Road Transport in Syria
Road Transport in Syria Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010
Syria has a good, modern road network, 95% of which is paved.
Public road transport is inexpensive and well scheduled. The government-run Karnak buses connect all major towns and cities; these are air-conditioned, speedy and reliable, but seats need to be reserved at least a day in advance. Pullman buses are run by privately owned companies, which have set up in direct competition with Karnak and are much cheaper.
Microbuses are the lowliest on the bus transport scale and are, in consequence, cheaper and far less comfortable. Microbuses serve the smaller towns and their departures are unscheduled -- the vehicle will depart when it is full. Passengers are set down and picked up at any point along the route, so getting to your destination can be slow.
(Note: If you are a male traveler, you should never sit next to a local woman on a bus, as this is considered extremely impolite. If there are no other seats available, a man should remain standing.)
Service taxis operate on main routes only and cost considerably more than the microbus fare. These shared taxis are usually faster, because they contain only five seats and therefore fill up more quickly. Private taxis, certainly those in Damascus, have meters, although not all drivers will use them.
Car rental is readily available and agents can be found in most of the larger hotels. Petrol is cheap, but of very poor quality. Drive on the right and be prepared to use your horn at any time!