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Aleppo

Getting there & away

Contents

Land

Car & motorcycle

Europcar (222 4854; fax 223 2302; car-rental.europcar.com; 8am-7pm) has an office at Baghdad Station but cars can be booked online.

Train

Aleppo’s train station, known as Baghdad Station, is about 1.5km north of the centre in Al-Aziziah. To walk from here down to the vicinity of the budget hotel district takes about 25 minutes; head due south from the station, keeping the park on your right, until you reach a large open square (Saahat Saad Allah al-Jabri), at which point take a left down Sharia al-Quwatli.

Trains to Lattakia (1st class express/1st class/2nd class S£120/80/50, 2½ or 3½ hours) depart around four times a day, usually two in the morning and two in the afternoon. There are six return trains, including two additional evening services. Most travellers love this wonderfully scenic trip. Services to Damascus (1st class/2nd class/sleeper S£240/120/350, 4½ hours) via Homs and Hama operate four times a day on fast new trains: two early in the morning, one in the afternoon and one overnight.

Trains operate between Aleppo and Istanbul via Konya three times a week, with a sleeper service (by far the best and safest option) once a week. At the time of research trains departed Istanbul for Aleppo (single/twin berth sleeper $US40/60) on Sunday morning, arriving in Aleppo Monday afternoon, and departed Aleppo for Istanbul (single/twin berth sleeper S£5000/7000) on Tuesday morning, arriving in Istanbul Wednesday night.

There’s also a weekly train to Tehran via Lake Van in Turkey, where passengers alight and ferry across the lake to meet the Iranian train. Check times and fares on www.tcdd.gov.tr.

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Air

Aleppo has an international airport with connections to Turkey, Europe and other cities in the Middle East. SyrianAir (www.syriaair.com; Reservations224 1232, 222 0501; Sharia al-Baron; Saahat Saad Allah al-Jabri) has weekly flights to Istanbul and Cairo and several daily flights to Damascus (from S£1200, one hour). Other airline offices:

Air France (223 2238; Sharia al-Baron)

KLM (221 1074; Sharia al-Baron)

Lufthansa (222 3005; Sharia al-Baron)

Those flying in should take a taxi from outside the airport terminal hall. It takes around 20 minutes to reach the city centre and will cost about S£500. A return taxi will cost a little less.

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