living in damascus

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living in damascus

Post by x man on Tue May 03, 2011 5:57 pm

If you plan to move to syria and spend some time, it is possible to find nice one bedroom apartments in central damascus for 10000 syrian pounds per month Things tend to get cheaper in the outskirts, and more expensive in the city center during summer months, Food is so cheap that it's actually hard to craft a reliable food budget. Basics like pasta, bread, and water will probably cost less than 50 LS ($1 US) at the market. Street food will cost between 15 and 50 LS ($.3-$1 US). As a rule of thumb, I think 5000 LS ($100 US) per person per month is about right, though if you eat out a lot this can get a lot higher. A decent restaurant meal will cost around 250-500 LS ($5-10 US), city

Microbuses across town cost 5-15 LS. A taxi across town should cost no more than about 50 LS.
If I had to guess, I'd say you could live quite comfortably in a shared two-bedroom apartment on an average budget of about 20,000 LS ($400 US) per month.

The tap water in Damascus is drinkable, so if you are living there you might as well drink it. Many houses have a separate drinking water tap in the kitchen which connects directly to the mains, while the ordinary cold water tap connects to a water tank and really really should not be drunk from (in a friend's house, we found the principal cockroach colony was centred around the house's cold water tank, which had an open top....)

Restaurants, as stated above, range from 100SP-200SP for the cheapest sit-down places, 200-400SP for the midrange places, and 500SP+ if you want something really fancy. If you want a break from Arabic cuisine (Arabic food is great and all, but after a month or two, this is likely), the a meal at one of the Chinese or Indian restaurants will probably set you back 400SP-600SP. There is also a pseudo-Mexican restaurant in Mezzah Villat which is just a bit more expensive.

Also factor in internet access, which can add up if you use it a lot (average 50SP/hour). And mobile phone service, which is crucial if you intend on having any sort of social life in Syria whatsoever. Wink Anonymous

x man
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staying in damascus

Post by pass on Mon May 09, 2011 10:42 pm

There is no real problem with finding short stay rental, as far as I know, as long as you don't mind staying with a Christian family (and up to seven or eight other foreign students) in the old city. This is quite OK in the summer; the old houses with toilet and kitchen across a courtyard lose some of their charm when it gets below 5 degrees, As a room in such a house will cost 5000 - 6000 pounds for a month, and the cheap hostels (Haramain and Rabie) charge I think a night for a bed in a shared room, then if you are going to be staying for a month the room is clearly by far the better deal.
Of course, staying in one of these houses in Bab Touma probably means that if you are at all socially inclined you will end up being dragged out to moderately expensive restaurants or cafes at least every other night by the other residents, and potentially thereby spending far more than you would if you were staying in a cheap hotel. But this is a controllable risk.

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