Deir al-Zur (دير الزور), located on the Euphrates, is the largest and most developed city in Syria’s eastern provinces. While the city offers little in terms of historic remains, it is the most convenient base for visiting a number of archaeological sites in the region. Nearby sites include Tel al-Hariri/Mari (تل الحريري/ماري), Tel al-Salehiyeh/Doura Europos (تل الصالحية/دورا آوروبس), Qalaat al-Rahbeh (قلعة الرحبة), and the dual Byzantine fortifications of Halabiyeh (حلبية) and Zalabiyeh (زلبية).
Nonetheless, Deir al-Zur (دير الزور) itself is not completely devoid of attractions. The city’s museum receives positive reviews, aided by superior labeling and descriptions than most of Syria’s museums. The pedestrian suspension bridge over the Euphrates is the most famous site of Deir al-Zur (دير الزور), and a pleasant place to wander around sunset. There are numerous restaurants nearby, and the views from the bridge, built during the French mandate period, are fantastic. The central market (souq) is also interesting to explore, and the city does have a few late Ottoman-era mosques.
Although the accommodation options in Deir al-Zur (دير الزور) are not wonderful, they are definitely superior to the hotels in nearby al-Raqqa (الرقة). The people in Deir al-Zur (دير الزور) are also more familiar with foreigners, as Syria’s petroleum industry is based here, making the city feel slightly more comfortable. Public transportation around Deir al-Zur (دير الزور) is generally decent, though certain sites require a bit of walking and/or hitchhiking.
Getting There: Deir al-Zur (دير الزور) has regular bus connections with just about every major city in Syria, including Damascus (دمشق), Aleppo (حلب), Homs (حمص), Tartus (طرطوس), Lattakia (اللاذقية), al-Raqqa (الرقة), and al-Hasakeh (الحسكة). There is also a train that travels between Deir al-Zur (دير الزور) and Aleppo (حلب), though the schedule of this train is often inconvenient.
Coordinates: 35°20’41.91″N / 40°09’04.05″E
Transliteration Variants: Deir al-Zor, Deir al-Zour, Deir ez-Zor, Deir ez-Zur, Deir ez-Zour
Rating: (2 / 10)