I take my best bar lists very seriously and have given my opinion in many a country and city. What though is the best bar in Damascus? I have opted of rthe Barber Shop, and the reasons might surprise you.
To read 21 reasons to go to Syria click here.
What at is the bar scene in Damascus?
When it come stop bars and nightlife, Syria is a very misunderstood place. Well when it comes to everything it is a misunderstood place. Essentially think what you will about the regime of Assad and the Baath Party, buy Syria is a secular place.
To read about the Baath Party click here.
Nowhere quite tells this story like Damascus. Walking along the streets you see girls and guys dressed in all manor of ways, from very conservative, to dare I say quite sexy. Essential ally people have the choice to dress as they want and do what they want at night, which leads us to Damascus nightlife.
What is the Damascus nightlife scene like?
I thought Lebanon and Beirut were great, particularly after discovering the communist bar, but holy cow Damascus blew me away. Firstly the food is phenomenal, but there is also a real drinking culture.
To read about Syrian cuisine click here.
Bars in Damascus range from literal kiosks, to karaokes, hostess bars, and even nightclubs. It was though when searching for after dinner drinks that I found the best bar in Damascus, the Barber Shop Bar.
To read about Abu Eli Pub click here.
The Best Bar in Damascus
Following one of our many fine dinners, accompanied by arak (of course) I wanted the group to have a nightcap, or two. We went walking through the old town before our guide suggested that we go into the Barber Shop.
I looked at said Barber Shop and it was just that, there was a chair, a mirror and other barbershop related paraphernalia. It was also closed. I explained that it was a barber shop and closed to our guide who insisted it wasn’t. At this point I was getting quite annoyed.
Then we stood outside of the bar and as if by magic a screen was opened and it was in fact a speakeasy. You see the whole Barber Shop part had been a facade. A gimmick, yes, but it was to not be the last one.
What makes the Barber Shop Bar Damascus so Special?
The interior was nothing major to write home about, wit eclectic signs and a strangely New York vibe. The waiters and waitresses had cool uniforms and whenever I went here it was busy.
I personally went for the Long Island Iced Tea, as is my usual tipple and it was great, although not as string as I had found during my jaunt to Beirut – another story.
The vibe here was great and we were all having a good time until my colleague Rob said “you must go to the toilet”. Knowing him quite well this initially scared me a bit, but never one to shy away from a challenge I went.
In the toilet there is a toilet, of course, but it has a big red button next to it, Put a big red button anywhere and someone will touch it, so that is what I did. After this disco lights and 70;s disco came on. Such a simple gimmick, but one that really truly worked.
And yes we spent much of the evening going into the toilet and pressing the red button, such a gimmick, but oh so very cool.
Of course there was more to it than just this, but best bar in Damascus it was to me!
To see the best bar in Damascus come join us on our next tour to Syria.