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Money & costs


Very few banks will change travellers cheques so it’s best to leave them at home and bring US dollars instead, withdraw cash using your ATM card or get cash advances on your credit card.

There are dozens of branches of the Commercial Bank of Syria (CBS) all over Damascus, with the main branches at Saahat Yousef al-Azmeh (8.30am-8pm Sat-Thu, to 2pm Fri), opposite the Hejaz train station, on Sharia Bur Said, at the corner of Sharia Said al-Jabri and Sharia Jumhuriyya, on the west side of Al-Merjeh and at Bab ash-Sharqi. Branches keep the same opening hours. Most have ATMs, as do the many new private banks that have opened in recent years, including Bank Audi, Byblos Bank and the Real Estate Bank of Syria. There is also an ATM at the airport, although it often runs out of money.