Damascus’ night life is the most delicious and tender nightlife among the traditional cities all over the world, I tried to surf the net looking for how foreign people spent their visits in Damascus and the most important thing I have found is that all of them memorize the names of the most important or the small unknown bars and restaurants in Syria. I have chosen some of the huge number of quotes about the nightlife in Syria.
Anastasia T a British tourist
“If you plan to go out Friday night, and you want to really enjoy it, you will need a table .If you show up last moment it is difficult to happen, so try to make a reservation from before .If you don’t mind standing with your drink, bag, coat, being pushed by everybody, you have to show up early .If you are boys alone…things are difficult for the last moment choice. If you are girls alone, probably you will go in anyway, even if the only place free is the ceiling!!!”
There are many good choices.
1) Laterna; Very trendy, behind Cham Palace Hotel.
2) Underground, at Abu Romane.
4) Sheraton Hotel Pub and Club, the pub it’s a cool place, when i went to the disco, there weren’t many people, but it was at the middle of the week.
6) Dedeman disco, entrance fee is 500 SYP .It is quite pleasant. The good thing is that there is space to dance.
Oxygen: Have fun!!
It is very beautiful bar and restaurant, romantic atmosphere, music is variable, but there are two people playing live violin and piano (just for a while). It is worth trying, even though it is considered a little bit expensive. If you want to eat the prices are high, but for a glass of wine it is 200 SYP, and if you try it I am sure you will like it.
Dress Code: Don’t go like the typical tourist who goes to museum. Dress well!
Bavavia- Spanish tourist
“I noticed several little places along the way in old Damascus that were cozy little places you can go for a nice glass of wine and maybe a small meal…This restaurant was along a little narrow alley in old Damascus. It turned into a Piano Bar later at night and even karaoke! It was nice and comfortable.”
Riha, American tourist
Cinema! Not much of a choice here… especially good movies… and even more movies in English. One exception I found is the cinema belonging to the very posh Cham Palace Hotel. Not much of a movie choice either – mainly Hollywood blockbusters, but they’re in English. If you’re not a fan of such films just know that this is about the best you can get: all other movie theatres show really bad B (C or D) movies, preferably martial arts movies! If this is not bad enough, just keep in mind that all movies are heavily censored! Not much fun! The Cham Cinema in comparison is an oasis of happiness!
Dress Code: none that I know of
Maykal, an American tourist
Well, there’s not really much nightlife to be had in Damascus, although there are some ‘OK’ bars/clubs in the Christian Quarter of the old city (Bab Touma). The most popular with foreign students seems to be Marmar, not far from Elissar restaurant (turn right when entering Bab Touma gate). It is very small though. Apart from that, there are lots of cinemas, but most of them are flea-pits. Cham Palace Hotel has a good cinema showing recent films in English, and there is also another good cinema nearby. The British Council sometimes shows videos, although when I went, they only had ‘Casablanca’! Cafes are a good place to spend the evening. Sometimes there are concerts held at the Damascus’ Music Institute or in churches in the old city, but these can be quite hard to find out about. Cafes usually stay open until around 10pm, and the Souq al-Hamidiyeh is normally busy until 9pm, so shopping, drinking tea, playing backgammon and smoking nargileh is a popular way to spend the evening. If you like to see and be seen, then the place to head for is Qassa’a, north of Bab Touma, where Damascus’ beautiful people parade up and down the shopping streets until late.
Marmar: A good place to drink in Damascus
If you would go to Elissar for a dinner, Marmar would be a good place to go afterwards. It offers a full-bar, including some very good local beers. A DJ starts playing dance music around 10pm. on weekends.
Daneil, French tourist
All right people, those are few tips on clubbing in Damascus, Syria. First, you need to know that there are two different kinds of nightclubs in Damascus; the 1st is for men customers only where more or less prostitutes dance, and men pay money to have drinks with them, and probably some extra stuff. The 2nd kind of nightclubs is the normal ones where friends or couples go out at night to have fun. for the 2nd kind of clubs there are many in Damascus and as far as i know the best are the followings: Platinum (close to four seasons hotel in central Damascus), Laterna (29 Ayar st, central Damascus), Back-Door (next to Barada sports club), and Le Serail (Bab sharqi, on the wall of the old city), and there are other smaller bars in the old city like Piano Bar and Marmar which are not bad at all.
Adam, French tourist
Hidden Roman baths at the heart of the souk
With your back to the southern entrance of the Umayyad Mosque, walk down to the small souk facing you, it is the old Gold Souk, aka souk Al Sagha. Look for a sign to ‘Papa Joseph’s’, an antique knick-knack shop on the right-hand side above a perfume shop, and follow the narrow stairs all the way up to the bath, and from outside the shop, you can look over the lane into partly-excavated Roman baths not seen from street level. The shop keepers keep their generators in the enclave, but it is still easy to see how the Romans built beautiful baths. For the brief time the Umayyad Mosque was a church.
This is what I have found to describe Damascus according to the tourists and their testimonies on the internet. I hope you have fun in Damascus, and try to keep smiling… it is Damascus, so every time you dance or drink remember that you are celebrating in the oldest civilized city ever and that you might be dancing on the same spot that an ancient man danced on 3000 years ago.