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Asia > Middle East > Syria > Rojava > Raqqa


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Travel Warning WARNING: As of late 2018, Raqqa is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). While a sense of normalcy together with former refugees are starting to return, the risk of a renewed conflict remains high. Incidents such as bombings are still commonplace and basic amnesties are lacking. Raqqa remains one of the most dangerous cities on Earth and is not safe for travel. If you must go, consult War zone safety and ensure you are well-protected.
(Information last updated Mar 2018)

Raqqa is a city in Syria, best known for serving as the headquarters of ISIS between 2014 and 2017.


While Raqqa is perhaps best know to the world as the capital of the self-declared Islamic State between 2013-2017, the city has a long history as both a Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine city. Many historic sights and artifacts have however been destroyed or lost during the fight to liberate the city. As of early 2020 the local government is still struggling to bring back basic services, however efforts have been made to save and restore some of the historic buildings and sights within the city.

Get in[edit]

As of 2020, the border with Turkey remains closed, and all other overland routes remain dangerous.

Get around[edit]


Ruins of the Qasr al-Banat castle. The ruins have mostly survived the civil war intact.
Caution Note: Extensive damage has been done to these places by ISIS and the ensuing battles. Do not assume that any of these sites still exist.
  • 1 Great Mosque of Raqqa (الجامع الكبير في الرقة‎). First built in 772 AD, this mosque was extensively damaged during by fighting in 2017. Reconstruction efforts started in late 2019. Great Mosque of Raqqa (Q5599598) on Wikidata Great Mosque of Raqqa on Wikipedia
  • 2 Ruins of Qasr al-Banat Castle. Qasr al-Banat (Q2121443) on Wikidata Qasr al-Banat on Wikipedia
  • 3 Raqqa Museum. Lightly damaged during the civil war, is expected to reopen sometimes during 2020. Raqqa Museum (Q1961862) on Wikidata Raqqa Museum on Wikipedia
  • 4 Raqqa City Walls. Assyrian fortifications, survived the 2017 siege of the city except for a 25-m-long stretch that was demolished to allow Syrian Democratic Forces troops to enter the Old City.
  • Baghdad Gate.






Stay safe[edit]

See the warning in the Syria article.

Go next[edit]

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