Can you visit Bosra Syria? The short answer is that while many tour companies do not go here, it is not only safe, but possible to do so. YPT include Bosra on our groups tours to Syria and can include it on independent trips to the country.
What the Bosra?
Bosra (Arabic: بُصْرَىٰ, romanized: Buṣrā), also spelled Bostra, Busrana, Bozrah, Bozra and listed officially as Busra al-Sham is a very small town in Southern Syra. It takes about 90-120 minutes to get here from Damascus and on the trajectory of both Joran and the Golan Heights. Yet despite the proximity it is rarely visited by tourists groups and this is for a number of reasons we shall delve into in a bit.
To read about Baathism click here.
What is the political status of Bosra and why don’t people visit?
The Syrian Civil War is hotbed of controversy and certainly not one we intend to get too far into today. The war though is largely over, except for areas controlled by Turkish backed troops, Kurds (such as Rojava), as well as Islamist groups such as Al Nusra.
To read about Rojava click here.
Since the war has largely stopped there has been somewhat of a truth and reconciliation movement. This has largely meant areas being robsorbed into the regime of Assad, but also greyer areas such as Bosra.
Since 2018 the area has technically rejoined Syria, BUT there are checkpoints outside and for all intents they police and run themselves. This makes it quite an anomaly with there being no pictures of Assad, green rebel flags, but also seemingly no animosity, nor want for war on either side.
The negative part here though is that lack of government soldiers means that the archaeological sites are being stripped of anything valuable. You will be offered ancient coins here which are either fake, or will get you arrested if you try to smuggle them. Do not buy them.
What is there to see in Bosra?
You travel from Damascus to Bosra to see living history, namely the Bosra Roman Theater, the Bosra Old Town which feature Christian churches, mosques and Madrasahs, as well as a the remains of the era.
Allegedly the mosque in the old town is the oldest in Syria, but alas we did not get to see inside.
Eating and drinking in Bosra Syria
Being such a special place we arranged a very special meal, which consisted of Arabic style and under a tent. There was chicken, rice, lots of interesting vegetable dishes and it was genuinely of the best meals we had in Syria.
This was followed by a second tent and some heavy duty singing and dancing Arabic style, washed down with either tea, or coffee. This was hosted by the Trajan restaurant, literally the only one in town.
Is it worth visiting Bosra Syria?
At just a few hours from Damascus it is very much worth visiting here and back in the day it would have rocking with tourists. This is very much evident from the old gift shops selling worn out fridge magnets for way over the odds, as well as the hawkers trying to flog you fake antiques.
This sadly shows the situation they are currently in which is essentially a grey zone between being controlled by the government, as well as flying their flag and being free. And while this is the case, it is unlikely that the tourists will be rushing back any time soon. Do not though let this deter you in any way shape, or form.
If you want to visit this wonderful place then join a YPT Syria Tour.