Hama and Homs, Syria
Between Aleppo and Damascus, Hama is located – a city famous for its huge wooden water-lifting wheels “noria” with a diameter of up to 20 m. The city itself deserves no less attention – thanks to the picturesque river flowing through the center of Hama, the green embankment and beautiful gardens.
According to wholevehicles, there are not as many people here as in Damascus, and the original old city, coupled with an atmosphere of calm and oriental serenity, will allow you to spend a couple of good days here. In addition, Hama is a great place to make radial excursions to the castle of Krak des Chevaliers or the dead cities of Syria. However, it should be borne in mind that without a group tour, you cannot get to Krak des Chevaliers without a transfer in Homs.
How to get to Hama
Two large companies, Al-Ahliah and Kadmous, have their offices in the very center of the city, next to which their buses stop from here throughout the country. Al-Ahliah offers flights to Damascus (2.5 hours on the way), Aleppo (2.5 hours on the way), Homs (45 minutes), Tartus (2 hours), Latakia (3 hours), Idlib (1 hour) and Rakku (5 hours). Almost the same prices and routes are organized by Kadmous, in addition, sending buses to Palmyra (3 hours).
The central bus station is located near the city center, next to the railway station. From there, about four trains depart daily to Damascus (1st/2nd class, 2 hours on the way) and Aleppo (1st/2nd class, 2 hours on the way).
Cuisine and restaurants
The most delicious falafel in the east can be tasted at the Ali Babas cafe next to the Cairo Hotel. Al-Baroudi restaurant on Shoukri al-Quwatli street is the best place for chicken meat lovers. A quiet place where you can drink tea in a European setting is al-Buhturi street. There are also good ice cream parlors and bakeries.
Entertainment and attractions of Hama
The mosques of Al-Jami-al-Kabir, Abu al-Fida and Al-Nuri and the Azem Palace are of interest. It is worth visiting the Hama Museum, the Souq market and the citadel – not the most impressive in Syria, but worth a look.
Homs, the third largest city in the country, is located 160 km north of Damascus, famous for the mosque of Ibn al-Walid with two minarets and the tomb of this legendary Arab commander. Homs is located on the Orontes River, which divides the city into two parts: the eastern one, which is a strip of plain stretching to the Homs irrigation canal, and the western one, with more modern buildings.
Homs is first mentioned around 2300 BC. e. In Roman times, the city was called Emesa, in biblical times, Kadesh. Christianity in Emesa was widespread in the 3rd-7th centuries, and from 636 Emesa was conquered by the Arabs, who gave the city its modern name.
How to get to Homs
The city has two bus stations: a new one for minibuses, which is 8 km from the city center on the road to Damascus; and the main station Karajat Pullman, located 2.5 km on the Hama road. You can get to Karajat Pullman by taxi.
Buses run by Al-Ahliah and Kadmous, as well as smaller private companies, depart from the main bus station. From Homs to Damascus can be reached in 2 hours, Aleppo – 3 hours, Tartus – 1 hour. In addition, there are buses to Hama, but it’s easier to catch a minibus.
Sharia al-Korniche railway station is a 20-minute walk from the city center and can also be reached by taxi. Trains depart from Homs on a new modern line south to Damascus (1st/2nd class) and north to Aleppo.
Cuisine and restaurants
Most of the restaurants and cafes are located in the area of Ghouta and Hamra streets. You should definitely try an analogue of shawarma (but much tastier) – labneh shawarma. Bars and pubs can be easily found on Al Hamidiya Street, with a few fewer around Al Hadara Street.
Entertainment and attractions in Homs
An-Nuri Al-Kabir Mosque, Church of Kanis-umm-Zunnar (Girdle of the Mother of God), Basilica of St. Elian, Church of Liyan of Homs (432), citadel and wall of Homs.