How Much It Costs To Travel In Syria

How Much It Costs To Travel In Syria

By |2016-10-01T23:34:12-04:00November 11th, 2010|Syria, Travel Costs|83 Comments

Costs To Travel In Syria - Syrian Pounds

Now that I’ve been here for just under a month, I have a decent grasp on how much it costs to travel in Syria. And to be honest, this is a country that offers a quality adventure no matter how much money you’re interested in spending.

On the budget end of the spectrum, it’s quite possible to travel in Syria for about $15 USD per day, which involves sleeping on rooftops (see more below) or in dorm rooms, dining on shawarma and falafel sandwiches for most meals and using only local buses for transportation.

If you move up a notch and stay in private single or double rooms, eat a sit-down meal more often and use taxis to get around, you can travel here for about $25 – $30 USD per day.

At the moment, the exchange rate is approximately: $1 USD = 46 Syrian Pounds (SP)

To give you a better idea of the costs involved with travel in Syria, here’s some more specific information:


The visa situation seems to change quite often but as of right now, citizens of most countries are able to obtain a single-entry visa at the border. The cost varies between nationalities but for most Western European countries, as well as Australia/NZ and Canada, the price seems to be a somewhat consistent $99 USD. I will say that if you have the time, and in order to avoid any potential hassle at the border, it would be worth it to obtain a Syrian visa from the Syrian Embassy in your home country.

US Citizens have no choice but to obtain a visa through the Syrian Embassy in Washington D.C. (or at the Consulate in Los Angeles). The cost is $131 but if you include a short letter explaining that you would also like to visit Turkey, Lebanon and/or Jordan, they will give you a multiple-entry visa, which certainly comes in handy.

And even though every visa states a validity of only 15 days, this is actually no longer the case. Every visitor is now entitled to a stay of up to 45 days and every time you leave and return to Syria, you get another 45 days to use. If you plan to stay inside Syria for more than 45 days in a row, then around day #40, simply visit the Passport Office in whichever town you may be in and after a couple of hours you’ll have your extension.


Travel in Syria - Cairo Hotel, Hama, Syria

All budget hotels in Syria have the same basic setup and on the whole, I’ve found them to be clean, well-fun and quite comfortable. Generally, your sleeping options at each hotel will include:

Rooftop: Thin mattresses (and sometimes beds), blankets and pillows provided – approx. 200 SP

Dorm Room: Usually 3-5 beds per dorm – approx. 400 – 600 SP

Single Room: Either with shared/private bathroom – approx. 600 – 800 SP

Double Room: With private bathroom – approx. 800 – 1500 SP

Many hotels include a simple Syrian breakfast in the price of the room, which involves a plate of bread, cheese, boiled eggs, salad and tea or coffee. So if you’re on a tight budget, it pays to seek these places out!


Street food is everywhere and if you don’t mind eating the same handful of items over and over again, then your food costs will be remarkably cheap. I actually just came back from eating a falafel sandwich, a mini-Syrian pizza, two cheese pastries and a banana shake and I spent a total of 80 SP (less than $2 USD!).

Here’s what it costs to eat:

Falafel sandwiches and chicken shawarmas – 25 – 50 SP

Bakery items (Syrian pizzas & pastries) – 5 – 20 SP

Fresh fruit juices and milkshakes – 25 – 50 SP

Tea from a cafe – 25 SP

For a more in-depth exploration of Syrian cuisine, you’ll need to part with more money, which makes it somewhat difficult to enjoy the variety of food this country has to offer as often as we’d like.

Mid-range restaurant with a huge variety of Syrian dishes – 150 -200 SP per person

Mezze style meal (selection of small dishes plus a few mains, all to be shared) – 350 SP per person

Upscale meal in a classic restaurant (often set inside an old palace) – 800 SP per person with wine

Also, most dishes in Syria do include either chicken or meat, but for vegetarians, there is always hummous! 🙂 And most most restaurants offer some version of salad as well as grilled vegetables (often aubergine) with rice or bread. You won’t go hungry but you will have to put up with far less variety.


Travel in Syria - Bus in Syria

Walking is by far the best method of getting around every town and city. Taxis are plentiful but are really only necessary to visit the outskirts. And buses, well, they’re both cheap and efficient.

Taxis: Always negotiate but 100 – 150 SP should get you from one end of a city to the other.

Share Taxis (Servis): Between certain destinations, and within big cities, these vans follow a set route and will pick up and drop off passengers along the way. Prices are usually between 10 – 50 SP.

Buses: The prices for long-distance transportation seem to be about 50 SP per hour of travel, making it extraordinarily cheap. And given the small size of Syria, you’ll rarely take a bus journey of more than 3 hours. Buses are clean and comfortable, generally leave on time, have assigned seats and usually include water, sweets and a movie. Not bad for $3 bucks!


Every major/minor sight around the country (i.e. Museums, the Dead Cities, Citadels, Palaces, Castles, etc.) has an entrance fee of either 75 or 150 SP. Anyone who can present a valid ISIC Student Card will have these fees reduced to only 15 SP. Compared to many countries, these entrance fees are an absolute bargain.


Travel in Syria - Baron Hotel, Aleppo, Syria

This is a strange one. In the two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, internet connections are actually quite poor and wi-fi is not too common. And since I do need to work on the internet everyday, I’ve spent a good amount of time trying to solve this issue. So here’s what I’ve discovered:


Costa Coffee (next to the Four Seasons Hotel) offers customers 1.5 hours of reliable wi-fi with any purchase. Coffee prices are about 150 SP.

Al-Hamaraim Hotel is a popular budget hotel that offers its guests what has been the best connection in all of Syria so far. The only catch is that it costs 150 SP per day.

Apart from the above, internet cafes are also scattered around here and there, with varying speeds, reliability and prices. Expect to pay anywhere from 50 – 100 SP per hour.


In the new part of Aleppo, there are several reliable internet cafes for about 50 SP per hour.

For wi-fi, the manager of the Baron Hotel (Syria’s oldest hotel) will happily allow visitors to sit in the somewhat tattered but atmospheric lounge room while bumming the free wi-fi signal from the 4-star Ramses Hotel across the street. Order a tea or a beer and you can sit there and work for hours.

Oddly enough, in many of the smaller towns of Syria, internet connections are plentiful and often free at many budget hotels.

And while we’re talking about staying connected, a Syrian SIM card for my mobile phone from Syriatel, the country’s largest mobile communications provider, cost me 200 SP. I then purchased 400 SP of credit which has lasted me almost a month, although I’ve only used the phone to book a handful of hotels and make arrangements to meet up with people I’ve met.


If you want to try and earn some money while in Syria, I’ve found that there are plenty of opportunities to teach both English and French. In Aleppo, I was actually offered a job at a language institute where they asked me to teach 10 hours of English per week to classes of only 2-5 students. And they offered me 1000 SP ($22 USD) per hour, which is quite high considering that I don’t have a teaching certificate.

Another opportunity I’ve found is for web designers, of which there seems to be a major shortage over here. So far, I’ve already met 10 local Syrians (mostly managers of hotels and independent tour guides) who were interested in hiring me to help them set up a basic website for their business. I simply don’t have time (nor much skill in this area), but for anyone who does, you’d have no trouble finding endless work. And the Syrians I spoke with are willing to pay quite decent rates as well.


Before I finish this post, here are a few other things I’ve learned here in Syria that will hopefully help you save some money on your trip…you are coming to Syria, right? 🙂

  • Syrians are generally super-honest and very rarely will try to rip you off. At least that’s my experience so far.
  • It pays to book hotel rooms in advance during high season (spring and autumn) as there appears to be more travelers than there are rooms (at least budget rooms) in some towns.
  • Feel free to bargain in the markets and even for hotel rooms but don’t expect a drastic decrease in price.
  • Tap water is safe to drink here (and most hotels also have a filtered water tap you can use) so you don’t have to buy plastic bottles every day.
  • Many hotels and restaurants accept credit cards and most do not charge a transaction fee.
  • There are plenty of ATMs in Syria and the banks do not charge anything to use them.

If you have any questions about the cost of traveling in Syria that weren’t answered in this post, feel free to comment below or send me an email!

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  1. Roger January 11, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Hey Earl
    I was just digging through some old emails and by accident found your reply to me of late 2010 regarding Syria. And I started wondering: Do you by any chance have any information on the welfare/whereabouts of Ahmad and his friends at the al-Gawaher in Aleppo? (remember Mr BBC?). I’ve worried about them, and all the other wonderful folks I met in Syria, for so long. As, I’m sure, have you.


    • Wandering Earl January 13, 2014 at 6:51 am - Reply

      Hey Roger – Yes, actually they are all okay and out of Syria. I don’t want to give their locations but they are all doing well and I’ve been in touch with a couple of them on a somewhat regular basis.

  2. Hannah August 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    Your blog is my absolute favourite! My cousin and I are planning a trip to the Middle East in the near future. We want to go to Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and finish in Egypt over about four or five months.
    I can’t find much other reliable information on costs in the area except for on Wandering Earl, so thank you!
    My question is about safety, most of the travel resources I have found give very emotive warnings on travel in Syria and Iraq. What is your experience on safety in Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria?

    Thanks, Hannah

    • Wandering Earl August 29, 2013 at 3:20 am - Reply

      Hey Hannah – Thanks for that comment! As for Syria, you should not travel there now at all. It’s simply not safe right now with the current fighting and issues. Iraqi Kurdistan on the other hand is safe and is a great place to visit. I’ll be heading back there myself next May!

  3. How to Travel Cheaply April 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    […] their hat! Obviously things like camping or sleeping in shared hostel dorms or even on rooftops (Earl slept on a rooftop in Syria, hopefully we’ll see a day when we can all visit that beautiful country again) is the […]

  4. Maryam April 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Even though I went to syria many time but I learned A LOT from ur experience and the detailes was amazing ! I would like to ask u about what countries have u visited in middle east ?

    Note: I may have some mistakes with the writing its because English is my second language and am trying to improve it 🙂

    • Earl April 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Hey Maryam – Thank you for the comment! Over the years I have now visited Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt in the Middle East. Still a few more countries to get to!

  5. Hein March 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    He Earl,

    Thanks a lot for this useful information! At the moment I am living in Egypt, after which I am planning to travel through Jordan, Syria and Libanon. Since it is impossible to get a visa for Syria here in Cairo, you think I can get one at the border (as a Dutch citizen)?
    The teaching job sounds interesting as well, could you give me a link with some more information on this?
    Thanks again, good luck!

    • Earl March 3, 2011 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Hey Hein – Thank you for the comment! Obviously, I can’t be certain, but from what I saw, every nationality of traveler except US Citizens seemed to be able to get the visa at the border. You might have to wait at the border for a while but a little persistence would hopefully be all you need.

      As for the teaching job, I don’t have any links to share. Everything was word of mouth in Syria. But if you show up in Damascus or Aleppo and start asking around at the hotels or hanging out at the cafes (especially in the Christian quarter of Aleppo), you’ll meet some people and opportunities will come your way!

      • Sarah March 6, 2011 at 6:09 am - Reply

        hey earl, it’s me again 🙂 I just had one more question…

        If I accepted work while in Syria, how would that work with my visa? I am pretty sure I read on the visa application that a person is not allowed to accept work while in Syria.

        If I travelled to Syria as a ‘tourist’ or ‘visit’, and then found a job while I am there, would I be able to go to the embassy and extend my stay in the country and change my status? I am not really a traveller so I don’t really know how all these details work 🙂

        • Earl March 7, 2011 at 5:53 am - Reply

          Hey Sarah – As far as Syria is concerned, if you did find work teaching in Syria, your employer would fill out all of the necessary paperwork to change your tourist visa into a work visa. From what others told me, the process was relatively straight forward and basically requires a couple of visits to the local immigration office, a bunch of forms and a good amount of sitting around waiting for the visa to be processed 🙂

          But luckily, the employer takes care of most of it!

  6. ellis February 15, 2011 at 5:32 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    I’m a bit late to the party here so hope you see this comment! I’m totally drawn into your site, I love it. I’ve wanted to travel to Syria and most of the Middle East for years. What’s your perception of how women–especially foreign women–are treated?

    Thanks! Looking forward to reading through your archives.

    • Earl February 15, 2011 at 7:43 am - Reply

      Hey Ellis – Thank you so much for your comment! To be perfectly honest, foreign women would have absolutely no problems traveling around Syria, or much of the Middle East for that matter. During my last visit I met dozens of solo female travelers who were spending time in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and beyond. And in Syria especially, you’ll find that the culture focuses on respect and as a result, you would rarely, if ever, be harassed or be forced to deal with anything other than the usual challenges that any traveler faces when traveling. In general, the majority of travelers to this region, both male and female, are surprised by how safe, friendly and hassle-free it is to travel here 🙂

      • sarah February 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply

        thanks so much for the info…. very detailed and well explained.

        i really wanted to go to damascus and stay for as long as i can. how long would i be able to stay in damascus for about 2,500 to 3,000 dollars. i was also really looking into getting a job while in the city. i speak perfect english, would you say i would be able to get a job in 2 or 3 months. do you have the name of the language institute that wanted to hire you.

        thanks so much and sorry for the many questions,

        • Earl February 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm - Reply

          Hey Sarah – For that amount of money, you could probably survive quite easily for around 4-6 months, depending on your spending habits. I know that many people go straight to one of the two main budget hotels in Souk Saroujah area of Damascus (Al-Haramain Hotel or Al-Rabie Hotel) and start from there. The staff at both hotels can help you find a cheap room in a good apartment as there are quite a few apartments around that normally house foreigners. I heard that the monthly rates were around $250 USD per month.

          As for work, to be honest, I’m not too sure about Damascus. The language institutes that I heard of and which offered me a teaching job were all in Aleppo, a city in the north of Syria. However, I’d imagine that once you find a room in an apartment, you won’t have any problems finding a language institute as there are a good amount of foreigners living and teaching in Damascus. After a few conversations with others living there, you’ll discover some opportunities.

          Just keep in mind that most language schools will want you to sign up for at least 6 months before hiring you! Apart from that, I think 2-3 months is more than enough time to find work.

          If you have any further questions, please feel free to send me an email as well.

          • Sarah February 28, 2011 at 12:55 am

            thanks a lot for the help… i really appreciate it

  7. […] somewhere in between in comparison to other parts of the world, including the nearby countries of Syria and Lebanon.So now that my visit has ended, I am happy to report that Iraqi Kurdistan is definitely […]

  8. Azizeh January 2, 2011 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Salaam/Hi Earl!

    I’m an Australian who’s been living in Iran for the last 9 weeks, and I’ve always wanted to go to Syria (especially Damascus…I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about this city!) and was planning on going there in late Jan, but lately I was put off by the conflicting reports about whether Australians (and others) can get a visa at the border without having to be on an organised tour (I was afraid of being turned back at the airport). But after I’ve just come across your blog, I’m very relieved that it seems apparent that, in practice, most people can get a visa at the border, even if the official channels say otherwise! So Syria it is for me come late Jan when my Iranian visa expires, woohoo!

    I also really appreciated your piece on costs in Lebanon, since I also dearly want to go to Lebanon…but because I’m on a tight budget, I reckon I’ll do 30 days in Syria and afterwards just 15 days in Lebanon (I don’t think its higher expense is an excuse to not visit Lebanon at all while I’m in the Middle East, since Lebanon’s nature and historical sites look fab!).

    I also wanted to commend you on how clearly, observantly and in what a detailed manner you write…it’s fantastic that you’re sharing your experiences, and a real privilege for your readers to peruse! Your wandering spirit is inspiring!

    Khosh begzare! (‘Enjoy your travels’ in Persian)

    • Earl January 2, 2011 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Salaam Azizeh!

      Thank you for such a wonderful comment. It has honestly left me speechless to read such kind words and to know that you have found some benefits in reading my posts 🙂

      As for your trip to Syria/Lebanon, very exciting indeed! And I honestly don’t think you’ll have a problem obtaining a visa at the Syrian border. If you’re headed overland from Iran to Syria, you might want to consider crossing into Syria from Turkey at the Nusaybin/Qamishli border crossing. This is a somewhat remote border that sees almost no foreign travelers and the immigration officials on the Syrian side are the most friendly and hospitable officers I’ve met anywhere. Also, in the event that they don’t let you in (which I would be shocked if it happened), there are several more border crossings along the Turkish/Syrian border to try!

      Thank you again for your comment and please feel free to email me with any questions you might have about the region. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your time in Iran and I wish you a rewarding 2011!

  9. […] travellers in Syria who had completely different experiences of this (Wandering Earl has a useful post on this as well as general costs for Syria). If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to […]

  10. Laura November 29, 2010 at 2:05 am - Reply

    Excellent tips Earl! I love the picture of the bus 🙂 I wanted to go to Syria while I was in Jordan but the visa was an issue. I’ve heard on occasion they will give it to a US citizen at the border but it wasn’t something I wanted to chance. I hope to make it to Damascus one day! Thanks again for such a thorough review.

    • Earl November 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Hey Laura – It seems that they have stopped giving visas to US Citizens at the border altogether. I’ve spoken with a few who have tried and all have been denied. At least it’s a fairly painless process to get the visa from the Embassy in Washington! So there’s no excuse for not visiting the next time you’re in the region 🙂

  11. Jozef Maxted November 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Interesting post! I’m not going to Syria anytime soon, but it was an interesting read nevertheless.

    I’m hoping that when I go to Bolivia the costs should be about the same. Its amazing how far money goes in these countries.

    • Earl November 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Hey Jozef – Thank you for the comment and that’s excellent that you’re headed to Bolivia (hopefully soon??). As for the costs in Bolivia, you should check out as Erin and Simon have been traveling around that region over the past few months and it might give you a good idea of what costs to expect.

      Have a great Sunday!

  12. Cam November 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to go back to the Mid East. Syria and Lebanon are next up! Thanks for breaking it down.

    • Earl November 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Hey Cam – Let me know if you have any questions before you make it out here. Syria and Lebanon has been one of the most interesting trips I’ve ever been on so I have no doubt you’ll find it quite fascinating as well. But enjoy your visit back to Canada and then the Caribbean first!

  13. Little House in the Valley November 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    […] of Wandering Earl, Earl outlines  how much it costs to travel in Syria. Syria is not on my top 5 places I’d like to visit, but the fact they are willing to pay […]

  14. Sherry Ott November 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Great info! I’m heading to the Middle east (Lebanon and Jordan) this winter for two months volunteering. I’m very excited about visiting that part of the world! Will stop back for your Lebanon updates!

    • Earl November 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      Hey Sherry! How exciting that you’re headed this way soon! Do you know which parts of Lebanon/Jordan you’ll be staying in ?

      I have some Lebanon posts on the way, hopefully in the next week or so.

  15. Roger November 19, 2010 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Very timely info about the maximum-stay-on-a-single-entry-visa thing: thanks! I’d been disappointed when all the info I could find said there was a maximum (normal) stay of 15 days, when I reckon I’m going to need 20+. Will be there in January: can’t wait.

    • Earl November 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Hey Roger – I know what you mean…I had heard so much conflicting information before my arrival as well. Basically, I’ve now heard of some people who went to the Passport Office to double-check the rules and were then forced to pay for an extension. However, if you simply go to the border (as long as your stay was less than 45 days), then you will have no problems at all. I entered Lebanon after a stay of 33 days and had no issues whatsoever leaving.

      That’s excellent that you’ll be here in January…I wish you a most enjoyable visit!

  16. John November 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I think costs are a little on the optimistic side. Decent rooms in Syria run about 900-1400 pounds, unless you really want to rough it out. Food around 80-120 for a decent sandwich (well..I paid 30 pounds once for some kind of wrap and an Aryan but that didn’t taste that great!), 200-225 with tip for a sit down meal at a budget restaurant in Aleppo.

    Regarding Syrians not ripping you off I disagree, I’ve had plenty try to cheat me, sometimes blatantly. One minibus driver asked 1000 pounds to take me from Homs to Hama saying that there were no departures at that time of day and I would be stuck in Homs, yeah sure, I got out of his van..walked a bit to the transportation center and took another minibus for 35 pounds! LOL!

    • Earl November 19, 2010 at 12:02 am - Reply

      Hey John – Thank you for sharing your experiences as well. It’s interesting because I never paid more than 800 pounds for a room during my entire stay in Syria and was quite satisfied with all of the rooms I had. Paying more certainly would have landed me a better room but I thought the comfort-level of the cheaper rooms was more than reasonable. And as for food, good sandwiches have been available in every town and city I’ve been to for 25 – 50 pounds. I’ve never even seen a sandwich for 120 pounds 🙂

      I guess we’ve just had different experiences! But the costs I mentioned in the post are the actual costs that myself (during the four weeks I spent in Syria) and dozens of other travelers I spoke with all found to be consistent throughout the country.

  17. Antoine Leporc November 18, 2010 at 5:59 am - Reply

    I love this post. I mean, how could it have possibly be more detailed and explained than that.

    Well done!


  18. Jaime D. November 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    This is very good information that I am going to be using when I visit Syria! Thanks for going in such good detail~

    • Earl November 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Jaime – Glad to hear you found the info helpful. And if you have any further questions, please let me know!

  19. Erin November 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Very helpful post Earl! It’s not as expensive as I thought it’d be. Wifi sounds a bit tricky but better than Bolivia. Thanks for all the info.

    • Earl November 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Hey Erin – Syria was much cheaper than I imagined as well. Apart from accommodation, expenses are quite minimal. As for Wi-Fi, it is a bit problematic, but not impossible, to stay connected. If you stay in a town for more than a couple of days here you end up finding out where the best connections are. They exist but they’re just not easy to find!

  20. Caz Makepeace November 14, 2010 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hmmm… Thinking about the teaching thing. What would a qualified teacher get do you think?
    Regardless, I will take the rooftop bed and pile me up with some hummus!! I’ve almost eaten a whole tub tonight.
    Great detailed post Earl

    • Earl November 15, 2010 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Hey Caz – I’m not sure what a qualified teacher would earn there but I’ll ask around when I return to Aleppo in about 10 days. I’d imagine it would be quite an attractive salary.

      If you just ate a tub of hummus you’ll be quite happy over here. Although I think I’m slowly reaching my hummus limit after 6 weeks of eating the stuff almost daily!

  21. Phil November 14, 2010 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Earl, extremely detailed and helpful. It’s obvious you put a lot of care into this. Although, I wonder about this “Baron” hotel you speak of. Do you have some Syrian lineage? Are you getting a commission for sending people here? Hmmm

    • Earl November 15, 2010 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Hey Phil – Ha! No Syrian lineage at all and definitely not a plug for the Baron Hotel 🙂 Trust me, I would not recommend spending $50 to stay there, only to spend $1.50 for a cup of tea and free wi-fi!

  22. AdventureRob November 13, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Wow, great post Earl, That wage is exceptional for a non-qualified English Teacher. It’s similar to the wage in Japan, although living costs are 3-4 times lower.

    You’re starting to tempt me 🙂

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Hey Rob – That wage is quite high, right? And they told me that I could earn even more with private classes. Some of the teachers I met were doing quite well and you’re right, living expenses are much lower. Teachers here have the potential to save a lot of money.

      Let me know if you make the decision to head this way!

  23. Don November 13, 2010 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Very detailed and informative. Great reporting Earl!

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Thank you Don!

  24. David November 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    I am planning a trip to Syria in mid-2011 and have read recent first-hand reports on other blogs that basically no one is able to obtain a visa at the border, this is as recently as a few days.

    Have you heard otherwise from Westerners you’re encountering presently?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Hey David – Almost everyone I’ve met in Syria (who were not US citizens) obtained their visas at the border. Some people did have to wait for a few hours as their passport info had to be faxed to Damascus for approval but I don’t know of anyone being turned away. US Citizens are the only ones that are definitely not able to obtain the visa at the border. It doesn’t seem to be a problem at all…off the top of my head I know of people from many European countries, Asian countries, Australia/NZ, Canada and South America who have all obtained visas at the border.

  25. Forest November 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Prices sound very reasonable and it’s great to know this for when I eventually visit. I would like to visit both Israel and Syria at some point so will have to do some strategic visit to one or the other before I get a new passport as apparently both countries don’t like each others visas!

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Hey Forest – The visa situation with those two countries is a bit tricky. There are ways around it though. Just do a little internet research and you’ll find them. I’ll avoid mentioning them here for the time being 🙂

      • Forest November 13, 2010 at 8:56 pm - Reply

        Thanks Earl, will be doing a lot of research if I make the decision….

  26. Randall November 12, 2010 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Wow, I like the part about making money there. The government in Syria should read your post and give at least a couple of hundred for being an ambassador!

    I think if you have a basic knowledge of WordPress you might be able to make a living.

    I like the whole series on Syria much better than I thought!

    Going to tweet now, cya

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Hey Randall – I will try to get in touch with Syria’s President about that! And yes, a basic knowledge of WordPress would be sufficient here to help build some websites. Most of the people are looking for simple sites, just so that they can begin to have a web presence.

  27. Adam Daigle November 12, 2010 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Hey, Earl. I was just about to send you a message about some of the questions that you’ve just addressed. Nice timing.

    I just stumbled across your blog recently. Nice.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Hey Adam – Good to know I answered some of your questions but if you have any other questions that were not answered, please feel free to let me know!

  28. mhabach November 12, 2010 at 12:12 am - Reply

    nice to read this about my country syria , really good info and expectation from other visitors from all over the world

    you are welcome , syria always welcome thiere guests and in case you have any question and need any help from local , i can help you

    i’m from Aleppo city 🙂

    just drop me an e-mail and i will manage meeting with you here in aleppo

    my e-mail : [email protected]

    or you can call me at my mobile number : 00963944891706

    have a nice travel 🙂

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:10 am - Reply

      @mhabach – Thank you for your offer and for your comment! I am planning on returning to Aleppo in about 10 days or so and I will contact you as soon as I know my plans.

  29. Jasmine November 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Wow that’s a really high English teacher salary! From your estimates, you would only need to teach English for one hour a day if you were traveling on the budget end.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:05 am - Reply

      Hey Jasmine – I was quite surprised by the teaching salary as well. It’s one of the highest I’ve seen, especially considering that they’re willing to take any native speaker, with or without experience.

  30. meed November 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I live in Aleppo and I well be happy to answer any question for any one likes to know more about Syria or need more info .
    this is my email

    nice review earl as always 🙂

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:03 am - Reply

      Hey Meed – Thank you so much for your offer and I shall be in touch as soon as I know when I will be back in Aleppo 🙂

  31. Andi November 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    I so want to sleep on a rooftop in Syria! Sounds like a title of a book.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:03 am - Reply

      Hey Andi – The rooftop was actually one of my more enjoyable nights. The view of Aleppo from up there was amazing!

  32. Liz November 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    I want to see a picture of you sleeping on the rooftop! That is interesting!

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Ha! I will put a photo of the rooftop sleeping arrangements up here eventually 🙂

  33. Jean November 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, thanks a lot for posting this! This is really great information for anyone planning to travel Syria. I was extremely confused about the purchasing power of USD when converted to Syrian Pound(SP) and was looking for some comprehensive cost comparison for basic stuff(meals, transportation, lodging etc) and your post is explaining just that! =)

    Besides, could you actually recommend us a couple decent/ relaxing B&Bs and hostels in Damascus or Aleppo, on the low end of cost? I’d love to know if you know some hidden gems there that are not quite known to the outside public in the States. Thanks very much in advance!

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Ahh…here is your comment, I finally found it 🙂

      As for decent hostels….on the low end, I would recommend Hotel al-Rabie and Hotel al-Haramain for Damascus. They are located next to each other and are quite similar. Dorm rooms around about 500 SP and a single is about 800 SP. They are definitely budget places, but they have a lot of character, the staff are friendly, the location quite good and they’re both clean.

      As for Aleppo, I stayed at Al-Gawaher Hotel, which is a bit dingy, but if you hang out with the hotel’s manager and his friends, you’ll end up having an experience that you cannot get anywhere else. They are great people and love to entertain their guests. Right across the street from this hotel is a building with three hotels in it, all on the budget end. They are a bit more expensive than the Al-Gawaher but their rooms are quite nice and spacious.

      I hope this helps a bit but please feel free to let me know if you need any further information!

  34. Anis Salvesen November 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Syria had not been on my list of places to travel, but now it is. It sounds wonderful! I was surprised to learn that there seemed to be good work opportunities and that the water was drinkable and internet was (ironically) widely available in the smaller towns. As someone who was previously ignorant about the country, I thought this was a great read and am now excited to travel there.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Hey Anis – Thank you for commenting Anis! Trust me, I was surprised by those very same things 🙂 But that’s the great thing about travel…when a place proves to be completely different than we expect.

      Syria is certainly a country worth putting on your list!

  35. John Bardos -JetSetCitizen November 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Syria sounds great!

    Any chance you are coming back through Istanbul in the next month? We are here until Dec. 12th.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Hey John – Actually, I may be headed through Istanbul. I’m in Lebanon right now and might head to Istanbul before tackling Kurdistan. I should have a better idea in the next few days after seeing how long I decide to stay in Lebanon. I shall let you know…and is it safe to assume you’re enjoying Istanbul??

  36. Gillian November 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Syria is definitely on my list. Since traveling to Jordan, and meeting other travelers going further, I have realized how possible it is. Thanks for the $ info.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      Hey Gillian – A lot of people are surprised by how accessible Syria is…it’s actually one of the easiest countries to visit and travel around that I’ve ever been to!

  37. ayngelina November 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Wow so detailed, I always wanted to go to Syria but was afraid of the cost but it doesn’t look so bad at all.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 9:59 am - Reply

      Hey Ayngelina – It really isn’t an expensive country at all. Some things may seem a bit pricey but it all evens out in the end with the cheap prices for food and transporation…

  38. Andrea November 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Syria is high on my travel to do list. Everything about it sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to go. Thanks for the info, it’ll be a big help when I finally make my trip.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 9:58 am - Reply

      No problem Andrea…let me know if you ever have any questions about this region!

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Hey Andrea – Just wait until you experience Syria for yourself…it will certainly live up to your expectations!

  39. Fresh From Twitter November 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm - Reply

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  40. Dave from The Longest Way Home November 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    This is truly the type of travel blog post that I enjoy, well done Earl, great info.

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Glad your found it useful Dave!

  41. Sofia November 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    WOW Earl, a great detailed guide! I really want to travel to Syria, and this makes me want to go sooner 😛 – thanks 🙂

    • Earl November 13, 2010 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Hey Sofia – Well, if you do happen to head in this direction at some point, feel free to ask me any other questions about the region that come to mind!

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