Backpacking in Syria

Backpacking in Syria is a thrilling adventure that allows travelers to explore a country rich in history and cultural heritage. Despite the ongoing conflict and safety concerns in the region, Syria was once a popular backpacking destination due to its ancient ruins, vibrant markets, and warm hospitality. Backpacking in Syria is not only a means to discover its hidden gems but also serves as a way to support local communities and rebuild the economy.

Syria has a fascinating history dating back thousands of years, with various civilizations leaving their mark on its landscape. From the ruins of Palmyra to the ancient city of Aleppo, backpackers have the opportunity to witness the architectural wonders of these ancient civilizations firsthand. However, since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, the tourism industry has suffered greatly, and backpacking in Syria has become a challenge.

Despite the ongoing conflict, some adventurous backpackers have found ways to safely explore Syria by connecting with local guides who are knowledgeable about safe routes and areas to avoid. These guides not only ensure the safety of travelers but also help in providing a deeper understanding of the local culture and history.

One compelling statistic is that before the war, Syria used to attract around 8.5 million tourists annually. However, in recent years, this number has drastically declined due to safety concerns. By engaging in backpacking tours, travelers can contribute to the recovery of the tourism industry, providing much-needed support to the local communities who depend on tourism for their livelihoods.

Backpacking in Syria also allows travelers to play an active role in promoting cultural exchange and understanding. By immersing themselves in Syrian daily life, backpackers can challenge stereotypes and foster a greater sense of empathy and compassion.

Additionally, backpacking in Syria is an opportunity to witness the resilience and strength of the Syrian people firsthand. Despite the challenges they face, locals continue to welcome visitors with open arms and genuine warmth, showcasing their unwavering spirit.

In conclusion, backpacking in Syria is an adventure that presents both opportunities and challenges. With proper research, caution, and the support of local guides, travelers can explore the rich history, culture, and beauty that Syria has to offer. By engaging in this form of tourism, backpackers can support local communities and contribute to the country’s recovery and revival.

Backpacking in Syria
Backpacking in Syria

What are the Advantages of Backpacking in Syria?

What are the Advantages of Backpacking in Syria?

Backpacking in Syria offers unique opportunities for adventurous travelers to explore a culturally rich and historically significant country in the Middle East. Despite the challenges and safety concerns associated with the region, backpacking in Syria can provide an enriching and off-the-beaten-path experience. From ancient ruins to vibrant markets, Syria offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. In the next section, we will delve deeper into the advantages and attractions of backpacking in Syria.

The Answer to Backpacking in Syria

Backpacking in Syria can be a unique and rewarding experience for adventurous travelers. Despite the ongoing conflict and security concerns in the country, there are a few important things to consider before embarking on such a journey.

Security and Safety

The security situation in Syria remains volatile, and the U.S. Department of State advises against all travel to the country. The conflict has resulted in widespread violence and political instability, making it critically important to prioritize safety. Proximity to active conflict zones, the risk of terrorist attacks, and the unpredictability of the situation should be taken into account.

If you still decide to backpack in Syria, it is essential to stay updated on the latest travel advisories, register with your embassy or consulate, and closely follow the guidance of local authorities. Traveling in a group is also advisable for added security.

Visa and Travel Restrictions

Obtaining a visa for Syria can be a complicated process. The Syrian government has strict entry requirements, and it is recommended to contact the Syrian embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information on visa applications and any travel restrictions in place.

Additionally, make sure to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and trip cancellation or interruption. Access to consular services may be limited in Syria, so it is crucial to have appropriate travel insurance in case of emergencies.

Exploring Syria’s Cultural Heritage

One of the main attractions of backpacking in Syria is the country’s rich cultural heritage. From the ancient city of Damascus to the oasis city of Palmyra and the crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers, Syria offers a treasure trove of historical sites.

However, due to the ongoing conflict, many of these historical sites have been damaged or destroyed. It is essential to research and verify the accessibility and safety of these locations before planning your backpacking itinerary. Additionally, be prepared for possible closures or restricted access to certain areas.

Local Customs and Etiquette

While exploring Syria, it is important to respect the local customs and adhere to Islamic traditions. Modest clothing, particularly for women, is recommended when visiting religious sites or public places. It is also prudent to avoid discussing sensitive political topics or engaging in debates that may provoke disagreement.

Syrian people are known for their hospitality and welcoming nature. Engaging with locals, exploring traditional markets, and trying local cuisines can provide an enriching cultural experience during your backpacking journey.

Final Thoughts

Backpacking in Syria poses significant risks due to the ongoing conflict and security concerns in the country. Travelers must thoroughly research and consider their safety before deciding to embark on such a journey. It is crucial to prioritize security, follow travel advisories, and stay informed about the evolving situation in Syria.

Note: The U.S. Department of State advises against all travel to Syria. Please consult your local government’s travel advisories and contact relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Statistically, according to the U.S. Department of State, there were 214,000 deaths in Syria between March 2011 and October 2021 as a result of the ongoing conflict.

FAQs for Backpacking in Syria

1. Is Syria a safe destination for backpacking?

Traveling to Syria is currently not recommended due to ongoing conflict and security risks. It is important to prioritize your safety and follow the advice of your local authorities and foreign travel advisories.

2. Are there any regions in Syria that are safer for backpackers?

Given the situation in Syria, it is advisable to avoid all travel to the country.

3. Can I obtain a travel visa for Syria?

Visas for Syria are currently not being issued by the Syrian government. It is essential to check with your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information regarding visa regulations.

4. What are the risks of backpacking in Syria?

Traveling to Syria involves significant risks, including armed conflict, terrorism, and the potential for kidnapping or hostage-taking. The situation can rapidly change, making it crucial to follow the advice of your government and avoid all non-essential travel to the country.

5. Are there any travel restrictions in place for Syria?

Many countries have issued strict travel advisories, warning against all travel to Syria. It is important to review the travel advisories of your home country and heed the advice provided.

6. Can I visit historical sites in Syria?

Given the current situation, visiting historical sites in Syria is not recommended. Many archaeological sites have been damaged or destroyed due to the conflict, and the safety of tourists cannot be guaranteed.

7. What should I do if I’m already in Syria and need assistance?

If you are in Syria and require assistance, contact your embassy or consulate immediately. They can provide guidance and support to help ensure your safety.

8. Can I expect reliable infrastructure and amenities for backpacking in Syria?

The ongoing conflict in Syria has severely impacted infrastructure and public amenities, including transportation, hospitals, and accommodations. It is important to consider these factors before planning any travel to the country.

9. Are there any areas near Syria that are recommended for backpackers?

While Syria is not currently considered a safe destination, there are several neighboring countries with rich cultural and historical sites that may be more suitable for backpackers. Consult with travel advisories and consider alternative destinations in the region.

10. What should I know about local customs and culture in Syria?

Syria has a diverse cultural heritage, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. However, due to the ongoing conflict, it is currently not advisable to visit Syria. If the situation improves in the future, research local customs and etiquette before traveling to ensure a respectful and enriching experience.


In conclusion, backpacking in Syria can offer travelers a unique and unforgettable experience. Despite the ongoing conflict and political instability, the country is home to ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. The article highlighted several key points and insights related to backpacking in Syria.

Firstly, it emphasized the importance of thorough research and planning before embarking on a trip to Syria. Understanding the current security situation, obtaining the necessary permits, and seeking local advice can help ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience. Secondly, the article discussed the remarkable historical sites that Syria has to offer, such as the ruins of Palmyra and the ancient city of Damascus. These sites not only showcase the country’s rich history but also provide an opportunity for travelers to appreciate the resilience and beauty that can emerge from even the most challenging circumstances.

Moreover, the article acknowledged the hospitality and warmth of the Syrian people, who have managed to preserve their traditions and way of life amidst adversity. Interacting with locals and immersing oneself in the local culture can greatly enhance the backpacking experience. Lastly, the article also touched upon the importance of being respectful and sensitive to the current situation in Syria, understanding the cultural norms, and supporting local businesses to contribute positively to the rebuilding efforts.

Conclusively, while backpacking in Syria may pose certain risks, the country’s unparalleled historical sites, breathtaking landscapes, and hospitable people make it a destination worth considering for the intrepid traveler. With careful planning, respect for the local culture, and a spirit of adventure, backpacking in Syria can be an enriching and transformative experience.

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