Best time to go to Syria
The best time of year to travel to Syria is spring (March to May), when the weather is mild and the wild flowers are in bloom. In Damascus, the winter rains washed the dust out of the air and swelled rivers, so that the wooden norias (water wheels) in Hama turn under fresh, clean water.
The autumn (September to November)is the second best choice after the summer heat. If you travel in summer (June to August), think of a hat, sunscreen, and water bottle, especially in Palmyra or northeast Syria. Coastal areas like Lattakia can be very humid, while the interior is very hot and dry. Winter can be quite uncomfortable. The winter rain makes sightseeing difficult, but if you are lucky, a blanket of snow spreads to Damascus and the higher elevations. Note that cheaper hotels often don’t have heating.
If you travel during school holidays, you should book accommodation well in advance. There can be difficulties in the Muslim month of fasting Ramadan: some cafes and restaurants close during the day and some offices only open at reduced hours. The nights in Ramadan, especially during the last three days of Eid al-Fitr, are particularly lively.
Currency: 1 Syrian pound equals 100 piasters
Currency abbreviation: SYP (ISO code) – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
Banknotes of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pounds are used. Coins are issued in amounts of £ 1, £ 2, £ 5, £ 10 and £ 25.
1 US dollar = 47.1 Syrian pounds
1 Euro = 69.4 Syrian pounds
1 Swiss franc = 45.7 Syrian pounds
Syria is one of the most visited Arab countries in Asia. The reasons for this are mainly the large number of different sights that tourists can see there.
Under no circumstances should you miss the city of Damascus. The city is considered one of the oldest still existing and still inhabited cities in the world. It was first mentioned on a hieroglyphic tablet in 1470 BC. The highlight of the city is the Umayyad Mosque. The mosque was built 705 years after the birth of Christ by the Omayyad caliph Al-Waldi Ibn Abdul Malek. The construction of the magnificent mosque alone took ten years. The peculiarity of the Islamic church are the three minarets, each of which looks different. The mosque has recently been renovated to keep it in good condition.
Not far from the Umayyad Mosque is another interesting Damascus attraction. The Souk al-Harir was opened in 1574 by the Darwish Pasha. Various traditional clothes of the country, embroidered fabrics, perfumes, etc. can be bought on the market. At the center of the market is the al, Quishani, an old bath, which is one of the many public baths in the city of Damascus.
Nearby is the Abdallah-al-Azem-Madrassat. The Abdallah-al-Azem-Madrassat is a school that was built in 1779. Today there is no school in the building, but several shops. The beautiful Nureddin ibn Zeki Mosque is also absolutely worth seeing. It dates from 1173.
Another market that should not be missed is the Souq Midhat Pasha. It was built in 1887. There you can buy almost everything from local textiles, various silk fabrics and also copper and silverware.
The market also includes the Maktab-Anbar-Haus, which is considered the most beautiful Damascene house in the country. The house was built in the nineteenth century. Its main architectural features are the stained glass windows, ornamented halls and richly painted ceilings. The city’s cultural center is located inside the Maktab Anbar House.
Although Damascus is an Islamic city, there are still some beautiful churches to visit, such as B. the Byzantine Hananiya Church.
Those among the tourists who are interested in jewelry should not miss the Souk Al-Saghah. There you can buy beautiful pieces of jewelry in various variations made by hand. But also gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, etc. You can buy everything from rings, earrings, wedding rings, chains to bracelets.
The Sayda Zaynab shrine can be visited just outside Damascus. The inside of the shrine is decorated with gold, silver and also magnificent chandeliers. Sayda Zaynab was not just any queen, no, she was the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed.
Hundreds of pilgrims come to her shrine every day.
Palmyra is something special. Palmyra is an oasis town right in the center of the country. It was particularly important in antiquity. Since it was one of the main hubs of the trade routes, the city also came to the corresponding wealth.
You can still see a lot of the splendor of the ten square meter city at the time. So Palmyra had been a bishopric in the fourth century. If you are more interested in the history of the city, you should definitely visit the archaeological museum there. The exhibits on display there are only signposted in Arabic or French script, but the sight alone is worth a visit.
The very old city of Bosra is an absolute must for tourists. The city was first mentioned in the fourteenth century BC. It is said that Mohammed should have stopped here with his caravan and personally laid the foundation for the city’s Islamic faith.
The highlights of the city are the Roman theater from the second century AD. The theater can accommodate up to 15,000 visitors on thirty-seven rows of seats. The Roman amphitheater Bosras is considered the best preserved and most beautiful in the whole world. Every year an exciting music and theater festival is held in the amphitheater.
Aleppo is definitely worth seeing because the city is one of the oldest in the world. The city also has many different sights to offer, such as the great Umayyad Mosque, the citadel, a large number of caravanserais, etc. It is certainly interesting to visit the old Christian quarter. Here you can see old houses from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The soup of Aleppo is something special. The market is spread over an area of more than twelve square meters and is considered the largest in the world. Other interesting sights of the city are the National Museum, the Al-Jami-al-Kabir Mosque and the Al-Bundugiah Consulate, built in the fifteenth century.
Other interesting places in Syria worth visiting are Ma’loula and Krak des Chevaliers.
Aleppo in Syria
Aleppo is a city in Northern Syria. It is the capital of the district of the same name. Almost two million people live in Aleppo. The city is considered the most populous city in Syria, even before the country’s capital, Damascus.
Aleppo is the oldest city in the area and is an important strategic point between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates. Most of Aleppo’s inhabitants are Arabs and Kurds. However, other population groups such as Turks, Aramaeans and Armenians also live in Aleppo.
Aleppo was named the first cultural capital of Islam in 2006. Thanks to its eventful history, Aleppo has a wide range of sights to offer its visitors. So you should n’t miss the city’s national museum. Here you can admire numerous impressive archaeological finds. Since Aleppo is a traditional trading center, you can explore numerous trading yards and souks here.
The citadel is something special. The city palace Saif al-Daula dates from the Middle Ages and is located on an artificially constructed settlement hill. The current building dates from the thirteenth century, built by Timur Lenk. The predecessor buildings date from the Seleucid period. However, the current building was also damaged, this time in 1822 by an earthquake. Archaeological investigations are not possible due to the density of the buildings and the thickness of the deposits. However, scientists estimate that the citadel has existed since the Bronze Age.
There are many mosques to admire in Aleppo. Among them is the Madrasa Halawiya. An old temple in Aleppo was converted into a huge Byzantine cathedral and dedicated to Helena, the mother of Constantine I. According to legend, the grave of the father of John the Baptist is said to be here. During the time of the Crusaders, the Church of St. Helena was rededicated, this time to a mosque. In the 12th century, a madrasah was created by Nur ad-Din founded in the former cathedral.
The huge mosque Al-Jami-al-Kabir was started in the Umayyads. The current building of Nur ad-Din was built in 1158. The reconstruction after the Mongol storm that destroyed the Muslim church was built in 1260.
Tourists who are interested in archeology will love Aleppo. No excavations have yet taken place in the urban area, but numerous seals from the late Old Syrian period indicate that Aleppo must have been the seat of important stone-cutting workshops. Finds from Gabbul contradict this, they make it more likely that Aleppo during the Middle Syrian period was the seat of a school of sculpture. Two basalt lions have been found at the citadel. They probably come from a late Hittite gate or temple from the tenth century BC. The impressive princely statue of Ain et-Tell must have been made around eight hundred BC.
One thing is certain, the vacation in Aleppo will certainly not be boring, because here you can experience a wide range of sights.
Damascus in Syria
Damascus is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. The capital of Syria can look back on more than four thousand years of history. Damascus has been inhabited for 12,000 years.
In this place, many historical lines meet. Many famous rulers and people were in Damascus. The biblical king David had taken the city, the king of Babylonia (Nebuchadnezzar II) ruled the city, the holy apostle Paul experienced a lot here, Saladin started a crusade against the crusaders from Damascus etc.
The Syrian city was already in the hands of pharaohs, the Aramaeans, the Persians, the Babylonians, Alexander the Great, the Romans, etc. Many important events in human history happened in Damascus.
Holidays in the city will certainly not be boring, as ancient buildings here, as silent witnesses, bear witness to the exciting history of the Syrian city.
Therefore, you can be sure that there is a wide range of sights in Damascus.
One of the city’s main attractions is the Al Gütä oasis. The oasis surrounds the city and is intended to meet its water needs. As the needs of the city and the industry based there are constantly increasing, the oasis is getting bigger. But it is also polluted by wastewater, road traffic and industry.
Something special that should not be missed on a vacation in the impressive city is the old town of Damascus. It is surrounded by an ancient Roman wall. The old town is divided by Bab Sharqi, also called Via Recta, a straight street. In the old town of Damascus there are many ancient and impressive buildings from past times to admire.
The most important building in the old town is the Umayyad Mosque, which is located in the northwestern part of the old town. Around the fantastic old town there are many markets and above all the hustle and bustle.
Those who explore the old town should take a closer look at the inner courtyards of the old town houses. Because there are many wonderful and picturesque fountains to see. If you want to relax, you can do so in one of the many public baths, the so-called hamams. The old town of Damascus has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
Other quarters of the Syrian city that you should visit are Bab Tuma, Jabal Quasyun, Bab Sharqi, El Schuhada Square, Hezhahs Square, Martyrs Square etc.
Above all, ancient buildings and structures can be admired in Damascus. Damascus is world famous for its walls and gates. They used to protect the old town. There are a total of eight gates in Damascus, the oldest of which was built in Roman times. The most famous gates would be Bab al-Faraj (Gate of Redemption), Bab al-Faradis (Gate of Orchids), Bab Al-Salam (Gate of Peace), Bab Tuma (Thomas Gate), etc.
The Abdallah al-Azem-Madrasat is worth seeing. It is located near the Souq al-Harir. The Madrassa is a school that was founded in 1779 and was created under the rule of the Ottomans. The impressive building now houses many shops and markets where you can buy almost anything.
The Al-Quishani is worth a visit. The old public bath is in the Souq al-Harir. But it is only one of the many other baths that Damascus has to offer.
There are other impressive buildings to explore in the Syrian city, such as the train station, Chan Asad Pasha, the Hotel Old Damascus, the Maktab Anbar House, the Saladin Mausoleum and the statue of Saladin.
But museum lovers will also be delighted by a holiday in Damascus, as there are a number of museums to explore in the city. The most beautiful is the Museum of Arts and Syrian Traditions. It was built in 1749 and is housed in the world-famous Azim Palace.
The National Museum is impressive. The facade of the museum used to be the entrance to an ancient military camp, the Qasr al-Hayr al-Ghabi. In the museum you can admire a fantastic collection of papyrin, damascene weapons and statues etc.
The Maktab-Anbar-Haus is an absolute must. This is a magnificent Damascene house built in the nineteenth century. The building is on a side street of Souq Midhat Pasha. The magnificent building delights its visitors with its mighty ornate halls, colorful windows and wonderfully decorated ceilings. At the moment there is a cultural center in the house.
Since the inhabitants of the Syrian city have largely belonged to the Islamic faith for centuries, there are many ancient and magnificent mosques to be admired in Damascus. The most famous is the Umayyad Mosque. It dates from 705 and is the oldest mosque in the country.
Other mosques worth seeing are the Nureddin ibn Zenki Mosque, the Sayyida Zainab Mosque, the shrine Mua’wiya Al-Sagheer d. J and Takiyyeh as-Sulaymaniyyeh. If you want to visit the mosques as a woman, you should follow the given rules. Women are not allowed to enter a Muslim church wearing light clothing. In some, the woman has to be completely veiled.
Although Damascus is largely Islamic, there are still some historical churches to admire. The Anias Church is a must. The Church should commemorate the healing of St. Paul from his blindness. The sacred building is said to be on the place where Paul is said to have lived after his conversion. The Pineapple Church is the oldest Christian religious building in the world. The special thing is that the church is six meters underground.
The chapel of St. Paul is also a wonderful sacral building of the Syrian city. In Syria there are also enough castles, palaces and villas to admire from ancient times. Those who enjoy shopping will be amazed by the city’s many lively markets.