With a population of 1,600,000 Homs is the third large city in Syria after the capital Damascus and Aleppo. It is centrally positioned in Syria and is home to Al-Baath University among other institutes. There are many restaurants and hotels. The old name for the city of Homs is "Emissa" or "Emizza", but in standard Arabic it is called "Hims", and "Homs" is its informal name.
There is no airport in Hims; however, you can reach the city by taxi, private car, or bus from the airports at Damascus, Aleppo, or Lattakia, or other ports if you are arriving from outside of Syria. There are bus stations in every city which provide service to reach Hims. The bus service costs 200 Syrian pounds from Damascus, Aleppo, or Lattakia, but it costs more if you are coming from cities further away.
There are many places where tourists frequently visit in Hims including: Khaled ibnul Waleed Masjed (in arabic: مسجد خالد بن الوليد), Alnoori Grand Masjed (in arabic: المسجد النوري الكبير), Ommel Zinnar Church (in arabic:كنيسة أم الزنار) and other places, There is a castle in Hims city named "Ossama Castle" but it is just a few ruins now. There are many Masjeds in Hims: Masjed Qubaa in Alinsha'at, Omer ibnul Khattab in Ghouta, and Masjed Arra'es in Alwa'er.
Go to the mountains, 45 km from the city center: Mashta el Helou, Marmarita, Jwykhat, Krak des Chevaliers.
There you can enjoy the cool weather, the beautiful view, or camp if you have a tent. Please note that a camping permit might be needed.
There are many restaurants in Hims in Ghouta street and Hamra street and others near city center . If you are just passing though the city, definitely try the "labneh shawarma" at the big food stall inside the Homs bus station.
You can find many pubs and bars to have a drink, especially in Al Hamidiya street and some in Al Hadara Street. Try Arak, the local Syrian drink
There are many hotels in Hims, the most popular is Al Safir Hotel, Ragheb Al Jamali St, Homs, ☎ +963 31 211 2400, . editThere is also Homs Grand Hotel (HGH), M5 st, Homs, ☎ +963 31 278 0278. (34.71295,36.71311) edit, and other cheaper hotels near the city center and Damascus road (in arabic:طريق الشام) .
Since the Syrian Civil War the streets of Hims are not at all safe. People have reported some kidnappings from empty streets as well as busy streets in the middle of the day. Walk with caution!
Some areas are off limits for normal people and is only accessible to military soldiers. There are also streets and/or districts which are completely closed for cars and entry is restricted to walking and bicycles.
Normally the fights between the rebels and the military are away from city and people, but infrequently random flying bullets can be found in the streets of the normal areas.
The city of Hims is full of snitchers, and they know what they are doing. You might not notice the loss of your belongings until you start to look for them or need them (i.e.: wallet, phone and watch). Be careful.
Also beggars are everywhere and they will not stop following you until you give them money; however, if you give them money and they see you as a potential, they might call their friends. The best advice is just ignoring them until they leave.