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flag Lebanon Lebanon: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Website for information about visas for Lebanon
Website for travelling in Lebanon
Diplomatic Representations
Website for embassies abroad
IATA Travel Center

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Lebanon lacks adequate public transportation, but private, un-metered taxis and shared cabs are abundant in and around the capital. Buses and taxis are the two main means of transport used in Beirut.
Buses are cheap and can be recognized by their colors: white and red. However, they are not regular and there are few of them. There is no existing route map and their itinerary is on a sign stuck to the buses' rear window.
Taxis can be recognized by their red number plates and the yellow light on their roof. Drivers understand French better than the English language however it is advised to show an address written on a piece of paper in Arabic. As they have no meters you have to negotiate the fare before you get in. There is a taxi service which can be shared by 5 people, the Lebanese call it "Services".
Maps of Urban Networks
UT Library on line

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Beirut - Rafic Hariri Intl (BEY) 8 km / 5 miles LBP 30 000 - USD 20 USD 1 - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Lebanon is a small country. Three hours are enough to cross it from end to end. To get around, there are bus lines leaving from the bus station in Beirut (Charles Helou stop). The most comfortable bus line is Adhab. From the Cola roundabout, you can catch a bus to Saida, Chtaura, Masna and Damas.
Shared taxis can also serve all cities in the country. To go to the South you may take them from the Cola roundabout. For Northern cities, you should go to the Dora roundabout.
Rail Companies

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Middle East Airlines Major No Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

Roads are generally in good condition. Petrol stations are easy to find. In the event of an accident, it is advised to stay with the vehicle and call the company representative that insures the vehicle. If the car comes from abroad, you may ask the concerned insurance company for a local correspondent in order to get contact details of their company representative.
Road Maps
Road map of Lebanon
Lebanon Tourism Office
Find an Itinerary
Itineraries in Lebanon

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Different Forms of Tourism

- Baalbeck's temples are fascinating. They dominate the Bekaaa. By their huge size they illustrate Roman power;
- In the capital Beirut modernism and tradition meet. The 5 columns group discovered in 1963, is located left from the St George Maronite Cathedral;
- The port of Sidon (Saida) located 48 km south of Beirut is a notable site as it has been an attractive trading center since Phoenician times;
- Byblos is among the most ancient cities in the world.
There are three international festivals, in Byblos, Baalbeck and Beiteddine, where famous artists promote Lebanon's diversity.
Lebanon's diversity and topography give it a unique ecosystem. For 10 years, particular attention has been paid to endangered species. Lebanon has 20 natural reserves. One of them, Al Shouf cedar reserve, with its 6 magnificent cedar groves.
This type of tourism is not very common.
This type of tourism is not very common.
The country has 225 km of Mediterranean coast. The beaches are sandy or rocky. You may explore the fauna and flora of this coast in the Palm Islands Park. You can also explore ancient Roman remains in Tyr. Diving and other underwater sports are available.
Winter Sports
Lebanon has 6 ski resorts where you can ski, cross country ski and walk with showshoes.
Outdoor Activities
You can go diving, snorkeling and do other water sports. Lebanon's mountainous relief is great for hiking, trekking and mountain biking. You can also go paragliding.
Lebanon has many luxury boutiques concentrated in the regions of Achrafieh, Hamra, Kaslik, Verdun and in the City Center. A crafts department store, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, is located at the end of the coast road in Beirut. Beirut has a large carpet market.
Tourism Organizations
Ministry of Tourism
Lebanon's Tourism Office

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers coming from contaminated areas. To protect yourself against traveller’s diarrhea, you are advised to avoid  seafood, meat, and fish which are under- or  poorly cooked,  raw  vegetables, unpeeled fruits and tap water. Most pharmaceuticals and health-related products are readily available in the local market. Private hospitals in Beirut and surrounding areas provide modern care, but doctors and hospitals normally expect immediate cash payment for services if a client does not show evidence of locally accepted health insurance coverage.
International Hospitals
Clemenceau Medical center
Hotel Dieu de France
American University Medical Center
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
World Health Organization web page about Lebanon.
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Canadian Foreign Office: Advises to travelers
French Foreign Office: Advises to travelers
Lebanon Tour Guide

Emergency Numbers

Firemen 175
Police 112
Ambulance 140
Tourist police 350 901

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Beirut (GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to October

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
The summer period stretches from March till October. Temperatures can be stifling in the summer reaching 32°, especially in  Beirut.
The winter period stretches from November till April. In the mountains temperature are close to 0°. Nevertheless those who like winter sports can still enjoy the sunny climate despite the cold.
For Further Information
Website giving weather forecasts for Lebanon.
Website giving weather forecasts for the main cities in Lebanon.

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Lebanese cuisine is one of the most renowned in the world. The specials are mezze with tabbouleh (a chopped parsley salad with bulghur wheat, tomatoes and onions), baba ghannouj (eggplant puree often decorated with pomegranate seeds), hummus (chick pea puree with sesame oil) and kibbeh (fresh mutton or veal meat, beaten with bulghur wheat, seasoned and served raw, fried or grilled)...
Other Lebanese specials are stuffed vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, vine leaves).
Lebanese cakes are delicious and very sweet. Most famous is osmaliyeh, it looks like vermicelli stuffed with creamy cheese and topped with syrup.
Coffee is an integral part of Lebanese hospitality. Wine production in Lebanon goes back to Phoenician times. The three most famous great wines are: Ksara, Musar and Kefraya. Finally, Arak, an alcohol and distilled grape based drink with aniseed from Damas.
Dietary Restrictions
Culinary restrictions vary with the religion of each community.

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Domestic Currency
Lebanese Pound
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
You can buy Lebanese pounds before going to Lebanon. Bureaus de change are numerous and change most foreign currencies. There are also many ATMs which take Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB (Japanese payment card).
Possible Means of Payment
Payment by credit card is more and more common in the country.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
English and French are spoken by a large part of the population. Armenian 6% and Kurdish 1%.
Business Language
While Arabic is Lebanon's official language, English and French are widely spoken. Most Lebanese speak at least two or three languages, and visitors find NO problems communicating. Many establishments provide signs, menus, and information in both Arabic and English/French.
Getting Some Knowledge
The arabic lebaneseand abcleb websites allow you to get some notions of Lebanese Arabic.
Free Translation Tools
Free translation : Free English-Arabic-English translation of texts and web pages
Tarjem : Free Arabic-English-Arabic dictionary

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
La Reserve
Barouk Palace
Lebanese Federation of Youth Hostels: BP 5520, 11 Beirut. Phone:(01) 366-099
L'hote libanais
Website for hotel booking in Lebanon.
Website for hotel booking.
Specialized website about Lebanon.
To Find an Apartment
Website directory of rental agencies in Lebanon
Lebanese real estate agency

El Waseet, website of rental adverts in the Middle East
To Find a Job
Learn 4 good (en anglais)
Top Liban

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Last Updates: October 2014