The official currency of Syria is the Syrian Pound or Syrian Lira and is abbreviated as SYP.
Like their neighbours Lebanon, it can be a bit confusing as the names Pound and Lira are both used in English to describe the currency.
Before the Syrian pound, the French mandate used the Egyptian Pound and before that under the Ottoman Empire, they used the Ottoman Lira.
There is currently an official rate and a black market rate.
Notes in circulation
The current notes in circulation in Syria are the 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 Pound notes.
Coins in circulation
As the exchange rate is somewhere around 2150 Pounds to 1 USD, the few coins that exist are quickly becoming worthless. However, they are still around since the currency was only 500 SYP to 1 USD as recently as 2019.
5, 10, 25, 50 Pound coins are those currently in circulation and make a great little souvenir.
The most common way to change Syrian Pounds is at the border before you enter. On the Lebanese side of the border there are a lot of changers. Of course money changers aren't known as the most reputable people, however even if they give you a bad rate it's still going to be a lot better than the official rate.
Most major currencies such as Euros, Pounds, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars and AED are able to be changed, however USD is always the best bet as it will always be accepted.
Most accommodation will also be more than happy to help you exchange money.
The current exchange rate (March 2022) on the black market is 3,900 SYP to 1 USD. This is a huge increase from about 700 SYP in 2019 and 400 SYP in 2018.
The official rate is currently 2,500 SYP to 1 USD (March 2022).
Can you use foreign currencies in Syria?
The short answer is no. Most restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, small shops will not want foreign currencies. When buying more expensive items such as carpets or antiques, then they will be more than willing to accept USD or Euros, however most other currencies wouldn't be acceptable. The same applies to hotels, who would also be willing to accept foreign currencies.
Are there ATMs in Syria?
Yes, there are ATMs in Syria, however foreign bank cards do not work in Syria due to sanctions.