We have just returned from a fabulous trip to Damascus. We loved Syria and found the people to be so friendly, helpful and welcoming. I thought I would pass on the details of the apartment we rented and the guide we used, in case it was of use to anyone planning a visit.
We booked Damascus Rooms through Hostelworld. It was an apartment within walking distance of the Old City. The rooms were clean but basic and only cost £6 each per night. Bayan the owner was so helpful and friendly. He drove us round when we first arrived to make sure we got our bearings and to show us the way to the Old City. The apartment is fabulous value for money.
In order to maximise our limited time, we also decided to book a guide. We had read about Abdul on Trip Advisor and he seemed good. He booked his Bosra and Beyond trip, which I can honestly say was way beyond our expectations. He was a great driver, spoke good English, had a big comfortable car and nothing was too much trouble. I asked him by e mail if he could recommend somewhere for breakfast and if so, could he pick us up from there. He did give suggestions and also offered to take us himself, which is what we opted for. We were out from 9am until 6pm with him, and had a great tour of Bosra plus four other villages of interest. When we got back to the apartment where he was dropping us off, he knew we intended to visit a restaurant in the Old City later when we had showered and changed, so he even insisted on waiting around and picking us up an hour later, at no extra cost to drive us there. Even though he must have been tired, he was concerned that we may not get a table as it looked busy, so he went to the trouble of parking the car up and coming in with us to make sure we were ok.
I really can't praise him enough. His e mail address is email@example.com and he has a web/blog site which is http://syriaroad.blogspot.com/. Hope this is of some use to anyone due to visit Damascus.