The shortest tourist hand book of Damascus, ever

Being in Damascus is just like being in an very old big
library; you cannot discover all what it may contain if you do not have someone
to tell you about the things that many dictionaries and Tourist
guides come short off. Here you can find a list of the most amazing and visit-worthy
places in Damascus.

Pilgrimage sites

Tomb of Lady Zaynab, daughter of Imam Ali and Sayyida Fatima

Bab Saghir (also called “Goristan-e-Ghariban”), a
street with cemeteries on either sides of the road.

Tomb of Lady Ruqayya: Daughter of Imam Hussein.

Tomb of Lady Umm Kulthum: sister of Imam Hussein.

Tomb of the Prophet’s wives (ummahat al-mu’mineen): Umm
Salma and Umm Habiba.

Tomb of Lady Fidha, the maid of Sayyida Fatima (the
Prophet’s daughter).

Tomb of Hujr Ibn Adi, companion of Imam Ali.

Tomb of Kamaid bin Aswad al-Kindi, companion of Imam Ali.

Tomb of Abdullah b. Ja’far al-Tayyar, husband and cousin of
Lady Zaynab.

Tomb of Obay ibn Ka’b: husband of Halima, nursing mother of
the Prophet.

Tomb of Bilal al-Habashi, the Muazzin of the Holy Prophet.

Tomb of Abdullah bin Umm Maktoum – Muazzin.

Tomb of Abdullah b. Imam Zaynul Abideen .

Tomb of Abdullah b. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq.

Tomb of Fatima Sughra bint Imam Husayn.

Maqam Ra’s Shuhada, the burial place of the heads of the
martyrs of Karbala. Also called “ganj-e-sarha-e-shuhada-e-Karbala”


The Prison

This place can be
reached by walking through Souk Hamidiyya (i.e. the Hamidiyya bazaar).

Mausoleum of Sakina: daughter of Imam Hussein

Prison of Ahlul Bayt.

Pulpit (minbar) of Imam Zaynul Abideen.

Niche (mihrab) where Imam Zaynul Abideen used to say his
prayers, the place where Imam Zaynul Abideen prayed when he went to take the
head of Imam Hussein.

Umayyad Mosque

Within walking distance from the Prison:

The Pulpit from which Imam Zaynul Abidin delivered a sermon
before Yazid.

Grave of Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist) son of Prophet

Maqam Ra’sul Hussein. Place where the head of Imam Hussein
is said to have been buried .

Place where the head of Imam Hussein was kept in Yazid’s

Salera (Hill) Cave of Ashab al-Kahf


Masjid Sulayman

Small Masjid

Footprint of Imam Ali

Sermon (khutba) written by Imam Ali on stone with his finger

6 Another Hill (dangerous to ascend)

Place where Qabil killed his brother Habil (sons of Adam)

The “two eyes” from which water drops like tears

Fingerprint of the Archangel Jibrail

Forty (arbain) Mosallas: place where 40 prophets are buried

Historic sites

  1. House of Hinda – the
    pious wife of Yazid
  2. 1300 years old door in the
    bazaar of Damascus
  3. Well of Prophet Hud and a
    stone pot for wudu
  4. Hejaz Railway
  5. Bimaristan an-Nuri
  6. The Citadel
  7. Saladin (Selahedin) statue
  8. Takiyya Suleimaniah Souq
  9. St Ananias Chapel
  10. Saladin (Selahedin)
  11. The National Museum of
  12. Mount Qassioun (Jebal
  13. Al Azem Palace (Palace of
    As’ad, Pasha al-‘Azm)
  14. Khan Asaad Pasha

Visiting all the places above will take you five or seven
days and you will need a place to spend your nights. So, here is a list of all the
hotels you can stay at if you want your visit to Damascus to be a memorable one:

Afamia Hotel, Central Damascus

After a recent renovation, the Afamia is arguably Damascus’
best value mid-range hotel. With comfortable, well-equipped rooms, friendly and
accommodating staff, and a central location.

Al Faradis Hotel, Central Damascus

This comfortable four-star business hotel is in an excellent
location, perfect for shopping the souqs as well as the odd pilgrimage – the
hotel does a roaring trade hosting tour groups from Iran.

Al-Haramain Hotel, Central Damascus

In a ramshackle old house on a leafy alley, Al-Haramain is a
long-standing backpacker favorite. While the amenities are basic, the hotel
goes a long way in making up for them with friendly recopies .

Al-Madinah , City Centre

Recently renovated and centrally located, just a block from
the National Museum and Handicrafts Lane, Hotel Al-Madinah, or the City Hotel.

Al-Rabie Hotel, Central Damascus

The reigning backpackers’ favorite, Al-Rabie offers
travelers a tranquil courtyard retreat from the bustling streets of Damascus,
as well as simple, clean accommodation and friendly hosts .

Al-Rais Hotel, City Centre

With the sheer number of Syrian and other Arab women staying
here on shopping excursions, this is one budget hotel in the Al-Shouhada Square
district where solo women travelers will feel safe.

Art House, West of Damascus

In an exquisitely restored old stone mill, this elegant
boutique sleep is much more than a hotel. With regular art exhibitions, musical
concerts and tai-chi classes, and a relaxing creek-side

Balkiss Hotel, Central Damascus

The receptionist might be indifferent, preferring his
newspaper to conversation, but the accommodation here is good value and an
excellent choice for male travelers.

Beit Al Mamlouka, Eastern Old City

Occupying a splendid 17th century house on a busy narrow
alley in the Christian Quarter, this intimate boutique hotel offers up a
singular experience – the chance to stay in an exquisite old Damascus

Cham Palace, Central Damascus

Damascus’ most elegant five star until the Four Seasons came
to town, the Cham Palace retains a certain oriental glamour and charm that
remains unmatched. Its enduring popularity with locals is e…

City Hotel, Central Damascus

Also known as the Hotel al-Medina, this recently renovated
and centrally located hotel offers decent comfort levels at a respectable
price. The rooms come with fridge, satellite TV and hairdryer.

Dar Al Yasmin, Eastern Old City

In a restored old Damascene house with grey granite and
white striped walls, traditional decor, and elegant courtyards with trickling

Four Seasons Hotel Damascus, Central Damascus

Conveniently situated opposite to the National Museum and
close to the chic shopping and cafes in the new town, this plush piece of
paradise in dusty downtown Damascus is ideal for pre-trip relaxation.

Ghazal Hotel, Central Damascus

A welcome addition to the Souq Saroujah accommodation scene,
this budget hotel, owned by three friendly brothers, is a relaxing if somewhat
off-beat place to stay in this popular area of Damascus

Hotel Talisman, Central Old City

In an elegant, restored Jewish palace down a dusty alley in
the crumbling Al-Jdeida quarter of Damascus’ Old City, Talisman offers up a
true One Thousand and One Nights experience.

Omayyad Hotel, City Centre

It’s easy to see why the Omayyad Hotel is a local
institution – until the Four Seasons opened, the city’s elite wouldn’t have
thought of holding their weddings anywhere else.

Orient Palace Hotel, Central Damascus

If you want to add your name to the long list of rich and
famous who have checked in to this faded Art Deco beauty (the list includes
Agatha Christie, King Faisal, and the Shah of Persia.

Sultan Hotel, Central Damascus

The kitsch Arabian Nights-style common areas and long list
of services are the big attraction at this mid-range hotel, a long-standing
traveler’s favorite, just west of the Hejaz train station.



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