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Floodlit Monumental Arch Marking the Entrance to Palmyra, Tadmor District, Palmyra, Syria
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Old Ruins of a Built Structure, Entrance Columns, Apamea, Syria
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Famous Places in Syria
Reasons to Visit Damascus, the Capital of Syria
Syria - a Popular Destination for the 21st Century
Syria Re-visited
Reasons to Visit Damascus, the Capital of Syria   by Arty Blazer
Damascus Featured Hotels

The capital city of Syria, Damascus is one of the few true ancient cities in the world. Founded sometime around 2000 BC, the city gained recognition as a political and economical centre during the seventh century becoming the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. The history, the cultural heritage, and the traditions make it one of the main attractions in Syria.
The city is filled with great Islamic mosques, ancient sculptures, and parks. You can visit genuine medieval forts and fortresses and learn about the history of ancient empires and epic clashes. Different religions are welcomed in Damascus. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are well represented in this ancient city and tourists can visit their temples, churches and mosques in just one trip.

Romantic travelers will enjoy a trip to Jebel Qassioum from which you can take in views of the town of Damascus. The view is best at sunset. If you have great stamina and are in good physical condition you can venture into the mountain and hike up it to the top. However, the most common way to reach the peak is to use one of the local cabs. There you can have a great dinner or enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants or cafes located in the area.

Shopping tourists will be more than delighted to visit the indoor shopping street of Souq al-Hamidiyya, the largest shopping alley in Syria. Gold and jewellery shops are some of the most visited ones. Other shops sell spices, sweets and oriental silk clothing. Visit Souq al-Hamidiyya and have the best genuine oriental trade experience of your life.

Bab Ash-Sharqi Gate, Damascus, Syria, Middle East
Bab Ash-Sharqi Gate, Damascus, Syria
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A visit to Damascus must include the famous Ummayad mosque. An important location for both Christians and Muslims, the mosque's past is related to both the Prophet Muhammed and John the Baptist. Next to the mosque is the tomb of well known Arab ruler Salah ah Din or known to the non Arab world as Saladin. An important historical figure of the Crusade era, Saladin was praised for his chivalry by Christian king Richard the Lionheart himself.
Courtyard of Umayyad Mosque at Sunset, Old City, Damascus, Syria
Courtyard of Umayyad Mosque at Sunset, Damascus
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Dining in Damascus is a great way to enjoy one of the most exotic cuisines in the world, the Arab and oriental cuisine. Great fresh Shawarma together with other oriental specialities and plenty of fresh fruits and salads will make you want to stay here forever. Do not hesitate to visit the restaurants and street vendors of Damascus. Visitors with a sweet tooth will enjoy a visit of the Ghraoui chocolatier located in the middle of the Souq al-Hamidiyya shopping street.

The nightlife of Damascus is not very vibrant. For bars and pubs you can visit the Christian districts where you can also find alcohol. Besides the bars you can enjoy a cocktail at the large hotels and restaurants. 

For tobacco you can visit the Islamic district where you will find the finest tobacco in Damascus together with reasonably priced water pipes named hookahs.

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About the Author: Reasons to Visit Damascus, the Capital of Syria is a travel guide from Tripopedia, a travel encyclopedia. Learn about things to do in Damascus, places to see and places to eat.

Syria Re-visited   by Steppes Travel


Anyone who has visited Syria will say how friendly the people are. They are extremely proud of their country and offer a warm welcome to foreign visitors. After visiting the dramatic Crusader castle of Saladin I was invited to sit with my driver and his friends for a cup of tea. These three men were keen to ensure that my view of them and the Syrian people was not what they felt was portrayed by the media.
We are all people before we are anything else they told me. They went on to tell me of a friend who owns a small, modest shop and who during Eid this year (the festival signaling the end of Ramadan, the fasting month), had filled a truck with sugar and rice and handed the food out to local people more needy then he. 

As I left and thanked them for the tea I was greeted by a chorus of 'you are most welcome' a greeting I heard many times during my travels.

Having already visited the classic sites of the country on previous trips, this visit was a chance to explore those less visited spots such as the ancient sites of Dura Europas & Mari.

City Mosque and the Citadel, Aleppo (Haleb), Syria, Middle East
City Mosque and the Citadel, Aleppo (Haleb), Syria
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Located on the Euphrates river & close to the border with Iraq, this area of the country is a test for the best of drivers with truck loads of Arab families crossing borders, convoys of wedding vehicles hooting horns and spilling over with families as well as others celebrating a family members return from the Haj pilgrimage. Along the road lie small villages, their resident families working the land with the women of this area colourfully dressed with beautifully made up faces.
Columns of Ruins at Dawn, Palmyra, Syria
Columns of Ruins at Dawn, Palmyra, Syria
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My trip was at the end of November & I was blessed with unusually warm weather. Another advantage of this off season period is the chance to visit sites with few other tourists - exploring the walled desert city of Rasafe with only a local family and 2 other tourists was certainly one of my highlights. It is so much easier to lose yourself in a site when you are alone with only the silence of the desert.

I spent a wonderful day in Damascus with my local agent and friend Bashar visiting numerous new boutique hotels which have sprung up since my last visit. There is now a great choice of beautiful character hotels in both Aleppo and Damascus with rooms set around a pretty central courtyard.

Whenever I am in the Middle East I always try to spend some time in one of the Mosques - I am not a religious person myself but sitting in the courtyard area of the Umayyad mosque with its elegant domed architecture & beautiful mosaics while men and women wash and prepare to pray is a special experience. Women robed in black chat while children run around playing and the overwhelming sensation is one of calm and peace.

My recent visit to Syria has only served to re-enforce my passion for this wonderful country. If it is not on your list of places to visit in the near should be.


About the Author: Steppes Travel specialise in luxury holidays, and tailor made holidays 


Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate.  For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppo is distinct in identity, architecture and culture, all shaped by a markedly different history and geography.

Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; it has been inhabited since perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC. Excavations at Tell Qaramel (25 km north of Aleppo) show the area to have been inhabited since the 11th millennium BC, which makes it the oldest known human settlement in the world.

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Excavations at Tell as-Sawda and Tell al-Ansari, just south of the old city of Aleppo, show that the area was occupied since at least the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC; and this is also when Aleppo is first mentioned in cuneiform tablets unearthed in Ebla and Mesopotamia, in which it is noted for its commercial and military proficiency. Such a long history is probably due to its being a strategic trading point midway between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia.
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Coral Julia Dumna Hotel Aleppo
Coral Julia Dumna hotel is situated in the heart of Aleppo, the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Conveniently located 15 minutes away from Aleppo Airport, the hotel is ideal for both business travellers and tourists. Proximity to popular shopping and entertainment areas set the stage for a great day. The hotel is a landmark by itself and is surrounded by the most famous historical sites in Syria. We are 10 minutes walk from Aleppo Citadel and 150 meters from the Grand Omayad Mosque and Medina Bazaar. Not very far from the hotel are the National Museum, Public Park, Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions and popular Bazaars, Khans & Hammams. 
Dedeman Aleppo
The second biggest city in Syria after the capital Damascus, Aleppo has retained its importance in history to our day with its location where the Mediterranean meets the Middle East. One of the most important cities of the Ottoman Empire, Aleppo has drawn people to itself for centuries with its temperate climate, its culture-arts and entertainment, as well as its rich cuisine. Aleppo reflects the mysterious face of the Middle East with its famous 7-gated citadel walls spanning 5 km, its covered bazaar and its colonial buildings. A cosmopolitan city with mixed Arab, Armenian, Turkish and Assyrian populations, Aleppo rightfully holds its place among UNESCO World Heritage sites with labyrinthine streets and hidden bazaars in the old city. 


Reasons to Visit Damascus, the Capital of Syria
The capital city of Syria, Damascus is one of the few true ancient cities in the world. Founded sometime around 2000 BC, the city gained recognition as a political and economical centre during the seventh century becoming the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. The history, the cultural heritage, and the traditions make it one of the main attractions in Syria.... read more
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Dedeman Damascus
Located centrally in one of the world’s oldest human settlements, the Dedeman Damascus receives guests from all around the globe with traditional Dedeman hospitality in a building that has a breath-taking panorama and a resplendent architecture. Our hotel is in the city center, 27 kilometers away from the airport and one kilometer from the train station. Delighting up to 120 guests at a time, La Brasserie is also the meeting point for our coffee-loving patrons. Serving up to 120 guests at a time, Al Liwan is an authentic Syrian restaurant. Dishes particular to Syria accompanied by Oriental dancing and music, make this venue a favorite spot for entertainment in the city. 
Queen Center Arjaan Damascus
Our Damascus hotel offers stylish accommodation and is the perfect place to reside whether for business or leisure. City Café Chic modern style offering different delicious light fare. Set in an informal yet stylish ambience, City Café offer you a wide selection of homemade cake, coffee, tea, soft drinks and assorted fresh juices.  At Arjaan Café, we're always whipping up new ways to make you feel special.The Arjaan Cafe is a unique blend of contemporary design offering sumptuous buffets for breakfast. a la carte lunch and dinner menu.


Latakia or Latakiyah is the principal port city of Syria, as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. In addition to serving as a port, the city is a manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages.

Though the site has been inhabited since the second millennium BCE, the modern-day city was first founded in the 4th century BCE under the rule of the Seleucid empire. Latakia was subsequently ruled by the Romans, then the Ummayads and Abbasids in the 8th–10th centuries. Under their rule, the Byzantines frequently attacked the city, periodically recapturing it before losing it again to the Arabs, particularly the Fatimids. 

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Afterward, Latakia was ruled by the Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, and Ottomans. Following World War I, Latakia was assigned to the French mandate of Syria, in which it served as the capital of the autonomous territory of the Alawites. This autonomous territory became the State of Alawites in 1922, proclaiming its independence a number of times until reintegrating into Syria in 1944.
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Afamia Rotana Resort Latakia
Ideally located at the crossroad of the Near East, Afamia Rotana Resort is on a peninsula, 2 km from the Latakia city centre, the property has an exceptional beach front, which makes it an ideal destination for leisure and business travellers alike.The resort is within easy distance of Syria's historical sites including Ugarit Canaaite , seaport, Crusaders forts and castles and ancient Roman vestiges. Al Manara - the all day dining restaurant is your destination for authentic cuisine from all over the world. Begin the day with an extensive selection from the breakfast buffet or explore the rich culture and vast array of flavours on the delicious themed buffet nights
Le Meridien Lattakia
Located on the edge of the Mediterranean, this hotel is minutes from Syria’s key port and offers an exceptional pool and restaurants. Dedication to offering delicious cuisine and fine wine is an integral part of the heritage and tradition of Le Méridien. Savor delicious gastronomy elegantly presented at each of our dining venues. Le Méridien is world renowned for our attention to detail and dedication to exemplary customer service. In addition to all of the global features and activities you would expect at Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts, impeccable service is promised at every turn.
Palmyra or Tadmur was an ancient city in Syria. In the age of antiquity, it was an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 180 km southwest of the Euphrates at Deir ez-Zor. It had long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur (which means "the town that repels" in Amorite and "the indomitable town" in Aramaic.) is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari.
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Though the ancient site fell into disuse after the 16th century, it is still known as Tadmur in Arabic, and there is a newer town next to the ruins of the same name. The Palmyrenes constructed a series of large-scale monuments containing funerary art such as limestone slabs with human busts representing the deceased.
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Dedeman Palmyra Hotel
Located next to the ancient city of Palmyra, the hotel is located in the perfect place for visitors to discover the area.  Palmyra, which takes its name from the millions of date trees that once existed in the city, is the number one tourist attraction in Syria. Its history dates back to the 1st century AD and was one of the richest cities because it was a crossing point between Iran and Rome’s Mediterranean harbors. The Babylonian tablets are the earliest known document of the city that was once known as ‘the town that repels’ by its Semitic name, Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur. This ancient city, which is still referred to as Tadmor in Arabic, is located right next to the city’s ruins, where there is another small city of the same name.

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