Beirut is an incredible city with a vibrant culture and deep history. With so much to explore, it’s no wonder so many people want to visit and learn more about it. Whether you’re planning a trip to Beirut or just curious about what the city has to offer, this blog post will answer some of the most common questions about the city. Read on to learn more about Lebanon’s bustling capital and get some insight into what makes it so special. Here are the top 15 frequently asked questions about Beirut.
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1. When is the best time to visit Beirut?
If you’re looking to visit Beirut, it’s best to go during the spring and fall months. The weather is warm but not too hot during these times, making for ideal outdoor activities. Plus, the crowds are smaller during these months, so you’ll have more space to explore the city.
During the spring (March to May), you’ll find average temperatures in the low 70s (Fahrenheit) and enjoy sunny days that are perfect for sightseeing. The fall (September to November) brings cooler weather with temperatures in the high 60s (Fahrenheit), making it an ideal time for outdoor activities.
No matter what time of year you choose to visit, there’s always something going on in Beirut. The city has plenty of cultural events throughout the year, from music festivals to street food fairs. If you want to experience some of Lebanon’s biggest celebrations, consider planning a trip during the holidays. Christmas and Easter are popular times to visit and make for a festive atmosphere.
Overall, the best time to visit Beirut depends on your personal preference. Whether you’re looking for warm weather, smaller crowds, or exciting festivals and events, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
2. What is the currency in Lebanon?
The official currency of Lebanon is the Lebanese Pound (LBP), also known as the lira. Currently, 1 USD is equal to approximately 1,507.50 LBP. The coins are divided into 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 250 lira coins, while the banknotes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 LBP.
In most shops and restaurants throughout Lebanon, you can pay for your purchases with both cash and credit/debit cards. However, due to the unstable economic situation in Lebanon, many people prefer to use cash instead. As a result, it is recommended to always have cash on hand when traveling around the country.
3. What is the climate like in Beirut?
Beirut has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild, wet winters. Summers in Beirut can be quite hot, with temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius during the day and 25 degrees Celsius at night. The city receives an average of just under 400 mm of rainfall annually, most of which occurs between October and May. Winters in Beirut are mild and wet, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10 degrees Celsius. January and February are the coldest months in Beirut, with occasional snowfall. Spring and fall tend to be the most pleasant times to visit Beirut when temperatures are mild and the city is full of flowers in bloom.
4. What are the best things to see and do in Beirut?
Beirut is a city full of history and culture, making it the perfect destination for travelers who are looking to get off the beaten path. From its stunning Mediterranean coastline to its vibrant nightlife and bustling markets, Beirut has plenty of attractions and activities that will keep you entertained.
One of the top things to do in Beirut is explore its many historical sites, including the Roman ruins at Baalbek, Byblos Castle, and many more. You can also take a stroll through downtown Beirut to see its charming streets filled with boutique shops and cafes.
The vibrant nightlife scene in Beirut is second to none. Countless bars, pubs, and clubs throughout the city feature live music, DJs, and entertainment. Take a break from the dance floor to sample some of the city’s fantastic street food or check out one of the many rooftop bars for amazing views of the city skyline.
Beirut also boasts some fantastic beaches with white sand and crystal blue waters, perfect for swimming or simply soaking up the sun. If you’re looking for more outdoor activities, there are plenty of parks, gardens, and hiking trails in the surrounding areas.
No matter what you decide to do in Beirut, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. With its unique culture and vibrant atmosphere, Beirut is truly an incredible city!
5. Where to eat in Beirut?
Beirut is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. From cozy bistros to fine dining, there are plenty of eateries for all types of cuisine. Here are 10 of the most popular spots to grab a bite to eat in Beirut:
- Cocteau Restaurant: A popular French restaurant located in the heart of the city, Cocteau serves classic French fare with a contemporary twist. The menu features steak tartare, escargot, and pork belly.
- Burgundy Restaurant: This high-end restaurant specializes in upscale Mediterranean dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Popular items include lamb shank, crispy calamari, and risotto with tomato and herbs.
- Al Sultan Brahim: This local spot offers traditional Lebanese dishes like hummus and tabbouleh alongside international favorites like pasta and burgers. The outdoor seating provides a unique dining experience.
- Liza Beirut: This popular eatery is known for its modern take on Lebanese cuisine. The menu includes everything from mezze platters to steak tartare and kafta skewers.
- Em Sherif Cafe: Located in the Gemmayze district, this spot is known for its affordable prices and tasty food. The menu features a variety of traditional Lebanese dishes including shawarma, falafel, and kebab.
- Society Bistro: This chic bistro serves up a selection of European dishes, including grilled salmon and braised beef cheeks. They also offer craft beers and an extensive wine list.
- Mosaic Restaurant: This trendy spot has been featured in numerous publications and serves up creative dishes inspired by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. The menu includes mezze platters, salads, grilled fish, and more.
- Mayrig Beirut: Enjoy authentic Armenian food at this popular restaurant located in the Mar Mikhael area. Popular dishes include dolma, lentil soup, and bulgur wheat salad.
- La Plage Beirut: This beachfront eatery serves up seafood-inspired dishes like mussels and shrimp pasta. They also offer a selection of cocktails for those looking to relax by the sea.
- Amar Café Downtown: Located in the heart of the city, Amar Café offers an eclectic mix of traditional Lebanese dishes and international flavors. Popular items include hummus and falafel plates as well as pizza and pasta dishes.
6. What Lebanon is famous for?
Lebanon is a beautiful country in the Middle East and is well known for its diverse culture, rich history, and delicious food. Lebanon has a long-standing tradition of hospitality, and its people are known for their generosity and kindness. The country is also famous for its stunning landscapes and ancient ruins, making it a popular tourist destination.
Lebanon is known for its vibrant capital city, Beirut, which is home to a variety of vibrant nightlife, cultural attractions, and religious sites. The city is also renowned for its mouth-watering cuisine, ranging from traditional Lebanese dishes like hummus and tabbouleh to modern takes on classic recipes. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the Middle East.
Lebanon is also known for its beaches, with some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Mediterranean Sea. The country is also home to several ski resorts, providing an exciting getaway for winter sports enthusiasts. And Lebanon is renowned for its winemaking industry, producing some of the finest wines in the world.
No matter what brings you to Lebanon, there’s something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and vibrant cities to its traditional cuisine and rich cultural heritage, Lebanon has something to offer everyone.
7. What is the nightlife like in Beirut?
Beirut is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of options that suit all budgets and preferences. The city has many bars, pubs, clubs, and lounges that offer everything from live music and DJs to dancing, karaoke, and pool. Many popular nightclubs are located in the Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhael neighborhoods. If you’re looking for a more laid-back evening, there are plenty of outdoor cafes, restaurants, and bars that serve traditional Lebanese food and drinks. There’s also a lively street market on Monot Street and nearby Rue Gouraud where you can find delicious snacks, souvenirs, and more. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Beirut has something for everyone when it comes to nightlife.
8. What is the shopping like in Beirut?
Shopping in Beirut is an experience like no other. From chic high-end fashion boutiques to bustling bazaars filled with all kinds of trinkets and souvenirs, the city offers something for everyone. In the downtown area, you’ll find luxury designer stores, art galleries, and upscale cafes, as well as popular chain stores like Zara and Mango. A few minutes away, in the Souks of Beirut, visitors can explore the streets filled with traditional and artisanal crafts, spices, and fabrics. In addition, there are some modern malls throughout the city with everything from electronic stores to restaurants. Whether you’re looking for traditional Middle Eastern souvenirs or the latest fashion trends, Beirut has it all!
9. What is the cost of living in Beirut?
Beirut, Lebanon is an expensive city to live in, but it also offers plenty of opportunities to make money. The cost of living in Beirut can vary depending on where you live, the type of lifestyle you lead, and the number of services you use. Generally speaking, though, it can be quite expensive.
Accommodation costs in Beirut are high compared to many other cities in the world, with average rental prices ranging from $400-1000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. The price of food and utilities is also relatively high, with groceries costing about 15-20% more than what you’d pay in North America or Europe.
The cost of transportation in Beirut is relatively affordable, as there are both public buses and taxis available. Public buses cost around 0.50 USD per ride and taxis typically cost around 2-3 USD.
When it comes to entertainment, Beirut is a great city to explore. While there are some expensive venues, there are also lots of free and affordable things to do, such as strolling through local markets or enjoying a night out at a budget-friendly bar.
Overall, the cost of living in Beirut is quite high, but with careful budgeting, you can find ways to enjoy the city without breaking the bank.
10. What is public transportation like in Beirut?
Public transportation in Beirut is mostly composed of shared taxis and buses. Shared taxis, also known as service taxis, can be found on many street corners throughout the city and run on a fixed route. The buses are mainly provided by the Government and run on a similar route to the shared taxis but are cheaper and more reliable.
There is also a public transport app called Karim Karim which is available for both iOS and Android devices. This app makes it easy to find the best routes, get real-time updates on bus schedules, and book your ticket directly from the app. Additionally, there are carpooling services such as Careem and Uber that operate in Beirut.
Overall, public transportation in Beirut is reliable, safe, and affordable. It’s also worth noting that some areas may not have any public transport available so make sure to plan.
11. What are the safety concerns in Beirut?
The safety concerns in Beirut vary depending on which area you are visiting. There are parts of the city that are more dangerous than others, such as areas near the Syrian border and certain neighborhoods with high crime rates. Visitors should also be aware of political tensions since Beirut is still recovering from a civil war that ended in 1990. As with any big city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.
It’s important to be aware of pickpockets and other forms of theft when exploring the city. Avoid bringing large amounts of cash with you and leave your valuables at home or in a hotel safe. Make sure to avoid any political demonstrations or gatherings, as they can quickly turn violent.
In terms of terrorism, the risk is low in Beirut but visitors should remain vigilant in public places. The US State Department advises against travel to areas within 4 km of the Syrian border and staying away from protests and large gatherings.
Overall, tourists should exercise caution while traveling to Beirut and follow local laws and customs. Being aware of potential risks and following basic safety tips can help make your trip a safe and enjoyable experience.
12. What is the electrical current in Beirut?
The electrical current in Beirut is 220 volts AC (50 Hz). If you’re bringing your appliances, make sure they are compatible with the local currency. You may need a voltage converter or adapter plug to use some of your electrical items. The majority of power outlets in Beirut have two-round pins. However, it’s best to double-check as some older buildings have three-pronged outlets. Additionally, due to frequent power outages, it’s advisable to carry a flashlight and battery-powered lantern.
13. What is the internet/wifi situation in Beirut?
The internet/wifi situation in Beirut is generally good. Most of the city is well connected and internet speed is often adequate for streaming, gaming, and other activities. Many businesses, cafes, and restaurants also offer free wifi, so you won’t have to worry about finding a connection while you’re out and about. The city also offers several ISPs (Internet Service Providers) with various packages to suit your needs. With the growing tech scene in Beirut, there are also plenty of opportunities to find coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators that offer reliable internet and coworking services.
14. What languages are spoken in Beirut?
Beirut is a bilingual city, with Arabic and French being the two main languages spoken. While Arabic is the official language, French is widely spoken throughout the city. English is also quite common, especially among young people and businesspeople. Other languages spoken in Beirut include Armenian, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.
15. What are the visa requirements for Beirut?
Visiting Beirut requires a visa for most travelers, except for citizens of certain countries that are exempt from visa requirements. All visitors to Beirut must have a valid passport and must obtain a visa before arrival. Tourist visas are typically valid for up to three months and can be obtained from embassies or consulates.
Additionally, travelers from certain countries must register their visit at the General Security offices in Lebanon within 24 hours of arriving in the country. Those who are not citizens of any Arab League state must also pay a $27 entry fee.
If you plan on staying in Lebanon for longer than three months, you must obtain a residency permit. This can be done at any Lebanese embassy, or consulate, or by applying online through the General Security website. You may also need to register with the local police station after arrival.
When planning your trip to Beirut, make sure to research the visa requirements thoroughly and apply for the appropriate documents in advance.
Beirut is a fascinating city that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and modernity. With its Mediterranean climate, vibrant nightlife, rich cultural heritage, and excellent shopping opportunities, Beirut is an ideal destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience. Beirut is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a wide range of cuisine to satisfy any palate. Whether you are visiting Beirut for business or pleasure, make sure you take advantage of all the city has to offer. With its mix of modern amenities, old-world charm, and natural beauty, Beirut is a great place to visit.
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Enjoy your stay in Beirut!