Hama is well connected by bus with other Syrian towns such as Aleppo, Damascus and Tartus. The bus station is a little way from the town center and the railway station is further away. Trains leave add odd times, but they Aleppo-Damascus route operates comfortable new trains. There is at least a noon and 5pm train to Damascus (there are more though), but check again at the train station or your hotel. Busses depart more frequent and may be more convenient. Even more frequent (and cheaper) are service taxis (e.g. Latakia for 100 SYP), which are especially preferced for short routes such as to Homs.
It is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate. With a population of 854,000 (2009 census), Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria after Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. The city is renowned for its seventeen norias used for watering the gardens, which are locally claimed to date back to 1100 BC. Though historically used for purpose of irrigation, the norias exist today as an almost entirely aesthetic traditional show. The ancient settlement of Hamath was occupied from the early Neolithic to the Iron Age. Remains from the Chalcolithic have been uncovered by Danish archaeologists on the mount on which the former citadel once stood. The excavation took place between 1931 and 1938 under the direction of Harald Ingholt. The stratigraphy is very generalized, which makes detailed comparison to other sites difficult. Level M (6 m or 20 ft thick) contained both white ware (lime-plaster) and true pottery.