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Travelling during Ramadan in Syria and Iran

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Travelling during Ramadan in Syria and Iran

1. Posted by kb7678 (Budding Member 40 posts) 9y

Just want to know if anyone has travelled through these countries during Ramadan and does everything shut down.
Ramadan this year is 19th Sept to 12th Oct would it be best to avoid those countries.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks ;)

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

Don´t know about Iran, but I have travelled in Syria during Ramadan back in 2005 and didn´t have any problems at all. Surprisingly, I found Jordan more strict with Ramadan. About 10% of the people are not a muslim, and also for pregnant women and travellers there are other more loose rules. I was suprised how many people I saw eating, drinking and smoking and as they are used to travellers, they don´t mind you eating something during the day. This is found normal and food stalls and supermarkets were just open. Also taking a shared taxi or bus is no problem, there is no cut on business regarding these aspects.
That said, try to eat and drink inside, that way having respect for the people who do not eat or drink during the day.

By the way, I thought Ramadan was one week earlier than you mentioned starting around the 12th or 13th of September already. Check this thread for more information.


[ Edit: Edited on Aug 5, 2007, at 1:50 PM by Utrecht ]

3. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello KB:)

In Iran, I think people are generally understanding that u are not muslim and dont do as they do.
But I think it could be a pain in the ass, in some ways, to travel in Iran during Ramadam.
Restaurants often close, until sunset, and people may be a bit more short tempered, than usual.
I have heard, that in Iran people will encourage u to eat, smoke etc as u usually do, but I would find it a bit embarassing to do those things, when nobody else is. I dont know what Syria is like. I did not go there, or talk with anybody about it.


4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

It should be noted that travelling during Ramadan in any muslim country changes the expierence you have there. If you are willing to accept that and able to adapt, you should be fine. If you have been to Turkey during Ramadan and outside, you should know what I am talking about.

I have not been in Iran or Syria during Ramadan, but Iran is very strict. I think you should be prepared to buy food and drink in advance the evening before and snack on it in your hotel room during the day. To prevent trouble be very discrete concerning your eating and drinking. Avoid doing it in public. Shift your main meal to the evening just like the muslims around you. In the evening after sunset all shops should be open anyway, so getting food and drink then will never be a problem.

Sorry if I am not much help, but since I am muslim myself I do not feel the restrictions in Ramadan as a non-muslim would. For me it is normal not to eat and drink in Ramadan, even when I am travelling, so closed food stalls don't bother me. For all other travel problems (less frequent or non-operational buses and iftar rush hour) I tend to plan ahead or get a fall-back option.