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Syria - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events

Facts for the traveller for Syria

Qala'at al-Hosn (Castle of the Knights), Crac des Chevaliers Visas: Most foreigners need a visa, available at consulates or in some cases on arrival. If there is evidence of a visit to Israel in your passport, you won't be allowed in. Tourist visas are valid for 15 days and must be used within one month of being issued. Extensions are available.
Time: GMT/UTC +2
Dialling Code: 963
Electricity: 220V ,50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

When to Go to Syria

Spring (April to June) is the best time to visit, as temperatures are mild and the winter rains have cleared the haze that clogs up the views during the rest of the year. Autumn (September to November) is the next-best choice. If you go in summer (June to August), don't be caught without a hat, sunscreen and water bottle, especially if you're going to Palmyra or the north-east. Winter can be downright unpleasant on the coast and in the mountains, when temperatures drop and the rains begin.

Syria Events

Not surprisingly, Syrian holidays and festivals are mostly Islamic. The big one is Ramadan, a month (the date changes every year) when everyone fasts between sunup and sunset to conform to the fourth pillar of Islam. If you're in Syria at this time, be sensitive to the fact that most of the people around you are very, very hungry. Ramadan ends with a huge feast, Eid al-Fitr, where everyone prays together, visits friends, gives presents and stuffs themselves. Eid al-Adah, another moveable event, is the other big feast of the year, and marks the time when Muslims should make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Non-religious holidays include the enticingly named Evacuation Day, on 17 April, and Correctionist Movement Day, on 16 November.

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