All about travel to Syria
At first glance, it may seem like a daunting task. Getting a visa for travel to Syria. But (for many nationalities) it’s less complicated than it seems. We’ll help you on your way with this blog.
Syria’s tourist visa history is almost as turbulent as the country itself. Before the civil war Syria was a well-known tourist attraction in the Middle East. Many travel agencies organised tours along all tourist highlights of the country.
After the civil war, much was destroyed and tourism had also completely disappeared. Tourist visas were again issued sparingly but with ever-changing rules. However, since the autumn of 2021, the country is open for tourism again.
How do you get a tourist visa for Syria?
You can only travel to Syria if you use a travel agent (like us). Previously (in 2018), you could travel independently after paying around 400 USD, but after an incident with a traveller who went a little too far off the beaten track, the government decided to only allow tourists who travel around with a certified tour operator. So you can’t apply for a visa for Syria and travel around on your own, it always has to be through a travel organisation with permission from the government.
Who can get a tourist visa to Syria?
Unlike most other countries, Syria has no clear rules on who can and cannot obtain a visa. Anyone can apply for a tourist visa, but for some nationalities obtaining the visa will be easier than others.
If you are from the EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the UK, getting a tourist visa will be easy. For other nationalities, we advise you to contact us to look into the possibilities.
United States & Syria visa
Americans in general have a lot of trouble getting a visa for Syria. After the civil war, there was a period in which it was easy for Americans to travel to Syria, but since autumn 2021 it is again (almost) impossible for Americans. The expectation is that this will change very soon. If so, we will let you know immediately.
When you book a tour to Syria you also apply for a security clearance. This clearance is issued by the Ministry of Tourism and allows you to enter the country. The costs for the security clearance are included in your trip. Applying for security clearance takes about 10 to 15 days.
As soon as you have received clearance you can travel to Syria (within 3 months). At the border you will receive your tourist visa after payment. The cost of the visa varies by nationality and ranges from $70 to $150.
How can you travel to Syria with a visa?
You can travel to Syria via the border with Lebanon, Jordan or Damascus airport. Most travellers choose the border crossing with Lebanon as this is by far the most convenient route. The airport of Damascus is open again, but flights are still expensive and irregular.