Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Syria

Syria officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia. Syria is a country extremely rich in ancient history and also the oldest living city where some of the Biblical stories took place. Syria is country of fertile plains, high mountains and deserts; it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups. Not only Damascus but its other cities also have great historical value and cultural importance. It is one of the largest countries in the Middle East and is home to several ancient Roman cities, including the magnificent ruins of Palmyra. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Syria along with your family are listed below:

1. Damascus

Damascus is one of the prominent places of Syria and its capital also, offers endless of exciting and attractive spots to visit. Damascus is the largest city of Syria and also known as the oldest city in the world. In this city you can enjoy some Arab food (ice cream, candy and cakes), spending on clothing, jewelry, carpets and buy drugs. Become one of the shopping center is Market Harrods.

2. Aleppo

Aleppo is another most attractive tourist destination of Syria and a beautiful place to visit. This old town of Syria is loaded with plenty of huge fortress called the Citadel of Aleppo. This fort was enclosed a palace in the center of the old city of Aleppo, northern Syria. The building is also considered as one of the oldest and largest palace in the world. One of the famous tourist spot of Aleppo is the ruins of the Basilica of St. Simeon Splendour.

3. Palmyra

Palmyra is one of the oldest cities of Syria and a wonderful tourist destination. The city is situated towards the northeastern part of the country’s capital. In this city there are many sites that still remain. Starting from the Stone Bel, Ba’al-Shamin Stone Tomb Stone to Palmyra.

4. The Walls and the Gates

Syria is country with is tremendously rich in history and culture, once here you can explore numerous of such monuments and an absolute must is the incredible The Wall and the Gates. It was constructed during the period of Roman, tapered stones. It was oblong in shape, designed in the manner of Roman military camps, cities, and fortifications. There are seven gates in it: Bab Sharqi, Bab al-Jabieh, Bab Keissan, Bab al-Saghir, Bab Tuma, Bab al-Jeniq, and Bab al-Faradiss. The main thoroughfare traversed the city from Bab al-Jabieh to Bab Sharqi; on both sides there were Corinthian columns, and across it plentiful triumphal arches.

5. The Ommayad Mosque

The Ommayad Mosque is one of the incredible mosque, certainly worth a visit. this magnificent mosque is to be found right at the center of the Old City at the end of Souq al-Hamidiyeh. This beautiful piece of art was constructed by the Omayyad Caliph al-Walid ibn Abdul Malek in 705 A.D. when Damascus was the capital of the Arab Islamic Empire. It took ten years and eleven million gold dinars, as well as a huge number of masons, artists, builders, carpenters, marble-layers, and painters to complete. It became an architectural model for hundreds of mosques throughout the Islamic world.

6. The Azem Palace

The Azem Palace is one of the immensely popular tourist attractions of Syria. You will find it located towards the center of the Old City. It is considered as an astonishing example of a Damascene house, where the simple, almost primitive, exterior contrasts rather sharply with the beauty and sophistication of the interior. It is that region of Syria where one can find a wealth of polychrome stone, splendid marble, cascading fountains, and fragrant flowers. It was constructed during the 18 century.

7. The Damascus Citadel

There are numerous of attractions worth visiting in Syria and the Damascus Citadel is certainly one among them. It is perhaps the most visited tourist attractions of Syria and believed to be the only fortress of the country that is constructed on the same level as the city, it does not top a hill or a mountain like all other castles and citadels. It was erected by the Seljuks in 1078 A.D. with masonry taken from the city wall, and turned into a heavily-fortified citadel surrounded by walls, towers, a moat and trenches. It is amazing to find that they constructed mosques, baths, houses, and schools; and well described as a city within a city.

8. The Souqs

You will find numerous of amazing souqs that are spread across the city. They are considered to be exceptionally different and offer a unique flavor, undoubtedly a major attraction of the country. As you walk about in the warm darkness of these streets with their fragrant scents, spices, and colourful merchandise spilling out of the shops onto the pavements, you enter the strange world of exotic legends.

9. The National Museum

The National Museum of Damascus is certainly among the most famous tourist attractions of the country. Inside the museum you will find some of the most incredible collection, worth a visit. Collection includes artifacts of the great civilisations that emerged and flourished in Syria. You can witness plenty of statues, stamps, pieces of jewerelly, weapons, precious stones; sculpture, masks, tablets, textiles, mosaics, glass-work and earthenware, coins, and manuscripts from the ancient Syrian kingdoms of Ebla and many more.

10. Al Takieh – Suleimanieh

One of the incredible example of Ottoman architecture is Al Takieh – Suleimanieh, it is one of the hugely popular tourist attractions of the country. It was constructed during the year 1554 with the order of Sultan Suleiman al-Qanouni. It was erected on the site of the famous palace of Zhaher Bybars, and designed by the celebrated architect Sinan. Most impressive are its two elegant minarets.

11. Damascus Historical Museum

The historical museum of Damascus largely attracts those visitors who are interested in learning the history of this city. An eighteenth-century building, which, like al-Azem Palace, is considered a fine example of old Damascene houses. It contains historical documents relating to the inhabitants of the city of Damascus. It is a museum which is an absolute must for history buffers.

12. Al Salhieh

Al Salhieh is considered to be one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Syria. It is located right at the foot of Mount Qassiun, overlooking the beautiful city of Damascus. Building in this area started in the eleventh century to accommodate refugees arriving from Jerusalem following the Crusader occupation of the city. Some of the best preserved ancient mosques are its major attraction.

13. Souq Al Hamidiyeh

One of the extremely popular souqs of Syria is the Souq Al Hamidiyeh where you can find some of the best traditional goods of the country. This souq belongs to 1863, to the rule of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid, after whom the souq was called.It is covered with high iron vaulting, so old that sun rays filter through it into the darkness of the souq. The shops here sell everything you need.

14. Bosra

One of the most ancient cities of Syria is Bosra which is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. Bosra is renowned all over the world as one of the oldest cities- it has been a capital of the Roman province in the ancient times. The major attraction of this city remains it well preserved ruins from the Roman culture: a Roman amphitheatre that has remained absolutely untouched in the time and shows the genius of roman architects in details. There are also many churches, mosques, monuments and arches.

15. Apamea

Apamea is considered to be a remarkable example of Roman culture. It is one of the most interesting cities of the world, offering plenty of attractions. It is known that once the name of the city was Pharmake, but in 300 BC Seleucus I Nicator renamed it after his wife. There are several historical monuments to enjoy in Apamea such as high walls, the main road Cardo Maximus, which still fascinates with its dimensions and the buildings on its both sides. In the local museum, people could see more artifacts than even in their bravest dreams and learn a lot about the story of the place.

16. Hama Water Wheels

Hama Water Wheels is one of the major tourist destinations of Syria, visited by tourist from all over the world. They were built during the ancient Byzantine times, in order to move water to aqueducts, but only 17 of the wheels are preserved today. Lots of people go there to learn more about the life in Roman times and the genius of the architects, who have built them so perfectly and specifically. Coming to Syria, it is obligatory to go and see the water wheels on the bank of Orontes River. It is considered to be an absolute must tourist attraction of Syria

17. Ruins in Palmyra

Palmira is considered to be one of the most prominent regions of the country and an immensely popular tourist spot. It is that region of the country where the Roman and Greek influences meet the local culture and a new style is born. This oasis in the desert was one of the most flourishing cities. The remains of this city are considered to its major source of attraction. There are plenty of historical artifacts waiting to be explored here such as funeral towers, Roman Colonnade, temples and many more artefacts

18. Aleppo Citadel

The Aleppo citadel is a major tourist attraction, because of its interesting structure and great architecture. It is located towards the northern part of Syria, and is among the most ancient fortifications in the world. The Citadel was enlisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and it definitely deserves this honour, because there could hardly be found a more gorgeous castle in the world!

19. Sarouj village

The country of Syria is full wit ancient cities definitely worth a visit and among them is Sarouj village. This magnificent village offers plenty of interesting attractions and is one of the most amazing places in the world. This villages is also renowned for its typical “Beehive houses”. The houses are unique, because they are constructed by mud-made bricks, with high ceilings in order to keep cool in summer and warm in winter months. The house roofs are absolutely one of a kind, cone-shaped and absolutely as coming out from a fairy tale.

20. Krak des Chevaliers

Krak des Chevaliers is a famous Crusaders castle to be found in Syria, an absolute must for history lovers. It is a medieval castle well maintained and intact. The fact that Krak des Chevaliers is preserved in such a good condition makes it an attraction for all tourists, traveling in Syria. The size of the castle is quite impressive and it is also protected by a stone wall around it.

21. The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din

The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din is one of the most impressive citadel of the country and one of the most famous tourist attractions of Syria. This magnificent piece of work is completely surrounded by forests, this beautiful Citadel is still in good condition. It is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2006. The place welcomes many tourists from the whole world, who wish to feel the atmosphere of the ancient citadel!

22. Ruins of Ugarit

The ruins of Ugarit are believed to be the most prominent part of the country of Syria. It is also of great scientific interest from historians and archaeologists, because of the city that once existed there. This city is s old as 6000 years and is well protected by a wall for protection. The city was destroyed at the end of the Bronze Age by the so called “Sea people” – this was a union of sea sailing people, who aimed to reach control over Egypt and caused damages and destruction in many Mediterranean countries.

23. Souq Midhat Basha

Souq Midhat Basha is also known as the Long Souq is one of the most famous markets of Syria. This unique Souq was established by the governor of Damascus Midhat Pasha during the year 1878. It stands above the Roman ‘Street Called Straight’ which used to traverse the city from Bab al-Jabieh to Bab Sharqi, and runs parallel to souq al-Hamidiyeh, with numerous side-souqs separating them.

24. Souq Al Harir

Another prominent souqs of Syria is the Souq Al harir which was established during the year 1574 by the famous Darwish. You will find it located right outside the Omayyad Mosque. You will find wide variety of products in this market. Its shops are filled with local embroidered cloths, perfume essence, and tailoring and sewing requisites. Here, too, a number of old khans have been converted into shops, best known for their cloaks, capes, mantles, shawls, and ‘galabiyas’.

25. Souq Al Bzourieh

The magnificent country of Syria offers numerous of Souqs and the Souq Al Bzourieh is not an exception. It extends between Souq Midhat Pasha and the Omayyad Mosque and is renowned for its quaint little fruit, medicinal herbs, and confectionery.

26. Nabi Habeel Mosque

Nabi Habeel Mosque is one of the most impressive mosques in Syria and a major tourist attraction of the country. This magnificent mosque is situated on the west mountains of Damascus, near the Zabadani Valley. Inside the mosque you will find the grave of Abel, son of Adam as believed by Muslims, who are frequent visitors of this mosque for ziyarat. The mosque was constructed during the year 1599 by Ottoman Wali Ahmad Pasha and has 40 mihrabs.

27. Syrian Desert

The Syrian Desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is situated towards the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square mile. The desert is very rocky and flat. The Syrian desert is part of the Al-Hamad,which covers portions of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan,and Saudi Arabia. Many mini-deserts exist in the Syrian Desert such as Palmyra.

28. The Great Mosque of Aleppo

The Great Mosque of Aleppo is one of the most famous mosques of the country and a major tourist attraction. It is the largest and oldest mosque in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria, date back to thirteenth century Mamluk period, only the Seljuk minaret of 1090 is older. The mosque is said to entomb the remains of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist.

29. Ma’loula

Ma’loula is a famous town located in Syria, situated around 56 km towards the northeast of the country’s capital. It was constructed into the rugged mountainside, at an altitude of more than 1500 meters. For the Muslim inhabitants, the legacy is all the more remarkable given that they were not Arabized, unlike most other Syrians who like them were Islamized over the centuries but also adopted Arabic and shifted to an “Arab” ethnic identity.

30. Hama

Hama is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Syria and fourth laregest city. It is located on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria north of Damascus. The city is renowned for its 17 norias used for watering the gardens, whichit is claimeddate back to 1100 BC. Though historically used for purpose of irrigation, the norias exist today as an almost entirely aesthetic traditional show.

31. Qanawat

Qanawat is one of the famous tourist attractions of Syria. It is the ancient Roman city of Canatha, a beautiful little village of Syria situated around seven km towards north-east of As Suwayda. It stands at a height of about 1,200 m, near a river and surrounded by woods.

32. Latakia

Latakia is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Syria that dates back to the Ancient Greek era. Even today it is a prominent commercial port city of Syria. Largely comprising of white stucco high-rising structures and streets lined with palm trees, Latakia is also home to the Tishreen University, which is one of the largest educational institutions in the country. The city of Lakakia offers some of the most interesting tourist spots.

33. Dura Europos

Dura Europos was an attractive ancient city located towards the Eastern part of the country. It was occupied by a series of civilisations, now represented by well preserved ruins. The ancient ruins that you will find here are considered to be its major source of attractions. It was one of the successor states that emerged after the death of Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Greeks, who founded Dura Europos in 300BC, locating it at the mid-point between their two capitals and overlooking the Euphrates River.

34. Qatna Archeological Park

Qatna Archaeological Park is considered to be a major tourist attraction of Syria. You will find it located in Tell Mishrifeh. This magnificent park is renowned for housing the ruins of what was the thriving ancient Mesopotamian city of Qatna. Known to have first been occupied in the third millennium BC, Qatna’s location on an important commercial and political crossroad connecting it to both the Mitanni empire and the ancient Egyptians allowed it to flourish.

35. Roman ruins

The most famous attraction of Syria is considered to be the Ruins of Romans that can be witnessed throughout the country. Syria is a country that is extremely rich in history and culture, it is supposed to be its biggest attraction. The resulting revenues enabled the citizens of Palmyra to construct the grandest of civic buildings. Using a local sandy honey coloured stone the resulting Roman-style columns, temple facades, theatres, and tombs, are particularly beautiful.

36. St Simeon’s Monastery

St Simeon’s Monastery considered to be one of the masterpieces of the country, an absolute must tourist attraction of Syria. It was constructed in order to support the cult of Simeon – an aesthete monk who is remembered for having lived on top of a column for 42 years. It is well described as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Syria.

37. Dead Cities

The famous Dead Cities of Syria located towards the northern part of the country is considered as one of the finest survivals from the World Of Late Antiquity. They are actually group of approximately 600 abandoned Byzantine churches, villages and monuments. Some of these are extraordinarily well preserved, and many have charming rural locations. Al Bara, Serjilla, Ruweiha and Mushabbak are among the most renowned ones.

38. Street Called Straight

Street Called Straight is regarded as one of the famous attractions of Syria. Retrace the footsteps of St Paul following his conversion on the Road to Damascus when walking along the Street Called Straight to the House of Ananias. It belongs to the Roman era and a famous landmark of the country’s capital. It is also a great place to shop for Syrian handicrafts.

39. Saladin’s castle

The Saladin’s Castle is among the major tourist attractions of Syria and also regarded as a finest example of early Crusader architecture. It is well described by T.E Lawrence as “the most sensational thing in castle building that I have ever seen”. Saladin’s castle, once known as Saone, was built to defend the route between Latakia and Aleppo and has a spectacular ridge top location and magnificent fortified entrance.

40. Resafa

Resafa is considered to be one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Syria. It is situated right in the Syrian desert, inland from the River Euphrates, this fine frontier fortress was discovered by the emperor Diocletian in the late third century and later became an important place of pilgrimage in the Byzantine era.

41. Safita

Satifa is one of the famous tourist destinations of Syria and perhaps a place that attracts history buffers. Although it is small region of Syria with little population but like other popular cities in Syria, it too has a special story to tell and it has a several sites to showcase.

42. Maaloula

One of the charming little villages of Syria is Maaloula, located towards the northern part of the country’s capital. It is one of the famous tourist attractions of Syria. This village is renowned for its blue painted houses which cling to the edges of the Qallamoun Mountains. Maaloula is also the only place in the world where Aramaic, the original language of the Bible is still spoken, highlighting the village’s importance as an early Christian stronghold.

43. Mar Moussa Monastery

One of the most renowned religious monuments of the country of Syria is The Mar Moussa Monastery. It is situated towards the northeastern part of the town called Nebek. It was discovered during the 6th century by the Ethiopian monk Mar Moussa, the monastery flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries before being abandoned in the 19th century.

44. Ancient Villages of Northern Syria

There are plenty of interesting destinations to visit in Syria that are worth visiting. The ancient villages of north-western are to be found from 1st to the 7th centuries and had been deserted by the 10th century. Wonderfully well maintained and preserved the architectural remains of dwellings and also the pagan temples, churches, cisterns and bathhouses which reflect the transition from the ancient pagan world of the Roman Empire to Byzantine Christianity.

45. Chastel Blanc

Chastel Blanc is one of the most impressive sites to visit in Syria, also referred as White Castle. This castle is a huge structure that was constructed on a hill, and once upon a time it was one of the Templar’s fortresses in Syria. Its location was strategic for the Knights because the view from the roof enables them to see their other holds that were scattered around the area. Apart from being a fortress, the White Castle also doubled as a chapel.

46. Deir Ezzor

One of the most fascinating regions of Syria is Deir Ezzor, to be found located around 450 kilometers from the country’s capital. You will find some of the most interesting ancient ruins. Local people of Syria visit to just enjoy the easy – going town that is not bothered with too many ogling tourists.

47. Euphrates River

Euphrates River is one of the impressive and important rivers of Syria because its entire civilization basically started from the banks of this same body of water. If you want to appreciate the full beauty of the river then head towards this River to appreciate this attraction.

48. Sleiman Castle

Sleiman Castle is one of the wonderful tourist attractions of Syria that was constructed right in the middle of the wild mountains in Safita. It was believed to be constructed by the old inhabitants of Arwad to honor Baal and Astarte – both of which were ancient Phoenician deities.

49. Museum of Deir Ezzor

Museum of Deir Ezzor is one of the must visit museums while in the region of Deir Ezzor. This museum will surely attract those visitors who are interested in learning about Syrian history as a whole. This museum is different from those you are bound to see because it’s rather well kept. This museum offers an interesting collection of artifacts that you just have to see.

50. Army Museum

The Army Museum is perhaps one of the most interesting museums of Syria and offers numerous of fascinating collections. Inside the museum you will find amazing artifacts of military hardware from the Bronze Age to the near present. Exhibits range from flint arrowheads to a pile of the twisted remains of planes shot down in the 1973 war with Israel.

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