General Information
Map of Syria
The Silk Road Festivals
Souqs (Markets)

General Information

Official Name: Syrian Arab Republic.
Capital: Damascus.
Area: 185.000 km2 (71.500sq.miles)
Population: 22 million.
Climate: A pleasant and varied Mediterranean climate with four distinct seasons.
Aerage temperature:
32 C (86 F) in summer.
10 C (50 F) in winter and 22 C (72 F) in spring& autumn.

Time Zone:
GMT + 2 Hours ( Winter)
GMT + 3 Hours ( Summer).

The Syrian pound (Lira) is divided into 100 Piastres.
The bank notes are 50, 100, 200, 500 & 1000 Liras.

Electrical Current: 220 Volts A.C., 50 Hz.
Weekend: Friday & Saturday are the official weekend.
Weights and Measures: Metric System.

Travel information and Entry Formalities:
A valid passport with entry visa. Any amount of foreign currency can be brought into Syria. However, the total sum of foreign currency taken out should not exceed the amount brought in.

How to Get there:
Damascus (the main gateway into Syria), Aleppo and Lattakia are connected to all continents by the national airline (Syrian air) , and other major international airlines.
By land there are highway connections to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq & Turkey.
There are seaport facilities at Lattakia & Tartous.

Spoken Languages:
The official language is Arabic.
Most Syrians also speak a foreign language, usually English or French.

Business Hours: Government: 8.30 to 15.30
Stores Hours: 10.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 20.00 (Winter).
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Map of Syria

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The Silk Road Festivals

The Silk Road Festivals started in Syria in 2003.

Festivals activities cover the Syrian cities where ancient caravans used to meet: Palmyra, Aleppo, Damascus, Bosra , Tartus, Lattakia…

The main target of these festivals is to revive the traditions of the caravans coming from East & West to Syria highlighting the importance of interaction and dialogue between the people through diversified wonderful shows and events.
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Museums in Syria contain an unaccountable number of magnificent treasures which take visitors on a long journey through time as they move from one hall to another. Stone instruments, such as hand tools and articles for workshop, takes us back to ancient history.

Antique Jewelry brings to mind a picture of those women who adorned themselves with beautiful ornaments.

Exploring these museums takes us into great & luxurious temples.

We can stand at the gates of the first city of the Alphabet, and admire the entrance of the huge palace, built by the Omayyad caliph in the desert.

Become acquainted with ancient faces, their expressive, small, but lively features. In these museums we pay tribute to the greatness of the Islamic civilization with its scientific discoveries, inventions and artistic creations from delicate ornamentation and valuable hand written manuscript. The magnificent mosaic tells the story of ancient philosophers and Mediterranean mythology: (Ulysses – The llind – Orpheus ……)
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Souqs (Markets)

Tourists can enjoy wandering through Damascus' famous historical souks such as: Al Hamidieh , Madhat-Pasha in Straight Street, souk Al Harrer, Al Khayateen, Al Bzourieh, where the scent of Syrian spices fills the air. Also Al Sagha; where A Bimarestan An-Nuri

( Museum of Arabic Medicine and Sciences) is situated nearby.

The Syrian souks are either traditional or modern.

Old souks still have their traditional touches where the handicraft skills are passed from father to son. These souks are famous for valuable textiles such as: hand printed cloth, brocades, local silk, damesco, aghabani, garments, ornamented with gold and silver, as well as carpets and rugs, patterned with Arabic designs and charming colors. This is in addition to handmade products such as : brass, ceramic, pottery, blown glass, as well as wood carving inlaid with mother of pearl, mosaic, oriental ornamentation , leather products , gold and silver jewelry.

Many restaurants and snacks are available everywhere in Syria where visitors can enjoy delicious Syrian cuisine with its tasty flavours and aromas, such as: Kibba, mutabbal, hommos, tabbouleh , and drinks such as: lemon juice , licorice, tamarind, ayran (yogurt), julep and hand beaten ice cream mixed with pistachio.

Visitors can also find beautiful souvenirs and gifts to take home to friends & relatives.
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