Prior to the ongoing civil war and refugee crisis, Syria was known for its ancient cities and ruins such as Saladin’s Castle, the Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers, the Roman city of Bosra, and Damascus – the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Since the start of the current conflict, access to healthcare and quality services have been drastically reduced. The public healthcare system that was previously in place has collapsed and more than half the country’s hospitals are closed or partially functioning. Hospitals and other medical centres have been frequently targeted in bombing attacks. There are frequent shortages of essential medicines and basic medical supplies.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Remaining hospitals in Syria typically require upfront payment in cash, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation coverage is a high priority for all travellers, as any serious medical emergency will require evacuation out of Syria. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including coverage for evacuation from an active war zone.
Medical centres, including pharmacies, have been frequent targets during the conflict. As a result, pharmacies and essential medicines are extremely hard to find.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Syria’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review Syria’s regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Due to ongoing conflict, road conditions in Syria are poor and road travel is not safe.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Syria. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
Population: 18.27 million
Official language: Arabic
Time zone: Eastern European Standard Time (EET)
Emergency #: 112
Vaccinations required: No
Risk of malaria: Yes