I did not know what to expect and was taken by huge surprise by this pulsing and simply beautiful city. The “Paris of the Middle East” as many referred to Beirut is a stunning city that wears its heart on its sleeve. Despite the crisis, there are so many cool things to do in Beirut!
Duration: at least 10 days
Budget: $ 55 per day
Lebanon got my heart from the second I arrived last year. Indeed it was such a special travel destination for me that I am returning to Lebanon for a second time this summer. I am super excited to discover the tiny country between mountains and the Mediterranean Sea a bit more.
However, I noticed that whenever I tell people about my upcoming travel plans I get a lot of disbelief.
- Sight Seeing 100% 100%
- Beaches 90% 90%
- Activites 100% 100%
- Culture 100% 100%
The People of Lebanon
Although Lebanon shares many cultural traits with its Arab neighbors, it also has unique characteristics that set it apart from other countries in the region.
For one, its rugged and mountainous terrain has made it a refuge for a wide range of people throughout history, from religious and ethnic minorities to political dissidents. Some areas of Beirut for example feel like a day trip to Armenia.
This rich history and diversity make Lebanon a fascinating place to explore and meet new people from all over the world.
I really enjoyed getting to know people and always felt very welcomed anywhere I went.
What stuck with me until this day is the incredible resilience of the people, their warmness towards me, and their infectious way of embracing beautiful moments.
Sunsets in Lebanon
The sunsets over Lebanon are one of a kind! The unique setting between mountains and the Mediterranean Sea makes up for some of the most stunning sunsets I have seen in my life.
No matter where you are in Lebanon: up in the mountains or by the water, I promise you one thing: chasing sunsets in Lebanon is totally worth it.
My two favorite ways for watching the sunsets in Lebanon are:
– Frozen Cherries Bar
– Paragliding into the sun
Beaches in Lebanon
To me, Lebanon is way too exciting to be considered a mere beach destination. What I love about the beaches in Lebanon:
1. A beach is never far away
2. Lebanon’s coastal region was once home to some of the most influential and fascinating centers of trade and culture known to man. The Phoenician ports of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos were bustling hubs in the 3rd millennium BCE.
So I can combine some hours by the beach with super interesting cultural sights.
3. Beach Clubs: Though I am not a big supporter of private beaches, visiting a beach club in Lebanon is a very fn experience and a good way to get to hang out with the local crowd.
Food culture in Lebanon
Let me tell you. the food I tasted in Lebanon was some of the best in the world!
The demographic diversity is also represented in Lebanon’s food and so I got to try different flavors every day.
Making Lebanese food culture so special is the practice of ordering several plates and sharing them with your friends.
Lebanon is tiny and due to its unique location between mountains and sea, you could go skiing in the morning and enjoy the sunset by the water. Basically, anywhere you go in Lebanon is never really too far away making it very easy to travel around.
Despite the political tensions with Israel, the geographic proximity to war countries, and the ongoing crisis in Lebanon:
I always felt very safe!
As a female traveling around I experienced much respect and friendliness anywhere in Lebanon.
Even though the economic situation is terrible, I was told that petty crimes such as pickpocketing are basically non existent.
Accommodations in Lebanon
There are stunning places to stay in Lebanon. In the absence of international hotel chains, Lebanon is home to very unique Airbnbs across the country as well as several charming boutique hotels.
Lebanon is a very budget-friendly destination especially when compared to other destinations in the Middle East.
When traveling solo expected to pay:
– $ 40 per night for a comfortable accommodation
– $ 4 for street food
Variety of things to do
The small country offers so many things to do that I promise you won’t get bored no matter how many times you return.
The mountains offer exquisite accommodations, vast hiking terrain and trails, and even the possibility to ski.
The cities allowed me to get a glance at modern Middle Eastern life. I embraced the architecture wandering the streets and enjoyed shopping at the lively souks.
The beaches are super beautiful and the surrounding towns offer plenty of things to do. Despite enjoying the beauty of the sea, you can even go diving.
Get ready to travel Lebanon
Public Transport in Lebanon
Taking public transport is quite the challenge though not impossible. There are several companies operating within Beirut and other major cities. You most likely won’t be able to find a schedule.
The bus map project is doing a great effort in mapping out the public transport in Beirut. They even offer a tour discover Beirut by public transport, which is super cool and intersting.
While there are some safety concerns to keep in mind, I personally felt completely secure during my trip there. Of course, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the political situation and any border tensions with neighboring countries.
I was told that petty crime such as pickpocketing is almost non-existent.
As a female traveler, I felt very safe. I was never harassed, cat-called, or made to feel uncomfortable in any kind of way.
Best time to travel Lebanon
From April to October!
Though it does get hot during the summer months, you can always cool down by the beach!
It does get rainy and grey during the winter months from November to March.
Tap water in Lebanon
Do not drink tap water in Lebanon. The infrastructure is in pretty bad shape and you’ll never know what comes out of the pipe.
I use a water purifier when on the country side. However, Lebanon is so far the only country where I buy bottled water in the cities.
Where to get money in Lebanon
Getting money is not only an issue many Lebanese face on a daily basis. You will also be confronted with a lack of functioning ATMs and basically non-acceptance of credit cards anywhere.
Therefore. Bring enough Dollars to exchange on the black market. This is faily easy as you#ll find exchanges anywhere within Beirut.
Biggest challenge for the responsible traveler
For me, it was definitely the ethical concern of traveling to a country in such a deep crisis. It took me a visit to realize that it is ok to visit and the Lebanese are happy to have visitors coming back.
Power outages in Lebanon are a real struggle for the local population.
As a traveler, you most likely feel very little impact of the power outages as most accommodations have their own generators.
Some neiguhborhoods of Beirut and the surrounding area get pretty dark at night. However, the busy neighborhoods will still have nightlife and restaurants.
Packing for a trip to Lebanon
Packing for Lebanon can be quite a challenge! Not only does the climate vary greatly regionally but there are also so many activities to plan for.
Places to visit in Lebanon
Getting ready to embark on a trip to Lebanon? But before you head off for your magical Middle Eastern adventure, there’s one important thing you need to do: pack! In this blog post, I want to share my advice with you on what clothing essentials you should pack, gadgets that will make things easier along the way, plus some tips designed with the budget- and eco-conscious traveler in mind.
In my opinion, Lebanon is one of the most mesmerizing places in the world that shouldn’t be missed out on. The rich culture, history, and beautiful landscape make it an incredible destination to visit. If you’re planning on visiting the country in 2023, here is everything you need to know.