There can be few places in the world with a heritage as rich and complex as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old City of Aleppo. It's crammed with delights, from Mamluk mosques to Ottoman palaces, from atmospheric khans to medieval madrasas – all watched over by a splendid citadel on a hill that dominates the city.
If the history isn’t enough to entice you, the atmosphere alone of the Old City should. A visit here is an assault upon the senses: camel carcasses hang outside butcher’s shops, spruikers shout out their wares on offer, and donkeys trot down the cobbled lanes laden with goods. When the chaos becomes too much for you, there are countless alleyways and quiet cul-de-sacs to get lost in, the charming Christian quarter of Al-Jdeida to explore, and a modern city that is worth kicking back in for the café culture and people-watching alone.
From Aleppo, there are myriad day trips to do - to the Dead Cities, Qala’at Samaan and Lake Assad. Then there’s the food – some of the Middle East’s richest and most complex cuisine – and we haven’t even got started on the shopping: olive soap, brocade, textiles and carpets, intricately carved trays and pots, Bedouin jewellery, antiques, and more.