Damascus, Syria: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Damascus is the capital city of Syria. It has a population of around 4.5 million people which makes it the second largest city in Syria after Aleppo. it is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Transportation in and around Damascus
There are a number of ways to get in the city. You can get in by plane via the Damascus International Airport. You can get from the airport to the city by taxi or by bus. Another way to get in the city is by train within Syria. Keep in mind that trains in Syria a little bit slow and make a lot of stops. There are also international trains from Istanbul and Tehran. You can also bet in the city by car and by bus. The buses within the country are working very well. From the bus station, you can get a taxi or a bus that will take you to the city.
Once in Damascus there are a couple of ways to get around the city. Going around the city on foot is a good idea if you want to see the whole city. And in the Old Damascus it is the only way of getting around. Beware of the traffic if you are walking in the city. You can also rent a car to get around the city, but keep in mind that there is always a traffic jam and finding a parking is very difficult. The main means of getting around Damascus is by micro-buses, also known as servees. You can get around Damascus with one or two rides the most. There are also public buses. Both buses have a fixed price. The last great way of getting around the city is by taxi. The Star Taxi company has a little more expensive taxis, but more comfortable and safer. If you are hailing a taxi on the street you could stop the taxis with a Damascus Governorate logo on the side. These taxis usually use the meter. You should also tip the driver. At night, taxis usually do not use the meter, so make sure you negotiate the price before setting off.
There are great things that should be seen in Damascus. If you want to shop then you should visit the Souq al-Hamidiyya. It is a place where you can find a great number of shops from which you can buy anything. At the end of this souq, you will find the Umayyad mosque. This building is considered an architectural wonder. It used to be an Assyrian temple, then a Roman temple, then a Christian church and now a mosque. So it is likely that you will find drawings from all the kind of temple it used to be. Inside the mosque, you will find the grave of John the Baptist. At the other end of the souq, you will find the Citadel. Another thing worth visiting is the Mausoleum of Salah al-Din. Here you will find a lot of great sculptures. The Azzam palace has a museum where you can find out more about the life of the royal families.