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Shopping in Damascus

Key areas

The best place to start shopping for crafts is the Tekkiye Suleymaniyye, where prices are fixed, the Hamidiyye Souk and the streets around the Umayyad Mosque where you need to bargain. The eastern end of Straight Street towards Bab Sharqi has several antiques and carpet dealers.
George Dabdoub, next to the Azem Palace in the Old City, stocks an excellent selection of antiques, carpets, textiles and ceramics as well as warehouses with old furniture. It is closed on Saturdays. Ghraoui, al-Muhafaza Building, Sharia al-Joumhouria, is famous all over the Arab world for its excellent chocolates, stuffed dates and glazed fruits.


The Grand Souk al-Hamidiyeh is the most famous souk in Syria. Sackfuls of spices, sweets and soaps are all on offer, as well as the local speciality of rosewater and almond-flavoured ice cream topped with pistachio nuts, available from the country's oldest ice-cream parlour, Bakdash. The Souk al-Bazuriye is good for spices and sweetmeats.

Shopping centres

For indoor shopping, head to Damasquino Mall, next to the Cham Centre in Kafr Sousah, where you can buy local handicrafts for fixed prices.

Opening hours

Shopping hours in Damascus vary but are mostly from 0930-1900, with some shops closing from 1330-1600, particularly in summer. The souks are closed on Friday, except for the Christian Quarter where they close on Sunday.

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Featured Hotels


Four Seasons Hotel Damascus

The Four Seasons Hotel is the top hotel in town, and with 23 storeys it has become a landmark on the Damascus skyline. Set in a landscaped park, opposite the National Museum, it is only a short walk from the old city. The rooms are sumptuously decorated and have great views over Damascus and the Barada River.

Cham Palace

The Cham Palace, located right in the heart of the city, is one of the oldest luxury hotels in Damascus. The rooms command great views over the city and Mount Qassioun and the lobby is a popular meeting point for Syrian businessmen. The hotel has five good restaurants, including the Étoile d'Or, the city's only revolving restaurant, on the top floor.

Omayad Hotel Damascus

Centrally located, Omayad Hote Damascus is a popular four-star business hotel in Damascus. The hotel has a grand lobby and spacious soundproofed rooms with air conditioning, satellite TV and a free Wi-Fi internet connection.

Sultan Hotel

For many years now the best budget option in Damascus, the Sultan is popular with travellers for its excellent location near the old city, its friendly and helpful staff and the basic, but clean rooms with an unchanged motel-style1960s décor. It is advisable to book ahead.

Beit al-Mamlouka

Damascus's first boutique hotel is in a grand 17th-century city house, built around a central courtyard with fragrant citrus trees and a fountain. The eight luxurious bedrooms are each decorated in a particular style reflecting a period of history and using traditional Syrian furniture and crafts.

Beit Rumman

Beit Rumman is a recent addition to Damascus's burgeoning boutique hotel scene. Located in Bab Touma, Beit Rumman is a converted, 17th-century house complete with its own cellar and courtyard. It offers six bedrooms, each uniquely decorated.