Male and female tourists are usually permitted to dress as they would in their native countries. Contrary to popular belief, women are permitted to wear T-shirts and long-sleeved tops are not required until visiting a holy place. When visiting Muslim holy places, visitors should wear head coverings. To visit Christian religious places, dress as you would usually do in the West, but avoid wearing shorts in churches. Many local ladies, particularly in Christian neighborhoods, dress in Western clothing. Shorts are popular among both men and women. Be aware of your surroundings; outside of tourist areas, it is best to dress more modestly.
Women who want to draw less attention should wear shirts that reach the elbow and have no cleavage showing. In Damascus, T-shirts and jeans are acceptable clothing.
Most Syrians believe that if you are of European heritage, you are a practicing Christian. Because religion has such a significant impact on Syrian social and cultural life, most Syrians will be perplexed if you claim to be an atheist. However, a significant proportion of Syrians are neither practicing Christians or Muslims and do not conceal their lack of religious connection, despite the fact that Syria is officially a fiercely secular nation. When it comes to religion, the seaside regions are considerably more progressive, as are the parts of Damascus most visited by Western visitors, such as Bab Touma, the Christian Quarter. People get more conservative as you go east. To avoid lengthy intellectual debates, it is preferable to avoid identifying as an atheist or a non-practicing Christian.
Syria considers Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights to be unconstitutional. Because of the occupation, Syrians have unfavorable opinions of Israel. There is still a tiny Syrian Jewish population in Damascus, and they face harsh persecution and intimidation from the government. Avoid any argument about Israel unless you have a passion for lengthy debates.