Study in Damascus


Syria is famous for cultural tourism. The country is covered with Roman ruins, castles from crusades period and with some of the most beautiful mosques of the world. Moreover, landscapes are varied, with desert in the East of the country, Libanese mountains in the West, fertile valley of Oronte in the suuroundings of Hama and of course the Mediterranean sea. Lots of things to see! Here are descriptions of places I visited during my trip but there are a lot I didn't see (Apamea, Maaloula, Seidnaya, Doura Europos, Saint-Siméon basilica , Ebla, Mari, Ugarit and others). Buses are very cheap (all air-conditioned): for example Damascus-Palmyra costs 150 S£ and Damascus-Aleppo 130 S£. So, it is very easy to travel accross Syria.

Plan de la Syrie

Damascus (دمشق)

No need to go very far to see wonderful things! Damascus is beautiful! Moreover, if you attend courses at the University, you will finish each day at 13pm so it won't be possible to go to other cities during weeks. Let's see Damascus description on Wikipedia. Here are just some photos I took during my trip:

The Umayyad Mosque, the souks, the sight from Qasioun mount and Saladin's grave.

Palmyra (تدمر)

Palmyra was in ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus. It has long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. It is a famous site known for its Roman ruins and the beauty of the sunset in the heart of the desert.


The Arab Castle, the Corinthian columns, Roman ruins and the valley of graves.

Hama (حماه)

It is a very pleasant city, a stage between Damascus and Aleppo. You can find there big waterwheels ("noriahs") on the Orontes, which are as old as Hama itself. Hama is very religious and there are more and more mosques.

The famous noriah and some sights of the city.

The Krak des chevaliers (قلعة الحصن)

Krak des Chevaliers is a Crusader fortress in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world. Krak des Chevaliers was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. The fortress was described as "perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world". Essential to see!

The Krak des chevaliers.

Latakia (اللاذقية)

Latakia is the principal port city of Syria. Nothing exceptional there except if you absolutely want to see the Mediterranean sea and its polluted beaches...

Don't rely on the photos, Latakia is quite ugly.

Saladin's castle (قلعة صلاح الدين)

The castle of Saladin (ou castle of Saône) is located between Latakia and Aleppo. It is a building situated at the top of a spur rock and protected by a wide ditch dug in the rock. It) has a lot of charm and style and some people prefer it even to Krak des chevaliers!

The castle of Saladin. The enormous peak served for supporting the drawbridge!

Aleppo (حلب)

Alep is in a sense the capital of the North of Syria. It is one very big city known for its typical covered souks, its citadel and its soap! It is once again an inmanquable stage!

The citadel of Alep, its souks and a sight on the city.

Bosra (بصرى)

Bosra is a city of the South of Syria, capital of the region of Hauran, classified in the world heritage of the humanity by UNESCO. There is a wonderful Roman theater of the second century, paléochrétiennes ruins and several mosques Bosra. It is not far from Damascus and a half-day is enough for visiting the city.

The Roman theater of Bosra and the Roman ruins.