roundtrip flight. Taking a bus would be slightly cheaper, but you save a day's worth of travel. From Adana's airport, take a taxi to the bus station. There are frequent buses to Antakya/Hatay. This will take three hours. It's a nice ride through the mountains and some stretches offer views of the Mediterranean Sea. I advise staying in Antakya at least one night so you can visit St. Peter's church. The next day, you can either take a bus or a service taxi to Aleppo or Latakia. Aleppo takes about three hours and Latakia should take two hours.
There a lot of bus company in Syria. Kadmous is the best.
But Al Alniah, another company. Cheaper, more frequently. Esspecially if you want to go urbanize area very hard to find Kadmous voyage. Wait for Al Alniah.
Other firms will keep you and never depart on time.
Although many travelers take an organized group tour to Syria & Lebanon and its wondrous archeological sites, we chose to hire an independent driver for our road trip.
After some research, I contacted Abdul Ibrahim. Although, I had a specific itinerary, Abdul was helpful with information on hotels, etc., etc. Much more than a driver he became a friend. His website is
Enjoying Driving Tourists Happy- http://syriaroad.blogspot.com/
He can drive you in Jordan, lebanon and Syria
Syria has a modern traffic infrastructure and most roads are in good condition. For mid-range distance between cities, the minibuses are great bargains. For example, a minibus-trip from Damascus to Maalula would cost about 50 Syrian Pounds, roughly 1 Euro (one-way). For longer distances, a Pullman bus would be the more comfortable choice. Between the larger cities, busses run very frequently during daytime, so it is not necessary to research departure times - just show up at the bus station. A ticket from Damascus to Palmyra or Aleppo would cost 200 - 250 Syrian Pounds (roughly 5 € for a 3 - 4 hour-trip). Keep your passport ready as it will be checked several times before and while boarding.
For travelling between the larger cities, a taxi might be the better choice if you want to make stops at touristical sights along the way. I would recommend this especially for the route Hama - Aleppo, as it is easy to combine Apameia, Al-Bara, Sdrjilla and the Mosaic Museum of Ma`arrat an Numan in a single daytrip. You can have your hotel organize trips for you or haggle with any taxi driver; usually they charged ca. 40-50,- € for a halfday-trip and between 70-100 € for a full-day-trip.
You will most probably walk a lot while in Syria.
Walking is the best way exploring the Old City of Damascus, the Souks of Aleppo, the Ancient City of Palmyra etc.
So, do take some comfortable shoes with - you will be happy you done so.
I enjoyed travelling by bus in Syria. There are quite a few bus companies offering very good connections. There is no problem with luggage, the busses are very comfortable and are air-conditioned.
And, they are really cheap.
I would recommend travelling by bus in Syria anytime.
Pullman or Karnak are just two of the many companies. I used both, and were very happy.
It was never needed to book ahead.
I flew from Damascus to Aleppo with Syrian Airlines. It was possible to buy a ticket at the airport for a flight the same day. I tried to book online, but you cannot pay for a ticket on the website at this stage.
A one way ticket from Damascus to Aleppo is only SYP 1700 and the flight takes about 50 minutes.
The only problem I encountered was that I had to go through immigration at Damascus Airport again and again on arrival at Aleppo.
I flew to Damascus with Emirates, via Dubai. Emirates is definitely my favourite airline. The important thing to know is that the airfare includes the departure tax which needs to be paid when leaving Syria. Some airlines do not include departure tax in your ticket, and you will have to pay an amount of 1600 SYP (April 2010). There is a designated desk at departures.
Immigration can take quite a long time, and your passport will be inspected by the officer.
"The bus station" (two bar-restaurants selling tickets, each one for different company) is located in the outskirts of Tadmor (Palmyra). Walking distance to the center about 20 minutes. The maximum taxi fare 30-50 Syrian Pounds to the center. The ruins are in walking distance from the center.
There are more buses to Damascus in the afternoon. I was traveling on Friday and I had some problems to catch the bus because of holiday. Buy a ticket in advance one day before.
The buses run only from the point I marked.
I paid for the ticket to Damascus 200 Syrian Pounds (3.20 € -2009). The coach was very comfortable and the journey took 3 hours.
I decided to go back to Aleppo by train. I bought a 1 class ticket in the Hejaz station in the morning of the day of departure. I paid 110 Syrian Pounds (1.90 €- 2009).
The night train departs at 00.01 and arrives in Aleppo after seven hours of rolling and rattling.
The car was not heated and it was cold but I crawled into my sleeping bag and enjoyed my journey. The night train seemed to be safe.
The trains, no longer runs from the Hejaz Station but from Qadam station in the outskirts of the Syrian capital.
It's not so complicated to get to the Qadam station by the public transport. You take the bus Number 22. For bus stop location see the picture 1. The bus costs 10 Syrian Pounds (2009) and it takes about 30 minutes to get there. The stop is in the front of the Qadam station.
The Qadam station seems to be very basic if you compare it with the Aleppo station. (I was impressed about the Aleppo station). There are no cafes or restaurants. There is only one kiosk close to the building where you can buy tee, coffee and some sweets.
I was traveling in February, the waiting room was heated but not enough to sit there for a couple of hours.
Buy tickets in advance. You can buy tickets at Hejaz train station in the city center.
I hope I marked the bus stop correctly. Make sure of the location before going to the station.
The Aleppo station is situated close to the city center. About 15 min. walk from the Clock tower. It's very modern and clean.
If you want to buy a ticket to Damscus you have to find the counter that sells tickets to Damascus. Every direction has its own counter. Buying a ticket you have to show your passport. Having a ticket (everything written in Arabic) ask if you have to register your ticket. There is a separate counter where you can register the ticket. (Showing the passport again you will receive a stamp on the ticket). The locals must do it.
I will recommend to buy the ticket in advance because the train fares are very cheap and the local people use the trains frequently. I paid from Aleppo to Hama 80 Syrian pounds- 1€20 for 2, 5 hours trip in the second class . The train was comfortable and clean. During the trip a cold juice was served for free. If you know Arabic you can watch a movie. Headphones gratis.
The trains don't operate frequently. I think there are only 4 or 5 trains from Aleppo to Damascus.
You can get to Maarat Al Noman from Aleppo and from Hama by Micro buses. From Hama you can go to the main bus station and ride one one Aleppo buses. Ask the bus driver to drop in Maarat Al Noman and you'll be dropped on the high way. In Damascus you can also take any Bus heading to Aleppo and they will drop you on the same spot. Fron there you can either walk or take a taxi to town.
If you are in Hama you can go directly to town using a Micro bus. to catch on walk to the Ottoman clock tower near the Riad and Cairo Hotels. Cross the river and walk directly. take the 2nd right turn. You reach to the market and ask for Saahat Al Hadher where all the transportation to Maarat Al Noman. There will be buses up to 6 p.m. If you want to come back from Maarat Al Noman to Hama later than 6 p.m. you can go to the High way and catch one of the buses heading to Hama.
You can get to Busra on a day trip which is very good considering that Busra has only one 5 star hotel. The Hotel is expensive and for thhe most part is usually empty.
To get to Busra from Damascus you have to head to the Assomaryyah bus station on the west side of town. There are many micro buses go to Assomaryyahm just ask around.
LP last edition (2008) still mention Baramkeh Bus terminal as a department terminal. This is no longer valid and the bus terminal has been moved 2 years ago to Assomaryyah. It also quotes 50 pounds which is also an out dated figure
Once you get to Assomaryyah ask for Busra terminal. a ticket will cost you around 120 Syrian pounds. The whole trip will take less than 2 hrs and the buses are very comfortable. It will drop you next to the citadel you can reach to the Busra before 12 and you can wonder around the city for 4 hrs which is more enough time to see every thing. You can take the bus back around 6 to Damascus.
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