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Palmyra, Syria
Palmyra, Syria by Aladdin Hammami on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Middle East - Syria Travel Notes.

Syria Travel Notes

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Syria Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


While Syria holds immense historical and cultural significance, boasts breathtaking landscapes and resilient communities, current travel to Syria is unsafe.

Syria is currently not a place you'd seriously want to travel to.

About Syria

Syria is a country with a rich cultural heritage and a turbulent recent history marked by conflict and suffering.

The future of Syria remains uncertain, with ongoing efforts to find a lasting political solution to the conflict and rebuild the country.

The capital of Syria, believed to be one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, was probably the capital of an ancient Egyptian city-state.

Countries neighbouring Syria: Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon.

Travel Map Mapping The Syrian Arab Republic

Map of Syria

Map of Syria

The Syrian Arab Republic is watered by the Euphrates.

Damascus, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, is the capital and a cultural centre of Syria.

Syria Overview

Syria is a country located in the Middle East, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel and Lebanon to the south-west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.


Since 2011, Syria has been embroiled in a devastating civil war.

The conflict began as part of the broader Arab Spring movement but quickly escalated into a complex and multifaceted war involving various factions, including the Syrian government, rebel groups, jihadist organisations, Kurdish forces, and international actors.


Syria is known for its diverse cultural heritage, influenced by its long history and various civilisations.

It has a rich tradition of literature, music, cuisine, and architecture.


Syria has a long and complex history, with evidence of human habitation dating back to around 10,000 BC.

It has been ruled by various civilisations, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs.

It was also part of the Ottoman Empire until the end of World War I when it came under French control as a mandate from the League of Nations.The war has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of displaced people, and widespread destruction.

Humanitarian Crisis

The Syrian civil war has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century.

Millions of Syrians have been internally displaced, while millions more have fled the country as refugees, seeking safety in neighbouring countries and beyond.

The war has also caused severe shortages of food, water, and medical supplies, exacerbating the suffering of civilians.

International Involvement

The conflict in Syria has drawn significant international attention and involvement.

Various countries have supported different sides in the conflict, either politically, financially, or militarily.

Russia and Iran have backed the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, while Western countries, including the United States, have supported rebel groups and, more recently, Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIS.

Reconstruction Challenges

As the conflict in Syria has started to wind down in some areas, the focus has shifted towards reconstruction and rebuilding efforts.

However, the country faces enormous challenges in this regard, including widespread destruction of infrastructure, a shattered economy, and ongoing security concerns.

The process of reconstruction is likely to be long and arduous.

Travel to Syria

Syria continues to face significant challenges due to the ongoing civil war and instability in the region.

Travelling to Syria is highly discouraged due to safety concerns, including the risk of violence, terrorism, and the presence of armed conflict in various parts of the country.

Additionally, several countries have issued travel advisories advising against all travel to Syria due to the unpredictable security situation and the lack of consular assistance available in the country.

For your safety, it's essential to heed these warnings and avoid travelling to Syria until the situation stabilises, and it becomes safe for visitors.

If you're interested in learning about Syria's rich cultural heritage and history, you can explore resources such as books, documentaries, and online platforms that provide insights into the country's past and present without putting yourself in harm's way.

Syria Attractions

Syria is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, with several attractions that make it a compelling destination for travellers.

However, the situation in Syria has been volatile due to ongoing conflict and political instability.

It is essential to consult up-to-date travel advisories from your government and other reliable sources to determine the current safety situation before considering a visit.

Once conditions have stabilised and it is safe to visit, there are some attractions that Syria has to offer.

Ancient Ruins

Syria is home to some of the world's most significant archaeological sites, including the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved ruins dating back to the Roman Empire.

The city of Aleppo, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, also boasts a rich history with its citadel and historic old town.


As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is steeped in history and culture.

Visitors can explore the Umayyad Mosque, one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, as well as the bustling markets of the Old City.

Krak des Chevaliers

This medieval castle, located near the town of Homs, is one of the best-preserved Crusader castles in the world.

It offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and provides a glimpse into Syria's medieval past.


A picturesque village located in the mountains north of Damascus, Maaloula is famous for being one of the few places in the world where Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, is still spoken.

The village is also home to ancient monasteries carved into the cliffs.

Mount Qasioun

Rising above Damascus, Mount Qasioun offers panoramic views of the city below.

It's a popular spot for both locals and visitors, especially at sunset.

Roman Theater of Bosra

Located in the town of Bosra, this well-preserved Roman theatre is one of the largest and most complete theatres of its kind in the Middle East.

It once hosted performances for thousands of spectators and is now a popular tourist attraction.

Souqs and Markets

Throughout Syria, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of traditional markets and souqs, where they can shop for spices, textiles, handicrafts, and other goods while experiencing the local culture firsthand.

Travel Warning

Due to the current situation, it's crucial to prioritise safety and follow any travel advisories or restrictions in place before travelling to Syria.


The capital of Syria, is believed to be one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities.It was probably the capital of an ancient Egyptian city-state, and a long standing trading centre.

Map of Damascus

Map of Damascus

Being on the trade route, meant that Syria was also on the invasion corridor.

The Assyrians conquered Damascus in 732 BC, and they in turn were pushed aside by Macedonia's Alexander, 332-33 BC.

After Alexander the Great it was the turn of the Seleucids, before Pompey the Great stepped into the region for Rome.

Christianity came to Damascus during the first century AD, and then it became the seat of the caliphs and the centre of the Islamic world, when the Muslims moved in around 635.

The Seljuk Turks seized Damascus in 1076, and in less than 80 years it became a part of Egypt; under Saladin, sultan of Egypt and Syria.

Christians were massacred in 1860, and during World War I the Germans moved in to Syria, alongside the Turks, to direct operations against the Suez Canal.

Combined forces under Field Marshall Allenby and the soon to be King Faisal entered Damascus in 1918.

The French occupied the city under mandate, lost it again to the Germans during World War II, and finally the Allied forces retook Damascus in 1941.

In 1946 Damascus eventually became the capital of an Independent Syria.

Visiting Syria in Better Times

Most travellers to Syria could obtain a Syrian visa, free of charge, upon arrival at the airport.

A passport list had to be sent to a Syrian tour operator at least one week before the date of arrival.

Visa requests could be sent to a Syrian tour operator by travel agents only and not directly by the visitor.

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The Battle For Syria Syria Betrayed

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