Thinking of visiting Lebanon?
Think no more, just go. I recently had the chance of heading there and OMG what a place! However before you hop on a plane and stuff yourself with falafels here are a few things you need to know…
Everybody uses taxis and uber. Taxis have a red licence plate and will honk at you to let you know they’re here and available. It is a bit disturbing at first! The driving is too beware if you are easily scared on the road or get car-sick.
Now if you want a full experience take a service taxi (very cheap 2,000 lebanese pound which is around 1,32 US$) which is a shared one. Like Uber pool.
Forget about the internet (a little). No free public wifi besides the airport. You might get some in bars and museums but a lot use a provider with numbered limited accesses. Nice way to disconnect.
When getting into a cab just say the neighborhood, the main square and a shop to drop you in front of. Prepare to get lost. A LOT. But since the city is so nice, enjoy it and walk.
Not of tap water, avoid it (seriously don’t drink it), but of Lebanese wine of course! (very good) Go to the bars&restaurant most living area of the city Gemmayzeh. Enjoy great food and ambiance everyday, there are so many things happening.
Head to the surroundings of the city to see some amazing archaeological sites. I’ve never seen anything like this. The closest for me was when I was in Greece, places like Delphes, Athens. I really like this place even though it was pouring rain (yes it does rain in Lebanon it is not always sunny).
Book the first few nights of your arrival. Discover Beirut and then decide on where you would like to go. There are many ways to see what is outside of the capital, you can book a day-trip or a driver who will wait for you on site, or rent a car. If you are a beginner, occasional driver I would not recommend it! Don’t get a reason to be stressed after all it is a vacation for you
Eat a chawarma. No explanation needed, just do it. You’ll thank me later.
A little free booklet that will give you info on what is currently going on in the city, by neighborhoods. Edited by the company Zawarib, check out their insta here.
Just like many countries Lebanon has a history, culture and customs. It is a one of a kind place, so many different religious communities are living there together. Learn about the customs before going, especially the people who will host you if you choose to stay with locals.
Stay tuned for a post about great not-to-miss art places in Beirut!