Visa and entry requirements Syria:
Passport required
German citizens need a visa to enter the Syrian Arab Republic.
Visa costs: 26-45 euros

Information from the Foreign Office about your trip to Syria:

Syria is a country in the Middle East with around 21.5 million inhabitants, of which around four million people have fled abroad in recent years due to the state of war. The country borders Turkey in the north, Iraq in the east, Jordan in the south, Israel in the southwest and Lebanon and the Mediterranean in the west.

The only official language in Syria is Arabic and the Syrian pound is used as payment, with 1 euro equaling around 250 SYP.

The country's largest cities include Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, ar-Raqqa, Idlib, Douma and al-Bab.

Around 88% of the Syrian population profess the Muslim faith, while 11% follow Christianity.

The highest point in Syria is Mount Hermon at 2,814 meters and the most important river in the national territory is the Euphrates, which is over 600 kilometers long.

Syria's most important export goods are petroleum, natural gas, gold and silver goods, leather goods, wood products, copper and brass goods as well as agricultural products such as olives, almonds and figs. Other important mineral resources on the national territory include phosphate, chromium, rock salt, iron ore, asphalt and manganese.

Tourism has not played a role in recent years due to the civil war, but is now slowly being pushed back by the state. The most important attractions in Syria include the ancient oasis city of Palmyra with the Tetrapylon, the Muslim castle of Qala'at Ibn Maan, the Roman theater and the historical center, the city center, the Citadel of Saint Simon, the Old City, the Aleppo Citadel and the Dead Ruined city of Serjilla of Aleppo, the monastery and historic village of Maaloua, the Colosseum of Bosra, the castle fortress of Tartus, the ancient ruins of Apamea and the medieval castle “Qala'at al-Hosn” in Homs.

The capital of Syria is Damascus with around 2.5 million inhabitants. Damascus is the oldest capital in the world and one of the most important religious and cultural centers in the Orient.

The city of Damascus is located at an altitude of around 700 meters in the southwest of Syria and only around 20 kilometers from the Lebanese border.

The most important sights of Damascus include the Umayyad Mosque, the Sayyida Zainab Mosque, the Greek Catholic Church of St. Paul, the Old City of Damascus, the Al Azem Palace, the Saladin Mausoleum, the National Archaeological Museum of Syria, the Damascus -Citadel, the St. Ananias Chapel - the oldest church in the world, the 600 meter long Hamidiyah Market, the ancient market Takiyya Suleimaniah with the historic mosque, the Syrian Orthodox St. George Church, the Yalbugha Mosque, the Alsnjkdar Mosque, the Parliament of Syria, the old city walls, the Sayyida Ruqayya mausoleum, the Saladin statue and the telegraph monument.

In October 2018 I traveled to Syria for the first time. After about seven years of war and a tourist entry ban, it was finally possible. From Beirut, Lebanon, I booked a driver to Damascus, about three hours away. All formalities at the Lebanese-Syrian border went smoothly.

In Damascus I stayed in a beautiful antique hotel in the middle of the old town for two nights.

There is huge traffic chaos in the capital almost at any time of the day. One reason for this is the numerous security posts, where the trunks of the cars are usually checked. But somehow it's also quite exciting and a pleasant chaos.

On the other hand, the traffic in the old town of Damascus can sometimes be really annoying. The historic old town is sometimes so narrow that pedestrians have to constantly step aside to avoid oncoming vehicles. Unfortunately, as the duration increases, this becomes a bit annoying and makes strolling through the old town a little unpleasant. My suggestion would be to close the entire old town to normal traffic and only allow taxis or, for example, rickshaws.

In Damascus I booked a day trip through the entire city so as not to miss any of the main attractions. This excursion was simply fantastic and allowed me to really immerse myself in ancient life. The city of Damascus has so many incomparable historical buildings to offer that are rarely seen in any other city in the world.

In addition to the Umayyad Mosque, one of the most beautiful mosques I have ever seen, the 600 meter long covered market of Souq Hamidiyah was very impressive and exciting. Visiting the world-famous Bakdash ice cream parlor in the middle of the market was an unforgettable experience. The ice cream parlor, with two additional large garden areas, was filled to capacity with around 500 people. I had to wait about 15 minutes for a free seat with Ghaidaa, my excellent tour guide. In this ice cream parlor there is actually only one product, an Arabic vanilla milk ice cream with pistachios, in a cup for the equivalent of 1 euro, otherwise nothing else. There is no drinks or menu there either, just this ice cream. The Bakdash ice cream parlor is actually incredible and for me it is only comparable to the Munich Oktoberfest, except that they have different things there.

I spent my two evenings with other frequent travelers and with Basel, the owner of Syria's best travel agency "Travel King" - who also arranged my visa, among other things, in one of the numerous cozy restaurants and bars in the old town of Damascus.

I had a great stay in Syria and will definitely come back one day.