With your back to the south entrance of the Umayyad Mosque, walk down the small souk facing you. It's the old Gold Souk, aka souk Al Sagha. Look for a sign to "Papa Joseph's", an antique knick-knack shop on the right-hand side above a perfume shop, and follow the narrow stairs all the way up to the shop. From outside the shop, you can look over the lane into partly-excavated Roman baths not seen from street level. The shop keepers keep their generators in the enclave, but it is still easy to see how the Romans built beautiful baths for the brief time the Umayyad Mosque was a church.
Souq Assagha, just off Souq Al Hamidiyeh
Google map: bit.ly/a8cLU1
A unique architectural gem, in a city once remarked upon by Mark Twain.
"No recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was in existence to receive news of it ... There was always a Damascus."
One of the best examples of typical Damascene style.
The unique striped stonework, however, is a gem in itself and arguably the most worthwhile reason to visit. The look, or banding technique known as ablaq is achieved by alternating layers of black basalt with limestone and sandstone, and gives this structure a fascinating black and white decorative appearance.
Comprised of several complex buildings, two wings (the harem and salamlik), courtyards and gardens the Palace is an impressive sight to take in, so set aside a few hours to do it justice.
Address: Suq al-Buzuriyya
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, Apr-Sep 9am-5.30pm, Oct-Mar 9am-3.30pm.
Cost: 150 SP
Damascus has its own character and style. It is cheap and has many great things to see. People are very friendly and warm. They will go out of their way to show me my way.
There are hundreds to monuments to visit. After all it is the oldest capital in the world.
The part I recommend most is Souk Al Hamideah (Al Hamidea Bazar). It was built during the Ottoman Empire.
Al Hamidea Bazar - very famous, can easily be found if you ask anyone in Damascus
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