The ULTIMATE Lebanon Travel Guide for 2024: Insider’s Tips

View of Byblos marina

Thinking of traveling to Lebanon? You’re not alone! This underrated country in the Middle East is so much more than meets the eye, and more and more travelers realize this every year! A true gem of Middle Eastern charm, full of hidden delights and centuries of fascinating, mournful history, Lebanon reigns true as the most unforgettable vacation destination out there!

As a devoted local to this extraordinary place, I’ve put together this Lebanon travel guide to make planning easy! I’ll share some essential things to know and all the most UNMISSABLE places to visit in Lebanon. I’ve also given some hotel recommendations that you’ll love!

Don’t miss the last section, where I talk all about practical information and a few local’s tips and tricks to get you started when you visit Lebanon and make your trip as smooth as it can be. By the end, you may well be as devoted as me!

Don’t forget to book everything quickly! Since Lebanon is becoming super popular, you may find the best places get booked fast – especially hotels, which can get super expensive if you book last minute!

Ta-l Ma3ay!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

If you’re here for a grab-n’-go, no fear! Here are all the best things you can book for your ultimate trip to Lebanon!

And here are the best hotels: Grand Kadri, Zahle (luxury), Dar Alma, Tyre (mid-range), Hostel Beirut (budget)

Lebanon is a teeny tiny country in the Middle East, but you still need to know where everything is so you can plan accordingly! Here’s a map of all the best places to visit in Lebanon:

Lebanon travel: things to know before you go

view of Beirut from above

Planning a vacay in the Middle East can get stressful, I know – but I’m here to make your life easier! Let’s go through all the things you’ll need to know before you go, and by the end, you’ll know all the most essential things for your vacay in this beautiful country!

First off, take US dollars with you! The official currency (for now, the economic crisis changes things all the time) is the Lebanese Pound, but you’ll be unlikely to find that in your home country, so just take American dollars and exchange them when you get there – more on that in the practical info section!

Remember to take all the cash you’ll need for your trip. ATMs are a no-no in Lebanon, and banks have extortionate exchange rates that will make your bank account want to cry, so take all the cash you plan to spend!

Since you’ll be traveling around the entire country, I recommend downloading maps.me on your smartphone before you go. You’ll need to download the offline map of Lebanon while you have Wi-Fi so that if you don’t have internet in certain places (like the mountains), you can still easily get around. Trust me, it’s essential!

a woman walking down a street next to buildings

Something really important to bear in mind is that you won’t be able to enter Lebanon if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport. Nowadays, the Israeli border force tends to give out stamped paper rather than passport stamps, but if you have an old stamp, you may not be allowed into Lebanon. The 2 countries aren’t exactly the best of friends, so if you need to get a new passport before you go, plan accordingly!

Stamps from other countries are totally fine 🙂 If you’re unsure, just contact the Lebanese embassy in your country!

We’ll go into more detail about getting around in the practical info section, but just make sure you download Uber before you go! It’s super reliable, inexpensive, and great to get around the more populated areas of Lebanon.

And finally, whatever time of year you’re traveling, you’ll need to make sure you pack some modest clothing! If you’re visiting different areas of Lebanon, you’ll come across all sorts of fascinating micro-societies, and different religions, all with different cultural expectations. So plan accordingly – think shirts with sleeves, skirts that cover your knees, and a headscarf (just a normal scarf will do) if you plan to explore religious buildings.

As a final note, you may need travel insurance – to be specific, health insurance! Medical care is expensive in Lebanon, so make sure you have insurance!

Places to visit in Lebanon

Now that you’re all packed and ready to go, let’s get into all the best things to do in Lebanon that you absolutely CANNOT miss! I’ll be going through the list by area so that you can plan your days accordingly. Ready? Yalla

1. Beirut

Young mother and a kid walking in the old town of Beirut

Regardless of your plans, the first place you’ll go when visiting Lebanon is Beirut since Beirut International Airport is right there! I definitely recommend taking the time to explore Beirut before you venture out into real Lebanon, as there’s a real smorgasbord of awesome activities, food, culture, and sea views to discover!

Grab some grub!

If you’ve got a whole day of exploring, you’ll need some sustenance! Luckily, Lebanese cuisine is arguably the best in the UNIVERSE, so sit tight and listen up!

Lebanese food

Hit up Abou Hassan for the best breakfast of your LIFE, and I promise you’ll have enough to sustain yourself the whole day! Get some eggs with halloumi, foul (beans), hummus bi lahme (hummus with meat), and fatteh with fresh eggplant!

Quick lunch while you’re exploring? Barbar is WINNING, and they serve the cheesiest manouche you’ve ever had – it’s like a calzone but with fluffier dough and filled with so many gorgeous, amazing things… I’m drooling just thinking about it! 

And for dinner, you’ve got so many classics, but I’d definitely recommend checking out Seza! This is a really cute hidden gem, and most people don’t even know it exists! Armenian food is super popular in Beirut, but most restaurants like this can actually be expensive!

However, Seza is slightly cheaper, always lovely and quiet, has a really nice outdoor seating area, and serves the MOST amazing basterma cheese rolls. You haven’t lived if you haven’t tried one (or several)!

Get spiritual at Mohammad Al Amin Mosque & St George Cathedral

Al Amin Mosque & St. George Orthodox Cathedral

Mohammad Al Amin Mosque and St. George Maronite Cathedral are both on Martyrs Square, the infamous site of endless demonstrations and protests, executions, and the center of Thawra uprisings in recent years. It’s right in the city center, and since before the Lebanese Civil War and through the French colonial era, it has historically marked a boundary between the Lebanese population and the ruling elite.

The Mosque and Cathedral are both incredibly striking, and they share a wall! It’s a symbol of harmony between religious groups, and I 100% recommend visiting them both.

At Al Amin, you’ll be asked to remove your shoes – and if you don’t have something to cover up, there’s a rolling hanger next to the door with some robes. Go inside, explore, and take in the peaceful atmosphere and vast architecture! If you ask the Imam very nicely, he’ll sing you a rendition of the call to prayer and translate it for you 🙂

St. George is right around the corner, and it’s absolutely STUNNING. Spend a while, feel the peace, and you’ll come out feeling refreshed! There’s also a Greek Orthodox Church right around the corner in downtown Beirut, so go exploring!

National Museum of Beirut

Don’t forget to visit the National Museum as well! The National Museum is an archeological museum that is a MUST-see! It’s not far from downtown Beirut, so it’s an easy visit from Martyrs Square!

If you want to explore Beirut in a more profound way, I recommend this walking tour! You’ll see all the best sites, including Martyrs Square, and you’ll learn everything there is to know! It’s a great way to get acquainted with this ever-complicated city, and you’ll feel much more at ease after a day of exploring!

PRICE: US$42

Book Your Walking Tour

Explore Corniche Al Manara and take a boat tour

View of the Corniche in Ain al Mraiseh Beirut

If you love a beautiful shoreline as much as I do, Corniche Al Manara will provide a welcome respite from the madness of Beirut!

You’ll see all sorts of people along this promenade jogging, playing tawle (Backgammon) in plastic chairs surrounded by shisha pipes, playing on the rocks over the railings, and just enjoying life! Take a stroll along the promenade from Raouche (Pigeon Rocks) all the way down to Zaitunay Bay, which lights up gloriously at night!

I highly recommend taking a boat tour at Raouche since it’s the only way to see the historical Pigeon Rocks up close! It’s so much fun and a great way to start off your expedition down Corniche Al Manara! Plus, you’ll get complimentary wine! Yes!! 🍷

PRICE: US$84

Book Your Boat Tour

2. South Lebanon

View of the Sidon Sea Castle

Ok, guys, we’ve left Beirut! Time to get out of your comfort zone and explore jnoub!

Jnoub means south in Lebanese Arabic, so you’ll hear it a lot if you’re planning to travel down south!

You can totally just grab a public bus from Cola in Beirut, all the buses there go the same direction and travel down the highway road past Saida to Tyre, but you may need to have your wits about you! The buses are small and a bit cramped, so if the weather is hot and traffic is raging, brace yourself for a bumpy (but unbelievably fun) ride!

On our trip, we’ll head to Saida and Tyre to experience the ultimate historical playground! Saida is just a 40-minute drive from Beirut, and Tyre another 30 (if there’s no traffic, but there almost always is, so add on another hour to that 🤪) so personally, I recommend taking a tour!

View of the Sidon Sea Castle

The buses are super fun if you’re the adventurous type (I adore the buses primarily because of their unpredictability). Still, if you prefer a more relaxing trip, a tour is definitely worth it!

This 8-hour tour picks you up from Beirut in an air-conditioned bus (which is something you definitely won’t get in a public bus in Lebanon), and you’ll go to Saida first, where you’ll wander around the old souks, see all the historical sites, and take in the bustling fish port!

From Saida, you’ll travel on down to Tyre, where you’ll be able to explore the ancient ruins (which are AMAZING, by the way) and wander around the old town, which is a rustic, beautiful Mediterranean-style place with the most gorgeous gardens and buildings – you’ll love it!

Arch of the Ruins of the Umayyad city of Anjar

Aside from the much-needed air conditioning, other perks of this tour include a delicious lunch at a seaside restaurant (breathtaking views, much?) and a stop at historical Maghdouche, which is a super beautiful Christian village! I can 100% vouch for Maghdouche, my husband’s family is from that area, and it’s just so lovely!

The bus will drop you back in Beirut at the end of your trip, so everything is taken care of for you!

Another place I’d recommend visiting in Southern Lebanon is the Landmark of the Resistance (War History Museum) in Mleeta! Controversies reign free at this museum and surrounded by jaw-dropping mountain scenery, you’ll be able to learn all about the stark and interesting history of the Resistance fighters in Lebanon. You can get there easily by taking an Uber from Saida!

Exhibition constructed of weapons at Tourist Landmark of the Resistance

NOTE 1: South Lebanon is BEAUTIFUL, but don’t go past Tyre! You need a permit to go any further south of the Litani River because of the tensions between Lebanon and Israel. It’s not dangerous, it’s just been heavily militarized, so it’s just best to steer clear! You’ll know when you reach this point because you’ll hit a checkpoint, and they’ll just turn you right around 🤺

NOTE 2: Speaking of military checkpoints, don’t be alarmed, but they’re stationed periodically throughout the highway and main roads in Lebanon! They’re just there for your safety, and they’ll just wave you on by as you drive up. Pro tip? Stick your head out the window and say yaa-tik-el-aafi as you drive away. It means “God bless what you’re doing” (roughly), so the officers will appreciate it!

PRICE: US$110

Book Your South Lebanon Adventure

3. North Lebanon

Drone shot of the Mediterranean sea coast showing an old city and the Phoenician wall

Ok fellow explorers, now we’ve conquered the south, let’s dive into North Lebanon! As is the old adage, there’s no rest for the wicked, so suit up, shades on, and let’s get cracking!

There are 3 main areas that are seriously worth visiting in Northern Lebanon: Jbeil, Batroun, and Tripoli. They’re all stunning in their own ways, but our first stop is Jbeil!

Get your jam on in Jbeil

Jbeil is a coastal district where Byblos is located, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the oldest still inhabited cities in the world! Expect gorgeous architecture, and cute little alleyways, and walk in the footsteps of Phoenicians!

Caves in Jeita Grotto

You can get to Jbeil’s coastal cities easily on the highway from Beirut, and you can hit up Casino du Liban on your way there!

The best way to explore Jbeil is with this AMAZING full-day tour! Remember what I said about raging traffic? Well, you don’t have to worry about that at all in your own private chauffeured car (I know, VIP much) that will take you all around Jbeil!

You’ll visit Our Lady of Harissa, Jeita Grotto, and the town of Byblos all in one day. Your driver will pick you up and drop you off at the end of the day, and it’ll be a super intimate experience! Expect 360° views of Lebanon’s coastline at Harissa, incredible caves at Jeita, and an ancient Crusader fortress in Byblos around the intricate streets of the souks!

NOTE: While you’re at Jeita Grotto, you won’t be allowed to take any pictures inside the caves! Put away your devices and just enjoy the moment – they’re trying to preserve the integrity of the caves, and flash photography is a big no, so bear this in mind!

PRICE: US$75

Book Your Private Jbeil Tour

Beach it up in Batroun

Beach restaurant by the sea with colorful wooden furniture and sea view in Batroun

Beach lovers unite! Next on our journey is Batroun, which is an excellent stop for sun worshippers and party poppers. There are some INCREDIBLE beaches in this area, some of which often host beach parties, and you’ll get some much-needed sunshine and respite from the madness of Lebanon!

Some of the beaches you should visit in Batroun include:

Take a trip to Tripoli

Cityscape of Tripoli

Ok lads, our final stop in North Lebanon is Tripoli! Tripoli often gets a bad rep (from those who have never been there), but I promise you it’s well worth a visit. Not only is it a beautiful city, but it’s also full of incredible historical buildings and mosques, some of which are as old as time!

It’s also a part of the “real Lebanon,” the untouched, culturally intricate Lebanon that not many people know much about! Age-old traditions, stringent social expectations, religion, and patriotism have strong roots in this part of the country!

Tripoli is well-known to be at least 7 centuries old! It’s also famous for its soap factories, an age-old tradition dating back at least 400 years!

Tripoli is also a great place to visit for budget travelers, and pretty much everything you can buy up there (including food) is half the price of Beirut! Definitely make sure you explore Mina and the coastline while you’re there, it’s a great way to explore the inner city streets and grab some Lebanese food on your way!

Don’t forget to explore the local businesses as well. Honestly, you’ll find the most amazing people and some real gems!

If you fancy a historical tour of Tripoli, check out this tour! You’ll explore the famous citadel, the old train station, the Mamluk Mosque, and the intricate Trablous souks!

NOTE: Both Batroun and Tripoli are easily accessible just by driving straight up the highway! It’s hard to get lost around here when you can just follow the sea road 🚘

PRICE: US$40

Book Your Tripoli Tour

4. Mount Lebanon

Lagoons in Laqlouk in Mount Lebanon

On to Jabal Lubnan! Mount Lebanon is essentially a giant, mountainous area between Saida, Batroun, and the Beqaa Valley, so needless to say, there are countless stunning places to explore!

However, since my word count isn’t nearly enough to cover everything ( 😣), I’ve cherry-picked the best for you! Here are the very best places to visit in Mount Lebanon that will get you OBSESSED!

Explore Cedars of God, Khalil Gibran & Kadisha Valley

View of Bcharre town

Getting a lot done in one day is what we do best here at Miss Tourist! This awesome tour (with pick up and drop off in Beirut) takes you to Kadisha Valley, the Khalil Gibran Museum, AND the Cedars of God, all in a day’s work!

Located in Bcharre, the Cedars of God is a protected area with the most beautiful cedar trees! The forest used to be chock-full of these trees, but over time they’ve been harvested (and used by pretty much every colonizing force in Lebanon for centuries), so this area is one of the last places where you can see them in abundance!

You know that emblem on the Lebanese flag? 🇱🇧That’s a cedar tree! The Lebanese cedar trees are mentioned over 100 times in the Bible, so the Cedars of God are a sacred space.

Qadisha Valley, another stop on the tour, has some of the most heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping scenery you’ll ever see! The valley is home to one of the very first Christian monasteries and hermit caves that were paramount to early Christians many thousands of years ago!

You’ll also go to the Khalil Gibran Museum, home of the famed author himself and the site where he’s buried. It’s a really beautiful, quiet place with astonishing views over the valley, and the whole experience is just so moving.

The whole tour is a dream, and trust me, you won’t be able to see everything on your own – leave it up to the experts to taxi you around!

PRICE: US$100

Book Your Mount Lebanon Tour

Journey to peaceful Beiteddine & Deir El Qamar

Beitiddine Palace Main Square with Town and Landscape View

No word of a lie, Deir El Qamar is one of my favorite places in Lebanon. It’s a small Druze town not too far from Beirut that is the MOST underrated gem! Think Ottoman-style buildings, teeny little alleyways built right into the cliffs, and a peaceful environment is broken only occasionally by the ringing of bells and the wafting smell of fresh manoushe. Dreamy 🥰

In this private tour, you’ll visit Deir El Qamar and Beiteddine, a small town with a stunning 19th-century palace with the most beautiful facades and engravings, Arabesque and austere pillars and artworks, and huge courtyards fit for long gone emirs – or in this case, the president of Lebanon.

You’ll be picked up by your private valet (ooh la la) and taken to Beiteddine, Moussa Castle in Damour, Deir El Qamar, prominent religious sites, AND Ain Wazein Grotto, which is oh so beautiful!

In all seriousness, private tours are the best kind of tour. You can explore independently and get a feel for the landscape in a more intimate setting, and your driver will take you right back to Beirut at the end of your day trip. Win much?

PRICE: US$75

Book Your Deir El Qamar Tour

Grab your hiking boots in Chouwen

Aerial view of Chouwen Lake

Chouwen is a real treat, and if you love nature, hiking, and swimming, you’ll love this tour! Chouwen Lake is an actual masterpiece of nature, sloped in by the towering hills of Jabal Moussa for miles and miles around.

The tour is pretty much a full day (around 8 hours), and the hike isn’t too difficult, so pretty much anyone can do it – even me, and I’m definitely not an avid hiker 😁

All entry fees are included, and you’ll be able to swim in the calm waters of Nahr Ibrahim and relax under the shade of the trees after your hike. Bring your bathing suit, good shoes, a hat, and some sunscreen! I promise you won’t regret going to Chouwen, it’s so unbelievably beautiful, and you’ll return to Beirut at the end of the day feeling at one with nature.

PRO TIP: Bring some sandals with you! You won’t want to go into the lake without them since it’s a bit rocky!

HACK: By the way, if you love nature and would like to be buried with your hiking boots, go to Qurnat As Sawda, the highest peak in the Levant! I hiked right up to the top once on a camping trip, and although I wanted to cut off my legs afterward, the view was unforgettable!!

PRICE: US$65

Book Your Hiking Tour

5. Bekaa Valley

City ruins of Baalbek

Ok, adventurers, we’re bringing out the big guns! Bekaa Valley is full of explorable and stunning places, so it’s an absolute MUST when you’re traveling in Lebanon! Many people just stick to the highway and visit things from there, but there are some gems in Bekaa Valley that I insist you visit. Seriously, you’ll thank me for it, and it makes for the perfect day trip!

And before you say it, yes, Bekaa runs along the Syrian border, and YES, it is very safe!!

The road leading to Bekaa and the border towns is pretty much straight from Beirut, but you’re not traveling the highway this time – you’re going the country road! Expect incredible views on your journey, picturesque mountainscapes, and tiny little farming villages, so get that camera out! 🎥

It’s a full day of traveling to see all the best places, so this small-group tour is definitely your best bet. It’ll save you so much time, so you can just sit back and relax!

Ruins of the ancient city of Anjar

The places you’ll visit on this tour include Baalbek, the ancient Roman ruins, historical Anjar in the northern mountains near the border with Syria, and Chateau Ksara, the famous Lebanese vineyard with the most incredible wines and arak you’ll ever taste!

The Temples of Baalbek were built by the Phoenicians as a monument to the God Baal. It dates all the way back to 27 BCE, so you’re stepping in the footsteps of history! Baalbek is also SO much bigger than you think – once you get there, you’ll feel so teeny tiny!

Personally, I LOVE Chateau Ksara. The location is undeniably beautiful, and the wine is so yummy!! It’s probably the best wine I’ve ever tasted, but you also have to try the arak (which is a bit like Pastis) because it is just divine. During the tour, you’ll get a sneaky peek inside the wine cellars and learn all about the process. Wine tasting after? Yes, please!

The great thing about this tour is that you’ll stop on the way at a Lebanese restaurant to enjoy some lunchtime mezze! Nothing better than some hummus and grape leaves to get you going, am I right? 😋

ANOTHER amazing thing (so many amazing things) about the tour is that you’ll travel in style in an air-conditioned van! Gotta beat that heat!

PRICE: US$95

Book Your Bekaa Tour

🥾 Best active tour:Chouwen Hiking Tour
🎢 Top paid attraction:Baalbek & Wineries
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity:Mohammad Al Amin Mosque
👧 Best beach:Jungle Beach
🕺 Nightlife:Beirut
🥟 Must-try food:Manoushe

Where to stay in Lebanon

Choosing a place to stay in Lebanon really depends on where you’ll be spending most of your time! There are so many amazing options, so I’ve compiled a list of the very best places to stay by region to make your life a bit easier.

In each region, I’ve listed a mid-range option first, then a budget option. Here we go!

A collage of three hotel photos: bedroom, living room and pool

Where to stay in Beirut

  • Hamra Urban Gardens – Fancy a rooftop pool and bar? OH, YES, me too! This place is reasonably priced, offers modernistic dorms and private rooms, and is right in the center of Hamra Street, super close to the Corniche!
  • Hostel Beirut – I’ve stayed in Hostel Beirut a gazillion times, and it’s like a home away from home! It’s super clean and cozy, the staff is AMAZING, and it’s right next to Mar Mikhael if you want to be near all the best bars! #priorities!

Where to stay in South Lebanon

  • Dar Alma, Tyre – For the ultimate South Lebanon experience with incredible views over the Mediterranean Sea, Dar Alma is tough to beat. It’s so cozy, beautiful, and classy, and you’ll love its terrace!
  • Seafront Apartment, Saida – Looking for somewhere private for a great price? You’ll get amazing views here! It’s super spacious and a great option for couples looking for some romance 🏩

Where to stay in North Lebanon

  • Old Town Guesthouses, Batroun – Looking for a traditional stay in beach heaven? This beautiful place is super close to Colonel Reef Beach! There’s also a casino, so you’ll never be bored! See if you can get lucky after your day in the sun ☀️
  • VU’Z Hotel, Jbeil – Outdoor pool, stunning views, a kitchenette, AND a bar? All at such an amazing price? No way!! Yes, way – this place is in the heart of Byblos, and their breakfasts are phenomenal. Staff will go above and beyond for you as well!
A collage of three hotel photos: bedroom, hotel exterior and pool

Where to stay in Mount Lebanon

  • Villars, Faraya – Faraya is a stunning location, and you can look down into the valley at night and see the glistening sea between the peaks!! Villars is a beautiful villa perfect for a romantic getaway – plus, you get 24/7 electricity! #luxury!
  • Hotel L’Aiglon – Guys, this place is RIGHT next to Qadisha Grotto!! It’s like a castle in the mountains, you’ll genuinely feel like royalty – at a great price! There’s a fireplace in the lounge which is great for those winter breaks and a traditional Lebanese restaurant!

Where to stay in Bekaa Valley

  • Grand Kadri Hotel – Located in Zahle, this place is a 5-star hotel but at 3-star prices! I LOVE Zahle, it’s so pretty you may not want to leave! The hotel has gorgeous rooms and an outdoor pool, and it’s just a 5-minute walk from Zahle’s main streets. Love it!
  • Domaine de Chouchene – If you don’t want to be far from the vineyards (I know, me too), then you’ll definitely vibe with this place. It’s super rustic and beautiful and surrounded by a peaceful courtyard and countryside views! Get ready for their Lebanese breakfast!!

Lebanon travel tips & tricks: practical information

Aerial view of Sidon

The best places to visit in the world are the most culturally complex, and Lebanon is no exception! This Middle Eastern country can be confusing to navigate at the best of times, so there are a few Lebanon-isms to bear in mind while you’re traveling around the tourist sites on your day trips.

Here are all the most important things to know:

  • Don’t put toilet paper (or anything else) down the toilet EVER!! Lebanon’s tiny prehistoric pipes just can’t take it, bless their souls. There are bins in every toilet for tissue, so brace yourself and put everything in there instead! 🧻
  • Exchanging money is easy in a Western Union or any other exchange store in Beirut. Just don’t exchange money with anyone outside of these places since they won’t always give you a fair rate! Double-check this website for the official exchange rate on the day you plan to exchange so you are fully prepared.
  • If you plan to take service taxis (shared taxi) in Beirut, look out for the red number plates! A red number plate means registered cab, so stick to these. At the time of writing, it’s around US$1.50 per trip (around 141,000 Lebanese Pounds), but like everything else in Lebanon, this is subject to change – and maybe a bit of negotiation! 🤪
  • Speaking of transport, public buses going up north go from Dawra roundabout, and buses going down south go from Cola. All the buses in each place go in the same direction, so you can jump on any of them if you’re going anywhere the highway goes!
Lebanese Lira
  • Please DON’T use the ATMs! It’s not worth the ridiculous exchange rate. Just take all the dollars you need on your trip and exchange them for cash lira – cash is king! 👑
  • Generally speaking, there isn’t any public transportation in remote villages in Lebanon, so if you’re going to the mountains, you have a couple of options. Either you book an Uber there and organize with them to pick you up after, OR just get yourself a car booked for the day!
  • If you get lost in the mountains, or your phone runs out of juice, just knock on the nearest house and ask them if they have a taxi number. The local people are SO nice, and they will be happy to help you out – they may offer to drive you themselves, and they’ll probably even try to make you stay for dinner!!
  • Plan to book your taxi from Beirut Airport to your hotel – it’s always better to plan in advance for this since taxis around the airport can get expensive!! It shouldn’t cost more than US$10 – US$15 for a transfer, anything more than that is a rip-off 🙂
  • Whatever you do, don’t rent a car in Lebanon unless you’re used to driving complicated street systems. Half the time (scratch that, make that most of the time), the traffic lights don’t even work, and electricity is iffy at the best of times, so there may not be any lights AT ALL on the streets at night. Just hire a driver or use public transportation instead!
street view of downtown Beirut
  • If you do have experience driving in a crazy place, car rental is pretty standard! Renting a car is simple, just make sure you wear your seatbelt at all times (don’t follow the Lebanese), and if you see a uniformed officer standing in the road, stop and follow his directions!!
  • Speaking of electricity, most places have a generator and about 1 – 4 hours of Lebanese government electricity per day. This means that sometimes, even if you’re in a restaurant, the lights will just turn off temporarily. Accept your fate! I’m kidding, it’s totally normal, most people don’t even bat an eye at these outages, so live like a local and act like everything is cool 🤪
  • The national language in Lebanon is Arabic, but English and French are widely spoken since the French mandate so you’ll get along fine. However, they LOVE it when you try to speak Lebanese, so learn a few phrases before you go!
  • Like most places, there are a few safety measures to take when you travel – just remain alert in general, and you’ll have the best vacay ever!
View of downtown Beirut

One thing I have to stress: don’t give money to kids on the street! You’ll find in populated Beirut areas there might be kids walking around trying to sell things like tissue packets, flowers, etc., but any money they make goes directly to “mafia-style” bosses and not to the kids themselves.

If you really want to help them, just buy them some water and a cheeky manoushe and send them on their way. Yes, it’s very sad, but just try not to get caught up in it. Unfortunately, these things are a reality in Lebanon, and there’s not much you can do about it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Lebanon is super safe! It’s the kind of place where, if something happens, you’ll find people flooding to help you out. Never underestimate the kindness of Lebanese people! That being said, if you’re going to places like Tripoli, try not to go in tiny shorts/skirts, low-cut tops, etc. – gals, I’m looking at you!

I say this with love, I am a gal myself (shock, horror), and while nothing will happen to you, you will find people staring at you! Cultural and social expectations may well be very different from where you’re from, so just bear this in mind and try to be respectful.

The bottom line is, if you’re in Beirut, wear whatever you like (within reason and outside of religious buildings 🕌), but outside Beirut, communities tend to be a little more conservative. Just FYI!

FAQs about Lebanon travel guide

aerial view over Beirut

💵 Is Lebanon a budget-friendly destination?

Yes! Lebanon is great for those who don’t want to burn a hole in their ol’ wallet. Life is relatively cheap there, so it’s pretty common for people to stay there for 2 weeks or more!

📅 What time of year is best to travel to Lebanon?

The best time of year to go to Lebanon is Springtime (around May) since the weather is gorgeous! Summer is also a great time to go, but the summer heat can get super oppressive in Beirut. If you’re traveling around Lebanon and spending time in the mountains, the summer is a great time!

🗓️ How many days is enough to spend in Lebanon?

If you’re traveling around Lebanon, you’ll need at least a week! Most people go there for 1 – 2 weeks or more just because there’s so much to see and do, plus, if you just book a few days, you may find yourself postponing that return flight! I know this because I’ve done it 🥰

🧍 Where is the best place to visit in Lebanon for solo travelers?

The best place to visit for solo souls is definitely Beirut! You’ll meet people super easily, just chat with the locals and make friends in the bars, and you’ll have friends for life before you know it. Batroun is also an excellent spot for solo souls!

Conclusion

sunset view over Raouche Rocks

Well explorers, here we are at the end of this Lebanon travel guide! I know we’ve gone through so much, including all the best places to visit in Lebanon, some practicalities, and awesome places to stay, but hopefully, you have all the information you need to have an amazing vacation in Lebanon!

I’ve had so much fun writing this post, honestly, it just feels good to share the love with you all! Lebanon is the best destination in the world, in my humble opinion, and it’s full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

Don’t forget to book everything in advance. Like I said before, hotels in Lebanon can get expensive if you book at the last minute, and it’s better to have a clear plan in your mind before you go, so book those tours too!

If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments, and I’ll help you out! Sharing my love of this underrated place is my #1 hobby, so ask away!

Yalla bye!

Lizzie


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Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque

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