Syria – Practical Information

View from Krak des Chevaliers - Syria

View from Krak des Chevaliers – Syria

This information is not meant to encourage anyone to travel to Syria due to the current conflict, but instead provide an overview of what the situation was like prior to this time. 

Before you go: Obtaining a visa was necessary for all visitors prior to entering Syria prior to the current conflict This was an easy process, however I’m unsure if it is even possible to obtain a tourist visa nowadays.

Accommodation: Accommodation in Syria varies from the very basic to the opulent. I found the best value to be the small guest houses that are dotted across the country – these usually provide one with private facilities and breakfast. However, due to the current armed conflict, it is difficult to know which accommodation is still available, so I am not able to provide any recommendations.  

Food: Syria has probably the best food in the Middle East. It is cheap and good quality.  Shwarmas were of particularly good quality and I loved the way the Syrians cooked their roast chicken over an open flame. Minced lamb dishes were also a delight to devour. For those who prefer sweet dishes, try the halawat al-jibn in Hama, a soft pastry filled with an equally soft cheese, drowned in syrup and served hot. Definitely the sweetest dish I have ever consumed. Being in the Middle East, one can savour a sheesha afterwards – and one can choose from different flavours (I loved the strawberry).

Transport: Buses are the most common form of transport around Syria. Homs is a major transport hub that is at the crossroads between the main north-south road and west-east road. These are very reasonably priced and the road conditions are generally very good. For visiting some of the tourist sites, it may be easier to use a taxi – so try to find others to share with in order to keep down costs.