One of the most important historical attractions in Syria, the oasis town of Tadmur is home to the spectacular ancient ruins of Palmyra, surrounded by dry Syrian Desert. Palmyra was once an important caravan stop on the Silk Route, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is best explored by hiking or riding a camel. The easiest way to travel to this ancient site is by a sightseeing tour.
Attractions in Palmyra, the ancient oasis town with spectacular monuments
Palmyra, also known as Tadmur or Tadmor, was once an important city in Syria that had a central position in linking Europe and Asia on the Silk Route. Palmyra is also well-known for the Queen Zenobia who conquered whole Syria and areas of Egypt and Asia. After the 16th century the city was no longer in use but even today you can admire many impressive monuments, the magnificent temple of Ba’al being the most remarkable of them. In addition, there are monumental arches, temples, baths and an ancient theater to be admired. The magnificent ruins of this ancient city are good for hiking in Palmyra, and you can also explore them by riding a camel.
More historical attractions. In the Valley of Tombs outside the ancient city walls you can explore the fascinating ancient tombs. From the ruins of the Arab fortress on the top of a hill there are breathtaking views over the ancient city of Palmyra, the Syrian Desert and the oasis of Tadmur. To learn more about the fascinating history of Palmyra you can visit the archaeological museum of Palmyra, which contains statues and objects excavated from the ruins. Guided tours in Palmyra are available, and most visitors come here with a sightseeing tour. The new town of Tadmor has some shops selling souvenirs. During the annual Palmyra Festival in May there are camel races, folk dancing and music in Palmyra.
Practical information for your stay in Palmyra
Palmyra has a dry desert climate with little or minimal rainfall. During the hot summer months from June to August the temperature in Palmyra is almost unbearably hot, whereas the winter months are mild and cool. The best times to visit Palmyra are in spring and autumn.
How to get there. Palmyra is located in Central Syria approximately 215 northeast from the Syrian capital, Damascus. You can travel to Palmyra by buses from Damascus or from other towns in the country, such as Homs and Deir-az-Zur. The best way to get around Palmyra is on foot. You can also take a camel ride. Taxis and minibuses are available as well. Car rental in Palmyra is an option if you want to visit other destinations in Syria on your own. However, there are good bus connections to several Syrian cities.
Hotels & services. One of the most important travel destinations in Syria, Palmyra offers basic facilities for visitors. There are several budget and mid-range hotels in Palmyra to choose from. The food stands and local restaurants in Palmyra offer local cuisine of varying quality. What comes to the nightlife in Palmyra, the only bars in the region are located at the hotels. Many local people are working in tourism professions and speak some English.
Safety. Palmyra is a quite safe small place with no major crime problems. However, as the region is traditional and Islamic, it is important to dress conservatively and avoid making any political statements.