Move directly to: Practical information / Local culture
When is the best time to plan your visit to Syria?
The best time to travel to Syria is in the spring (March to May) and in the autumn (September to November). During this time, the average temperature is between 15 and 25 degrees. The summer months (June to August) are quite pleasant for the coastal region, the temperature then rises to 30 degrees. But if you go inland, it could easily go to 40 degrees. In the winter months (December to February) it is around 10 degrees on the coast and freezing in the interior.
Do I need insurance for my trip to Syria?
Everyone must take out travel and health insurance before leaving for Syria. Whether Syria is covered by your policy differs per insurance policy. In some cases this will not be a problem. If it is, we recommend that you check with one of the following international insurance companies: Global Underwriters or IATI Travel Insurance. They have different packages and you can put together exactly what works best for you.
Do I need a visa for Syria?
The visa application for Syria changes regularly. At the moment it is a fairly clear and simple process. After your booking we will prepare your Letter of Invitation (LOI) with the government in Damascus. As soon as the LOI is ready, you can travel with this letter to the border with Syria. There you have to pay around € 100, after which the custom officials give you the visa.
What is the time zone in Syria?
Syria uses the time zone UCT +2.
How can I pay and how much will I spend in Syria?
In Syria they pay with the Syrian Pound. Always make sure you bring enough cash with you on the trip, as the ATMs don’t work. It is best to exchange money with the guide, he knows where good money exchange offices are with a good exchange rate. It is wise to bring Euros or American Dollars. These are accepted everywhere and can be changed easily. For the most recent exchange rate, visit www.xchange.com.
Of course it mainly depends on yourself how much you actually spend, but as a guideline we advise approximately € 30 to € 40 per day, which should be enough. If you would like to buy souvenirs, you better bring something extra. Soft drinks usually cost around € 1 and a meal between € 5 and € 15. Tipping local guides is always encouraged. They don’t earn much in this part of the world and it often makes a big difference to them. Of course this is according to your own preference.
Do I have to arrange my international flight to Syria myself?
We are always available to advise you when booking a flight. However, most customers prefer to book the flight themselves. Often this is cheaper in terms of price and you can pick your own preferences.
What is the voltage and which plug should I use in Syria?
The complete electricity supply in Syria is 220 Volt / 50 Hz. You can use the European and British plug, but recommended to bring an adapter plug. There is also regular power outages, so make sure to charge everything as soon as there is power in your hotel.
Is there internet access and can I make calls in Syria?
Internet is available at most accommodations (if it works). However, don’t expect a fast and steady connection. There is generally mobile coverage everywhere in Syria. Do you want a local SIM card? The local guide will be happy to assist you.
What are the local customs in Syria?
Syria is a predominantly Islamic country. The Islam is therefore widely practiced, but in general it is not a conservative country. However, there are regions and districts where more conservatives live. Keep this in mind during your trip through Syria. There are also neighbourhoods with Christians and other believers. You often see more restaurants in these districts and places where they serve alcohol. Alcohol is also often available in larger hotels.
A few rules to keep in mind:
– Wear simple clothes (t-shirt with pants / skirt).
– Don’t drink alcohol in public.
– Always take off your shoes when entering a mosque or house. Never show your shoe sole when you sit down.
– Don’t pass by someone who is praying.
Is it safe in Syria?
After years of war, peace slowly returns to Syria. Most areas in the country are accessible again to travelers. It is good to realize that not all regions in Syria have been hit equally hard during the war. Often there has been fighting in certain neighbourhoods or areas. A city like Damascus has little war damage, while some neighbourhoods in a city like Aleppo have been completely destroyed. We want to give everyone an unforgettable tour. However, the local guide always has the last word regarding changes in the tour schedule.
The areas in Syria that we visit are places where we feel comfortable and where we feel we can bring people there. If the situation in a certain area changes, we will respond immediately. We therefore demand a certain flexibility from our travelers.
Some of the measures we take on our travels are;
– We do not discuss the itinerary or the name of the hotel with anyone. Although it will of course only be out of curiosity that someone asks, we do not share this information with others, purely as a precaution.
– If we have a long day ahead, we must start on time. If we have a car breakdown, we don’t want to get stranded after dark.
– Do not wear your most beautiful jewelry and watches, please leave them at home.
– Always listen to and watch your local guide. The guide has a lot of experience in Syria and knows when something is not right (or starts to change). He sees and hears much more than we do and everyone should always listen to him.
– We advise everyone to register with your local embassy. If you have problems on the spot, it is much easier to get in touch with the embassy on site.
Can I take pictures in Syria?
In general, you can take photos freely. However, there are a few points to keep in mind.
– Always ask permission before taking a photo of a person.
– Don’t take random photos of women.
– Do not take pictures of military, military installations, police officers and government buildings.
Eating and drinking in Syria
The Syrian cuisine is one of the most acclaimed kitchens in the Middle East. Dishes are small but shared in large groups, famous dishes from Syria are shawarma, falafel, baba ganoush, humus, muhammara and lahmajoen. Not all of them originate from Syria, but the Syrian variant is often known as one of the tastiest. In terms of meat, you can expect sheep, lamb, beef and chicken. For vegetarians is Syria a perfect destinations. Often many vegetable dishes are served with rice or bread. It is not possible to drink water from the tap in Syria. This is due to a bad filter system for bacteria. Alcohol is available in Syria.
What should I wear in Syria?
Syria is an Islamic country. We therefore recommend to wear long pants / skirt with t-shirt. It is not mandatory to wear a headscarf, except at religious places. In most hotels in the big cities you will be able to do laundry.
Health and hygiene
Syria is a developing country with a very turbulent recent history. Healthcare is very limited. Also in terms of hygiene, the standard much lower than in the Western world. Make sure you have enough disinfection gel, sunscreen and insect repellent with you.
We advise you always to the last (health) risk programs for the region where you’re going to visit. Check with your own government for the latest info about your destination.