Syria is one of the larger countries of the Middle East and shares its borders to the north with Turkey, to the east with Iraq, with Jordan and Israel to the south, and with Lebanon to the south-west. An added natural beauty is its short coastline on the east Mediterranean Sea. However, Syria has been caught up in serious warfare and it is, at this point, so dangerous to visit it that it has become impossible to visit the country as it is essentially a war zone.
The civil war has been raging in the country since 2011, and Syria is now probably the most dangerous destination in the world. Before this, it was a country of great natural diversity and with plenty of archeological sites worth visiting. However, the question remains how much of that is left of Syria, given the fact that it is being destroyed for years and devastated by the raging war.
Warnings & Dangers in Syria
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Syria is extremely dangerous for everyone. It is currently probably the most dangerous destination in the world. If you're in Syria currently, try and find a way to get out of it, if at all possible.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
You should bear in mind that, even there are plenty of ways to get around Syria, traffic is unreliable with plenty of factors affecting its quality, like the near-constant congestion, drivers that drive recklessly and ignore traffic signs, bad roads and poor quality of road signs. You should be careful.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
The country is destroyed up to a point where there probably aren't many people on the streets as they are in hiding due to the war that is raging or simply in a state of panic. However, if you find yourself on the streets, keep your belongings tightly by your side.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Putting aside the man-made disasters that have hit Syria very hard, one of the most prominent natural hazards that Syria is susceptible to is flooding.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Violent crimes in Syria do exist but are not too common, again, due to the fact that the country is a war zone and every day is a fight for survival.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Chances are extremely high that Syria will be targeted by terrorists while you're there - if you intend to go there. There have been many terrorist attacks already, everywhere in the country, including major cities and the threat comes from many terrorist groups that are active in Syria, like Daesh and Hay’at Tahrir al Sham
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Scams should be the least of your concerns if you end up in Syria. You should, just in case, double check your change and agree upon a price before making a deal with someone, whether it's a taxi driver or a merchant.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Women aren't safe in Syria. The country isn't dangerous for women particularly, but it is advised for tourists in general, regardless of their gender, not to walk around Syria, be it during day or night, as the country is essentially a war zone.
So... How Safe Is Syria Really?
Traveling to Syria is extremely strongly discouraged because of the on-going raging conflict and war that has been going on for 7 years now and has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Syria is now a war zone and as such, should be avoided at all costs.
You should know that forces loyal to the Assad government have carried out deadly bombings and attacks targeting rebels that hide among the civilians. On the other hand, rebel forces have also carried out attacks targeting the government and pro-government civilians. There have been instances of foreigners attempting to enter Syria so they could join the opposition forces (namely jihadist groups) against the government. The situation, however, is so tense at this moment, that if you get captured by either side, you may be in life danger.
If you end up in Syria and without a way of leaving, at least try and avoid areas that are known as critical war epicenters like the cities of Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and a couple of others. It should be emphasized once more that tourists should not go to Syria under any circumstance, and there have been incidents of foreigners being killed in Syria. ISIS terrorists have also been known to operate in Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, so there aren’t many ways to escape this country.
- Visas - All countries do need a visa in order to visit Syria, and they must be obtained from one of the Syrian diplomatic missions well in advance. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Syrian pound is the official currency in Syria. Keep in mind that Visa ATMs are available in major towns, though there aren't many of them, but they may not necessarily accept VISA cards.
- Weather - Climate in Syria is Mediterranean influenced one, with long, hot and mostly dry summers and mild, wet winters. Temperatures vary from 7 °C in January to 27 °C in August.
- Airports - Damascus International Airport is the main international airport in Syria. It is located in Damascus, the capital of Syria.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Syria, since it covers not only the costs medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.