Lonely Planet review
The reigning backpackers' favourite, Al-Rabie offers travellers a tranquil courtyard retreat from the bustling streets of Damascus, as well as simple, clean accommodation and friendly hosts who know what visitors want.
Situated in a big old house on leafy Sharia Bahsa in Souq Saroujah, this is the backpackers' joint winning hearts and minds at the moment. The secret could be the large, leafy courtyard where travellers can curl up on the cushions in the elegant intricately decorated liwan (summer room) and swap travel stories, or write in their journals under the vines at a shady table with the fountain trickling in the background. Another factor could also be the friendly owners, who are eager to please and can organise just about anything from their laundry list of services, such as Arabic lessons (very popular) and rental cars. The spotless and spacious rooms might have something to do with it (although some have very cramped bathrooms), but what really clinches the deal is breakfast - it's been the same cheap price for 10 years!