Updated 2016

A dash of danger just adds to the allure of Syria, a welcoming destination despite harboring terrorists and demonstrations of anti-American sentiment.  Syria, is a country full of friendly people and abundant history.

Unfortunately, it’s also a war zone at the moment. With the mass exodus of Syrian refugees and the wide destruction of the infrastructure of the country in the wake of the civil war, travel to Syria is not recommended for recreational purposes. There are still opportunities to visit as part of humanitarian delegations and there is a need for boots on the ground to help serve the marginalized populations and repair infrastructure.

Start with Syria Travel Facts.

What to do

The ancient roman city of Palmyra is one of Syria’s blue chip attractions and intense competition for tourist dollars around this site makes it a departure from the solitude and relatively easy going nature of the rest of the country. Although there are other attractions, most of the tourist attention focuses on this one.

The Crac des Chavaliers is another main tourist attraction, an ancient castle built by the Crusaders. The “Castle of the Knights” was built for defensive purposes and its many towers and walls make it look like an archetype for all castles.

Read: Kidnapped by Syrian Hospitality.

Getting there

American travelers visiting Syria need to have a valid visa issued from the Washington D.C. consulate and no evidence of a visit to Israel in their passports or documentation. Booking travel through a local travel agent makes this process much easier. Flights to Syria arrive in Damascus at the country’s main international airport, which is served by several major airlines from Europe, the middle east and Africa.

Where to stay

A full range of accommodation can be found in Syria, from sleeping under the stars on the roof of a building to a five star hotel in downtown Damascus. Hostels are less common than hotels and hotel prices are on par with prices in the United States.