Syria has a very wide range of temperatures depending on the season during which you travel there. Summers are very hot and winters can be bitterly cold. Due to its proximity to the desert, Damascus and many other cities will have a big change in temperature between day and night. In summer expect highs of 35 and lows of 18 degrees Celsius. In winter, daytime temperatures are around 5 to 10 degrees Celcius and night it can drop below zero. Snow is also possible at this time of year.
Syria, contrary to what you may have seen in the media, is not strict and conservative like some of its neighbours. It is very common to see women wearing short skirts and crop tops, as well as women adorning hijabs walking down the same street.
Cool light clothing that offers some sun protection is advisable for summer. Shorts are fine for both men and women as are short sleeve shirts or singlets.
When entering mosques and some churches we will have to be covered. Many of these places have clothing for rental to cover yourself if you haven’t got the appropriate clothing on.
There isn’t really any strict messaging we can give about footwear except that closed in shoes are advisable as in areas where there is lots of destruction you may be walking on loose gravel, old wiring and broken glass. If you are traveling in winter, be aware that this is when most of the rain falls in Syria so something water resistant would be convenient but not entirely essential.
There is no strict policy on what you can and can’t bring luggage wise. If you have a small bag or a large suitcase both are completely fine. Just like with our Lebanon tour, during our Syria tours we will only be transporting our luggage from the bus to our accommodation. As long as you are comfortable getting your bag from the bus and through a hotel lobby then you’ll be all set.
While there are plenty of pharmacies in Syria, if you need prescription medications or medicines for travel such as Imodium it is advised that you bring these from home. The crisis in Syria has left shortages for som ethings and it’s hard to know if these pharmacies will stock what you need.
In Syria, cash is King. This may have been different in the past before sanctions were imposed on the country, however now as a foreigner in the country you will be completely cut off from outside banking. This means whatever you plan on spending you will have to bring in with you.
Luckily, Syria is very cheap with meals costing about $2-$10 USD depending on whether you grab street food or eat at a fancy restaurant.
It is best to bring USD to exchange which can be done just before the border inside Lebanon or throughout our journey in Syria, however we’ve found the best rate is always the one we stop at before crossing into Syria.