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Welcome to Syria

Syria Roman Theater

The current security situation in Syria is dangerous due to military conflict, air strikes, high levels of violence, terrorism, and kidnapping. If you have to travel to Syria, despite this advice, it is best to seek professional security advice or contact your local Syrian embassy. Travel at this time is not advised.

This ultimate Syria travel guide offers security tips, visa information, and other practical information about the country.

Document checklist for Syria

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • Valid passport

  • Return or onward ticket

Essential Syria travel information

  • Currency - The currency of Syria is the Syrian Pound (SYP), but prices may be displayed in U.S. dollars. $1 is equivalent to approximately SYP 2,512.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of SYP 113,063 ($45).

  • Languages - In Syria, there are five major languages: Arabic, Assyrian, Armenian, Kurdish, and Syriac.

  • Number of travelers per year - Syria visitor arrivals recorded 2,424,000 persons in December 2019.

  • Socket type - Types C, E and L, 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Eastern European Summer Time (GMT+3).

  • Top 3 cities - Damascus, Aleppo, and Palmyra.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Palmyra, Krak des Chevaliers, and Bosra.

Visa information for Syria

Most nationalities must apply for a Syrian tourist visa before arriving. Nationals from the following countries are visa-exempt: Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Syria for the latest requirements.

Use our Visa Checker Tool to find out which documents you need before you go or check consular services on the government website.

Visa difficulty index for Syria

Accessibility: 2/5

To get a visa to Syria you need to book with a listed tour company. This can be with a group or a private tour (with guides). If you wish to travel to Syria independently, getting a visa is more difficult.

Time to get your visa: 2/5

For most people, getting a tourist visa takes less than a week. However, this depends on your nationality. U.S. passport holders take at least 3 months, while others may take a matter of days.

Costs: 3/5

The pre-entrance clearance visa is usually included in the tour cost; however, there is also a visa fee that must be paid at the border. It ranges from USD 20-150 depending on your nationality.

Typical costs and budget for Syria

A guide to what you'll spend daily in Syria on a mid-range budget.

  • Daily spending - Expect to spend about SYP 113,063 ($45) per person, per day, mainly to stay safe. This includes:

  • Meals - Expect to pay around SYP 25,125 ($10) per meal at a restaurant.

  • Transport - Long-distance transport can cost up to SYP 25,125 ($10) per day.

  • Hotel - Hostels and budget hotels can be found for around SYP 50,250 ($20) per night.

On average, a trip to Syria for one week, for two people, can cost up to SYP 1,582,900 ($630).

Transport and best ways to travel around Syria

Due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, it's important to check the latest travel advisories before booking your flight and to be prepared for potential flight cancellations or changes in the security situation.

Getting to Syria

To get to Syria, most people fly to other countries first, such as Beirut in Lebanon, then travel overland to Damascus. This takes around 2 hours, including crossing the border.

With many travel organizations, pickup and transfer from Beirut are included in the tour. Crossing the border from Jordan is also possible for an additional fee. Flights to Damascus International Airport are irregular but are possible to book.

Arrival and immigration tips for Syria

A few tips to make the immigration process smoother:

  • Always get a visa in advance. Just a pre-clearance security check is not enough. Most tour companies will arrange this when you book a trip with them.

  • Bring cash in EUR or USD and exchange money as soon as you arrive at the border, as it’s the easiest place to do so. Paying for things in other currencies is prohibited, only Syrian pounds are accepted.

  • Israeli citizens and passports with an Israeli visitor stamp are not accepted.

Getting around Syria

You cannot travel around in Syria independently. You must book a tour or guide (which also counts as a tour) and get pre-clearance and a visa before you go. There are group tours and private tours available.

Some reputable local companies with great reviews are:

Safety in Syria

First and foremost, it's important to note that Syria has been in a state of conflict for many years, and as a result, the security situation can be quite unpredictable. The country has been affected by armed conflict, terrorist groups, and political unrest, which can make it a risky destination for travelers.

It's essential to do your research and stay up-to-date on the current situation.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Check travel advisories: Before visiting Syria, check the latest travel recommendations from your government and other reliable sources. Changes in the situation can happen with little or no warning.

  • Check your insurance: It’s important to know that some insurers, even if you have travel insurance, do not cover you in high-risk areas, or coverage is extremely limited.

  • Don’t talk about politics: No one, including foreigners, is allowed to say anything bad about the Syrian government.

  • Avoid high-risk areas: Avoid areas with ongoing conflicts or high levels of violence and terrorist attacks. This includes Northern Syria near the borders with Turkey, North East Syria near the borders with Iraq, and East Syria near Lebanon. Also avoid the cities of Idlib, Raqqah, and Rojava.

  • Travel in a group and hire a local guide: Hiring a reputable guide familiar with the local customs, local laws, areas, and situations can help keep you safe during your trip to Syria. In fact, it’s compulsory to book a tour to enter Syria.

Weather in Syria

The best time to travel to Syria is the warm spring from March to May. Fall, from September to November, is the second choice.

The temperature increases gradually in June, and the hottest month is September. Seaside areas such as Tripoli and Lattakia will be extremely hot, and the inland areas will be relatively dry. At this time, visitors who like the sun can enjoy the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea, but it is not suitable for exploring ancient landmarks.

Must do and see in Syria

Syria is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are the top five things to see and do in Syria:

  • Visit the ancient city of Damascus: Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and is known for its stunning architecture and historical sites, including the Umayyad Mosque and the ancient souks.

  • See the crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers: Located near the city of Homs, Krak des Chevaliers is one of the best-preserved and most impressive medieval castles in the world.

  • Visit the coastal city of Latakia: Lattakia is a beautiful coastal city with stunning beaches and vibrant culture, including delicious seafood and lively nightlife.

  • Discover UNESCO-listed Bosra: Bosra is a major archaeological site, containing ruins from Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim times.

Typical Syrian food

Syrian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse dishes. Here are some typical Syrian foods:

  • Hummus: A popular dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

  • Fattoush: A salad made with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, lettuce, and crispy pita bread.

  • Kibbeh: A dish made with bulgur wheat, minced meat (usually beef or lamb), and spices.

  • Baba ganoush: A dip made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

  • Shawarma: A sandwich made with marinated meat (usually chicken or beef), vegetables, and sauces.

Vaccine information for Syria

We recommend checking the CDC website for up-to-date info about all vaccination requirements, COVID-19 measures, and recommended medicine and certificates, before your travel to Syria.

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