Where is it?: Syria borders the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey.
Why do people go here?: Friendly and safe, Syria is often misunderstood as being a haven for tourists. It’s not. Perhaps the best in the Middle East, the country is full of impressive empires that have left their marks over the centuries. Syria is a gem waiting to be discovered only if the propoganda machine stops.
What are the main entry points?: There are a number of good routes into Syria. Syria’s international airport has connections to everywhere in the world, except the United States. You can also catch buses between Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon. There is a train from Turkey and Jordan.
Currency used: Pound
Country Code for Phones: 963
Area codes for Major Cities: Damascus 11
Religion: Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%, Christian (various sects) 10%, Jewish
Population: 22 million
Ethnic Breakdown: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%
Government: Presidential single party republic
Languages: Arabic , Aramaic, Armenian, Kurdish, Turkish
Major Cities: Damascus
Attractions: Damascus, Palmyram, Krak des Chevaliers
Accommodation: Syria Hostels
Tourism Office locations and links: Syria Tourist Office
Off-the-Beaten-Path: Dead Cities, Hama
Tips for Visiting
When to go: Like much of the Middle East, if you can avoid the summer and the winter you will have descent weather. The best times to vist are both spring and fall.
Common Phrases: Yes: Away/Naam, No: La, Thank You: Shukran, Hello: Ahlan, How are you: Izzayak? How much: Bi Kaam?, If God is willing, than it will happen: Inshaallah, Please: Min Fadilak, I don’t understand: Ana laa Afham
Specific Events/Holidays: Syrian holidays are on the Islamic calendar. Check for information about Ramadan. Other public holidays include: Evacuation Day: April 17, Martyrs’ Day: May 6
Getting Around: The best way to experience Syria is on bus. It’s efficient and affordable. You can also take trains which are cheap too, but it takes a little more time.
Good to know: Western media paints Syria as a terrorist haven. It’s actually an amazing country to explore and you won’t have any problems with anyone.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The airports serving Syria are Damascus Airport, Aleppo Airport and Lattakia Airport. Choose the airport that is near your trip destination to obtain a cheaper flight.
Need more information?: Check out the Syria travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.