Here’s a movie about Damascus. This movie will give you a quick impression of the destination. The movie is not made by our own IFLY crew members. A special IFLYtheworld movie is in production and will be online soon.
Umayyad Mosque (1 hr)
Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world. It’s an absolute must to walk through the old city centre. Walk through the small streets and go to the old souk as well. You can buy everything you want there for a reasonable price. The people are friendly and the salesmen are not pushy.
In the heart of the old city, at the end of the souk, you will find the Umayyad Mosque. It’s the fourth most important mosques in the world after Mekka, Medina and Jeruzalem. It is a huge building. You can go in, but… take your shoes of and of course women have to cover their hair.
Even though you’re not a Muslim, the view on this enormous complex is wonderful. The mosaic works are beautiful. It’s easy to take a taxi from your hotel to the old city centre and you can walk around there for a whole afternoon or evening. Beware that a taxi back to your hotel can be twice the price you paid from your way to the city. So try to get a good bargain with a taxi driver.
‘Fast’ Arabic food (1 ½ hr)
Having a hard time because of time difference and need to dine early? Got to Abo Al-ezz. This is an Arabic restaurant in a side street from the souk in the old city. When you walk in the souk, go left just before the Umayyad Mosque. The restaurant is halfway the street on your left hand side, next to a baklava shop en opposite a butcher shop. It looks like a bakery shop, but if you go up the stairs (3), you will find a typical Arabic restaurant.
A good meal will cost you approximately nine dollars and you can eat yourself to death in Arabic specialties. The price is even with drinks and dessert included. You don’t need to make a reservation, but if you can’t find it, call 2218174.
Relaxing in the garden (2 hrs)
One of the most well-known and nice restaurants of Damascus is Jabri House. It was built in the early 18th century and it’s one of the historic monuments of Damascus. In a small alley behind the Umayyad Mosque you will find a small gate, which looks like it’s only accessible for dwarfs.
Once inside you will find a courtyard where you can eat outside and amazingly it’s cool in the garden as well. You can have lunch or dinner and you can eat many local specialties like lambs brains. Jabri House is located at Alsawaf Street. Call them at 5416254.
Huge piece of history (½ - 1 day)
In the middle of the Syrian desert you will find a huge piece of history. And we really mean pieces, because it is a ruin. Palmyra was already there 2000 years before Christ. Later it became part of the trade route, the silk route, between Asia and the Roman Empire. That’s why you will find some buildings in Roman style.
There are several travel agencies where you can book a tour to Palmyra. And like everything in Syria, it’s very affordable. The road to Palmyra is about 160 km through the desert. In the old days it took four and a half day by camel to go there. Nowadays by car it’s much faster, but still you need a full day to visit Palmyra.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Damascus.