Study in Damascus

Before leaving

First, if you don't know anything about Syria, I advise you to buy a travel guide such as the "Guide du Routard" or the "Lonely Planet". I did and it had been very useful: I especially appreciated the maps and the historical explanations. You can also visit their forum and you will find there good advices too.

The passport

You need a valid one. It is the most useful paper in Syria: the police often asks it. It mustn't include stamp from Israel et be valid at least 6 months after you come back from Syria. Don't loose it: you can't do anything without passport in Syria!

The visa

You probably need one. I just know the situation if you are french. There are two types of visa: the single entry one (available 3 months; 23€) and the multiple entries one (available 6 month; 42€). The single entry visa does not allow you to leave Syria and to come back during your journey (for example if you decide to visit Lebanon) but it is enough because there are lots of things to see in Syria. In both case, you have to renew it after 31 days spent in Syria by going to the security office (you will need ID photos and a blue form you will find and fill at the airport when arriving). Keep this form up to you leave Syria.

The plane ticket

Buy it early! Lots of Syrian people choose holidays to go to Syria and visit their family. For example, I chose SyrianAir (the national company). The prices depend on the period of the flight. It was not possible to buy it on Internet and I had to go to the office in France:

Syrian Arab Airlines
1, rue Auber 75008 Paris
01 47 42 11 06

Be careful: you have to confirm your return ticket in Syria at the local SyrianAir office. Otherwise, you might loose your seat in the return flight! Moreover, keep 200 S£ to pay the leaving tax just after the check in Damascus airport.


The currency is the Syrian Pound (S£), divided in 100 piastres. There are 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1 000 pounds notes. In November 2007, the exchange rate was:

It is very easy to change your money there, in the airport or in an exchange office. Don't change your money in the black market: the rate is almost the same but it is illegal and you risk 24 yaers of imprisonment.


More maps on Syrian Ministry of tourism's website.


Plan de la Syrie


Plan de Damas

Wide map of Damascus