Homs (حمص) is the third largest city in Syria. Much of the city was destroyed or damaged during the ongoing Syrian Civil War, particularly during the Siege of Homs (2011—14). Rebuilding began in 2018.
With a population of 1.6 million, Homs is the third large city in Syria after the capital Damascus and Aleppo. It is centrally positioned in Syria and is home to Al-Baath University among other institutes. There are many restaurants and hotels. The old name for the city of Homs is "Emissa" or "Emizza" but in standard Arabic it is called "Hims" and "Homs" is its informal name.
There is no airport in Homs; however, you can reach the city by taxi, private car, or bus from the airports at Damascus, Aleppo, or Lattakia, or other ports of you are arriving from outside of Syria. There are bus stations in every city which provide service to reach Homs.
There are no trains to Homs, however services from Damascus are expected to return during 2020 or 2021.
- 1 Homs railway station.
- 1 Citadel of Homs (قلعة حمص). Built on an ancient tell dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE, a castle has been standing here since Roman times. However, it is mostly associated with the medieval knight Usama ibn Munqidh and the castle is often referred to as Osama castle. The ancient structures where leveled during the 1830s and now only ruins remains.
- 2 Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque (مسجد خالد ابن الوليد). Noted for its Ottoman-Turkish architectural style, the mosque is dedicated to Khalid ibn al-Walid, an Arab military commander who led the Muslim conquest of Syria in the 7th century CE following the decisive Battle of Yarmouk, which put an end to Byzantine rule in Syria.
- 3 Great Mosque of al-Nuri (جامع النوري الكبي).
- 4 Church of Saint Elian (كنيسة مار اليان), Tarafa bin al-Abd St. Greek Orthodox church consecrated in AD 432.
- 5 Forty Martyrs Cathedral (كاتدرائية الأربعين شهيدا). The largest Greek Orthodox cathedral in the city.
- 6 Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt (كاتدرائية السيدة العذراء أم الزنار). Also known as Um Al Zennar (كنيسة أم الزنار), this Syriac Orthodox church was first consecrated in 59 AD. The current structure dates back to the 9th century AD.
Go to the mountains, 45 km from the city center:
- Mashta el Helou
- Crack des Chevalier
There you can enjoy the cool weather, the beautiful view, or camp if you have a tent. A camping permit might be needed.
There are many restaurants in Homs in Ghouta street and Hamra street and others near city center.
If you are just passing though the city, definitely try the labneh shawarma at the big food stall inside the Homs bus station.
You can find many pubs and bars to have a drink, specially in Al Hamidiya street, and some in Al hadara Street.
Try Arak the local Syrian drink
There are many hotels in Homs
See the travel warning at Syria.