The last week of July 2018, I visited Syria as a tourist. I wrote an article about visiting Syria as a tourist on my blog. As a result, I received a lot of questions how to travel to Syria as a tourist. I am willing to share with you how I travelled to Syria for the people who are interested.
This might be you sipping tea or Arabic coffee in the Beit Al Wali hotel in Damascus
Before I share this information with you , I would like to make some things clear:
- You can’t just ask for a visa for Syria and visit on your own. The government simply doesn’t allow it, so don’t even try and don’t waste your own and the agency’s time. You’ll need to book a tour with an agency who also helps you to get the right documents to get a visa on arrival.
- The application to the Ministry of Tourism costs about 200 USD paid by Western Union, an approval letter to get the visa on arrival at the border. The visa fee is paid at the border and depends on your nationality (50€ for Belgian citizens if I remember correctly).
- Currently, the only way to enter with an approval letter is via Beirut, through Masnaa border to Damascus and you will need a driver to pick you up with the original approval documents.
- The application takes at least 40 days so keep this in mind when making plans.
- During these 40 days they may screen you. You might be denied if you are a journalist, an online criticizer or if they can find any history of travel to Israel.
- Last but not least: I do not receive any commission for this, nor did I receive any discount on my tour for doing this. I just paid the tour myself and nobody sponsored me to visit Syria. The Syrian people who helped me to visit Syria are the ones behind this tour agency.
You should definitely visit the Umayyad mosque in Damascus – The fourth holiest place in the world for Muslims
If you take these 6 points I shared in mind and you’re fine with it, you can choose to visit Syria and contact the persons that have helped me to visit Syria. Good luck and feel free to follow me on instagram @unusualtravelblog.
Good luck and safe travels!
Any additional questions will be answered in the comments below.