ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
Syrian Arab Airlines (RB) connects Aleppo, Palmyra, Deir-ez-Zor, Al-Qamishlye and Lattakia. Domestic flights are quite cheap.
On the way by car / bus
The road network covers around 25,900 km, of which 22,500 km are paved. Some roads are impassable during the rainy season. The most important road leads from Aleppo to Damascus and Dar’a (north-south axis).
Bus: Regular buses from Damascus and Aleppo are reliable, inexpensive and connect almost all towns. The white and orange state Karnak buses are air-conditioned, advance booking is recommended. The buses usually stop in the city center. Private buses and minibuses are cheaper, but less comfortable and have no fixed timetables. Taxi: Shared taxis drive to almost all parts of the country. Other taxis, mostly old limousines, drive all major routes. They cost 50-70% more than Karnak buses.
Documentation: international driver’s license. The green insurance card has not yet been recognized. Insurance is required by law. A customs certificate for importing a car is required, which is available from all automobile clubs.
In built-up areas: 40 km / h.
Traveling in the city
State buses run in all larger towns. Almost all buses outside the capital are only labeled in Arabic, which makes it much more difficult for visitors without the appropriate language skills to use them. Taxis are available and fares should be negotiated in advance.
On the go by train
Trains run from Damascus to the north of the country; however, the connections are very irregular. There are train connections between Damascus and Aleppo, between Damascus and Latakia, between Aleppo and Latakia, Al Quamishli and Al Midan Akbes, and between Tartous and Latakia and between Hama and Tartous. 1st class is air-conditioned.
Country-specific safety information
There are still warnings against traveling to Syria.
All Germans who have not yet left the country will be asked to leave Syria. The German embassy in Damascus is currently closed and cannot provide consular assistance on site in an emergency.
The uprising against the regime that began in March 2011 has turned into a complex military conflict that affects all cities and regions. Two to three-digit numbers of deaths and injuries are reported across the country almost every day. The state structures have crumbled in numerous places and the general risk of violence is very high. Personal security can no longer be guaranteed in Syria. Across Syria, there is a risk of falling victim to war through violence. Kidnappings, including of foreigners, are another great danger in all parts of the country. All Germans and travelers who are still in Syria against the travel warning should leave the country as soon as possible.
In June 2013, the Syrian government passed a law under which foreigners entering Syria illegally could face a five to ten year prison term and a fine of 5 to 10 million Syrian pounds. This ban also applies to areas currently controlled by opposition forces or IS.
Sanctions against Syrian Arab Airlines have been in force since July 2012, according to which, among other things, the purchase of flight tickets with and for Syrian Arab Airlines by EU citizens is a criminal offense. Only the purchase of flight tickets for evacuation from Syria is permitted.
Like Syrians, foreigners can also become victims of violent jihadists. The terrorist organization ISIS controls large parts of eastern Syria with the provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor as well as parts of the provinces of al-Hasakeh and Aleppo. Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), which is attributable to Al-Qaida, has its main operations in the provinces of Idlib, Quneitra and Dara.
Since January 2012 there has been a high terrorist threat to public buildings in Syria as defined on a2zgov.
Due to Syria’s position as a neighboring state to Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, the development of the security situation in these three states must also be monitored with particular attention. Express reference is made to the travel warnings for Iraq and parts of Lebanon.
Border regions to Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq
Large movements of refugees are taking place in the neighboring countries, above all to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Furthermore, tensions in the predominantly Kurdish north-east province and on the Syrian-Iraqi border cannot be ruled out. Some borders are closed to passenger traffic or can be closed at short notice without prior notice, making it impossible to leave Syria.
It is generally forbidden in Syria to take photos of military installations. The concept of the military facility is interpreted comprehensively by the Syrian security services and can also be used e.g. B. include high-ranking homes, bridges, broadcast facilities, or other government buildings. The prohibition should be strictly observed. Even in the areas controlled by rebel groups, photography can be seen as attempted spying.