Damascus

Damascus (دمشق) is the capital of Syria and its largest city, with about 4.5 million people.

34 things to do

All Places Syria



Hotel Al-Ghazal

Also known as Ghazal Hotel, this hotel is a newcomer in the Saroujah budget hotels. It has a very attractive, typical Damascus courtyard. For breakfast, they serve the usual range of teas and coffeea and good water pipe free of charge. You can bring alcohol to drink in the courtyard if you like. Rooms and facilities are new. Several new, clean bathrooms with hot water and also a hostel portion in the same structure. Managers keep a safe on the premises for valuables. Owners are helpful and service-minded, but they speak less English than their competitors and don't arrange tours or otherwise on a regular basis (but could still probably help out if you ask). English spoken enough to arrange rooms, get/give directions and special circumstances. For foreign students of Arabic, the hotel staff is very accommodating and surprisingly insightful with the limited English they speak. If you are a light sleeper, you should avoid rooms close to the kitchen, bathrooms, and reception area. The rooms facing onto the courtyard are peaceful.


House of Damascus

rents a rooms for students studying in Damascus in a beautiful, traditional Arabic house situated in the heart of the Old City of Damascus. The house includes seven bedrooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens, a beautiful courtyard and a rooftop terrace with a great view over Old Damascus. Each bedroom is furnished with a TV, bed, wardrobe, dresser and heater (air-con in some rooms). The kitchens are fully equipped (gas stove, microwave, kettle, oven etc.) and the modern bathrooms have hot water 24 hours a day. Washing machine, internet access (dial-up) and fixed telephone (landline) are also available.

SLEEP   —  Map


Al-Haramain Hotel

Some of the rooms on the upper floors lack heaters and can be very cold in the winter unless the door to the common space is left open. The courtyard is smaller than in Al-Rabie, but the staff is nice and friendly. Showers are in the basement. Helpful staff that can arrange tours and otherwise cater to tourist needs. No alcohol allowed on the premises. Be sure to get a reservation in advance. SCAM WARNING: Their email has been hacked. If someone responds to your email asking for money up front. Do not send it! Al Haramain is not a low budget hotel, please check their prices before booking.


Blue Tower Hotel

Offers all the services of a four-star international hotel; Presidential suite, bathrooms are provided with jacuzzi, comfortable rooms equipped with the modern technology services; communication facilities including free high speed internet (wireless in the lobby and wired in the rooms). Additional facilities include an international restaurant, bar and café.

SLEEP   —  +963 11 3340240 —  Hamra Street


Damascus Hostel

This hostel has a unique location, with some rooms in a tower on the city wall. While the location is excellent and the rooms are decent. Laundry service with an automatic washer is 200SYP. Satellite television is available in the common area but there is no on-site Internet access. The website has both a printable map with directions and GPS coordinates.

SLEEP   —  +963 11 541-4115 —  Map

Hotel Old Damascus

is in the Old City, near the St. Thomas gate, on one of those two-metre-wide pedestrian-only streets that are so common in the older neighbourhoods. The Old Damascus has about a dozen rooms and was formerly a typical Arab home of the sort common among prosperous merchants in the early 1900s. A Syrian-Arab family owns and operates the hotel.



Al Majed Hotel

completely renovated in 2001, this family-run 60-room hotel remains a very popular, secure and central place to stay for travellers of all sorts - from businessmen to backpackers. The Al Majed Restaurant, open 24 hours, is on the top floor of the Hotel with a variety of dishes, from traditional Middle Eastern dishes to Continental cuisine.

SLEEP   —  +963 11 232-3300 —  29th May Street

Al-Rabie Hotel

It has an attractive courtyard, and clean rooms. Breakfast is included in the price. Some of the rooms that share a bath are a bit of a hike from the bath and shower rooms. No alcohol allowed on the premises. The design of the hotel is beautiful but staff can be very rude and don't expect to be made to feel welcome.



Sah al Naum Bed and Breakfast

Offers long- as well as short-term stays. The 400-year old house was newly renovated. The two-storey house prides has 27 furnished rooms restored in Ottoman decorative styles. With wireless internet access, laundry facilities and a fully equipped kitchen. The house has two open courtyards with view of Qasiun mountain.


Il Forno Pizzeria

This is a very cozy restaurant that serves Authentic Italian Pizza baked in wood fired oven. The interior decoration is very charming and warm. The restaurant speciality is wood fired authentic Italian pizza and serves salads, appetizers, pasta dishes and deserts as well. No alcohol is served. Also delivers.

EAT   —  +963113331427 —  Najmeh Square

Orient Gate Hotel

The hotel has 25 air conditioned rooms (doubles, twins, and triples) with satellite TV, telephone and mini-bar. Safe deposit box at the reception. Staff are available to assist guests 24 hours a day. Summer terrace looking out over Damascus city.


Leila's Restaurant and Terrace

Leila's Restaurant and Terrace has rooftop seating with a gorgeous view of Umayyad Mosque. The restaurant serves traditional Arabic cuisine. Alcohol is served, although noted listed on the menu so ask the waiter for availability.


Al-Sehhi Restaurant

This restaurant offers the basics in Middle Eastern cooking, including mezze and a variety of grilled meats. There is a separate family section for diners and women. Alcohol is not served, and credit cards are not accepted.


Four Seasons

The Four Seasons, located in the city centre, offers many services, such as spa, baby-sitting, and fitness facilities. This hotel houses the Al Halabi restaurant, which features the Aleppo cuisine of northern Syria.


Arabesque Restaurant

The restaurant offers a combination of Syrian and French classics. While alcohol is served, credit cards are not accepted. Arabesque is on the more elegant side, so semi-formal dress may be more appropriate.


Fallouh House

Has air conditioned rooms (singles, doubles) with satellite TV, telephone and mini-bar. You can ask for a car to pick you up from the airport. The courtyard contains fountain and is full of plants.


Downtown

This contemporary restaurant offers a wide array of sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit juices. French is more likely to be spoken than Arabic. The interior is filled with Scandinavian decor.


Baik Bash hotel and restaurant

Offers all the services of a five-star hotel, double king sized beds, modern equipment, terrace cafe, basement cinema cafe, reading lounges, restaurant, salon, VIP area, Wi-Fi.

SLEEP   —  +963 11 5436007 —  Straight Street

Dana Residence

Offers various-sized apartments, suitable for all numbers of persons. Each apartment has its own balcony with breath-taking views of the mountains.


Al Mamlouka

Amazing little boutique hotel on a quiet alleyway, behind an unmarked doorway. The rooms and courtyard are part of a beautiful old Damascus house.

SLEEP   —  +963 11 543 0445/46 —  Bab Touma

Beit Jabri Restaurant

A favourite with both locals and tourists, and offers the Syrian classics. It is located in the courtyard of a beautiful Damascene house.


Sultan Hotel

In a good location, 10–15 minutes' walk from the Old Town in one direction and the National Museum in the other.

SLEEP   —  Map

Cham Hotel

Syria's national hotel chain, and one of the largest business-class hotels in the city.

SLEEP   —  +963 11'223-2300 —  Map

Al-Madinah/City Hotel

Sharia Omar Ben Abi Rabia.


Canada

beside Iranian embassy

OTHER   —  Lot 12 Mezze Autostrade

Turkey

OTHER   —  +963 11 335 01 930 —  Map

Switzerland

OTHER   —  +963 11 611 19 72 —  Map

Pub Sharqi

DRINK   —  Map

About Damascus

Established between 10,000 to 8,000 BC, Damascus is credited with being the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The world heritage listed old-walled city, in particular, feels very ancient and largely consists of a maze of narrow alleys, punctuated by enigmatic doors that lead into pleasing, verdant courtyards and blank-faced houses. The old city still has an authentic medieval feel to it, although this was quickly vanishing due to the increasing tourist traffic as the city continued to be highlighted as an attraction. Life, however, goes on in the old-walled city, which is still the religious and social centre of the city.

Due to the Syrian Civil War which began in 2011, many services in the city, including transportation, accommodation and consular services, have been severely disrupted. Power interruptions are frequent, the Syrian pound currency has been subject to hyperinflation (to the point where prices listed here are meaningless) and the war is not far from mind even during the brief moments when life goes on normally. Many have left the country, been drafted into military service or killed in action.

The rest of the article describes the situation before the war. As of July 2016, travel to Damascus is still considered highly unsafe.


Source: wikivoyage