Jebl Qasioun (Mount Qasioun) is the hill pushing up the northern half of Damascus.
Going up there just before sunset gives an incredible view of the whole city. Look straight ahead, and you see the new city, with the imposing Four Seasons hotel. And to the left, the tightly packed streets of the Old City - with the Umayed Mosque at its heart.
Stroll along the mountain road, or have a coffee in one of the many restaurants or roadside vans selling drinks (all of these places charge a lot more than in the city down below).
Take a taxi up - it's a very very long walk, along an anonymous highway, with no houses.
Taxis cost about 300L from Hamidiyeh, or to save money, take the Bab Touma-Muhajireen serveece bus (10 lira) and get off at Muhajireen. From there a taxi costs 75-100L.
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A Syrian kebab cannot be beaten. They are available in jaaj (chicken) and lahme (lamb) varieties, including the wonderful local garlic mayonnaise.
Also look out for tabbouleh, the wonderful parsley salad, hummus bi lahm (chickpea puree with meat and pinenuts), felafel and labneh (a yogurt dip).
No one should visit Damascus and miss having an ice cream at Bakdash Ice Cream parlour in the Souk Hamidiyeh. (There is an imitator, so beware). Bakdash has mountains of white ice cream in the window, chandeliers, and lots of customers at all hours of the day. You buy a token for 25 Syrian pounds (about 20p) and exchange it for an enormous cone of ice cream that is rolled in pistachio nuts. Yum!
Bang in the middle of the Souk Hamidiyeh. Ask anyone - everyone knows it
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