If you are planning to travel to Syria, here are some key pre-travel tips you need to know:
Syria lies at the heart of the Middle East, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations and boasts a rich and diverse artistic and cultural heritage. This legacy is evident in its vibrant cities, stunning architecture, and unparalleled archaeological sites.
Is it safe to travel to Syria?
Rest assured that ensuring your safety is our utmost priority. All visits to Syria require prior approval from the government, and the government maintains control over all the sites.
What is the best time to travel?
Syria enjoys a moderate Mediterranean climate. The ideal times to travel are during spring (March to May) and early autumn (September to November). During these periods, the weather is sunny, warm, and clear, with daytime temperatures reaching around 25°C. Winter (December to February) can be chilly and rainy, with occasional snowfall, while summer (June to August) is hot, dry, and clear, with sporadic temperatures exceeding 40°C.
What is the recommended dress code?
Syrians generally dress in a conservative manner, although many also wear Western-style clothing. It is best to observe and follow the dressing cues of others around you, as you would in any place. Men typically wear long pants, although shorts are becoming more popular in larger cities, along with a t-shirt or shirt. Women should dress loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing that covers their bodies, including their shoulders, knees, and necklines. When visiting mosques, women should also cover their hair (Abayas are provided at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus).
What are the prevailing social norms?
Typically, shaking hands is a suitable form of greeting, although some conservative individuals may prefer not to do so. In such cases, a smile, a slight nod, and placing your right hand over your heart are polite greetings. Small gifts are appropriate, especially if you visit a Syrian home.
Please remember to always remove your shoes when entering a mosque or a Syrian house, and avoid sitting in a way that exposes the soles of your shoes. It is common for people, especially young individuals, to smoke cigarettes and nargileh (water pipes).
What currency should I bring?
The official currency in Syria is the Syrian pound (S.P). The primary currency used for exchanging into Syrian pounds is the US dollar. Euro is less commonly accepted. So, it is advisable to carry extra US dollars in cash, as ATMs may not be operational due to restrictions. When changing money at a government bank at the border, please seek assistance from your guide.
How much should I budget?
While Syria is not considered expensive by global standards, the country has experienced unexpected inflation and devaluation of the Syrian pound, leading to increased prices.
While you have the freedom to set your own spending limits, the following price ranges provide a general indication of what to expect. Please note that only Syrian pounds are accepted for day-to-day transactions.
- Meals in casual restaurants: $10 to $15
- Meals in upscale restaurants: $20 to $25
- Popular Syrian street food like Shawarma sandwiches: $2
- Popular Syrian street food like Falafel sandwiches: $1
- Local soft drink (coke): $1
- Local beer: $2 to $3
- Within-city taxi fare: $2 to $3
The cost of souvenirs can vary significantly, both between cities and within the same market (souq). Do not hesitate to allow your local guide to negotiate on your behalf.
What about tipping?
It is highly recommended to offer a tip to your local guide and driver at the end of the tour, as they are seasonal independent contractors. However, the decision to tip and the amount is entirely up to you, based on your satisfaction with their services.
Our package always include porter service at the hotels.
In most restaurants and hotels, it is customary to leave a tip. Generally, tips range from 10 to 15 percent of the bill, depending on your level of satisfaction, and significantly contribute to the income of the staff.
How is the WiFi situation?
All hotels provide free WiFi, although the quality of service may vary, and the standards may not be as high. Additionally, your local guide can assist you in purchasing a prepaid SIM card at the border crossing or upon arrival, allowing you to access the internet while on the move. Syria has extensive mobile coverage, although occasional weak signals may occur due to prolonged power outages.
What is the electricity situation?
Syria faces a severe shortage of electricity supply, and rationing is in place throughout the country. Consequently, the supply of electricity can be inconsistent, and unexpected power outages may occur, especially during hot summers and cold winters.
The electrical voltage in Syria is 220 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. Electrical outlets typically have two rounded prongs.
What about alcohol?
Syria is generally not a conservative country, and alcohol is available in most hotels and restaurants in major cities. Old Damascus, in particular, has a vibrant nightlife with bars, clubs, and drink stands.
What are the operating hours for historical sites and souks?
Museums in Syria close on Fridays . Souks close on Fridays, except in Christian areas.
Are there additional travel services available in Lebanon and Jordan?
If you wish to combine your visit to Syria with a trip to Jordan or Lebanon, you have the option to do so. For any travel arrangements to those countries, please feel free to contact Nawafir Tours.
You can learn more about visa to Syria: https://bit.ly/3rrOiVI