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A Solo Traveller's Guide to Lebanon

Beaufort Crusader Castle at Sunset (Lebanon)

Freelance Writer

A country known for its political unrest might seem like an odd choice for a solo travel adventure. However, don’t let the reputation intimidate you, as Lebanon is a good option for solo travelers if you take some precautions.

Al Mina archaeological site in Tyre, Lebanon. It is located about 80 km south of Beirut

Why Lebanon is a good solo-travel option

Lebanon is very small, comprising just 10,452 km2 (smaller than the state Connecticut, at 14,357 km2). Its crime rates are relatively low. Plus, the culture is family-oriented and tradition is important, meaning that encountering overt signs of hostility from locals is rare. Locals are very welcoming — to the extent that this might seem overwhelming after a while! Most Lebanese can also understand basic English, and many are fluent. If you need help, many locals will go the extra mile to provide it.

solo travel to lebanon

Despite the good-natured locals, it’s also important to keep your wits about you. Especially in Beirut , listen to local instructions and stay away from empty streets, alleyways and the southern parts of the capital, and you’ll generally be safe. That being said, the apathy that marks many other cosmopolitan international cities is not as widespread in Beirut or any Lebanese city, so if you’re in a crowded place and need help, people are likely to rush to your aid.

solo travel to lebanon

Use your instincts to guide you through situations you think may be dangerous. Buy a Lebanese phone number or ensure your roaming service is functional. When you ride a taxi make sure you’re not straying from where you’re supposed to be going by checking on Google Maps. Try walking instead of taking transport if the destination is close and it’s not late in the evening.

people cheering on a mountain

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Accommodation

For a solo traveler in Beirut, the best place to stay is Hostel Beirut. Staying here provides a safety net and a way to meet other travelers. If you want a bit more luxury, try the Le Gray in Downtown or the Four Seasons in Minet El Hosn .

As a safety measure, inform the hotel staff or your family/friends back home whenever you leave the hotel, and let them know when you expect to be back. This creates a network of people who will notice if you fail to make it back to your room.

Hostel Beirut, Rue 56, No. 11، Building: Akram al-Eid، Beirut, Geitawi، Lebanon, +961 1 568 966

Le Gray, Martyrs’ Square, Beirut Central District, Beirut, Lebanon, +961 1 971 111

Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, 1418 Prof. Wafic Sinno Avenue, Minet El Hosn, Beirut, Lebanon , +961 1 761 000

Messages from guests at Hostel Beirut

Travelling outside Beirut

Not many other Lebanese cities are as equipped for overnight visitors as Beirut is. Tripoli, for example, only has one major hotel in the heart of the city (the Quality Inn ).

In many other cities, there’s nothing that can’t be seen in a day trip while basing yourself elsewhere. Look for travel services and groups to join if you want to see places like the Roman Ruins of Baalbek, the Old Souks in Jbeil and the Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Batroun.

Quality Inn Tripoli, Rashid Karami Int’L Fair – Tripoli, Lebanon, +961 6 211 255

Gemmayzeh looking towards downtown, Beirut

Don’t be afraid to visit Lebanon on your own. It’s a beautiful country with tons to see and do, from the nature in the north to the bustle of Beirut. The media often exaggerates safety situations, but make sure to avoid places that locals warn you against. For more accommodation options, discover our guide on incredible beach resorts in Lebanon and book now on Culture Trip.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling in Lebanon

solo travel to lebanon

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Rachel Off Duty: Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Lebanon

I was hosted by TourLeb while visiting Lebanon. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Want to experience Lebanon firsthand? Come with me on a GROUP TRIP to Lebanon this Summer (Aug 19 – 27, 2023). Space is limited. Reserve your spot with a deposit by clicking this link .

“Have you been to crazy countries before, or is this your first time?” 

My guide, Nada, asked me moments after I slid into her car at the busy Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, weary after the 20-hour journey from Los Angeles to Beirut.

“Yes?” I replied, after making eye contact with my boyfriend Jacob sitting next to me in the back seat. My family is from the Philippines and Jacob’s is from Mexico , after all. Despite it being our first time in the Middle East, we didn’t feel out of place in a country worlds apart from our own, both geographically, culturally, and socio-politically. In fact, my heart was racing for a different reason. I was thrilled to finally set foot in a place I’d dreamt of visiting since I was 13.

“Good,” she chuckled, and with that we whizzed off to Beirut. Welcome to Lebanon! 

Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, Lebanon is fascinatingly, multi-dimensionally rich. Within just 4,036 square miles, Lebanon encompasses six million people, 18 religions, multiple languages and dialects, diverse geography, and more than 6,000 years of history that has carved the country into what it is today. 

While traveling in Lebanon is relatively safe, there are lots of things you should know before you visit this country. Familiarizing yourself with Lebanon’s culture, religions, safety, politics, and economic situation will help you orient yourself more quickly.

Once you do, you’ll be able to better appreciate the spirit of Lebanese people, their joy, their food, and their joie de vivre.

So, let’s get into it. Here are 14 things you should know before traveling to Lebanon!

14 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: The Skyline of Jounieh, Lebanon

1. Guide vs Solo: Should You Visit Lebanon On Your Own?

First, do you need a guide when traveling to Lebanon? As a frequent solo traveler and avid trip planner, I am used to being fiercely independent when I travel abroad. So, I tend to only seek out local guides for individual activities, like walking tours and cooking classes. 

But, after spending 10 days traveling in Lebanon, I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t have been able to do or see even half of the things I got to experience without having a local guide.

Lebanon is a chaotically beautiful country and many things work differently than you might be used to.

Some examples of this include:

  • Street signs often only shown in Arabic or French 
  • Local guesthouses often not searchable on platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb
  • Guesthouse staff, on occasion, not speaking English 
  • Navigating different cultural intricacies, from visiting mosques to traveling to more conservative parts of the country – like Tripoli and Saida 
  • Money being more difficult to understand in general (more on this later)
  • More sensitive areas, like the Beqaa Valley near the Syrian border, having heightened precautions in order to visit safely

And so on. 

Rachel Off Duty: A Ka'ak Vendor in Tripoli, Lebanon

Visiting Lebanon With TourLeb

I visited Lebanon on a private, almost fully-guided itinerary with TourLeb , a women-owned tour company-meets-social enterprise that prioritizes responsible tourism and uplifting local businesses.

The TourLeb staff are unmatched in their knowledge of Lebanon, and I often joked throughout my trip that Nada has the entire country’s six million people on speed dial. In fact, she and her co-founder Joelle started TourLeb after traveling around Lebanon to interview 6,000 people across 1,000 villages to publish a book, Hyphen Islam Christianity , about the people and stories that interweave together to create the oft-hyphenated identities of Lebanon.

So, yes, they’re extremely well connected!

Rachel Off Duty: Exploring Tripoli with Guides from TourLeb in Lebanon

TourLeb offers a couple different options to help travelers visit Lebanon: 

  • Fully Bespoke Private Tours: Ranging from $900-$1500 per week for a couple (or $250 per day for parties of up to 4). This is what I did when I visited Lebanon!
  • Itinerary Planning: $30/day to give you a blueprint for your own self-guided Lebanon holiday.
  • Day Trips: Whether you want a private day trip (like, to visit the Beqaa Valley or Tripoli) or are interested in joining one of TourLeb’s weekly day trips that explore off-the-beaten-path Lebanese villages, they often provide excursions that can help you see more of the country even if you’re on a budget.

solo travel to lebanon

Want to Visit Lebanon with Me?

I’m hosting a group trip to Lebanon this summer! From August 19 – 27, 2023, we’ll walk the footsteps of ancient Romans, cheers to delicious mediterranean wines, dance the night away in Beirut, experience unmatched Lebanese hospitality, uncover palaces and hammams, soak up the sun at the beach, and eat like you’ve never eaten before.

See the full itinerary here or click the button below to reserve your spot! (LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE)

While I recommend having a local guide for your Lebanon trip, you might prefer flying solo. If you do, I still recommend hiring a driver – at least for your first visit – because navigating the roads, army checkpoints, and any unexpected situations in this country would be very tricky without one! 

RELATED: Top Woman-Owned Travel Companies That Should Be on Your Radar

2. How to Get to Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: Downtown Beirut Buildings

Getting to Lebanon is actually easier than you might think!

While there are currently no direct flights from the USA to Lebanon, you can often find routes that only require one layover. Airlines like Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Air France have regular Beirut routes with layovers in Dubai, Istanbul, Doha, or Paris. Compare airlines and prices on Google Flights or Kayak to see which route is best for you. 

When you arrive in Lebanon, you’ll be landing in Beirut. You’ll fill out a brief immigration document and go through customs upon arrival. Unlike the bad rap US customs officials get, customs officials in Lebanon are actually so kind and welcoming to tourists!

The only thing you need to remember? You cannot have any Israeli passport stamps or security stickers in your passport . If you do, you’ll be denied entry to Lebanon.

3. Lebanon’s History

Rachel Off Duty: The Ancient Baalbek Ruins in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon

From the ancient Phoeniciean and Assyrian eras, to Roman and Byzantine regimes, to Crusaders, Mamluks, and eventually, Ottoman Rule, this ancient land had been molded and shaped by countless layers of influence and culture. 

When 300 years of Ottoman rule dissolved after WWI, Lebanon finally became the country we know today. But, its complex history only gets even more nuanced in the last 100 years. Starting with the French Mandate (which is why you’ll hear French as commonly as you will Arabic) in the early 1900s, to the war in the 70s, to the economic and electricity crises of today, to the Beirut Blast of 2020, Lebanon has been dealt a series of hurdles – emerging from each even more resilient than the last. 

Rachel Off Duty: The Ancient Fish Fossils of Byblos

Spend some time exploring this country and you’ll begin to see these layers reveal themselves.

You’ll see it in the ruins that rival those of Athens, the French and Arabic dialects that echo across the souks, the ancient fish fossils of Byblos, the neighboring churches and mosques, and the chic cafes that are serenaded by daily calls to prayer.

4. Safety in Lebanon: Is Lebanon Safe to Visit?

Rachel Off Duty: A Woman Admires the Baalbek Ruins While Traveling in Lebanon

You might be asking yourself – is Lebanon safe? And with everything going on, is it safe to travel to Lebanon now ? 

General Lebanon Safety Overview

In general, traveling to Lebanon is quite safe for tourists. Much safer than the news and our government-issued travel advisories would have us believe. I want to stress this, because the country is desperately in need of tourism and many Lebanese people are quite eager to shed the negative perceptions of their country that the media have long associated with Lebanon.

In fact, I was often met with a combination of surprise (that an American would be visiting their village, restaurant, or hotel!) and delight that resulted in some of the most unbelievable hospitality I’ve ever experienced. 

Geographic / Political Situations Surrounding Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: The Cedar Trees in Lebanon

Now, with that said, Lebanon still presents safety issues you should be aware of.

You shouldn’t visit refugee camps or the borders between Lebanon and Syria, particularly without a guide. The southern region of Lebanon is also the main location of Hezbollah’s conflict with Israel as well, and you’ll begin to see a UN presence once you reach the southern seaside town of Tyre for that very reason.

However, I traveled to both Tyre and the Beqaa Valley near the Syrian border, and in both cases I felt safe and had absolutely no issues. I was super happy to have my TourLeb hosts explaining the history, sociopolitical tensions, and safety protocols every step of the way so I knew what to expect at all times.

In fact, one of my favorite meals was in Rayak, just minutes from the Syrian border crossing to Damascus. 

On the day we traveled to the Beqaa Valley, there was one moment I was particularly grateful to have a local guide. We were visiting the Baalbek ruins, and saw a wedding near the entrance to the site. Our guide told us to anticipate gun shots, as shooting up into the sky is a common way of ‘celebrating’ the new couple’s union. Within moments, we heard gun shots off in the distance. Had we not been briefed on this cultural practice, we would’ve been so spooked!

Economic Situation in Lebanon

Lebanon is undergoing an ongoing economic, fuel, and electricity crisis. While crime rates are actually fairly low in the country, desperate times can mean some desperate situations, and petty theft isn’t unheard of as local people navigate unprecedented economic hardships. Keep close watch of your belongings but also, use this as an opportunity to patronize local businesses and support the local economy with your tourism dollars. 

Safety for Women and Solo Female Travelers in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: A Woman Stands in Front of a Blue Door in The Chouf, Lebanon

Economic and political landscapes aside, I can’t tell you how many times I was told that Lebanon is one of the safest places for woman to travel solo in the Middle East. Likening this to Lebanon’s Arab and Muslim influence (combined with the fact that English and French are widely spoken, making it easier for solo travelers that don’t speak Arabic to get around), people strive to treat solo female travelers the way they’d treat their own sisters, and want to make extra sure these travelers feel safe and welcome when moving throughout the country. This is especially true in the areas more commonly frequented by travelers, like Beirut, Byblos, Batroun, Jounieh, and Tyre. 

Above all else, you can read as much as you want about safety while traveling in Lebanon ahead of time. But, one of the best things you can do is check in with locals throughout your trip. They’ll often have the latest advice on what’s safe, what isn’t, and what precautions you might want to take.

5. Languages Spoken in Lebanon

The national language of Lebanon is Arabic. However, as I just mentioned, French is also super prevalent due to the country’s French Mandate era of the early 1900s. Today, just under half of the Lebanese population is French-speaking, and another 15% are partially French-speaking, as most schools still teach using French as a second language.

Because of the coexistence of French and Arabic, Lebanese people have derived some unique expressions that blur the lines between the two languages. One example of this is saying “merci kteer” instead of “merci beaucoup” to express “thank you very much.” “Merci” is French for “thank you,” while “kteer” is Arabic for “many.” 

Beyond that, English is commonly spoken by around 30% of the population, especially those in the tourism and business industries. Younger generations also lean heavily towards English in day to day conversation.

6. Religions in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: Woman Looking at the Mohammad Al Amin Mosque in Beirut

It is often said that without Lebanon’s enduring political and economic issues, the country could be a model for how the rest of the world can coexist. As a small country with more than 18 religious communities, Lebanon is a multi-faith society where mosques and churches coexist and bell towers and calls to prayer are equally common sounds of daily life. 

Approximately 60% of the Lebanese population is Muslim (including Shiite, Sunni, Druze, Ismaili, and Alawi), and 40% is Christian (including Catholic communities like Maronites, Armenian Catholics, Greek Catholics; and non-Catholic communities like Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Protestants, etc). 

Rachel Off Duty: Visiting the Al Amin Mosque in Beirut, Lebanon

Lebanon is not without its own religious tensions and disagreements. But, as a country that recognizes and respects several religious communities, it is a remarkable thing to witness as a visitor! Here, you can visit mosques and churches in pretty much any city, hike through the Christian monasteries of the Kadisha Valley, and witness the Druze community’s Jumblatt Palace in the Chouf. All of it makes up equal importance in the fabric of what makes Lebanon, Lebanon. 

7. Currency and Exchanging Money in Lebanon

Due to decades of debt, Lebanon is experiencing a financial crisis that can be felt in all aspects of daily life. It’s so bad that Lebanese people are largely unable to withdraw money from their bank accounts, and many salaries that were once livable are now worth mere fractions of what they once were. 

Lebanon uses the Lebanese Pound or Lira, and you’ll see online that $1 USD = approximately 1,513 Lebanese Pounds. But (and it’s a BIG but!), Lebanon widely operates on a black market exchange . On the black market, $1 USD = anywhere from 24,000 – 35,000 Lebanese Pounds at the time of writing this article. 

Because of this, you’ll want to bring your own local currency to Lebanon and exchange currency there, versus trying to find Lebanese currency abroad (most likely, you will not be able to anyway). Once in Lebanon, exchange your money at a reliable place using the ‘black market’ exchange rate, which fluctuates hourly. This way, you’ll get a fair exchange against the actual market value of everyday life in Lebanon. 

I found that navigating the money exchange in Lebanon was one of the most confusing parts of visiting the country. Fortunately, my guide helped with this throughout my 10 days in Lebanon.

8. Lebanon Geography and Places to Visit

Rachel Off Duty: Woman Admiring the Cedars of the Gods in Lebanon at Sunset

When we think of the Mediterranean, most people may first think of Greece, Italy, or Croatia. But Lebanon is a Mediterranean gem in its own right, with beautiful coastlines and many stretches of crystal clear, aquamarine waters. 

Rachel Off Duty: The Geography of Lebanon

Bordering Lebanon are Israel to the south, and Syria to the north and east. No doubt, this is a region all too familiar with conflict and tension. However, in my experience – going with a guide allowed us to travel all over Lebanon while remaining both informed and safe. There are military checkpoints throughout the country monitoring the roads. At one point after visiting Baalbek in the far east, we found ourselves wine tasting on a vineyard just a stone’s throw from the Syrian border. Again, with our guides monitoring the daily conditions of the region, we felt incredibly safe and welcomed by the people in the Beqaa Valley!

Though Lebanon is a tiny country, it will surprise you – from Mediterranean coastlines, to mountain regions fit for skiing in the winter, to verdant green valleys and relaxing wine regions, Lebanon’s geographic diversity is truly unbelievable. 

Some of the Top Places to Visit in Lebanon Include:

  • Beirut : The Paris of the Middle East and the capital city of Lebanon, Beirut should be on any first-timer’s list when traveling to Lebanon. Come here historical city center and neighborhoods, stay for the incredible food and nightlife!
  • Byblos : Also known as Jbeil or Jebeil, the seaside village of Byblos is a remarkable symbol of civilization. Byblos has been continuously inhabited throughout the past 8,000 years, and today, the historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Jounieh : A once sleepy fishing village that now hosts a long list of attractions, Jounieh is just 30 minutes outside of Beirut and well worth a visit. Take the Teleferique cable car, visit the Casino du Liban, explore the famous Jeita Grotto, or go paragliding over the Mediterranean coast. The views are unbelievable!
  • Tripoli : You shouldn’t miss the dizzying, magnificent city of Tripoli in northern Lebanon. Here, you’ll find the largest crusader fortress in Lebanon, a labyrinthine network of souks, and the chilled out fisherman’s village of El Mina which is not to be missed.
  • Baalbek : The ruins of Baalbek are so impressive, they are absolutely worth the trek. Here, you can find some of the finest remaining structures of the Roman Empire, like the Temple of Bacchus.
  • Saida and Tyre : You can visit the southern seaside towns of Saida and Tyre on a single day trip. Visit the Crusader Sea Castle and the old souks in Saida, and the Hippodrome and Al Mina ruins in Tyre, before ending the day on the Tyre Port and Christian Quarter.
  • Chouf : Chouf (also referred to as ‘The Chouf’) is a beautiful region filled with palaces, mountainside villages, a cedar tree reserve, and a large population of Lebanese Druze. Don’t miss the Jumblatt or the Beiteddine Palaces.
  • Kadisha Valley : The famous Holy Valley is located high up in the Mount Lebanon chain, and has been home to countless monastic communities for centuries. The drive through the Kadisha Valley is one of the most stunning in all of Lebanon, featuring rugged landscapes dotted with churches and monasteries throughout. You can visit them by car or even hike between the monasteries on foot.

Read my list of all the places you should visit when traveling to Lebanon next!

9. Culture and Etiquette in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: Exploring the Old Hammams in Lebanon

Lebanon is home to a myriad of cultures and customs, and while there is no sole “fixed” way of doing things, I found the country to be incredibly welcoming and inviting for foreign travelers.

I observed Lebanese teens in Beirut dressed in shorts and sneakers hanging out with friends at local bars, streets filled with locals smoking shisha and playing cards until late in the evenings, veiled and unveiled women at restaurants sharing tea and gossip, you name it. 

With all that said, there are some things you should keep in mind when visiting Lebanon.

General Tips to Follow When Traveling to Lebanon:

  • You can dine with both hands – dining with the right hand only doesn’t really apply in Lebanon 
  • PDA isn’t extremely taboo, but outside of holding hands, tourists should probably do it sparingly (no need to attract unnecessary attention or judgment, especially from more conservative onlookers). And, unfortunately I’d say LGBTQ+ couples should exercise more caution here and adhere to a zero PDA policy when out and about. 
  • Punctuality isn’t really a thing in Lebanon – hours are more fluid and you shouldn’t judge your tours or reservations if they don’t start immediately on time. 
  • Lebanese hospitality is unparalleled. I can’t stress this enough! I’ve never had a better breakfast, better hosts, or better conversations than I did while on this trip. Be a gracious guest and try everything when offered homemade food, be prepared to stay long periods of time and engage in conversation, and bring gifts when appropriate. Hosting is seen as an honor and a privilege, and it isn’t uncommon for even those with the smallest homes to invite you in for a coffee as their guest. 
  • To most Lebanese, Israel is a huge point of contention. Regardless of your understanding of the situation, it’ll serve you well to simply respect the opinions of locals. And, if you’ve ever traveled to Israel in the past, make sure there is no evidence of that trip in your passport when entering the country. 
  • While daily life can be quite relaxed in Lebanon, you should never forget that the country is in the crossroads of conflict. Always remain alert and vigilant with your belongings and with the locations you travel to when traveling to Lebanon, and rely on the advice of locals at all times.

10. Weather in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: A Woman Standing on the Old Salt Flats in Lebanon

Lebanon generally has a mild Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and rainy winters. The coastline will be hotter and more humid than inland and mountainous regions, which can even get enough snowfall in the colder months for skiing and snowboarding. 

If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Lebanon based on the weather, March – May, and September – October are ideal. However, we came in early November and it was still so warm. We even took a dip in the Mediterranean! The only caveat is that in the winter months, the sun will set around 4:30 pm and your daylight hours will be shorter.

Depending on where you plan to go, I recommend packing a variety of clothing fit for both the coastal areas and mountain regions, with some extra layers for any chilly evenings.

11. What to Pack for and Wear in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: What to Wear in Lebanon

Lebanon is a pretty liberal country. So, what you pack will be dictated by your activities and the places you want to visit, rather than based on any particular custom or requirement.

You’ll generally find very casual as well as stylishly dressed people in Beirut, and naturally, a bit more traditionally and modestly dressed people in less densely populated areas. No matter where you go, it won’t be uncommon to see women in modern sundresses and jeans alongside women in veils or burkas in the same setting. 

My Packing Tips for Lebanon:

  • Avoid dresses and skirts / shorts that are extra short, as well as plunging necklines or backless tops (to me, this was honestly less about feeling inappropriate, and more about making sure I was not making any local men or women feel uncomfortable) 
  • Pack swimsuits with a bit more coverage (bikinis are totally fine, but I personally didn’t bring any that were more skimpy) 
  • Stick to breathable fabrics – Lebanon can be hot especially along the coasts! 
  • Bring layers if you plan to visit Lebanon’s mountain regions, particularly in the winter months 
  • Bring a variety of scarves, as you’ll need to cover your hair and shoulders when visiting mosques out of respect. I tied one to my purse every day so I could throw it on when needed.
  • When visiting mosques, as well as more conservative cities like Tripoli and Saida, it’s best to wear pants or a skirt / dress that falls below the knees 
  • Take your shoes off when entering a mosque. If you don’t like the idea of being barefoot, wear socks. The floors will most likely be carpeted!
  • Men should avoid wearing shorts or tank tops in mosques, as your shoulders and legs need to be covered, too

12. Transportation and Getting Around when Traveling in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: Traffic Jam in Tripoli

You could theoretically rent a car and drive while traveling in Lebanon, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Especially if it’s your first time traveling to the country. The roads are confusing, everyone drives with their own rules, and there are military checkpoints throughout the country that – while generally safe – can seem intimidating for foreigners. 

Careem, a transportation app similar to Uber and Lyft, is supposed to be available in Beirut and Jounieh. But, I didn’t get a chance to confirm this for myself while I was there. If you use this app (or any others) when visiting Lebanon, let me know in the comments!

All that said, if you can swing it, I highly recommend booking tours with transportation included, and / or hiring a private guide like we did with TourLeb. If we had driven ourselves, we probably would’ve done less than half of the things we had on our itinerary. The logistics would’ve been too much to navigate, and there are certain parts of the country – like Tripoli and Baalbek – where it really is best to visit with a local that knows their way around. 

13. Food, Alcohol, and Tipping in Lebanon

Rachel Off Duty: A Spread of Lebanese Meze for Lunch

Lebanese people are serious about their food – and it is my absolute favorite cuisine in the world for this very reason. 

Their Mediterranean climate combined with fresh Middle Eastern herbs and centuries-old traditions make even the simplest dining experiences a phenomenal occasion. You’ll want to try all of it, and you’ll want to do a good amount of walking during your visit to balance it all out 🙂

Some of my absolute favorite bites of food in Lebanon included: 

  • A simple, yet crisply fried falafel pita (which cost less than $1 USD) in Saida 
  • Handmade zaatar and cheese manakish (well, anything covered in zaatar, to be honest) 
  • Savory sesame-studded ka’ak filled with cheese and, you guessed it, zaatar
  • Sweet, indulgent knafeh covered in orange blossom syrup and stuffed into a pita, which coincidentally made for a fantastic hangover breakfast 
  • Mezze for every meal of the day 
  • Lahme baajin made on the side of the road in the Chouf 
  • Freshly prepared kibbeh at a cozy restaurant tucked into the mountains of Ehden

I could keep on going – the food is just that good.

Rachel Off Duty: Foods in Lebanon

Alcohol Etiquette in Lebanon: Do People in Lebanon Drink?

Lebanon is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, and you can easily – and abundantly – enjoy alcohol throughout most of the country. In fact, Lebanon proudly produces tons of local beer, wine, and even spirits.

The only restrictions on this will be in the more conservative parts of the country, like Tripoli and Saida, where alcohol will be sparse or nonexistent out of respect for larger concentrations of Muslim populations.

Outside of this, you will be able to easily find and enjoy a drink in Lebanon freely and without worry.

Rachel Off Duty: Drinking in Lebanon

Tipping in Lebanon: Is It Appropriate?

When it comes to tipping in Lebanon, it’s generally advisable to either round up or pay 10 – 15% at restaurants depending on the service you received.

You’ll also want to carry small bills for other tipping encounters, including supermarket trips (if they carry your groceries to your car), gas station stops (an attendant will fill your tank), and buying drinks at a bar.

14. Travel Insurance For Traveling to Lebanon: Do You Need It?

Rachel Off Duty: Trying on Traditional Clothing from Lebanon

Whether or not you need travel insurance is your own personal choice. But, keep in mind that without insurance, any incidents (stolen gear, hospitalization, etc) will need to be covered out of pocket while abroad.

Some reputable travel insurance companies with good reviews include:

  • World Nomads
  • Allianz Travel Insurance

It’s hard for me to put into words how much I loved my time traveling in Lebanon, so I’ll end by saying this: if you’re feeling adventurous and considering visiting Lebanon, you must do it. Lebanon has been without a doubt one of the most culturally enriching, delicious, eye-opening, educational, authentic, raw, and fun countries I’ve visited to date, and I can’t wait to go back!

P.S. Skipped to the end? Don’t fret! While you can travel to Lebanon on your own, some might feel more comfortable visiting with a local tour company. If that’s you, you might want to consider traveling to Lebanon with TourLeb. Mention ‘Rachel Off Duty’ when booking to get up to 15% off a private tour of 3 days or more. Contact them here .

Or, travel with me to Lebanon on a group trip this summer (August 19 – 27). See the itinerary and reserve your spot by clicking this link .

Are you considering traveling to Lebanon? Did you find these tips helpful? Let me know your plans in the comments! 

Read This Next:

  • 10 Unforgettable Places to Visit in Lebanon
  • 10+ Effortless Ways to Start Saving Money for Travel
  • The Best First-Time Solo Female Travel Destinations
  • Solo Female Traveler Safety Tips Every Woman Should Know

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Rachel Off Duty: Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Lebanon - Rachel Off Duty

Hey there! I’m Rachel, a travel writer and a full-time advertising / marketing expert. In 2019, I traveled more than 25 times while working 9 to 5, and since then I’ve committed myself to living a more adventurous life, even if it means bringing my laptop along for the ride. Are you hungry to travel more, but overwhelmed with how to juggle work and play? You’ve come to the right place!

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Is Lebanon Safe to Visit as a Solo Female?

Is Lebanon Safe to Visit as a Solo Female?

Should I Go to Lebanon? Is Lebanon Safe? – are the most common questions typed in Google when one thinks of traveling there. Unfortunately, many people believe that safety in Lebanon is still an issue.

In the past, years ago, Lebanon was a huge tourist destination for beach life in the summer and ski trips in the winter. Due to the political and economic unrest of the country and its neighbors, the number of tourists has declined.

When a tourist says ‘I’m going to Lebanon’, other people will usually consider it brave. When I was heading to Lebanon, my friends kept saying things like ‘stay safe’, ‘be careful’.

Why? I think because the media hasn’t been kind to Lebanon. To name the biggest scandal, just a few years ago, there was a huge controversy surrounding the show Homeland . The show portrayed one of the calmest and colorful streets of Beirut – Hamra, in a terrible way. They called the country a ‘war zone’ with truck bombs, political assassinations, and abductions. Lebanese government even threatened to sue for defamation; for a very good reason.

Let me calm you down. Lebanon is exactly the opposite to how it’s been portrayed in the series. Should I mention that all the scenes were actually filmed in Tel Aviv… (that’s actually also safe)? Remember that there hasn’t been any war in Lebanon for over a decade.

After traveling to Lebanon I would answer your question on whether you should travel to Lebanon in two words: YES, absolutely! Lebanon is a beautiful country and should be on your must-see travel list.

Traveling to Lebanon as a Solo Traveler

  • Where is Lebanon?
  • Is Lebanon Safe?

Visa for Lebanon

Where to stay in lebanon: beirut.

  • What to See in Lebanon & How to Get Around as a Solo Traveler

No-Go Zones in Lebanon

What to wear in lebanon, what to eat in lebanon.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Travel to Lebanon

First Things First: Where is Lebanon?

Lebanon is a small Middle Eastern country bordering Israel and Syria. Arabic is the most common language, but don’t worry – most people also speak French and English.

Lebanese people can be found literally all over the world, hence luckily I’ve been hearing about the country and tasting delicious Lebanese food before I even got to Lebanon.

Lebanon isn’t a full-on Muslim country. Lebanon has several different main religions. It’s 50:50 Muslim and Christian.

Is Lebanon Safe to Travel?

The official Beirut travel advice on  U.K.  and  U.S.  government websites is disturbing. Beirut is just as safe as any European capital. In fact, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world today and the lowest number of Islamic extremists in the Middle East. You won’t get kidnapped, as it doesn’t happen in Lebanon.

Just be careful when crossing the road since drivers tend to not follow any traffic regulations (that said, probably avoid driving in Lebanon!). Some people mentioned military checkpoint, but I haven’t personally experienced any, so can’t speak about them.

While I always underline that the feeling of safety in any place is subjective, not even once I felt in any danger. Quite the opposite actually. No one ever stared at me or thought that traveling as a solo female in Lebanon was in any way weird. Something I can’t say about many other Middle Eastern countries I visited, Jordan included .

If you just go to Beirut, Saida, Tyre or Byblos you should be fine as it’s absolutely safe. BUT, if you plan to go to Tripoli or some southern sensitive areas close to the Syrian border, be careful but also don’t freak out.

is Lebanon safe

Naturally, if your passport contains an Israeli stamp, you will likely be stopped and barred from entering the country. Otherwise, getting a visa for me with an EU passport was very easy.

I simply obtained one at the airport in 5 minutes, no questions asked. Most nationalities traveling to Beirut get a 1-month free visa on arrival.

Speaking of airports, SkyTeam lounge at Beirut airport is amazing and definitely my top 3 airport lounges in the world.

Measured by the coast, the length of Lebanon is only 225 km. Most visitors decide to base themselves in Beirut and do day trips to points of interest around the country. Accommodation options are better in Beirut and this way you don’t have to move during your entire stay in Lebanon.

I stayed at 35 Rooms Beirut and it was a clean, modern boutique hotel in Hamra. The Internet was fantastic, breakfast was included and fresh, so I couldn’t complain. The staff was very friendly and arranged everything for me even on a last-second basis.

Another great option is Albergo Hotel , in a trendy district of Achrafieh. The entire decor looks like something out of Hercule Poirot story!

Lebanese food

What to See in Lebanon

Most travelers want to see a few typical points of interest around Lebanon: Beirut, Baalbek, Byblos, and Tripoli. All of these places can be reached in less than 2 or 3 hours from Beirut. However, there is way more of unexplored beauty in the north and south that you should definitely take some time for.

It’s one of the oldest cities in the world and was, for a period, considered to be the Paris of the Middle East. Beirut’s current architecture slightly reminds me of my hometown Warsaw , where old buildings co-exist with modern and brand new spots.

The city has plenty of fancy restaurants and malls, as well as hole-in-the-wall bars and shops. Everyone can find something to their liking in Beirut. What may come as a surprise to some of you, Beirut is home to some of the best nightlife in the world. My Middle Eastern friends regularly come to the city for a weekend for a party – that’s how good it is.

You can take a sunset walk along the seafront promenade of Corniche to see the famous Pigeon Rocks. If you’re looking for one of these postcard shots of Beirut then that’s your spot.

Beirut Lebanon

How to Get Around Lebanon as a Solo Traveler?

I haven’t stumbled upon any multi-day group tours to Lebanon, probably because of the lack of popularity, so your best bet is to book a plane ticket and visit Lebanon solo.

Once you have a base in Beirut, you have a few options. While I’m normally a fan of self-drive with a rental car and I gladly did that in nearby Jordan, I’d NOT do the same in Lebanon.

I consider myself a pretty fearless driver and had no issues driving in Jordan, Mexico, or Italy, Lebanese driving requires some next-level skills that sadly I do not possess. Neither do I have nerves for. That said, just don’t do it – it’s not worth it.

Private Drivers

Hiring private drivers, on the other hand, is a good option. It gives you flexibility no to be on someone else’s schedule and spend as much time as you want in each spot. The drawback is that most drivers don’t speak little to no English, so while they’re absolutely professional you won’t learn much from them, and at some point, I felt slightly lonely.

When in Beirut, you can easily get a taxi or call an Uber and it’ll cost you less than $5 to get around town. However, I opted for hiring a driver for a half-day or day tour instead of getting Ubers to and from each point of interest outside of the city.

I wasn’t going to rely on Internet connection or presence of taxis during low season and I’m glad I didn’t. I haven’t had a connection in many places and quite often I saw no taxis in smaller towns.

How to find a driver in Lebanon? As a last-minute planner, I simply asked for one at the reception of my hotel. Depending on how far do you want to go they’ll give you a price. I paid about $85 for a driver to 4 spots: Byblos, Jeita Grotto, Harissa and a smaller town at footsteps of Harissa.

I didn’t haggle for the price at all, but I heard that some agencies want to charge you twice as much. If they try, then haggle them down.

Remember: traffic in and around Beirut can be very congested. You may end up tripling your travel time, so keep it in mind.

Public Transportation

You can obviously use public transportation in Lebanon. Mini-vans or buses are a good cheap way to get around, but only if you have enough time. Most of the time you’ll need to wait for the mini-van to fill up before you can leave, and it might be slightly confusing to find the place they all leave from.

Organized Tours

Organized day tours are another great option for solo travelers, as you’ll be able to travel with a small group. Don’t expect big bus tours – there are simply not enough tourists in Lebanon for it.

Private tours that you can  book on Viator  are extremely safe and well-organized. They can also be much cheaper than hiring a private driver, plus you usually get lunch included. The only problem I found with tours is that they’re done by pretty much one company and as a result, certain tours leave only on certain days. I recommend checking available options before your trip and scheduling things in advance to avoid surprises.

Byblos, Lebanon

Day Trips from Beirut

No matter if you decide to hire a private driver or take a tour, you’ll be given similar options of day tours:

  • Byblos, Jeita Grotto, Harissa

This tour can be easily done in half a day, but I need to warn you – spend more time in Byblos, especially if you’re a photographer. Byblos, (Arabic:  Jbail ) is a charming historical coastal city.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world, built on layers of ruins. Beautiful cobblestone alleys are filled with Instagrammable cafes and cute stores.

solo travel to lebanon

Harissa didn’t impress me if I’m quite honest. It’s one of the most important shrines in the world honoring the Virgin Mary that you can reach by a cable-car (sadly, the cable-car was closed during my visit so I went up by car). While the view is impressive, apart from the statue there’s much else.

Jeita Grotto, on the other hand, was breathtaking – it’s actually a contender for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It’s a system of caves with an overall length of nearly 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) that you can explore by boat.

Bad news for photographers though: photography is not allowed inside the caves. You’ll be asked to leave your cameras and phones in a locker.

Harissa Lebanon

  • Cedars, Bcharré, and Kozhaya

Cedars of Lebanon serve as a symbol of a country, so you might want to see them. Be aware that the cedars park is a bit smaller than expected but beautiful. You’ll drive through Kadisha Valley with its monasteries built in the rock.

Note that the road between Ainata and The Cedars that lead to Bcharreh, Batroun and Byblos is closed between October and May, because of the deep snowfall and avalanche hazard along the road.

Lebanon

  • Anjar, Baalbek, and Ksara

Baalbek is one of the spots that many travelers find the most impressive in Lebanon, for a good reason. The Temple of Jupiter (Roman Heliopolis) was a colossal temple dedicated to the cult of Zeus and it’s very well preserved.

Bonus: there’s almost no one there, unlike at the ruins in Greece or Egypt.

Is it Safe to Visit Baalbek?

Yes, it is. I read some stupid article saying it’s unsafe to visit these ruins. Please don’t fall for it and go there.

Ksara is one of the oldest wineries in Lebanon, so you can enjoy some tasting. In Anjar you’ll be able to see the 8th-century Ummayad that was short-lived and that’s one of the reasons why it’s particularly interesting to archeologists.

The spot was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1984.

Baalbek Lebanon

  • Sidon, Tyre and Maghdouche

Tyre and Sidon were an ancient Phoenician port city. They were the most powerful cities-states of ancient Phoenicia and first manufactured the purple dye which made Tyre famous.

It was so rare and expensive that the color purple became synonymous with royalty. You’ll see the ruins of the Sidon Sea Castle and the Castle of Saint-Louis, known as the Land Castle.

Maghdouché’s most famous landmark is the tower of Our Lady of Mantara, which is a Maria shrine built (May 16, 1963).

While Lebanon is generally safe, there are some no-go zones in the country close to the borders with Syria and Israel – for obvious reasons. That said, it doesn’t mean that either of these countries are unsafe, but borders are unstable at the moment.

You’ll see lots of armed police, military, and checkpoints on the road, but it’s no different than I’ve seen in other places. Lebanon is as safe as always.

Lebanon isn’t a Muslim country (it’s 50% Catholic), so there’s no dress code. Some might say that either way you should dress modestly and I was prepared to be dressed as I would in Jordan or Egypt. I was very wrong.

Women in Lebanon wear whatever they want. Uncovered shoulders are more than fine, short dresses also work.

Most locals will have Chanel bags and other branded items, so if you decide to wear baggy conservative clothes then you’ll seriously stand out.

What to Wear in Lebanon

I read that Lebanon is said to have more than 50 mezze dishes. While I’m not entirely sure whether that’s actually true, I can confirm that everything I tasted in Lebanon during my stay was delicious.

Manakish – Lebanese bread topped with cheese and zaatar. I ate it for breakfast every day.

Falafel – Falafel doesn’t need an introduction, but you must have some in Lebanon. Ideally dipped in some delicious hummus. Or baba ghanoush.

Kibbeh – Usually in a form of a ball, kibbeh is made of bulgur, minced onions, and finely ground meat: lean beef, lamb, goat, or camel, with Middle Eastern spices. It’s delicious!

Fatteh – I’m still not sure how I personally feel about fatteh, but it’s surely an interesting dish. It’s basically pieces of flatbread, chickpeas, possibly meat, with yogurt and spices.

food in Lebanon

How Much Does it Cost to Travel to Lebanon

Speaking of money, if you’re coming from the U.S., don’t exchange all your cash to the Lebanese lira. I could pay in Dollars at most restaurants, shops, and hotels. I ended up exchanging some money for more local stores, but don’t go crazy on your first day. The rate is 1500 lira to the 1 US dollar.

I didn’t spend as much as I did in Jordan when visiting Lebanon, but it was definitely more expensive than other places. Objectively, including a hotel, I’d say you could not spend more than $150 a day on average, $200+ if you’re opting for private tours.

* Final Thoughts *

Would I return to Lebanon? Absolutely! There are still many things I haven’t seen and done and I definitely loved the atmosphere food and friendly people.

If you want to experience a destination off the tourist path, but still safe Lebanon should be your choice. As a solo female traveler, I felt safer and more welcome in Lebanon than I did in Jordan for sure.

Solo Female in Lebanon

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Danielle Mathias

Saturday 6th of August 2022

Hi Anna, what's up! Congrats for the fantastic post! I loved it! I'm traveling solo to Lebanon by the end of this month and I'm planing to drive all around by myself. Tons of people think I'm crazy but this is the way I most like to travel and the tours are very expensive and tiring, since they depart from Beirut, so I will have to go and come back every day without enjoying the night atmosphere in some towns. I read that you also don't think it's a good idea to do it. Can you go a little deeper in this issue with me, so I can decide what to do, please? Huge thanks

Anna Karsten

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

Lebanon is one of the places where I would absolutely not drive myself (and I drove in nearby Jordan without issues). Crazy drivers aside (and I'm saying crazy meaning Egyptian driving times 100x), to get out of Beirut you'll be stuck in traffic for hours at times so it's simply better to either way a driver or take a bus, because it's not the most pleasant experience.

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

Thank you! I think this is the first true article describing my country! Finally!

Fred kassouf

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Thank you Anna for correcting the image of my beloved country Lebanon. Yes Im christian and We have a very beautiful country, nightlife, nature, Tasty cuisine.

Whenever You feel like coming back again, feel free to contact me for any help.

Darren Fenton

Friday 8th of March 2019

Thank you Anna! A very helpful insight, Valuable and informative.

Morgan Teresa

Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Awesome info about Lebanon traveling. Great blog!

Lebanon travel guide: a 2-week itinerary

By Joan Torres 56 Comments Last updated on October 30, 2023

Lebanon travel guide

This is a compelling travel guide to Lebanon that shows how to visit the Levantine country during the crisis, including where to exchange in the black market. It also includes things to do, how to move around, where to stay and more.

Despite its tiny size, Lebanon is the most diverse country in the Middle East, a nation that chaotically combines both Arab and European Mediterranean culture, with their love for good wine and the most exquisite food in the region, without never losing their Arab essence.

Lebanon, however, is not in their brightest moment.

A deep economical crisis fuelled by the port explosion and also COVID-19 has left an impoverished country with terrible inflation, and an absolutely desperate population.

As a traveler, Lebanon has changed a lot, the crisis is particularly palpable but that should not stop you from visiting such an alluring country, which is also desperate for foreign currency .

This guide contains travel tips for Lebanon, as well as a complete itinerary.

Lebanon travel guide

In this Lebanon travel guide:

Table of Contents

  • COVID-19 restrictions
  • Traveling during the crisis
  • Power shortages
  • Useful books
  • Travel insurance
  • Moving around
  • Day 1,2,3 – Beirut
  • Day 4 – Byblos
  • Day 5 – Zahlé
  • Day 6 – Baalbek  
  • Day 7, 8 – Tripoli
  • Day 9, 10 – Kadisha Valley
  • Day 11 – Sayda & Mleeta
  • Day 12 – Tyr
  • Day 13 – Go off-beat – Lebanese-Israeli separation wall
  • More Information

😷 COVID-19 Travel restrictions for Lebanon

In October 2022, Lebanon lifted all its COVID restrictions.

🪪 Visa for traveling to Lebanon

Most nationalities can get a free 30-day visa on arrival at the airport in Beiru t , which is extendable for 2 additional months.

You just get an easy, friendly stamp, that’s it, and it’s valid for multiple entries.

Visa for Lebanon

💻 Internet and connectivity in Lebanon

Wi-Fi connection has improved over the last few years, but it’s still not the best, it tends to fail in most budget hotels, and that’s why I recommend buying a SIM Card.

One company I used was Alfa , their internet packages costing the equivalent of around 20USD.

Get a VPN for traveling in Lebanon

You should always use a VPN when you travel, especially when you connect to public Wi-Fi networks.

Your connection will be much safer. 

Moreover, you will be able to access content which is typically censored in Lebanon. 

I recommend ExpressVPN – Extremely easy to use, fast and cheap. 

If you want to learn more about VPN, check: Why you need a VPN for traveling .

Read: A travel guide to Palestine

💰 How to travel in Lebanon during the crisis

As mentioned, Lebanon is immersed in a hugely deep financial crisis, and below are the things that might affect you as a traveler.

1 – Need to know about money in Lebanon during the crisis

In Lebanon, the official currency is the Lebanese Pound (LBP) .

The official exchange rate versus US $ is 1 USD equals 1500LBP .

That’s the official (and old) bank rate. However, because of the crisis, the official rate in the black market is today:

1 USD = 27,000 LPB

The Lebanese pound has devalued more than 15 times its original value in just a few years, it’s absolutely crazy.

Lebanon travel tip – I recommend you download Lira Exchange on your smartphone, an app that gives you the current black market exchange rate.

However, for some reason, Lebanese banks like to keep the old rate.

This means that you should never ever use your credit card in Lebanon, never pay by card, and never withdraw from an ATM, never ever because you’ll get the old rate.

Lebanon is today a cash economy, bring all your money in cash, don’t use your credit card. In the hypothetical case you run out of money, ask someone to send you cash via Western Union or similar, but never without your debit card.

How to exchange money in the black market of Lebanon

They call it black market but basically, the black market for exchanging money in Lebanon is anywhere, including the official money exchange offices which can be found everywhere, especially along Hamra Street in Beirut.

Which currencies do they accept?

You can exchange Euros (€), US dollars, or British Pounds, among others.

If the Lebanese Pound has devalued more than 15 times, does that mean that everything is 15 times cheaper?

No. The currency devaluation has brought massive inflation too.

For example, before the crisis, a bottle of beer in a supermarket used to cost 1,500LBP. Today, you can buy it for 15,000LBP.

solo travel to lebanon

2 – Need to know about power shortages in Lebanon

One of the biggest consequences of this unfortunate crisis for the Lebanese people is their shortage of electricity. When you travel in Lebanon, you’ll see that power cuts occur very often, every day.

As a traveler, if you only stay in fancy hotels and eat in top-end restaurants, the power cuts won’t really bother you, since pretty much all use powerful generators.

However, in cheaper hotels, as well as outside of Beirut, power cuts occur pretty often.

By the way, one top travel tip for Lebanon is not to order meat from certain cheap restaurants, since their fridge might not be always on due to the power cuts.

3 – Is it safe to travel to Lebanon during the economical crisis?

Lebanon has never come without its own issues but this has always been one of the safest countries in the Middle East , a country home to a huge cultural and religious diversity, where there’s never been a place for extremists.

In the last couple of years, however, since the unfortunate crisis started, many travelers are questioning the country’s safety, claiming that traveling to Lebanon isn’t safe anymore, but I strongly disagree.

Crime has always been pretty insignificant in Lebanon and, despite that many Lebanese are in urgent need of cash, it still remains low, and there are no travel reports telling otherwise.

Public demonstrations

Since the crisis started, the only place or moment of potential violence has been during the street protests. If you bump into a public demonstration, it’s recommended to stay away from it.

Moreover, one of the most tangible legacies of the Lebanese Civil War , is that many people in Lebanon have guns at their homes, and many still like to carry them outside of their respective houses.

Once, I took a shared taxi in Beirut , from Hamra to Burj Hamood, and one of the passengers was carrying a gun, yet, nobody seemed to care about it.

This is the reason why in most public demonstrations, some demonstrators have guns, and they tend to like shooting into the sky. Being around those people is, obviously, dangerous.

Traveling to Lebanon during the crisis

🛫 How to get to Lebanon

How to travel to lebanon by air.

The national airline in Lebanon is Middle East Airlines (MEA) , which has several connections across Europe and the Middle East.

Moreover, you can also fly to Beirut International Airport from Paris (Air France), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Barcelona (Vueling), Istanbul (Turkish and Pegasus) and pretty much any country in the Middle East .

How to travel to Lebanon by land

Lebanon shares a border with Israel and Syria.

  • Traveling to Lebanon from Israel: The border with Israel has always been closed, not possible to cross it.
  • Traveling to Lebanon from Syria: It’s fully open and very easy to cross. We use it all the time for our group expeditions .

For more information, read my Syria travel guide .

How to travel to Lebanon by sea

Apparently, the ferry from Cyprus to the northern city of Tripoli isn’t running anymore but you can take a ferry from Tasucu, Port of Mersin (Turkey). However, there isn’t any reliable information online regarding departure timings so overlanders should just show up in Tasucu.

Travel reports are more than welcome 🙂

where to go in lebanon

📚 Useful books for traveling in Lebanon

Lebanon travel guide by bradt.

This is the most up-to-date travel guide to Lebanon. I am a Bradt Guides fan because all their guides are extremely insightful, both from a local perspective and also, because they give plenty of tips for independent travelers which help you easily plan your itinerary for Lebanon.

solo travel to lebanon

Middle East Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

It has only one chapter about Lebanon but, at least, the information here is updated.

solo travel to lebanon

🚑 Travel insurance for visiting Lebanon

Lebanon is one of those countries where you must travel with insurance, as it is a wild place where people drive crazily.

I recommend IATI Insurance  because:

  • Plans for all budgets.
  • Covers all countries in the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq
  • Full COVID coverage
  • It covers senior citizens too
  • Readers of this blog can get a 5% exclusive discount

🕌 The country: people & culture

For me, the highlight of traveling to Lebanon is by far, the Lebanese people.

However, I am not talking about their kindness and hospitality – since that would be falling into the classical cliché one can say about any country in the Middle East – but I am talking about the cultural diversity.

There’s no other country – at least that I am aware of – where there can be so many groups of people living in such a tiny space.

Shia, Sunni, Catholics, Orthodox and Druze, but also Armenians, Palestinians, and Syrians.

From Hezbollah areas to Christian districts inhabited by European-like people and Sunni women wearing the niqab , the cultural mix in Lebanon is so chaotically mixed that it can’t be defined as a whole, and that’s what Lebanon is about.

things to do in Tripoli

Which language do they speak in Lebanon?

The official language in Lebanon is Arabic.

English is widely spoken in Beirut among well-educated Lebanese, especially in the districts of Hamra and Gemmazyeh.

Outside of Beirut, English is less spoken.

French is also spoken among a tiny part of the Lebanese population.

🍲 Food in Lebanon

Lebanese food is a Mediterranean cuisine with influences from both the Middle East and the French colonial era and, as in Spain, Italy or Greece, olive oil is the base of any dish.

Typically, most restaurants serve mezza , an array of small dishes similar to the Spanish tapas, which includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

From the classic  hummus,   kibbeh (a local steak tartar), kebabs and   syadye  (rice, fish, and almonds in a gravy sauce) to a tasty olive oil of the standard of any southern European country and a strong wine culture, Beirut is home to the best food in the entire region.

solo travel to lebanon

Read: Iraqi Kurdistan travel guide

🛺 How to move around Lebanon

Remember to get travel insurance for Lebanon I strongly recommend IATI Insurance as it has COVID-19 coverage + 5% discount Get your 5% discount if purchasing via this link

Everything in Lebanon can be reached in less than 2 or 3 hours.

Except for the northern mountains, where you might need to stay overnight, if you wanted, you can visit the entire country on different day trips from Beirut .

However, in order to enjoy all the places to their fullest, I really recommend spending some nights outside of the capital.

Traveling around Lebanon by public transportation

Lebanon is a very easy country to move around.

There are public buses and mini-vans going to almost every corner in the country from Beirut, where there are 2 main stations named Charles Helou and Cola Station . Charles Helou is ideal for traveling to the north, whereas Cola is to the South.

For more information about these 2 stations, check my Beirut Travel Guide and for more details about how to reach each city in Lebanon, check the Itinerary Section on this post .

Travel around Lebanon by taxi

If you can share the costs with other travelers, traveling by taxi around Lebanon is relatively cheap and pretty convenient, since most places can be reached from Beirut on a day trip.

One easy option would be calling an Uber, but I recommend getting in touch with a local taxi company. One I tried is located in Hamra street . They have fixed rates for going anywhere in Beirut.

Self-driving in Lebanon

You can also rent a car, no problem.

Just be aware, however, that the driving in Lebanon is pretty insane, but definitely not more than in Saudi Arabia , Iraq and any other country in the Middle East .

As per rental car companies, some travelers recommend a local company named Mike Rent a Car , but Hertz or Europcar are also available.

best Lebanon itinerary

📍 Lebanon travel guide: a 2-week itinerary

Here you will find the best itinerary for Lebanon.

It might be a bit challenging to include all of these places in just 2 weeks but, if you plan ahead, it is totally feasible.

Day 1, 2 – Beirut – The most liberal city in the Middle East

What can I say about Beirut that I haven’t said already?

The Lebanese capital is the most westernized and liberal city in the Middle East (outside of Israel), only comparable to Tehran and a city full of contrasts and owner of deep and interesting history.

Beirut is composed of several neighborhoods, each one with its own subculture, so different from each other that, when you are wandering around them, it looks like you are in a different city, from the hipster neighborhood of Gemmazyeh to Hezbollah areas, Armenian, Christian, refugee camps and fancy districts with the most glamorous stores and the best restaurants in the region.

For more information about Beirut, read my article: A travel guide to Beirut

solo travel to lebanon

Where to stay in Beirut

Budget Hotel –   Embassy Hotel  – This is the cheapest hotel in town. The rooms are getting quite old but, at this price, you won’t find anywhere better. The location is great, however, in Hamra, a very cool area to hang out.

Backpacker Hostel –   Hamra Urban Gardens – Located in the main Hamra Street. It offers both suite and dorm rooms with a seasonal outdoor pool and bar.

Mid-range Hotel –  O Monot Boutique – Strategically located at the heart of Beirut, this property was highly recommended by many because of their amazing facilities especially their rooftop bar with a panoramic view of Beirut.

Top-end Hotel –  Radisson Blu Hotel – If you are looking for a comfortable place which has a delightful design, a good restaurant and other various facilities, this 5-star hotel is a perfect choice. Located in Dunes shopping center and 5-minute walk away from the beach.

Itinerary for Lebanon

Day 3 – Byblos – The native home of the modern alphabet

With 8,000 years of history, Byblos is considered one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the place where the first inscriptions containing the modern western alphabet were found.

Byblos derives from the Greek word bublos , meaning papyrus , as the town was the stopping place for the Phoenicians who shipped papyrus from Egypt .

Besides a super interesting museum that explains the history of the creation of the alphabet, in Byblos you can also visit a crusader castle from the XII century, built by the Franks, a restored souq, a beautiful Mediterranean harbor full of restaurants, where you can eat seafood feasts, and some archeological sites containing mainly Roman ruins but also from many other civilizations, from the Neolithic settlements 8,000 years ago to Phoenician, Egyptian, Greek and Ottoman.

Book a tour to Byblos from Beirut It also includes Jeita & Harissa CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Byblos, Lebanon

How to get to Byblos from Beirut

Byblos is around 50km from Beirut. Buses depart from Charles Helou station.

Where to stay in Byblos

Byblos can be reached on a day trip from Beirut but, in case you wanna stay here, here’s a few options:

Budget Hotel – Sea Valley – The cheapest hotel in Byblos is a very decent aparthotel. 

Mid-range hotel – L’Hotel de mon pere – With stunning panoramic sea views and really awesome breakfast, this super pretty modern hotel serves the best quality in Byblos, at the lowest price. It is really close to the beach and even closer to the Old City of Byblos, so you can’t ask for more!

Top-end hotel – Byblos Sur Mer – This boutique hotel is at the most privileged location in the whole of Byblos, next to the ruins, on the seaside and at the heart of where the exquisite social life in Byblos is, which consists of eating at the seafood fancy restaurants that compose the harbor.

things to do in Lebanon

Day 4 – Zahlé – The face of Lebanon you didn’t know about

What I loved about Zahlé was that, even though it is a Lebanese city located in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, it is more similar to the villages of Mediterranean Europe than to Lebanon itself, as this city, with a Christian majority, is famous for its wineries and for its restaurants, serving the best mezza in the whole country.

In Zahlé, you can’t miss Berdawini , located just outside of the city, a green area with a river flowing, plenty of high-quality restaurants, slightly pricey for my taste but delicious.

When I went there, it was not only full of Lebanese people from the middle-upper class but also, there were plenty of Western diplomats escaping from Beirut for the weekend.

I also recommend you go to Ksara Winery , the oldest and most famous winery in the whole country.

I always prefer visiting small, traditional wineries, rather than big corporations (check my Kakheti travel guide ) but I have to admit that the wine I tasted here was excellent. Their tour was OK but there wasn’t any need to book it in advance.

Book a wine tour from Beirut which includes 3 different wineries in the Beqaa Valley CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Wine tour Lebanon

How to get to Zahlé from Beirut

Zahlé is on the way to Baalbek, so you should first take a bus to a town named Chtoura. From there, you can get on a second bus to Zahlé.

I got it at Cola Station but there may be a direct bus from Charles Helou station.

Where to stay in Zahlé

There is no cheap accommodation in Zahlé: the most budget accommodation starts at 70USD, so if you are on a budget, you should spend the night in Baalbek or go back to Beirut.

Mid-range Apartment Hotel – Berdawni Apartments – This apartment-hotel is nothing outstanding but it really fulfills its function, with very comfy beds and the best location, right next to Berdwani river, the highlight in town. It is a good value money for money option and, in any case, you won’t find anything cheaper!

Top-end Hotel – La Place Hotel – Located in the old part of town, people love this hotel because it manages to combine the old and traditional with very modern facilities and exquisite decoration. The breakfast is great and they have the purest and kindest Middle Eastern service.

best places to visit in Lebanon

Day 5 – Baalbek – The most impressive and off-the-beaten-track Roman ruins

Lebanon travel tip – Pay the entrance ticket in Lebanese Pounds (LBP), not in USD, since they will give you the official bank rate, meaning that you’ll pay no more than 1 dollar to enter the site. Before the crisis, the entrance fee was $15

Visiting Baalbek is one of the best things to do in Lebanon, a city that has some impressive Roman ruins, built on a giant scale and often considered the most important in the Middle East and, controversially, one of the least visited off-the-beaten track Roman ruins in the world, even lesser visited than Palmyra in Syria , which used to receive hundreds of thousands of visitors before the war.

visit Baalbek

The temple of Jupiter and the temple of Bacchus are the buildings that dominate this stunning architectural masterpiece.

Seriously, these Roman ruins are just outstanding and, when I went there, I had the ruins completely to myself.

Book a tour to Baalbek from Beirut the easiest way to visit the site with no hassle CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

How to get to Baalbek from Beirut 

Baalbek is 90km from Beirut.

From Cola Station, there are buses going to Chtoura, situated half-way, a town from where you should take a second bus to Baalbek.

Where to stay in Baalbek

Even though you can visit Baalbek on a day trip, I strongly recommend spending one night there to see the ruins at sunset time.

Budget Hotel  – Jammal Hotel – This is the most budget hotel in Baalbek but you can’t book it online. It is OK for 1 night. 

Mid-Range Hotel  –  Palmyra Hotel  – This is, perhaps, the most famous hotel in the country and the reason is that it has never been closed since it was opened in 1874. it has hosted famous people such as Nina Simeone and the President of France It is also located next to the Roman ruins. I personally think the hotel is absolutely overpriced, since there hasn’t been any renovation for decades.

what to do in Lebanon

Day 6 – Tripoli – The most traditional Lebanese city

Tripoli is the second biggest Lebanese city, a city that would probably fit in what you think are the Lebanese standards, with its beautiful old souq of spices, ancient medieval architecture, and a citadel from where you get fantastic views of the city.

In Tripoli, a city famous for its sweets, live the Lebanese people who have the famous Arabic hospitality, as it’s impossible to be wandering the streets, kind of lost, without several locals offering you their help.

This is a city to get lost in around its narrow alleys and an old city belonging to the XIV century.

Furthermore, you can’t miss the fortress of Raymond de Saint Gilles, built in the XI century and the lovely neighborhood around the harbor.

By the way, you probably heard that the U.S. Embassy describes Tripoli as a dangerous city to travel to. Why is that so? Since the Civil War, there have been one-off clashes between Sunni and Alawi Muslims who reside in the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jebel Mohsen, respectively. Throughout the years, these clashes have killed several people.

This is a one-off conflict happening in a specific area, far away from the city center. It’s a fight between two small districts and doesn’t go beyond.

The rest of the city is totally cool and safe. However, since I’m an extremely curious human being, I also went to Jebel Mohsen . And what can I say? Life there was merely normal. Again, clashes and bombings happen once a year, not more.

things to do in Tripoli, Lebanon

How to get to Tripoli from Beirut

Located 80km, there are buses leaving from Cola Station continuously, as well from Charles Helou.

Where to stay in Tripoli

There are very few options in Tripoli but these would be the most popular:

Budget Guest House –  Haddad Hotel– The facilities and rooms are very old but the staff is a lovely family that will give you a very charming welcome and a great, traditional breakfast. With an awesome location, close to the old city, this is the best place for budget travelers and backpackers. Online booking not available. 

Mid-range Hotel – Via Mina Hotel – Being the top rated hotel in Tripoli, Via Mina has a kind of rustic style but with very modern facilities at the same time. It is located right in front of the sea, has a great pool and the staff will bless you with great hospitality.

Beautiful places to visit in Lebanon

Day 9, 10 – Kadisha Valley – Lovely Christian mountain villages

If you either want just to relax, eat good food, visit beautiful Christian monasteries or to go hiking, the Kadisha Valley in Lebanon will always be the perfect place for you.

Kadisha means ”holy” and owes this name to the fact that this valley is home to some of the most ancient communities of monastic Christians  in the Middle East.

In case you don’t know, monasticism is a way of life for which the person (in this case Christian monks) renounces everything to devote himself completely to spiritual work.

The valley is full of natural caves, difficult to access, that once served as places of isolation for the monks living lives devoted to Christ.

solo travel to lebanon

How to get to Kadisha from Tripoli (or Beirut)

If you come from Beirut, you will have to go to Tripoli first.

Once in Tripoli, there are buses leaving from 9am to a small village named Bsharri, which is a great base to explore the rest of the valley. For coming back, the last one is at 4:30pm.

Where to stay in Kadisha Valley (Bsharri)

Kadisha is one of those places where you really should spend one night at least, especially if you come by public transportation. Otherwise, you will just have 1 hour to explore it entirely.

Budget Guest House – Tiger Guest House – This is an ideal place for budget backpackers and, basically, the only cheap accommodation in town. Everything is very simple but the family is lovely and very helpful.

Mid-range Hotel – Bauhaus Chalets Apartment – Breathtaking views, a very accommodating owner, and pretty modern facilities, this hotel is pretty good, given the low range offer in Bsharri.

Travel guide to Lebanon

Day 11 – Sayda and Mleeta – Hezbollah territory

Sayda is a small city located 40km from Beirut. Slightly conservative, Sayda is a nice place to visit on a day trip, wandering around its labyrinthine, covered souq, full of cafés where the Lebanese are sitting outside, looking with expectation at the few foreigners that pass by.

Perhaps, the most iconic building in the city is the castle, built in the XII century, located on a tiny island just 80m from the shore, whose walls turn into a beautiful orange during the sunset.

Mleeta, the Museum of Hezbollah

A fantastic day trip from either Beirut or Sayda is visiting the Mleeta Museum, aka the Hezbollah Resistance Museum .

Hezbollah is a Shia militia and armed group created in Lebanon during the war against Israel.

They don’t like to be called militia, however, but they consider themselves a resistance organization against a common enemy named Israel.

The area around Mleeta was their headquarters and stronghold during the war and today, they have built an amazing museum where you can visit the underground tunnels they used to hide in, as well as some captured Israeli tanks and artillery.

The museum only costs a few $ and it includes a guided tour with a member of the militia.

While it’s true that his explanations are pure propaganda, the guides are open to absolutely any question, and they are actually very pleasant people. A must-see.

Mleeta Museum

How to get to Sayda from Beirut 

To get to the south of Lebanon, Cola Station is the best and only option.

Where to stay in Sayda

Sayda isn’t famous for its accommodation. To be honest, I didn’t stay here but came on a day trip from Beirut. In any case, if you plan to stay here, these are the most feasible options:

Budget / Mid-range Hotel – Yacoub Hotel – A very old hotel from 1920, Yacoub is located very close to the old city and the beach, the main city’s tourist attractions. However, many people have complained about cleanliness, especially because it is not a cheap hotel for what you get.

Mid-range Hotel – Al Qualaa Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel isn’t bad but, for what you pay, the experience should be way better. The location is unbeatable, next to Sayda Old Fort and, overall, it is in a very cute building and the breakfast is just great. However, people complain about small details, like power cuts, the shower was not working and a large etcetera.

Saida, Lebanon

Day 12 – Tyre – Your beach destination in Lebanon

The most southern city in Lebanon, Tyre brags about being the place where you find the best beaches in the country.

In summer, every day, tons of Lebanese come from Beirut to spend the day and chill at its beaches and eat awesome seafood at the many restaurants that are found around the harbor.

In Tyre, you also find a castle, Roman ruins, a corniche, and a beautiful and colorful harbor, full of seafood restaurants.

How to get to Tyre from Beirut

Tyre is 90 kilometers from Beirut and buses leave from Cola Station.

However, you should first take a bus to Sayda and, from there, take the second one to Tyre.

Tyre, Lebanon

Where to stay in Tyre

In Tyre, accommodation is super expensive. I didn’t stay there but, if you are a beach lover and you can afford it, this is the most popular hotel:

Mid-range Hotel – Asamina Boutique Hotel – Tastefully furnished and with really cozy rooms and comfortable beds and located in the old city, very close to the sea, this is one of the best boutique hotels in the country. They serve an amazing traditional breakfast, with really fresh products and the staff are just extremely accommodating. I think this is the best option in Tyre, better than any of the other resorts, which kind of lack of personality and authenticity.

solo travel to lebanon

Day 13 – Go off-beat – The wall that separates Lebanon from Israel

Both Lebanon and Israel have been in continuous war for several decades and, today, diplomatic relations between both countries don’t exist, since they still consider each other to be enemies. This is one of the most sensitive borders in the world.

These two Middle Eastern countries share a 79-kilometer border. For the most part, it is unreachable, as it’s located too far from the road. But I was told that there’s one area where you can actually get close to it. I liked the idea pretty much, so I decided to go there.

Visiting it is an adventure, as the whole area is full of military facilities and soldiers from the United Nations, who are guarding the border.

You need to be very cautious when visiting it. I was there by myself, with a camera, and I got arrested. If you wanna read my full story, check out this article: The day I was accused of being an Islamic State spy .

Please note that this is a Hezbollah area, which means that a permit is required . It’s very easy to obtain and you can get it at the police station in the city of Sayda.

They give it to you instantly but remember that a permit makes you eligible to enter the area and it doesn’t mean that you can take pictures or walk freely along the wall.

solo travel to lebanon

How to get to the Wall from Beirut

Be aware that it is not recommended to get there by public transportation, as you will trigger the suspicion of the Hezbollah Army.

It is not about walking around the wall but just that tourists never go there, so seeing a dude wandering there by himself is kind of weird, according to their eyes.

As I said, I got arrested when I was there but, in part, it was because I had a camera hanging from my shoulder.

Going there on your is your own responsibility but, if you decide to go, here’s how to get there by public transportation.

From Beirut, go to Cola Station and take a bus to Sayda. From Sayda, take a bus to Nabatiyeh. In Nabatiyeh, you need to take a shared taxi towards Kfarkela. You have to drop off as soon as you see the wall. Please note that you may have to wait for over an hour for the taxi to be completely full.

❗ More information to complement your Lebanon itinerary

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

All guides and articles for traveling in Lebanon destination

  • Beirut Travel Guide
  • Solo Female Travel Guide in Lebanon
  • The day I was accused of being an Islamic State spy
  • Is Lebanon Safe

Travel guides to other countries in the Middle East

  • Iran Travel Guide
  • Iraq Travel Guide
  • Travel Guide to Oman
  • Travel Guide to Saudi Arabia
  • Syria Travel Guide
  • Palestine Travel Guide
  • Yemen Travel Guide

You will also be interested in: Where in the Middle East is safe? and The most beautiful places in the Middle East .

Lebanon itinerary

56 comments

Wow, Lebanon looks beautiful! I like the mix of elements it seems to have based on your photos. I’ve always been a fan of the food too 😉

Hey Shannon, thanks for your comment. It’s a very underrated country and, the mix of elements you say, is what makes the country great ;9 ª

I am Lebanese!!! And i’m so happy you enjoyed your trip to Lebanon

Really? That’s awesome! It’s one of my favorite countries 🙂 !

I’m so glad I just stumbled on your blog. I am a Syrian/Lebanese American traveling to Lebanon for the first time in a few days. I have family in a village east of Tripoli named Aalma, I have yet to locate them but I do know that is where my family came from before migrating to the US. I will be spending a week traveling across Lebanon, a journey I have dreamt of for a long time coming.

Not to keep you for too long but I wanted to thank you for shedding light on Lebanon. A country which is mistakenly given a bad reputation due to strict travel warnings from my government.

Hey man! That’s amazing that you are going on a trip to Lebanon to know more about where your family comes from. Are you going to stay with some relatives? Please, do let me know if I can help you with anything. Cheers,

Hey, do you think I can show up at the cheap hotels in Tripoli and Baalbek and there will be a room available? By the way when you speak about Zahlé you say it’s called Berdawini but it’s Berdawni.

Hard to say, man. I went during low season and one of the hotels in Baalbek was fully booked… If there’s the option, I would book in advance!

Wanting to travel to Lebanon do many people speak English? Do I need a guide? If so what’s the charge. And where is the airport? Close to what country

Hi Linda. Most educated people speak English. You don’t necessarily need a guide, it’s up to you. The airport is in Beirut.

Amazing Joan. What a special place.

Is it possible to arrive by boat from Cyprus? And how much is a visa?

Yes, it’s possible and visa is free

Hey i am planning a one week Lebanon. Is it possible to cover all the famous destinations within one week?

Hi, maybe you could cover Beirut, Baalbek, Byblos and Tripoli, yes, why not.

Can all these be done as day trips? The hotel in Tripoli is expensive.

hi, do you think having my wedding in LEBANON (BERUIT) is a good idea/

Sure, why not 🙂 ?

Hello there,

Your blog about Lebanon is really great ! My parents are lebanese and Im going there for the 1st time this summer. I really liked your itinerary. I was wondering if we needed a private driver to go from one place to another when we leave Beirut, since there isn’t really public transportations outside of Beirut. For example, I want to visit the cedars, and I would also like to go from byblos to Baalbek. Cheers!

Hello! There is public transportation all over the country, you don’t need to worry about anything. Only to the cedars, you may need to hire a taxi, including the taxi. In the article itself I give plenty of transportation tips, like how to get from each city to the other

Hey Joan Thanks for your blog! I enjoyed reading it. I’m going to Lebanon for eight days, so far I plan to stay in Beirut for three nights, nearby Chouwen lake for two nights and then to Byblos and/or Tripoli. Do you think I’m trying to cram too much in? I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have on that plan. Thanks

Hi Madeline, 8 days is good enough for what you want to visit and I think you can even visit both Byblos and Tripoli, spending 1 night in each.

we are looking for a great in -Lebanon travel organiser to essentially fix all elements of our trip for us. Maybe not the flight from the UK but everything else. 8-10 days. Can you recommend either the best local company for that or even one based here in the UK looking to come in either May or October.

Many thanks for this blog.

Hi Keith, I don’t know about any specific travel agency for Lebanon, sorry. I did everything independently

Fab information! Do you know if having a Lebanese stamp in your passport will stop you from entering any countries – and if so, which?

Thanks! Emily

Hey Emily, no, it won’t stop you from going anywhere. Please, refer to this for more information: https://againstthecompass.com/en/avoid-israeli-passport-stamp/

Hi there, I enjoyed reading your blog. We’re going to Lebanon from the UK for two weeks in October. We’re planning on spending a week in Beirut, and maybe three nights in Byblos and Batroun. Does this seem a good way to divide our time? Thanks!

Hi Ellbin, it’s all right, but try to save one day for going to Baalbek at least!

Hi Joan, Just a few questions as you seem pretty familiar with the middle east. Will it be an issue entering Israel with visas from Sudan, Kurdistan and Syria? Am planning a trip to cover Lebanon, Israel and Jordan early next year and am considering adding on Kurdistan or Syria. Any ideas on itineraries. Will have to do at least one flight from Kurdistan and also from Lebanon to Jordan if not crossing through Syria.

Hi Melody! I suggest you check out this post 🙂 https://againstthecompass.com/en/avoid-israeli-passport-stamp/

Hi! I just booked my tickets to go to Lebanon in September. I’ll stay there for 2 weeks! I’ll spend about one week in Beirut (visiting some places from there), and then I’ll explore the Q. Valley and do lots of hiking. Thanks SO much for this information, it’s been very helpful! I also love the Middle East. I’m getting ready to go to Israel (second time) with my kids :). We’ll spend more time in the North this time. Blessings!!!

Thank you, Laura, have a great time in Lebanon!

Hi Joan, I read your blog and a couple of others and booked a trip to Lebanon a couple of months ago and was really exited. However, I have just read that if you have the exit stamp into Jordan on your passport you won’t get passed border control (even when flying from the UK) in Beirut. We went to Israel and Jordan in 2018 so I have the entry, exist and “residence for one month” stamps in my passport. Do I need to cancel my trip? We are due to leave on Sunday so I’m not really concerned we won’t be able to go. Thanks, Alex

P.S. I have already read your blog “avoid Israeli stamp” but there was only one stamp on the passport photo in this blog. We have two which I assume is entry and exit as we left and then returned to Israel. Surely these would be the stamps you would get if you entered and exited the country from anywhere?

Where did you enter and exit from, via airport or by land?

Hi Alex, a Jordanian stamp is fine but you won’t get into Lebanon with an Israeli stamp. Just change your passport, report it lost or something, probably cheaper than cancelling your trip.

Hi, please advise if it is still safe to go to Tripoli, I supposed to meet my engaged and get married there next month…I will wait for him at Beirut airport and then go to tripoli….

Yes, Tripoli is very safe

I’ve been to Lebanon a year ago and agree with most of what is said, except for food and accommodation because I was hidted by locals.

Naqoura and the very South are a gem undisturbed by big hotel complexes. A permit us indeed needed but not because it’s un Hezbollah territory but because it’s UNIFIL zone. You do have to get it in Salida but it takes a while and the process is quite opaque. Plan in advance if you can

Sorry about the typos, I should have read before posting.But I guess the text can be understood. And it’s Saida, not Salida, of course

Dear Joan, Thank you for your excellent information on Lebanon. A remark and a question: – The text of LEBANON TRAVEL GUIDE: A 2-WEEK ITINERARY appears only in Spanish (English flag not working) – Is it OK to get visum at Beirut Airport if passport contains stamp from Iran? Thanks.

Thanks for telling me, I really appreciate it. It’s been fixed now 🙂

Yes, no problem to enter Lebanon if you have an Iranian visa or stamp.

Hello Joan, This is a request that I take the liberty to put on your blog. As part of a master class in photojournalism with the National Geographic magazine I am looking for a ‘story’ in Beirut. For this I need to find a local guide to ‘develop’ this story. To show me around Beirut, make the contacts etc. Not so much the tourist sites but the life itself, after the explosion. I would be very grateful for your suggestions.

Thanks for the info. As of Oct. 29, a Covid test is no longer required.

Many thanks for an excellent blog post! Great to know about bringing currency to exchange before visiting Lebanon. I am visiting Lebanon for the first time in May for two weeks. I intend on booking a hostel online in Beirut to base myself for day trips for the first week and then go hiking around Kadisha Valley and spending time around Baalbek before flying onwards.

My question is – approximately how much $US/day would you recommend bringing over with you? I plan on staying in hostels/budget hotel, using public transport where possible and doing a bit of solo hiking. Just wanted to know a ballpark figure so that I don’t find myself short and have to use my debit or credit card and deal with the terrible exchange rate offered by the banks.

Hi Sam! I think you need around $50 a day, so I’d bring the equivalent of 70 a day, just in case! But it’s always hard to say. There are so many restaurants and night bars in Beirut, so you also need to think about that!

I was thinking about this itinerary, private tour, two people, hotel 3/4 only breakfast, if is possible italian speaking guide: 1 arrival beirut 2 beirut 3 Jeita Grottoes – Harissa – Byblos 4 Tripoli-Ehden 5 Valley of the Cedars – Baalbek -Zahle 6 Anjar – Beittedine – Deir al Qamar 7 Tire – Sidon 8 Beirut – Italy Greetings. Ilario giacometti

Thank you so much for this fantastic post! I was wondering how late are the last buses from places like Byblos and Baalbek since most of the hotels are expensive/booked out? Thanks again for making such a great page!!!

Hi Dhruv, I am not entirely sure, maybe around 7pm?

Hola Joan. Gracias por tu gran e interesante y profesional información de tu blog. De todos los países que visitas En cuanto a Líbano.. no es conveniente llevar euros? Se usa más dolares? Gracias

Hola Poli, en general, puedes cambiar de euros a libras libanesas sin problema alguno.

Sin embargo, hay hoteles que solo aceptan pago en efectivo y en dólares.

Lo que resulta mejor es llevarlo todo en euros y para el hotel, cambiarlos allí mismo a dólares. La tasa que ofrecen es mucho mejor que si compras dólares en Europa.

Lo que yo hago es llevar todo en euros, y lo cambio todo a libras o a dólares.

Hi, I´ve seen some comments and foregin governments advising not to go to Baleek. Is there any threat of doing this? Seems like a very touristic place. Going to Lebanon in october.

Hi Simon, it’s fine, it’s just that in that region there’s been local issues related to drug trafficking

Hi this is an awesome resource thanks so much for putting it together. Just wondering what the weather is like in October ( first couple of weeks). Want to go when it’s hot. Thanks

October is autumn, not super hot but pleasant

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Lebanon Solo Female Travel Safety Tips and Advice

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solo travel to lebanon

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Lebanon Country data

We have compiled a few data points below that can help you better understand Lebanon and have more context when thinking about travel safety.

Official country name: Lebanese Republic.

Etymology: Derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon.

Country map

solo travel to lebanon

Locator map

solo travel to lebanon

Capital: Beirut.

Independence / foundation: This region was subject to various foreign conquests for much of its history, including by the Romans, Arabs, and Ottomans. Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920 and it gained independence in 1943.

Population: 5 million.

Currency: Lebanese Pound (LBP) 1 USD = 1,500 - 1,600 LBP 1 EUR = 1,550 - 1,900 LBP

Time zone: UTC+2

Languages spoken: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian.

Religions: Muslim 68% (32% Sunni, 31% Shia, smaller percentages of Alawites and Ismailis), Christian 32% (Maronite Catholics are the largest Christian group), Druze 4%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, and Hindus. Note: data represent the religious affiliation of the citizen population (data do not include Lebanon's sizable Syrian and Palestinian refugee populations); 18 religious sects recognized.

Climate: Mediterranean climate with mild to cool, wet winters, and hot and dry summers. The Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows.

Real GDP (ppp – purchasing power parity): $79.51 billion.

Real GDP per capita (ppp): $11,600.

Main airports: Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

World heritage sites in Lebanon

solo travel to lebanon

There are over 1,100 world heritage sites spread across more than 165 countries. New ones are added every year, and some may be removed from the list for various reasons.

Number of UNESCO listed sites : 5.

Top world heritage sites :

Interesting facts about Lebanon

solo travel to lebanon

Further reading : N/A.

Lebanon Travel tips

Socket type: C / D / G. Guide to socket types .

Weekend days: Saturday and Sunday.

Driving: Cars drive on the Right.

Local taxi apps: Uber , Careem .

Travel Guides: Lonely Planet , Bradt Guide .

Languages spoken : Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian.

Basic words and phrases in the main language:

Find a hotel in Lebanon

Book tours and activities :

More about Lebanon on Solo Female Travelers

Did you spot any errors? We do our best to keep this information updated and accurate, but things change. If you saw anything that is not right, let us know so we can fix it: [email protected] .

About the Solo Female Travel Safety Index

Safety matters to solo female travelers, you told us so in our annual  Solo Female Travel Survey , where year after year, women prove that this is their most important concern when traveling solo.

We wanted to do something about it, so we built these country-specific pages where you can find reviews and scores for 7 key variables affecting the safety of women traveling solo.

  • Risk of scam
  • Risk of theft
  • Risk of harassment
  • Attitudes towards women
  • UK Travel Advisory
  • US Travel advisory
  • Global Peace Index (GPI)

Informing OSAC

The Solo Female Travel Safety Score is used by the Overseas Security Advisory Council for including safety concerns for women travelers in their country security reports; OSAC is a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and private-sector security community.

solo travel to lebanon

How to use the Safety Index

On this page, you will find the country score and the personal opinions on safety of other women traveling solo.

You can sort the comments by:

  • The  level of experience traveling solo  of the reviewer (beginner = <5 trips solo, Intermediate = 5 to 10 trips solo, Experienced = >10 trips solo).
  • The  age  of the traveler.
  • Whether they are a  visitor or local .
  • The  date  they were posted.

The safety scores range from 1 to 4 with 1 being the safest and 4 being the most dangerous for solo female travelers. 

Thus, the lower the score, the safer the country.

Looking for more safety resources?

This entire website is devoted to helping women travel solo. Check out the links below to learn more:

solo travel to lebanon

Solo Female Travel Stats : Results from the the largest, most comprehensive and only global research study on solo female travel trends, preferences and behaviors published.

Thanks to Jacobo Vilella for creating the Solo Female Travelers Safety Index ❤️

solo travel to lebanon

12 Shots of Solo Travel Around the Country

solo travel to lebanon

Escape the confines of your home by taking a virtual tour with  Dounia Raphael , an explorer who loves to travel solo around Lebanon. 

Qadisha Valley Beaufort Castle (Nabatieh) Taanayel Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve Miziara Ehmej Baalbeck Kfarmatta Byblos Kfour Jeita

Follow Dounia Raphael’s  Instagram  and  Facebook  pages.

Note: all photos taken prior to COVID-19 lockdown measures were implemented.

A Guide to Hiking with Your Pet in Lebanon

Cycling champion kenny belaey rides lebanon’s mountains, you may also like, best burger places in beirut, top-rated skates and scooters at decathlon, exciting new restaurants in lebanon, where to shop the best galette des rois, christmas markets around lebanon, where to spend new year’s eve in lebanon, the perfect christmas destinations in lebanon, the house of christmas annual market: supporting families..., where to shop for christmas decorations in lebanon, wood cabins and bungalows in lebanon.

solo travel to lebanon

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LEBANON , Middle East , Solo Female Travel

Solo female travel in lebanon: is it safe.

Solo Female Travel in Lebanon

When many people think about visiting the Middle East – especially solo female travellers – their minds tends to fill with all sorts of concerns.

Is it safe?

What can I wear?

Will I get harassed?

Indeed, I too had many of these fears before I set out to travel this part of the world, by myself, on a budget.

Concerns about safety and how easy travel would be as a solo female in this part of the world were certainly high on the list.

But, as I’m pretty much always delighted to discover, these were completely unfounded!

In my opinion I felt very safe in the Middle East, found deciding what to wear very easy and almost never felt uncomfortable.

And top of the list when it came to unfounded travel fears, was discovering the lovely, little country of Lebanon.

Hands down the best destination I visited in the Middle East, I’ve actually travelled to Lebanon 4 times now and still love it!

So if you’re a single lady voyager thinking of wandering over this way, and that doesn’t give you enough confidence, then check out this post for the full lowdown on solo female travel in Lebanon, I’m certain it will have you booking your ticket in a flash!

Related Posts

  • 10 Epic Things to Do in Lebanon You Can’t Miss
  • 25 Things to Know Before you Travel Lebanon
  • The Complete Lebanon Packing List

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.

General Safety in Lebanon

Lebanon, Tripoli, Window & Paint

This major thing I noticed when I was planning my first trip to Lebanon was how little information there was online about safety, particularly from others travellers who had been there recently and experienced the country for themselves.

Having to rely solely on the word of the few travellers I’d met personally who had been to this country, therefore, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and visit myself, because literally everyone I met had LOVED Lebanon.

And I’m shamelessly now joining that pack of lovers too, because after 2 months in Lebanon, there’s no question this country ranks as one of my global favourites.

Because as I found out, Lebanon as a travel destination is hugely undiscovered, hugely underrated and widely misconceived.

And a lot of those misconceptions revolve around safety.

Yes Lebanon had an awful civil war, but that ended in 1990 and having only had a 34 day war since then in 2006, it’s fair to say things are pretty stable these days.

In fact, I’d go further than that and say Lebanon is actually flourishing, but more about that later.

Travellers are also understandably concerned about safety in Lebanon due to its proximity to Syria and its fractious relationship with neighbour Israel.

But in all my travels around this country, I’ve never had any problem related to either of these issues.

Military checkpoints are in operation across the country and there is a high military presence almost everywhere you go.

Due to this, I’d advise carrying a copy of your passport with you at all times in Lebanon, but rarely (in least in my experience as a white, western, solo female traveller) did I ever get stopped and asked to show it.

Nevertheless, better to be prepared!

Update: Nation-wide protests have been taking place in Lebanon since Oct 19. These are aimed at the government / official parties and have involved teargas, water cannons and some violence. In my personal opinion however, tourists have very little to worry about beyond roadblocks and transport disruption as long as they avoid demonstration areas.

A good starting point when it comes to assessing the safety in Lebanon is the website of the British foreign office, which provides a detailed breakdown of the country by region, indicating varying levels of concern and is regularly updated.

I recommend checking out the latest British Foreign Office info here , before you plan your trip.

To be honest, I failed to check this before I visited Lebanon and only discovered afterwards that I’d actually been in many of the areas deemed unsafe.

Granted this was with locals – I’m not sure I would have scurried off there on my own – but never once, even in those supposedly “unsafe” areas, did I feel at all in danger.

I’m not saying this to brag in any way, or dismiss the danger, but merely to give you some comparative idea of just how safe the areas actually deemed safe by the British government are.

Different Parts of Lebanon

Lebanon, Kozhaya, Rock Church

Aside from my personal experience of safety in Lebanon, what the British Foreign Office overview does however, is illuminate the many different areas of Lebanon there are and how wildly different they can be.

This is certainly true.

After all the time I spent in this country, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve been anywhere else in the world that jams so much diversity into such a small area.

From the Hezbollah-controlled areas (Hezbollah are a Shi’a Islamist political party and militant group, now a legitimate part of Lebanese politics, but still defined as a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU in case you weren’t aware) to the liberal, hipster bars and clubs in Beirut, this a country which straddles great religious, economic, cultural and linguistic divides.

As such, there’s no denying that different modes of dress and behaviour are required in different parts of the country – an especially important point for us solo female travellers to note.

The more conservative cities of Sidon, Tripoli and Tyre, for example, require more conservative dress when compared to the capital city of Beirut.

That said, even within Beirut there’s many distinct pockets – the suburbs around the airport for example are certainly more conservative (and potentially more dangerous says the British Foreign Office) than the cosmopolitan areas of Hamra, Gemmayzeh or Mar Mikhael.

All in all, my advice if you want to travel to Lebanon as a solo female is generally to research where you’ll be going to advance and to plan accordingly – this is likely to make you feel a bit more comfortable if nothing else.

READ MORE: The Perfect 1 Week Itinerary for Lebanon

Hospitality

Lebanon, Aakkar, Mechmech

Because let’s not forget the folk of the Middle East – especially Lebanon – are some of the friendliest people in the world.

If you’re travelling in this country for any period of time, especially if you’re a solo female, you’re going to have no trouble making friends, trust me!

Asking anyone about the current situation in different areas of the country will give you the best guide as to whether somewhere is safe or not – local opinion is a key way to gain very up to date info on the ground – and will also help you assess how conservative or not a particular spot may be.

It’s also quite likely you might even be invited to visit some places with Lebanese people who are always keen to show off their country.

Staying in a hostel in Beirut is a great way to meet people, and I always suggest the Gemmayzeh or Mar Mikael areas as the best place to base yourselves – there’s lots going on here and they are quite liberal suburbs where you’re bound to meet Lebanese people used to interacting with foreigners – either tourists or expats.

Otherwise, there’s regular Couchsurfing meetups every Tuesday in this area and the Beirut Pub Crawl, organised by my friend Jo, also operates here and is a great way to meet people too, especially if you’re a solo female traveller.

You can check out Pub Crawl Beirut’s website here and their Instagram page here .

All in all, I found Lebanese people across the country, incredibly kind, welcoming and hospitable.

Open, friendly and delighted to have you in their homeland, this is certainly one country I wouldn’t suggest you’ll feel lonely in at all as a solo traveller.

LEARN MORE: Solo Female Travel in the Middle East – What to Expect!

Lebanon, Byblos, Sky with Lamp

Given the chequered history of the country and the layers of different civilisations, empires and power structures Lebanon has been subject to, there’s no surprise this is an incredibly multi-cultural nation.

Reflecting this is the multi-lingual nature of its people, with much of its population being fluent in at least 3 languages – generally Arabic, French and English.

Honestly, if you can speak any of these, you should have no problem conversing in Lebanon, especially in the more liberal areas of Beirut I’ve already named.

For these are the places where the professional, educated and urban elite tend to hang out in the capital (plus the Downtown and Hamra districts) and you’ll definitely meet a subset of Lebanese people here who are more likely to be able to speak multiple foreign languages.

Where to Stay in Lebanon as a Solo Female Traveller?

Lebanon, Grand Meshmosh Hotel, Lobby

For this reason, I generally advise visitors to base themselves in Beirut during their travels in Lebanon.

It’s such a small country that day tripping from the capital is super easy and with Lebanon still being quite an off the beaten track destination, you may feel safer and more comfortable basing yourself in the capital and wandering off from there to enjoy the surrounding areas and cities.

As I previously mentioned, Beirut is where the more western and European influences can be felt in Lebanon (of course there’s other places too, but let’s stick with Beirut for now) and, as such, many solo female travellers find it easier to meet people and find fun here.

Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikael are the 2 areas of Beirut I’d advise staying in  – there’s loads of nightlife here, as well as amenities and good transport connections.

It’s also very safe and buzzes with a real sense of life and youthful vibrancy.

Furthermore, the architecture is gorgeous and you can’t walk more than a few streets without coming upon a cool gallery, bar, café or cultural space.

When it comes to budget accommodation options, I always recommend Hostel Beirut for its good location, roof terrace, guest kitchen and good dorm prices in Mar Mikhael.

Otherwise, Hamra Urban Gardens has some delightful private rooms and is near the Corniche if you fancy a seaside stroll or near La Rouche if you fancy some epic sunset pics.

Staying outside of Beirut is completely possible, but it’s worth bearing in mind that there is much less tourist infrastructure here, you’re less likely to meet other travellers and Arabic may be the only mode of communication open to you.

Depending how intrepid you like to travel this may, or may not, be what you’re after.

READ MORE: Top 10 Free Things to Do in Beirut

Going Out at Night / Drinking

Lebanon, Photo Shoot, Me

In general, I found solo female travel in Lebanon very safe at night and, even in many areas of Beirut, felt completely comfortable walking by myself after dark.

This may have something to do with it being a very religious country, but despite the sometimes unstable political situation, Lebanon actually has quite low crime rates and I never felt any threat as a solo female when it came to more personal forms of crime.

To mention them again, Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh are the more party zones of the city and certainly going out drinking here is basically the order of the evening, any evening infact, any day of the week!

Drinking by solo female travellers is far from frowned on in Lebanon and while it may not be a common occurrence in other more conservative parts of the country, it isn’t seen as a problem anywhere in my experience – especially if you’re obviously foreign.

It’s just more likely that in many of Lebanon’s other towns and cities there just isn’t much going on after dark, so stick to Beirut if you want to party.

LEARN MORE: 23 Amazing Things to Do in the Middle East

What to Wear as a Solo Female Traveller in Lebanon

Lebanon, Baalbeck, Temple & Me

This leads me on nicely to talking about what to wear when you’re planning to solo female travel in Lebanon.

I know for many female travellers in the Middle East, this area can bring up a lot of questions.

But while Lebanon does have a majority Muslim population, it’s far from adopting Sharia law and there’s certainly no requirement for you to wear a headscarf (outside of when you’re visiting a Mosque) anywhere in the country.

That said, this is the land of diversity and if you’re heading to the more conservative cities of Tripoli, Sour, Sidon and to more rural areas in the Beqaa Valley for example or to Baalbeck, you may just want to stick to slightly more conservative dress and by this I mean long trousers / skirts and long sleeves.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re heading out of Beirut, especially north or east, that the mountains here mean things will be a lot cooler anyway.

As such, having longer sleeves and legged clothes is probably what you want to opt for anyway, especially if you’re hiking or camping out in this gorgeous scenery.

In downtown Beirut and the surrounds however, western dress and short / tight clothing is completely fine.

In the warm summer months, it gets crazy humid in the capital, so small skirts etc and sleeveless tops are definitely fine.

Ditto tight clothing like leggings.

Honestly, once you see how many local people in Beirut dress, especially in the more liberal suburbs, you’ll feel just like you’re going out in Europe, so a dress and heels would not be out of place on a night out either.

In winter Lebanon gets much cooler – think Mediterranean climate and so a jacket and jumper / sweater is definitely advised.

Even nights of the Spring and Autumn shoulder seasons can be fresh down in Beirut, so packing layers is key for solo female travellers in Lebanon.

Lebanon, Sour, Roman Ruins

Communications & Services

Lebanon, LipHe, Wellness Retreat

As a blogger, there’s no way I can be without the internet for long (sad reality I’m afraid peeps) so I’m delighted to say that despite what I had read online in advance, I found the internet in Beirut at least – where I predominantly stayed – to be completely fine.

Fibre technology hasn’t reached Beirut yet, but the ADSL2 connection worked perfectly for me in cafes, hostels and bars across the capital.

Ditto the 3G connection, which I got care of my Lebanese SIM card.

There’s 2 telecommunication companies in Lebanon – Touch and Alfa – but both are owned by the government, so it can’t really count as competition!

Perhaps that goes some way to explaining the crazy price of data in Lebanon, because sadly the one thing this country isn’t, for travellers, is cheap.

If you’re only in Lebanon for a short amount of time, I’d recommend getting a short term SIM with Touch who offer a 10 day active SIM card for $3 USD that has 3G of data.

After this, you’re talking around $20 USD for a couple of GB that will only last you a month – yup, more expensive than most European countries!

A lot of the expense in this area is due the issues Lebanon has with its service supplies – both water and electricity regularly stop (like on a daily basis). In fact, Beirut has scheduled power outages for 3 hours every day, essentially because the grid cannot cope with demand and more rural areas have outages for 12 hours daily.

Kinda crazy, but hey this is solo female travel in Lebanon!

If you’re staying in any hostel or hotel however, you need not really worry about this, because they almost all have back-up generators that kick in as soon as the national outages begin.

That said, there’s no harm in bringing a headlamp with you when you travel to Lebanon, just in case.

Most hotels and hostels will also provide laundry services and can help you out with any other basic services you need.

At this point, it may be worth saying that Lebanon generally uses a 2 currency system – they have the Lebanese pound (which runs into a hideous amounts of zero that was hell for my maths skills) and the USD.

Both currencies can be withdrawn at ATM machines and are basically used interchangeably.

Update: Since late 2019, the formerly stable exchange rate between the USD and LLE has been fluctuating greatly and banks in Lebanon have now restricted withdrawals both at ATM machines and through other means. You’d be wise to check the situation concerning exchange rates and accessing funds before travelling to Lebanon.

Lebanon, Aakkar, Mountains

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.

Dangers and Annoyances

Lebanon, Byblos, Harbour

For it comes to solo female travel in Lebanon one of the biggest dangers and annoyances I know from travelling the world alone is being hassled and / or harassed.

And rightly or wrongly, the Middle East and North Africa seems to get a pretty bad wrap in this department.

However I’m pleased to say I never encountered any hassle or harassment as a solo female traveller in Lebanon.

Honestly, everyone I met was very friendly and accommodating and I certainly wouldn’t have any personal safety concerns in this country if you use your common sense.

Even on public transport, people were courteous. Probably being ripped off on a bus, or more likely a taxi, is the biggest danger you’ll encounter.

The second biggest danger is traffic and the crazy driving – because honestly I’ve never seen anything like it! And that’s saying something!

Traffic is definitely a massive annoyance in Beirut – you’ll probably end up walking a lot because it’s quicker, but that said, this city isn’t well-designed for pedestrians either!

Cars don’t stop at red lights, zebra crossings are always ignored, motorbikes weave in and out of traffic, there’s basically no lane system and often people drive on the wrong side of the road – I kid you not!

Therefore always look both ways before you cross the road anywhere in Lebanon and don’t be afraid to put your hand out and just cross anywhere either – this is how they roll here and traffic will stop for you.

It just feels a bit weird walking out into oncoming cars of course, but if you’ve travelled in places like Cairo before, you’ll get what I mean!

Pollution in Beirut – both air and noise – is also a big issue… you have been warned!

Public Transport

Lebanon, Cedars, Road

Because of the heavy traffic and the crazy driving, I would literally never suggest hiring a car for solo female travel in Lebanon and, as such, public transport is the way to go.

In Beirut, “services” (essentially shared taxis ply the streets) otherwise Uber or spin-off version Careem, are in force here too.

A British female expat was killed by an Uber driver in Lebanon last year, but I never had any personal problem and actually find the tracking services offered by this app, as opposed to just getting in a random taxi, reassuring. But of course, you make your own choices ladies.

If you want to visit cities outside of Beirut such as Byblos, Batroun, Tripoli, Sidon, Baalbeck and Tyre, then buses can be a good option.

Those travelling south leave from the Cola Intersection in Beirut.

Those travelling north can be hailed from outside the yellow gates of the Electricite Du Liban building, which is on the main highway leading out of the capital.

They shouldn’t cost you more than a few dollars – pay when you get out.

There’s a few different sorts of buses including Connexion buses , which serve Tripoli and destinations enroute and are large coaches that drive well.

There’s minibuses which are middle of the range, and finally there’s the beaten-up minivans.

They are quick and cheap, but you’ll need to hang on for dear life and have nerves of steel. My advice would be not to sit in the front seat!

Tours vs Taxis

Lebanon, Aakkar, Me in Trees

Failing public transport – if you either don’t want to use it or are venturing off the main drag – then you’ve got 2 main options for solo female travel in Lebanon, either a tour or a taxi.

Uber can be great in this domain because for the right price you can get a driver for the whole day. Just make sure you negotiate first and try to get a group together if you can.

Uber rides to Jeita Grotto, St Charbel Monastery, Our Lady of Noorieh and Harissa are particularly popular because they aren’t too far from Beirut.

Alternatively, organised tours can take you to many destinations far away and the benefit here, of course, is that you’ll get to visit multiple destinations in one day.

For example, the Cedars in the north of Lebanon are often combined with a trip to Qadisha Valley, Bcharre and Kozhaya.

Byblos and Batroun are often combined with Jeita Grotto and Harissa.

Baalbeck is often combined with Aanjar and the Beqaa Valley wineries.

While tours, like most things in Lebanon, can be expensive than you’d hoped – think $120+ per day – they are organised, safe and a good way to meet others. There’s also no question you’ll see and learn a lot.

Hiking is also increasingly popular in Lebanon and many companies organise trekking tours, especially at the weekend to spots like the Shouf reserve.

For solo female travel in Lebanon, tour companies I recommend include Explore Lebanon , Trekking Lebanon and Mohammad El-Draihi care of Kazdoura Team.

If you’re looking for some splurge, luxury relax time ladies, then look no further than Lebanon’s LipHe Wellness Retreat – it’s a dream!

Just enter your email address below and I'll send it to you for FREE!

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4 Essential Items for Lebanon

Lebanon, Trekking, Miziara

#1 Lebanon Bradt Guide – An excellent resource when it comes to finding out the history of what you’re seeing in this country without the need for a guide, the Lebanon Bradt Guide is a must.

#2 Head Lamp – Great for taking into Roman Ruins, Jeita Grotto or just dealing with the powercuts you may experience. I love my Black Diamond Storm , which served me super well in Lebanon.

#3 Sun Hat – Trips to the beach, the mountains, the monasteries and the ruins will mean many hours in the hot sun of Lebanon. Do yourself a favour and bring a wide-brimmed hat to protect you. I love this Hello Sunshine design.

#4 Long Thin Trousers – While Lebanon isn’t a super conservative country overall, you’re unlikely to feel comfortable in some areas walking around in anything too short. As such a pair of long, thin cotton or  linen trousers provide the perfect attire for this Mediterranean country.

#5 A Sense of Adventure!

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Solo Female Travel in Lebanon... Is It a Good Idea? {Big World Small Pockets}

So there you have it, my full low down on solo female travel in Lebanon.

Have I convinced you to visit this country yet?

solo travel to lebanon

Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie adventures the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile

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Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

11 Amazing Places For Solo Travel In The Middle East

By Jessie Festa. This guide to traveling alone in the Middle East contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for unforgettable places for solo travel in the Middle East ?

Then you’re in the right place!

The Middle East often gets a bad rap when it comes to travel safety; however, the truth is, with the proper research and planning, solo travel to the Middle East can be safe and rewarding.

Of course, the Middle East is a transcontinental region comprised of many diverse countries and cultures, so it’s impossible to say every single destination is great for traveling on your own.

This is exactly why I created this guide: to help women (and men) discover some of the top places to travel solo in the region.

Below, find recommendations from real travelers on where to travel solo in the Middle East while having a great time.

Disclaimer: Please always check current travel advisories for a particularly country before booking a trip.

Table of Contents

Confidently Enjoy Solo Female Travel In The Middle East [Free Course]

But first, before we discuss the top destinations for solo female travel in the Middle East , I invite you to grab a seat in my  free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course .

The 6-day course is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.

travel the Middle East solo with this solo travel ecourse

Lessons include:

  • Common solo travel fears (like flying alone for the first time ) and how to overcome them
  • How to choose your perfect solo trip
  • How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
  • Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
  • Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
  • How to take amazing solo selfies

Once you’ve  grabbed your seat , read on to dive into the solo female travel guide and learn about some of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East and how to travel alone successfully .

What Is The Middle East?

As mentioned above, the Middle East is a transcontinental region encompassing countries in southwest Asia and, typically, part of northern Africa.

The term “Middle East” is actually relatively new, coined at the end of the 18th century by the British foreign service.

According to TeachMideast , it was originally used to distinguish the area east of the Near East – the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire — and west of India, including Afghanistan and Persia.

It’s interesting to note that the term is entirely Eurocentric, as the “east” part of “Middle East” refers to the region being east of western Europe — though today the term Middle East is also largely used within the region itself.

The exact countries included in the Middle East differ depending on your source, though most would agree it includes:

  • The Palestinian Territories
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

Often, the Middle East also includes:

  • Turkey (now called Türkiye)

Where Is The Middle East?

The Middle East is located mainly in western Asia , as well as parts of northern Africa and southeastern Europe .

Is The Middle East Safe For Solo Travel?

With proper research and planning, solo travelers to the Middle East can absolutely have a fun, safe, and memorable trip.

Whether you want to explore spirituality and religion, shop the stalls of local bazaars and souks, have an adventure hiking mountains and sand dunes, or something else, the Middle East is full of opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture and natural beauty.

Of course, not every Middle Eastern destination is alike — particularly in terms of safety and political stability. Therefore, it’s vital to also do your own research before booking a trip.

It’s also important to stay aware of periods of civil unrest or other events that may make traveling to a certain place less safe than it typically would be. The US Department of State website (or your own country’s equivalent) is an excellent resource.

Additionally, if you’re feeling uneasy and would prefer to have a guide, companies like G Adventures offer small group trips where you can arrive on your own and then travel around with new friends on a pre-organized itinerary.

What Are The Safest Places To Travel In The Middle East?

According to the 2022 Global Peace Index — a report that measures the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness — the safest places to visit in the Middle East include:

  • Qatar (#23 in the entire world!)
  • Kuwait (#39)
  • Jordan (#57)
  • United Arab Emirates (#60)
  • Morocco (#74)
  • Tunisia (#85)
  • Bahrain (#99)

Here is a snapshot from the report. In the Regional Rank column you can see how a country compares to the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, while the Overall Rank column shows how the country compares to the rest of the world:

solo travel to lebanon

To put this into perspective, the United States ranks in position #129.

The below list of recommended places for solo travel in the Middle East contains a few of these countries, as well as countries that may be better suited for more experienced solo travelers.

Best Places For Solo Travel In The Middle East

Traveling to the Middle East alone can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time to the region. Luckily, this guide can help you narrow down some of the best places to travel solo in the Middle East, including:

woman looking out over Chefchaouen, Morocco while traveling solo in the Middle East

Morocco is a very popular travel destination in the Middle East and for good reason: every corner looks like it could have been saved to your Pinterest board!

Surrounded by miles of desert, you’ll find luxurious riads, ceramic tiled temples, and the buzz of the lively bazaars. It’s a hard destination to beat for a culturally immersive adventure!

Many people head to the glamorous capital city of Marrakesh first with the vibrant Red Square (Jemaa el-Fna) overlooked by the Koutoubia Mosque . You’ll find classy restaurants, a vibrant labyrinth of a marketplace, elegant hotels, and even a garden once owned by Yves Saint Laurent called Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle).

But, don’t overlook other Moroccan destinations while you’re here. The historic walled city of Fes may not be as polished; but what it lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for with culture. You can’t miss out on a visit to the golden doors of the Royal Palace or the (somewhat smelly) Chouara Tannery where you can learn how they make those gorgeous leather products to sell.

Chefchaouen is also just a short ride away, and is known as the “Blue Pearl of Morocco” as the whole city shines in a coat of blue paint. According to some, this is to ward off mosquitos!

It’s gorgeous for photos, very relaxed, and makes a welcome change from the busier cities. You can also admire waterfalls — like the Akchour Waterfalls — and the views from the Spanish Mosque are breathtaking.

Finally, round off your solo trip to Morocco with a journey into the dunes of the Sahara Desert and sip on Moroccan mint tea in a traditional Berber camp.

It’s important to note that while Morocco is full of incredible things to explore, it isn’t the easiest country to visit as a solo female traveler. The culture is predominantly Islamic, which means a firm patriarchal society; however, as long as you come with an open mind, respect the culture, and dress conservatively, Morocco will be one of the best adventures you will ever have!

Don’t be afraid to ignore people, be rude, or say no. If you’re a woman, prepare for lots of catcalling. Rise above it and alert authorities if you feel unsafe.

Recommended by Sophie from Third Eye Traveller

Morocco Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Morocco tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Morocco hotels.

2. Dubai (United Arab Emirates) 

woman looking at Dubai skyline during solo travel in the Middle East

Nestled between the Arabian Gulf and the sands of the Arabian Desert, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is a city like no other and is one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East.

This bustling metropolis is home to soaring skyscrapers, world-class shopping, and some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

But, what makes Dubai truly special is its culture and heritage. From its traditional souks to its beautiful mosques, Dubai offers solo travelers to the Middle East a chance to immerse themselves in a new and rich culture.

One of the top places to visit in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa . This towering structure is the tallest building in the world, and its observation deck offers incredible cityscape views. The Dubai Fountain is next to this iconic structure, which puts on a spectacular show every evening.

If you’re looking for some retail therapy, head to one of Dubai’s many shopping malls. The Dubai Mall is the largest in the world and offers an incredible range of shops, restaurants, and attractions. 

For a more traditional shopping experience, check out the local souks scattered throughout the city. Here, you can haggle for spices, textiles, and gold jewelry.

No solo trip to Dubai would be complete without a visit to the desert. Plenty of companies offer safari tours, and you can even go sandboarding or spend the evening beneath the stars.

Other must-see Dubai attractions include:

  • Dubai Miracle Garden
  • Dubai Creek
  • Dubai Frame
  • Jumeirah Mosque
  • Jumeirah Beach
  • Burj al Arab

Dubai is the perfect destination for solo travelers because it is ultra safe. With a low crime rate and strict laws against things like public intoxication and littering, you’ll never have to worry about your safety while wandering around the city. It’s one of the few places in the world where women can walk around at night without fearing for their safety.

Additionally, your chances of getting scammed in Dubai are very low. You can take a taxi without worrying about being overcharged or your safety, and local businesses are honest and upfront about their pricing.

Last but not least, solo travelers will love Dubai because there is always something to do. It’s the perfect destination for travelers who want to pack their itinerary full of activities. There’s a new and exciting adventure every corner you turn.

Make sure to grab a free SIM card at the airport when you arrive. Go through a booth with an officer during the customs process, and they’ll give you a SIM card with one free GB for 24 hours.

Recommended by Disha from Disha Discovers

Dubai Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Dubai tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Dubai hotels.

author traveling solo in the Middle East in Kuwait

Kuwait is one of the smaller, less visited destinations along the Persian Gulf. Unlike the ultra glitzy super-cities of its neighboring countries, Kuwait City boasts a more humble approach to a modern city with a few pockets of old-world charm.

Start your trip off with a visit to the Old City of Kuwait, the historic center where you can get a glimpse into how Kuwait looked before modernization. Here you can enjoy authentic, Kuwaiti cuisine among the locals, go shopping in the souks, and maybe even hit up a shisha (hookah) bar or two.

Other things not to miss while in Kuwait are the Grand Mosque , Kuwait Towers , and Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre . These sites will certainly help you realize why Kuwait is one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East.

You may also want to spend a day or two hopping around some of the world class museums, such as the Scientific Centre or the National Museum .

For the shoppers, you’ll want to head straight to the mega-malls of Kuwait, where locals come to hang out to avoid the daytime heat. There are tons of glamorous malls to explore, but the absolute best is The Avenues , which is more of an indoor city.

If you’d like to get out of the city, a popular day trip is booking a desert excursion, where you can visit old desert villages, ride camels during sunset, and overnight in a desert camp.

Kuwait is great for solo travelers because it provides the best in both adventure and convenience. It’s a safe country, plus it’s easy and affordable to get around safely by taxi. There are a ton of expats, meaning most people speak English.

As a solo traveler, you can feel a sense of security, while also exploring a much less visited country, for the feeling of novelty.

It is a bit more conservative than the likes of Dubai. Be sure to bring clothing to cover your shoulders, chest, and knees at all times — and if you can cover your ankles, even better. Bring a headscarf for entering the mosques, as well.

Kuwait is also known as one of the hottest countries in the world, so opt to visit in winter for optimal temperatures. Summers are really uncomfortable, even for locals.

Recommended by Jacqueline of Your Travel Flamingo

Kuwait Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Kuwait tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Kuwait hotels.

4. Egypt 

woman gazing out at the Egyptian pyramids while traveling solo through the Middle East

Egypt is one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East if you’re up for an adventure! With so many historical sights and even an ancient world wonder, Egypt is sure to leave an impression. 

Most visitors will fly into Cairo, the lively capital with many things to do. The city is buzzing with activity, and walking through Islamic Cairo and Coptic Cairo offer so many colorful sights, delicious smells, and hidden alleyways. 

The Khan-al-Khalili market is an open air bazaar where one can find just about everything. Handcrafted metalwork, glass, and woodworking can be purchased — and sometimes the artists showcase how these pieces are created.

The famous Pyramids of Giza are also a must-see. They live up to any expectations you have, towering up into the sky with the Sphinx looking on. For an extra fee, you can even climb up into the tombs through the thieves’ entrance! 

For anyone who wants to relax on the Red Sea, Hurghada is a popular seaside resort town. The scuba diving here is world-class, and the many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs will keep you busy.  

I found that by traveling solo, I was able to meet many local Egyptians and learned that they genuinely want visitors to fall in love with their country. And though Egypt has a reputation for scams, hassles, and even danger, my experience was mostly the opposite. 

Females should be sure to dress appropriately. Covering up not only helps you to blend in better, but it also shows respect for Egyptian culture.

Also, be sure to carry small bills as tips are expected in most service situations.

Recommended by Monica from This Rare Earth

Egypt Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Egypt tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Egypt hotels.

visiting Petra in Jordan on a solo trip to the Middle East

For the adventurous solo traveler, Jordan has so much to offer! It’s truly one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East.

Jordan can be visited in a week or more, or just several days depending on how much you’d like to see. The country is well known for its stunning red rocky desert landscapes in Wadi Rum that look like Mars, as well as its Bedouin history and culture in places such as Petra . 

Jordan also borders Israel and the Dead Sea , and many tour operators offer day trips to both from Amman, Petra, and Wadi Rum. 

If you want to see all Jordan has to offer, you can also check out some of the Roman ruins around Jerash . 

Jordan can be an expensive country and the costs for tours can add up quickly. If you’re confident driving, I highly recommend renting a car and doing a road trip around all of the tourist places.

Most things like Petra and Wadi Rum are only two to three hours apart from each other and Amman, which you would most likely be flying into.  

Jordan is a fantastic destination for solo travelers. It’s very safe and has so much to see and do.

Even if you aren’t into a lot of the outdoor activities that the tour companies offer, you could always go and book a weekend at one of the many resorts along the Dead Sea or go glamping in one of the famous Martian Dome hotels in Wadi Rum. 

Be sure to purchase the Jordan Pass ahead of time with your visa, which will grant you access to most of the parks in the country. If you purchase entrance separately it will cost you way more.

Recommended by Lauren from Freedom not fate

Jordan Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Jordan tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Jordan hotels.

View from the Corniche in Beirut

Lebanon is a fantastic place in the Middle East for solo travelers. Its capital of Beirut is diverse and unlike any other Middle Eastern city. You’ll see churches next to mosques, veiled women next to women in crop tops, and you can go skiing in the mountains in the morning and be on the beach by the afternoon!

In terms of places to visit, it’s recommended to head to the Corniche – Beirut’s promenade on the Mediterranean coast. The views are spectacular and there is a really Mediterranean vibe.

Visit nearby Raouché , two giant rocks coming out of the sea that Beirut is famous for. Boats can even take you around the rocks and through the arch.

In the evening head to the stunning Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque when it is lit up. It’s an incredibly stunning sight to see.

Beirut is also known worldwide for its impressive nightlife, so hit up Gemmazye Street and the Mar Mikhael neighborhood if you’re keen to see how Beirutis party!

Lebanon is a small country so it is easy to do day trips from Beirut. Head to nearby Byblos — a laid-back coastal town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it’s one of the one of the oldest Phoenician cities, inhabited since Neolithic times. Here you can stroll around the local bazaar and explore Byblos Castle , a Crusader castle dating back to the 12th century.

On the way back to Beirut, stop at Mount Harissa to see the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Lebanon) statue — Lebanon’s version of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio.

Now, in terms of why Lebanon is great for solo travelers, Beirut is one of the safest cities in the Middle East, and is one of the most open-minded cities in the Arabic speaking world.

Beirut also has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community, and is a very accepting city when it comes to same-sex relationships.

Unlike many places in The Middle East, there are several hostels in Beirut, which can help solo travelers keep costs down while also meeting other people.

Lebanese people tend to be very welcoming, and while Arabic is the country’s official language, most Beirutis also speak English and French — which will make it easier for you to meet locals while traveling .

These are just a few of the many things that make Lebanon one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East!

Lebanon uses the Lebanese pound and USD interchangeably, so bring USD. Both currencies are accepted everywhere.

In fact, even ATM machines give out USD, and the exchange rate is always the same so there is no need to convert your USD to Lebanese pounds. It is more convenient to just use USD, as Lebanese pounds are difficult to exchange outside Lebanon.

Recommended by Catrina from 24 Hours Layover

Lebanon Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Lebanon tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Lebanon hotels.

exterior of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar

Qatar is an intriguing country in the Middle East where the Old World meets the New World. 

Go back in time by sailing the bay on a traditional dhow ship or by walking through Souq Waqif — the popular evening marketplace in Old Town Doha where you’ll find authentic Arabic cuisine, handicrafts, spices, and even a falcon market.

During the day, travelers can take a desert safari through the sand dunes or explore an artificial luxe island called The Pearl-Qatar .

If you’re interested in architecture or a more cultural tour of Qatar, be sure to visit the Museum of Islamic Art , the National Museum of Qatar , and Katara Cultural Village .

Ranked in the Top 30 Safest Countries in the World by U.S. News & World Report , Qatar is perfect for solo travelers. 

Getting around via Uber or public transportation is cheap, and friendly locals are more than willing to help point you in the right direction. 

Qatar Airways also offers a stopover package for those with layovers in Hamad International Airport (Doha’s main gateway), making it easy to turn one trip into two.

The best time to visit Qatar is typically considered to be October to May. This is not only when there is a lot going on in terms of attractions and events, but it’s also when the weather is most pleasant. This is very important to consider, as summer is wildly hot — sometimes reaching up to 122°F!

Recommended by Michelle from Wander Eat Write

Qatar Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Qatar tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Qatar hotels.

8. Türkiye (formerly Turkey)

ruins within the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey

Solo travel to Turkey (now called Türkiye) is a great idea for many reasons. The country is extremely safe, so long as you stay away from the Syrian border — which no tours or buses go to anyway.

Women traveling solo in Türkiye can expect to feel very safe. You may get catcalled a bit after dark, but otherwise, even with your head uncovered and your shoulders bare, you can walk safely through the streets.

Türkiye is an incredible country to travel solo because it has such a rich and varied history. From the Roman ruins of Ephesus to remnants of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul, there’s so much to see and learn.

There are also plenty of activities for solo travelers in Türkiye. Hiking in Cappadocia or Pamukkale , horseback riding in Antalya , or taking a cooking class while traveling solo in Istanbul are just some of the possibilities.

And of course, you must try a hot air balloon ride above the Goreme Open-Air Museum !

If you’re looking for a solo travel destination in the Middle East that is safe, interesting, and full of things to do, Türkiye is the perfect choice. Just know it’ll be hard not to come home with a slew of stray cats and dogs that you’ll surely befriend as you explore the ancient streets.

Looking to get pampered on a budget ? A Turkish bath is the perfect place for a unique beauty treatment that will leave you very thoroughly cleansed.

Tie a scarf to your backpack or purse so you always have one on you for visiting religious areas.

Also, Friday is a day of prayer and rest, so expect many shops to be closed on this day.

Recommended by Nina from Ottawa Things To Do

Türkiye Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Türkiye tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Türkiye hotels.

Port of Akko with boats in the water in Israel, Middle East

Israel is hands down one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East. It is a modern country with a rich history, and most importantly, it is safe and easy to get around.

As a female traveler myself, I think that when we ladies use common sense and keep our wits about us, just as we would in our own homelands, we are fine.

While there are many great destinations for solo travel in Israel , one that I highly recommend is Akko (also called Acre), an ancient walled port city in northwest Israel and one of the few cities in Israel where Arabs and Jews live together.

The Old City of Akko is classified as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site , thanks to the fact that it has retained its character from the Ottoman 18th and 19th centuries. Additionally, both below and above the ground you can see the almost intact remains of the Crusader town, dating from 1104 to 1291.

Not only is Akko rich in history, but it also has a stunning location on the coast, meaning that along with exploring history and culture, solo travelers can enjoy the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea .

In terms of things to do in Akko for solo travelers, make sure to visit the Ahmed Al Jazzar Mosque , the largest mosque in Israel (outside of Jerusalem) highlighting Ottoman architecture.

You should also explore the Hospitaller Commandery of Saint-Jean-d’Acre  and walk through the Templars Tunnel . This complex was once the center of Crusader operations in the city. The tunnel was discovered only in 1994 and when you walk through it, it is as if you’re stepping back in time.

Love nature? Make sure to spend time in the Bahá’í Gardens . The Baháʼí Faith grew out of the Shi’ite branch of Islam. Here you can explore the beautifully manicured gardens centered around a Bahá’í mansion and shrine. This is where the religion’s founder, Baha’u’llah, lived his final years and where his remains were placed.

Another highlight is walking to the Port of Akko , where you can take a regular boat — or a more adventurous fast boat — for a ride along the old walls of the city.

Or, if you prefer the beach, there is Argaman Beach , which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Israel and features all the facilities you’ll need.

Hungry? Akko is famous for its delicious food, from renowned chefs to street food. My personal favorite dishes are hummus and labane, though seafood lovers should head to Uri Buri Restaurant for the best fish dishes in town.

Continue eating your way through the narrow and colorful alleys of the local souk , where you can find food stands, spices, gifts, souvenirs, and other local products.

Solo travelers shouldn’t walk around the Old City of Akko on their own at night, as the streets are a confusing maze of alleys and it’s easy to get lost.

Additionally, it’s recommended at some point to book an organized tour through the Old City. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or something else, there are numerous tour options to choose from .

Recommended by Diti from My Trendy Trail

Israel Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Israel tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Israel hotels.

solo female traveler in the Middle East sitting in front of mosaic tilework in Iran

In my opinion, Iran is one of the most misunderstood yet interesting countries in the Middle East.

For me, it definitely was one of the countries where I felt most alive. I am aware most people won’t understand why someone would choose this destination; however, if you have felt the call to travel to Iran alone, I encourage you to do so.

I did it and can tell you it was a safe and incredible experience.

In fact, I encourage you to travel to Iran solo , especially if you are a woman. Traveling as a woman alone can have disadvantages in many countries; but, in my experience, this is not the case in Iran where you will get all kinds of courtesies.

Plus, as a female traveler you will have certain privileges, such as getting to interact closely with the local women and seeing the beauty that Iranian women hide under their hijabs.

Most travelers in Iran take the route from Tehran to Shiraz , which passes through Kashan , Isfahan , Yazd , and possibly a desert town. This route can easily be done by bus, which is a safe and comfortable experience.

Just be prepared to be the center of attention, because everybody will want to talk to you! Go with the flow and enjoy these casual conversations: Iranians are this country’s greatest treasure, and buses in Iran are the perfect place to make new friends.

Just note that citizens of certain countries will need to be accompanied by a guide at all times, such as travelers from the United States.

Whenever you meet Iranians, the conversation will most likely end with an invitation to their homes. If this happens, I advise you to say yes! These interactions with locals will likely be the best part of your trip.

Respectful, fun, and very kind, Iranian locals welcome travelers with open arms. They will thank you for having chosen their country and will show you the real meaning of hospitality: giving without expecting anything in return.

*Note: I realize there are currently protests going on in Iran. Having seen how well foreigners are treated in this country, I can only imagine it is still safe to visit Iran right now; however, it may be wise to wait a bit to visit. Most people in Iran are hungry for freedom, and big changes in the country may be coming soon.

Recomended by Ana of Ani Anywhere

Iran Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Iran tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Iran hotels.

people inside of the Holy Shrine Of Imam Hossain in Karbala, Iraq

Iraq is probably the most mysterious travel destination in the Middle East. Due to a series of wars and the presence of the Islamic Caliphate in the recent past, Iraq was labeled as an unsafe place; however, things have changed, and now the country offers Visa on Arrival for the citizens of several countries.

Iraq is associated with ancient Mesopotamia — the cradle of civilization and the land between two rivers, the Tigris and Mesopotamia.

It is where many believe the first city was founded, writing started, the first wheel was invented, and the basics of mathematics and science were born with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Tower of Babel, and the Code of Hammurabi.

Iraq is full of archeological treasures, making it a perfect travel destination for history-lovers. 

Although Babylon is the most famous ancient city, all you see is the result of attractive reconstruction without much historical value; however, you can take a boat through the Mesopotamian Marshes with the unique reed houses of the Ma’dan people.

The Great Mosque of Samarra with its spiral-shaped Malwiya Minaret, the flourishing trade city of Hatra from the 2nd century, and the Ziggurat of Ur — one of the best preserved of such pyramid-shaped religious monuments — are some of the highlights of traveling to Iraq.

Baghdad , the capital along the iconic Tigris, recently opened the Iraq Museum with precious artifacts from its archeological sites. It has other historical places, too, such as the medieval Mustansiriyah Madrasah scholarly complex and the Abbasid Palace .

You also cannot miss the cities of Karbala and Najaf , where the holy shrines of Imam Hussein and Imam Ali with their diamond-like interior decorations are some of the most important pilgrimage sites for Shia Muslims.

Mosul is still under reconstruction after the inconceivable destruction by ISIS; still, the architectural gems discovered amid the ruins and seeing the reconstruction makes it an important place to visit in Iraq.

Finally, the autonomous Kurdish part of Iraq — with its high mountains, waterfalls, and deep canyons — sharply contrasts with the rest of Iraq. Apart from the stunning landscape, in Iraqi Kurdistan you can visit Christian monasteries and the Yezidi pilgrimage site, Lalish .

Due to the series of security checkpoints and lack of English speakers, Iraq is still difficult to travel around; however, local people have built an online network to assist individual travelers.

Therefore, my top recommendation for you as a solo traveler in Iraq is to join the Iraqi Travelers Café Facebook group and contact locals who can help make your solo trip unforgettable.

Recommended by Agnes from Voices of Guides

Iraq Solo Travel Resources:

Click here for a list of top-rated Iraq tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Iraq hotels .

Travel Insurance For Your Solo Trip To The Middle East

When exploring the top places to travel solo in the Middle East — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.

One of the  best travel medical insurance for travelers  is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

eCourse helping women travel solo in the Middle East

What are your favorite places for solo travel in the Middle East?

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25 Practical Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Lebanon

25 Practical Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Lebanon

Lebanon, the tiny country in the Middle East, locked in by their neighbors Israel and Syria. Is it even safe to be traveling to Lebanon? Can you travel to Lebanon as a solo female traveler? I just got back from an amazing trip to Lebanon and the country surprised me more than I thought it would.

Lebanon is a complex country with multi-layered communities, varied landscapes, different languages, and amazing experiences! Here are 25 things you should know before traveling to Lebanon.

I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.

Probe around the Globe does use affiliate links. If you decide to follow one of my links and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.

solo travel to lebanon

Table of Content

Traveling to Lebanon

If you’re planning to travel to Lebanon, you probably have an interest in the Middle East or know why Lebanon is so awesome. You’ve checked Skyscanner for the cheapest flights to Beirut, you’ve booked your hotel via booking.com , Hostelworld or Airbnb , and have an idea of the things you want to do while traveling in Lebanon. You probably know you cannot enter the country with a visa stamp from Israel and you’ve checked your local government’s website to see what they have to say.

You probably did all that or you can do it now. (I’ll wait). And NOW you wish to know what it is like to actually travel to Lebanon and explore Beirut and the other amazing sights. Here are some things you cannot look up in a guide book but my first-hand experiences of things that stood out to me while traveling in Lebanon. Enjoy!

Check out my YouTube Channel for more Lebanon Travel Videos. Make sure to subscribe to not miss a thing!

1. Don’t assume everyone is Muslim in Lebanon

Lebanon is located in the Middle East and surrounded by Arab nations, hence, Lebanon is Arabic and Muslim? Right? Wrong!

Half of the population of Lebanon is Christian and when traveling in Lebanon, you’ll experience a wide range of religions from Greek Orthodox Christians to Sunni Muslims, from Maronite Christians to Druzes and almost everything in between.

On a Sunday, you can hear the tolling of church bells at one moment, followed by the call to prayer from the mosques the next. Read up about Lebanon before you go and travel to Beirut. For example, pick up a copy of the Bradt Lebanon guide book .

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

2. There is more to Lebanon than just Beirut

When you travel to Lebanon, chances are, you’ll land in Beirut. As Lebanon currently is only accessible via air transport, you’ll land at Beirut airport and probably explore the capital first.

This bustling mega-city was surprisingly relaxed. I don’t like big cities, so I only allocated one day to explore Beirut. For me, this was more than enough as the rest of the country is equally diverse and exciting!

Many people go to Lebanon and spend their week or 10 days in the capital, taking day trips across the country. Although there is nothing wrong with that, I found the other cities and villages in Lebanon equally impressive and staying overnight, for example in Byblos or the Bekaa Valley, allows you to explore more in-depth instead of rushing back to Beirut.

I share my 10-day Lebanon itinerary with you for ideas and tips on where to travel in Lebanon.

3. Traveling to Lebanon felt perfectly safe as a solo female traveler

Yes, there is an ongoing conflict between Hezbollah and Israel which mainly takes place in the south of Lebanon. If you wish to travel further south than Tyre, you need a permit that you can get in Saida. The UNIFIL (The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) is controlling the region and you can see them in the streets.

When I visited the Bekaa valley, which my government advises not to travel to or only travel to when needed, I felt perfectly safe. Yes, I drove on the Beirut- Damascus highway. When I was in Aanjar, I was only minutes away from the Syrian border and the area was full of checkpoints and military presence. However, I never felt unsafe.

People go about their business, shops are open, families go out for a picnic. There are some astonishing treasures in the Bekaa Valley and I really loved my stay there. I felt perfectly safe, crossing the country on my own. Going out at night, walking the streets in Beirut but also in Tyre, Tripoli, and Zahlé. It felt like any other city in the world and I wasn’t hassled by street vendors or salespeople.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

4. You will see checkpoints and the army is present in Lebanon

Having said that, for me it is uncommon to see checkpoints and soldiers in the streets, wearing their machine gun in front of them with their finger on the trigger. Yes, this startled me. On my first day in Lebanon, I was walking down the street, following my Google Maps advice to get from A to B when I noticed the street was suspiciously quiet.

As I was walking, I suddenly got a tap on my shoulder and a soldier asked me where I was going? It turned out, I was walking right into a no-go zone and the soldier didn’t really pay attention to my presence. I apologized and turned around.

In Beirut, there are many places with barbwire and where you can’t photograph. Just follow instructions of the people walking around. Regardless of all this, I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

5. Be wowed by the long history of Lebanon

I sure was! From ancient Phoenicians to Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans, to Byzantines, via Persians, Arabs, Crusaders, and Ottomans to the French, all cultures left their mark on Lebanon, making it an intriguing mixture of history! I loved roaming around the different ruins of Lebanon and discovering new features everywhere. I made a plan to travel around Lebanon and see as many ruins as possible.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

6. Bring a pen in your hand luggage when you travel to Lebanon

Uhmm… a pen you say? Yes, super useful. When you enter the country and when you leave, you need to fill out a tiny immigration document. The airline handed out the documents on the plane, but of course, they didn’t provide a pen. Save time and whisk out the pen from your hand luggage and beat the queues at the airport by just being prepared!

7. Bring hiking shoes and outdoor clothes for your trip to Lebanon

If you love nature and like to escape the big city of Beirut, make sure to bring hiking shoes and some outdoor clothes. Even a pair of jeans can be enough. Lebanon is equipped with some pristine nature and impressive national parks.

The nation’s symbol, the Cedar trees, is protected in several national parks across the country. Extensive hiking trails, long but also short, are set out and you can easily connect with nature in Lebanon.

Hike the Qadisha Valley near Bcharré or explore the Shouf Cedars National Park to connect with nature. You’ll be happy to bring your hiking shoes and a jacket.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

8. There is no such thing as overdoing it on perfume.

When you’re packing for your trip to Lebanon, make sure to bring some extra perfume. Why? Because perfume is used in abundance by Lebanese people. Everywhere I went, when passing people on the street, I got a strong whiff of Gucci, Calvin Klein or Hugo.

Spray on a little extra before you go out in Beirut, to blend in. I use these super useful carry-on perfume dispensers , so I always have a small bit of my favorite perfume ( DKNY ) in my purse.

9. Be prepared to be underdressed or out dressed.

As a solo female traveler, I love to look good when I travel, but I don’t pack a whole wardrobe. Mainly, because I am not stylish enough but mostly, because I don’t care enough.

But I felt really, really , underdressed walking around in Beirut. The men and young women are sooo stylish in Beirut and the rest of the country. Flowy dresses, matching shoes, designer purse and earrings, and immaculate make-up. I felt majorly outdressed in Lebanon.

If you plan on hitting the clubs in Beirut when you travel to Lebanon, make sure to make an effort of your appearance.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

10. Smoking is allowed, almost everywhere

I was shocked to see people lit up a cigarette at the breakfast table in my hotel in Beirut . I was almost offended when people smoked on the cramped bus but apparently, smoking in public places in Lebanon is perfectly normal. Whether it be normal cigarettes or the typical nargile (or shisha), smoking is a social event and must be done at any moment of the day, in any place.

11. Pay with US Dollars or Lebanese Pounds when you’re traveling around Lebanon

Moneywise, Lebanon is super easy to travel to. Bring a wad of American Dollars, and just pay with them at almost all occasions. Just ask for the change to be in Lebanese pound and you never have to stop at a bank or exchange office during your trip to Lebanon.

Of course, withdrawing money from an ATM is perfectly fine or exchange your money at an exchange office, but I found it easier to just exchange at hotels, cab drivers, bigger markets and restaurants.

Although we have the Euro at home, I brought US dollars with me to Lebanon and didn’t need to withdraw money. I paid the hotels with my credit card (charged in US dollars) and the rest I exchanged as I went along.

1 dollar equals 1.500 LL so it is also easy to calculate. Just pay with smaller dollar bills (like 20$ for example) and always have some Lebanese money for the shared taxi, buses and small purchases in shops.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

12. Travel in Lebanon is expensive

When you’re traveling to Lebanon, expect to pay the same prices as in Europe or North America. I found the price level to be equal to the Netherlands, France, Italy, and the UK. The shared taxi service was quite cheap, but hotels, meals, and attractions will burn a hole in your travel budget.

Expect to pay between 80 and 100 $ for a mid-range hotel room across the country. For a Lebanese meal, with mezzes, drinks, main course, and dessert, you’ll pay roughly 25-40 $ depending on how many people you’ll share the meal with.

A tour from Beirut can cost up to 80$ for a group tour, to 250$ for a private tour. I’ll share my spending and more budget tips later, so be sure to check back soon!

13. Take a taxi when needed

I never take a taxi at home. Hoping in a cab is just crazy expensive and I’d rather walk. But not in Lebanon! Shared taxis are cheap as chips and super easy.

Expect to pay 1.500 to 2.000 LL per ride within the city. Just say shared or service when you get in.

Most people pay the driver when they get in but you can also pay when you leave the taxi.

For smaller rides, the fare is lower, but I never had the courage to haggle with the taxi driver to get 500 LL back, so I always paid 2.000 LL.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

14. Having said that, a taxi to the airport is considerably more expensive

It seems to be a golden rule that taxi to and from the airport need to be crazy expensive. Even when the airport is only a 20-minute ride to the city. When you leave Beirut airport to go to Beirut downtown, the fixed price for a taxi from the airport seems to be $27 at the moment.

If you wish to go from downtown Beirut to the airport, expect to pay 23$. Your hotel can easily arrange for a taxi and they will wait for you with a sign with your name on it.

Allo Taxi is used quite often for this service, but the trick is, you can also arrange them yourself. If you download their app (iOS here , Android here ), you can request a taxi from the airport to Beirut downtown for $23. Going back will cost 25.000 LL or 16-17$ which will save you a few bucks for the exact same service.

Don’t use them to get around Beirut though, you’ll pay roughly 10$ for a single ride, where the shared service taxi will cost you $1.50 max.

15. Don’t be offended by honking cars on the streets

When walking down the street, especially along busy roads, it is not uncommon to hear honking cars all the time. They slowly drive past you, trying to catch your eye. This is not creepy and you shouldn’t be offended.

This is just the way how shared service taxis are looking for customers! It seems everyone in Beirut and the rest of Lebanon drives to where they wish to go, so walking along the street must mean you need a taxi! Just wave your hand or shake your head to indicate you don’t need a taxi.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

16. Go skiing in the morning, take a dip in the ocean in the afternoon.

Lebanon prides herself with being so diverse and with good reason. It is really true that you can go skiing or snowboarding in the morning in the mountains of Lebanon. And then plunge in the Mediterranean Sea in the afternoon. Having said so, this also means the weather can vary a lot within just 1-hour drive! It can be 22 degrees in Beirut and one-hour driving in-land, you can be caught in a snow blizzard.

During my 10 day travel in Lebanon, I encountered sun and sea but also hail, wind, and snow! On the day of my departure, it was snowing outside my hotel room at -1 degree Celsius (30F), but by the time I got to Beirut, it was sunny and 18 degrees outside (64F).

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

17. Don’t accept any extra food you didn’t order

When eating out, I absolutely advise you to try the Lebanese mezzes! They stash your whole table with cold and warm mezzes, small dishes to share across the table. Eating out in Lebanon is always a good idea as I found the food of exquisite freshness and quality.

But be aware of the oldest trick in the book. Especially at more touristy restaurants, they will put extra food (or drinks) on the table that you didn’t order. Now an extra bottle of water is not the worst thing, but at one night, I got billed nearly 20$ extra for mezzes I didn’t order and a refill on my drink that I didn’t ask for (and didn’t touch). If you didn’t order it and you don’t want it, don’t eat it and send it back.

18. Don’t expect everyone to speak English in Lebanon

Maybe I assumed English would get me quite far. And if not, I could always rely on my rusty French from high school. Turned out, I found myself in quite a few situations where I really wanted to communicate with the local Lebanese people, but we didn’t have any language in common.

If only I had learned a couple of words of Arabic! I meant to, but you know how life gets in the way and it is so hard to learn a new language at an older age. All excuses, but I really wished I spoke at least a few basic words in Arabic .

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

19. You can’t order Coca Cola or Sprite in Lebanon

Ok, this might seem like a minor thing, but as a true fan of Coca Cola and a strong opinion about Pepsi, this really stood out to me! Pepsi, and thus 7Up, dominate the drink industry in Lebanon. They never left the country and they are rock solid connection with all Horeca outlets. If you look really hard, I’m sure you can find a can of Coca Cola somewhere, but the majority will be Pepsi and 7Up.

20. Ask the locals for advice but be aware who you’re talking to.

I always find it a good idea to ask locals for advice. They know the region best, the know if roads are open, how long things take and how much simple things costs. The receptionist at your hotel in Beirut can help you out a lot but also the people at the local tourist offices are very helpful.

However, I did notice, people in Lebanon can be pretty biased with their recommendations and advice. For example, I asked the lady at the reception of my hotel in Beirut about going to Tyre for a day trip and she made an awful face. Nose up, frowned eyebrows and an overall fowl look of disgust, asking me why I would want to go there.

When I was passing through several villages on the way, I asked someone if they knew any good place for lunch. The man advice against me stopping in the next village, because the places were no good and I should definitely continue half an hour to another village. As I passed the first village, it looked really appealing and relaxed but when I got to the recommended village, it was an absolute dump.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

21. Be careful to be caught in a political discussion

It seems everywhere I went, people wanted to mention the horrors of the war and the ongoing struggles of the country. In several situations, I felt really uncomfortable when people were trashing their fellow Lebanese countrymen for having a different religion or advising me to go somewhere else because that city or town was full of terrorist and thieves.

As a non-religious person myself, it is deeply troubling to hear people let their lives dictated by the difference and not by the common grounds we humans share. I felt very eager to steer any conversation away from those topics and keep things light and casual. I’m not saying you should avoid talking about a certain subject, but it made me very uncomfortable at times.

22. There is no kissing on TV

All the hotel rooms I stayed in, had a tv. At first, I didn’t use them, because I figured it would be all in Arabic. But it turns out, most of these tv’s had quite a few other channels with English movies and Arabic subtitles. I spend a nice evening watching one sappy romantic story after another. But one thing you’ll notice is, that the kissing scenes are all cut! There is no kissing on tv in Lebanon. Odd little fact but I thought you should know.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

23. You can’t use the call-function on WhatsApp in Lebanon

I purchased a Lebanese sim card with data for my stay in Lebanon. The salesman asked me if I wanted to purchase minutes too because you can’t voice dial with Whatsapp. I found this a bit odd especially seeing how expensive it is to purchase minutes. But Lebanese people have a resourceful solution for this. They leave voice messages for each other on Whatsapp.

Sitting on the bus, I was puzzled as to why the man in front of me was constantly speaking into his phone but didn’t seem to have a conversation. Turns out, he sends voice messages back and forth with the people in his contact list.

24. Double security at the Beirut airport

When my traveling in Lebanon was over, I returned to the airport to be surprised to see no check-in lines at the departure gates. On the left and the right, there were security lines and I was doubting where to go to check-in and leave my luggage.

Turns out, you first go through general security and then you’ll find the check-in desks and the places to drop off your luggage. After this, you go through immigration and have to fill out the form with your passport details. After the exit stamp in your passport, you’ll find yourself in the departure hall.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

25. There is only 1 common restaurant at Beirut airport

I wanted to eat something before the flight home, but it seems there is only one restaurant where you can have a sit-down dinner at the Beirut Rafic Hariri Airport. The rest is carefully protected in private lounges where you just can’t get in if you’re not with a certain club or card or whatever. I was a bit disappointed by this, as apparently, the new airport lounge is supposed to be really relaxed and cool.

  • Bradt Lebanon Guidebook is a good guide for information and practical travel tips. Purchase your copy here .
  • Travel in style with your Lebanon Passport cover! Absolutely love these !

Traveling in Lebanon

Now, of course, these are just snippets of information I gathered myself. Most of them stood out because of my own references and things I knew or expected about the country. I hope it gives you a fun insight into what you can expect when you’re traveling in Lebanon.

  • My 10-Day Lebanon Itinerary
  • Day trip to Tyre and Sidon from Beirut
  • 10 Remarkable Roman Ruins in Lebanon you must visit
  • Epic Outdoor Adventures in Lebanon for Nature Lovers
  • My Lebanon Travel Budget Breakdown
  • 17 Amazing Things To Do in Beirut – Lebanon

Are you planning a trip to Lebanon? What is it you wish to know before you go? Let me know in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you.

What is it like to be traveling to Lebanon? I share my practical and informative things you should know before you travel to Beirut and in Lebanon.

Author: Naomi

We were very recently on a long trip through 5 countries in the Middle East, and wanted to give some input to your posts on Lebanon which we found quite valuable.

We are independent explorers travelling to places less travelled, hence doing all our own research online and finding speaking to locals invaluable. On the odd occasion that we did look at a blog post for Lebanon – yours stood out giving depth to the experiences. So thank you.

We absolutely loved Beirut, Byblos & Batroun in particular – food, culture and music scenes. They are all dotted along the Med Sea, and perhaps not the prettiest but certainly the most interesting compared to other more developed neighbours on the Med.

Outside of the current crisis situation in this region (more southern Lebanon) – we can confirm that it is safe and easy to travel to both Tyre & Sidon from Beirut by public transport (1 taxi from Cola Station takes you to both towns) or your own vehicle. There are UN checkpoints, but nothing serious – in fact an added measure of safety.

And off course, you cannot visit Lebanon without seeing the majestic city of Baalbek. All news reports tell you not to visit, with travel advisories in place because it’s close to the Syrian border with some reported tourist muggings and a kidnapping in recent years (not 100% unique to Baalbek in the global picture). We spoke to locals, hotel managers, coffee shop owners etc – all advising otherwise and so we went. From Beirut hotel, we took an Uber to Cola Bus Station and a then mini van directly to Baalbek (about 2hr 30min). The incredible scale of the ruins are magnificent to see – and cannot be missed.

Crucial tip for travellers is to withdraw US$ BEFORE you land in Lebanon, so that you dont get the banks 15,000 LBP to 1$ rate. We withdrew at the Doha airport – and were so so so happy we did. Once you have USD you can trade on the black market rate very very easily. No credit cards accepted anywhere.

Oh and final comment : Hands down, Lebanon (& Israel) have the best food in the Middle East :). So encourage people to go, and wish for PEACE in this time !!

Glad you found my article worth the read Janine. And that you had a great time in Lebanon. Happy travels

I’m wanting to visit a friend, so thinking of going in October. With the present upheaval in the world, my family and friend’s think I’m crazy, but I’m not put off. Thank you for your sharing yiur views, makes me definitely want to visit. I was rhete 40 years ago so can’t wait to see the changes.

I’m sure you won’t recognize certain parts, Anne! A lot had changed, but a lot has stayed the same for sure. Safe travels.

Good observations! Some notes: As of September 2019, you can use uber in Beirut. For getting into the city from the airport, just exit the airport building upstairs and get one of the taxis that brought the passengers to Departures. You will pay a lot less, around 15 USD or 20000 LBP. And as of now, whatsapp call function works all right.

Good to know Alex. Thanks for sharing.

Neomi you are such a jewel .I am a Lebanese/American who hadn’t been to Lebanon for some time now and looking at your trip it was very encouraging and motivating at the same time nostalgic as it brought up memories since I know how the corrupt system there is and how negligent drivers are . While is is also very scary to drive the first day or two you find yourself at risk when you get back as you get carried with the way they drive after few days when you gain some confidence so getting citations when you return can be a challenge to avoid till you gain your normal driving mode back 🙂 .Any way your description is fun to read and I will be your fan and read each and every trip you make and wish I could be some day your companion traveler when time and circumstances allows it .I wish you the best in all your efforts and all the fun and best of all be safe and always keep posting new trips .Best regards .

Thank you for your kinds words Kam. You are right, the first few days after I returned I was scared to get in my car as I’d probably not drive correctly for my country. But it faded and now I have only good memories of Lebanon and driving around in Lebanon. Feel free to check out my other posts about Lebanon that I wrote in the meantime. You can find them under destinations>> Lebanon.

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Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

  • Plan Your Trip
  • Safety & Insurance

Solo Female Travel In Lebanon: Is Lebanon Safe?

Published: September 9, 2023

Modified: January 3, 2024

by Octavia Romine

  • Travel Destinations
  • Travel Guide

solo-female-travel-in-lebanon-is-lebanon-safe

Introduction

Lebanon, the country known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, has been attracting an increasing number of travelers in recent years. However, when it comes to solo female travel, safety is a critical consideration. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the safety aspects for solo female travelers in Lebanon, as well as offer valuable tips to ensure a secure and memorable trip.

Lebanon, located in the heart of the Middle East, offers a unique blend of ancient ruins, bustling cities, and picturesque coastal towns. While it has faced challenges in the past, Lebanon has made significant strides in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its visitors. The perception of safety varies among individuals, and it is important to understand that no destination is completely devoid of risks. However, with proper planning and knowledge, solo female travelers can have a rewarding experience exploring the marvels of Lebanon.

Lebanon has a diverse and welcoming society that values hospitality, making it an ideal destination for solo female travelers seeking an immersive cultural experience. From its bustling capital city of Beirut to the tranquil beauty of its countryside, Lebanon offers a wide range of experiences that cater to the interests of all travelers.

It is crucial to address safety concerns to ensure peace of mind while traveling alone, especially for women. Despite reports of occasional political unrest, Lebanon has worked diligently to maintain stability and improve security measures for both locals and visitors. Travelers should stay informed about the current situation and exercise caution, especially in crowded areas and during political events.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the perception of safety for solo female travelers in Lebanon, provide practical safety tips, discuss transportation and accommodation options, highlight popular destinations, shed light on cultural norms and etiquette, and showcase the delectable local cuisine. Whether you are a seasoned solo traveler or embarking on your first solo adventure, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to make the most of your trip to Lebanon.

Overview of Lebanon

Lebanon, a small country located in the Middle East, boasts a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Lebanon is home to an array of stunning beaches, allowing travelers to soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Additionally, the country is known for its picturesque mountain ranges, including the famous Mount Lebanon and the valleys of the Beqaa, offering breathtaking views and exciting hiking opportunities.

Lebanon is steeped in a rich historical past, evident in its many archaeological sites and ancient ruins. One of the most prominent historical landmarks is the city of Byblos, believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Byblos is a treasure trove of historical artifacts, enchanting visitors with its ancient Phoenician ruins, Crusader castle, and charming old town.

The capital city of Beirut, often referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East,” is a vibrant and cosmopolitan hub. Home to a diverse population, Beirut offers a captivating blend of modernity and tradition. Travelers can explore its bustling markets, indulge in delicious street food, and immerse themselves in the city’s rich cultural heritage by visiting the National Museum, the Sursock Museum, and the iconic Pigeon Rocks along the Corniche.

Lebanon’s culinary scene is renowned for its delectable cuisine, heavily influenced by Arabic, Mediterranean, and French flavors. Food enthusiasts can savor traditional dishes such as falafel, shawarma, and hummus, as well as indulge in mouthwatering Lebanese pastries and sweets like baklava and maamoul. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience a traditional mezze, a spread of small plates offering an explosion of flavors and textures.

Lebanon’s cultural diversity is reflected in its festivals and events throughout the year. The Baalbeck International Festival, held in the ancient Roman city of Baalbek, showcases world-class performances against the backdrop of awe-inspiring historical ruins. The Beiteddine Festival, held in the stunning Beiteddine Palace, highlights a range of artistic and musical performances, celebrating Lebanon’s cultural heritage.

Lebanon’s warm and welcoming locals are known for their hospitality and generosity. Despite the language barrier for non-Arabic speakers, locals often go out of their way to assistance and make visitors feel at home. This friendly atmosphere contributes to the overall appeal of Lebanon as a destination for solo female travelers.

In the following sections of this article, we will delve deeper into the perception of safety for solo female travelers in Lebanon, provide practical safety tips, discuss transportation and accommodation options, highlight popular destinations, shed light on cultural norms and etiquette, and showcase the delectable local cuisine. Whether you are an adventure seeker, history enthusiast, or a food lover, Lebanon has something to offer everyone.

Perception of Safety for Solo Female Travelers

When it comes to solo female travel, safety is a top concern for many travelers. It is essential to consider the perception of safety in Lebanon to make an informed decision about embarking on a solo journey. While Lebanon is not without its challenges, it is crucial to separate myths from reality and understand the current situation to stay prepared.

Lebanon has a complex history that has sometimes led to misconceptions about its safety. However, it is important to note that the majority of the country remains peaceful and safe for travelers. The Lebanese government has prioritized tourist safety and has implemented measures to ensure the well-being of both locals and visitors.

The perception of safety often varies based on personal experiences and individual tolerance for risk. While some travelers may feel completely comfortable exploring Lebanon solo, others may prefer to travel with a group or rely on local guides for added security. It is advisable to conduct thorough research, check travel advisories, and stay informed about the current situation in the country before planning a trip.

It is also important to note that Lebanon has its share of social and cultural norms that may impact the perception of safety, especially for solo female travelers. Dressing modestly and respecting local customs can help to avoid unwanted attention. Being aware of one’s surroundings and exercising caution in crowded areas, particularly at night, is essential in any travel destination.

While isolated incidents of petty theft and pickpocketing can occur, violent crimes against tourists are rare in Lebanon. The country has a substantial security presence, particularly in tourist areas, which helps to deter criminal activity. However, it is always wise to take basic precautions such as keeping valuable belongings secure and being mindful of personal safety at all times.

Solo female travelers who have visited Lebanon often share positive experiences, highlighting the warm hospitality of the locals and the sense of safety they felt during their trips. Like in any other destination, it is important to use common sense, trust your instincts, and take necessary precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

In the following sections, we will provide practical safety tips for solo female travelers in Lebanon, including guidance on transportation options, information on accommodation choices, popular destinations to explore, cultural norms and etiquette to be aware of, and a taste of the local cuisine. By equipping yourself with the right knowledge and being mindful of your surroundings, you can make the most of your solo adventure in Lebanon.

Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers in Lebanon

Traveling solo as a female can be an empowering and enriching experience, and with proper precautions, Lebanon can be a safe destination. Here are some important safety tips to consider when traveling alone in Lebanon:

  • Stay informed: Before your trip, check the latest travel advisories and stay updated on the current situation in the country. It is advisable to register with your embassy or consulate to receive important updates and emergency notifications.
  • Dress modestly: Respect the local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative areas. Wearing conservative clothing can help you blend in and avoid unwanted attention.
  • Be cautious with your belongings: Keep your valuables secure and be vigilant of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas and public transportation. Carry a secure bag and avoid displaying expensive jewelry or electronics.
  • Use reliable transportation: Opt for reputable transportation options, such as licensed taxis or ride-hailing services, especially when traveling at night. Avoid hitchhiking or accepting rides from strangers.
  • Share your itinerary: Inform a trusted friend or family member about your travel plans, including your accommodation details and intended activities. Regularly check in with them to ensure your safety.
  • Avoid isolated areas at night: Stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially when exploring cities or walking alone at night. If possible, travel with a group or hire a local guide for added security.
  • Be cautious with alcohol consumption: Limit your alcohol consumption and be aware of your surroundings when enjoying Lebanon’s vibrant nightlife. Avoid accepting drinks from strangers and always keep an eye on your drink.
  • Trust your instincts: If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. Avoid confrontations and seek help from local authorities if needed.
  • Learn basic phrases: Familiarize yourself with common Arabic phrases or local dialect to communicate more effectively with locals. This can help in case of emergencies or seeking assistance.
  • Respect local customs: Familiarize yourself with Lebanese etiquette and customs to show respect to the local culture. This includes being mindful of appropriate behavior in religious sites and interacting respectfully with locals.

Transportation Options in Lebanon

Getting around Lebanon as a solo female traveler is relatively straightforward, thanks to the country’s well-developed transportation system. Here are the various transportation options available to navigate the country efficiently and safely:

  • Taxis: Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Lebanon. You can easily find taxis in major cities like Beirut, and they can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands. It is advisable to use official taxis with meters or negotiate the fare before starting your journey.
  • Ride-hailing services: Lebanon has popular ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem, which offer a convenient and reliable way to travel. By using these apps, you can book a ride, track your driver, and pay through the app, ensuring a smooth and secure experience.
  • Public buses: Public buses are a cost-effective way to travel around Lebanon. The bus network covers most major cities and towns, with regular schedules and affordable fares. However, buses can get crowded at peak times, so it is advisable to be cautious with your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Shared taxis (Service): Shared taxis, locally known as “services,” are a common form of transportation in Lebanon. These are usually shared vans or cars that follow a set route and pick up passengers along the way. Service taxis can be a more affordable option for traveling shorter distances within a city or between neighboring towns.
  • Private car rental: If you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle, renting a car is an option. Many international car rental companies have branches in Lebanon, and you can also find local rental companies. However, driving in Lebanon can be challenging, with aggressive driving styles and congested roads in some areas, so it is advisable to be cautious and familiarize yourself with local traffic rules.
  • Walking: Lebanon’s compact size and the proximity of many attractions make it an ideal country for walking. Exploring on foot allows you to soak in the local ambiance, discover hidden gems, and easily navigate through narrow streets. Be mindful of traffic and follow pedestrian rules to ensure your safety.

When using any transportation option, it is best to plan your routes in advance, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Avoid traveling alone at night and opt for well-lit and populated areas. It is also a good idea to carry a map or use navigation apps to ensure you are heading in the right direction.

Accommodation Options in Lebanon

Lebanon provides a wide range of accommodation options for solo female travelers, catering to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury, comfort, or a more budget-friendly stay, there are plenty of choices throughout the country. Here are some popular accommodation options to consider when planning your solo trip to Lebanon:

  • Hotels: From upscale international chains to boutique hotels and budget-friendly options, Lebanon offers a diverse selection of hotels. In major cities like Beirut and tourist destinations such as Byblos and Baalbek, you will find a wide range of hotels with modern amenities and various price points.
  • Guesthouses: For a more intimate and cozy experience, consider staying in a guesthouse. These small-scale accommodations are usually family-owned and provide a more personalized touch. Nestled in charming neighborhoods or countryside settings, guesthouses offer a unique opportunity to connect with the local culture.
  • Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice for budget-conscious solo travelers. Found mainly in urban areas, hostels provide affordable accommodation with shared dormitories or private rooms. They offer a social atmosphere where you can meet fellow travelers and often provide common spaces and organized activities.
  • Apartments: Booking an apartment through platforms like Airbnb or local rental agencies can provide a more spacious and home-like experience. Renting an apartment gives you the freedom to cook your meals and live like a local, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period.
  • Eco-Lodges: For those seeking a more eco-friendly and sustainable accommodation option, Lebanon has a growing number of eco-lodges. These lodges prioritize environmentally-friendly practices and provide a tranquil and immersive experience, often situated amidst picturesque natural settings.
  • Camping: If you enjoy outdoor adventures, camping is a fantastic option in Lebanon. The country offers beautiful campsites nestled in scenic locations, such as the Cedars of Lebanon or the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Camping allows you to reconnect with nature and enjoy the serenity of Lebanon’s landscapes.

When selecting accommodation, consider factors such as location, proximity to attractions, safety, and reviews from previous guests. Prioritize accommodations in safe neighborhoods and areas with easy access to transportation options. It is also recommended to book accommodations in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to secure your preferred option.

Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, it’s important to maintain basic safety precautions. Ensure that your accommodation has secure entrances, lockable doors, and functioning safety measures. It’s also a good practice to inform the staff or a trusted person about your travel plans and expected return times.

Popular Destinations for Solo Female Travelers in Lebanon

Lebanon is a country brimming with captivating destinations that offer unique experiences for solo female travelers. From bustling cities to tranquil landscapes, here are some popular destinations to explore during your solo adventure in Lebanon:

  • Beirut: As the capital city and cultural hub of Lebanon, Beirut is a must-visit destination. Dive into its vibrant nightlife, explore art galleries and museums, and indulge in the city’s culinary delights. Stroll along the Corniche, visit the iconic Pigeon Rocks, and immerse yourself in the mix of modernity and history that Beirut has to offer.
  • Byblos: Step back in time and visit the enchanting ancient city of Byblos. With its well-preserved ruins dating back to 7000 BC, Byblos is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Explore its charming old town, visit the Crusader castle, and admire the ancient Phoenician port.
  • Baalbek: Uncover the ancient wonders of Baalbek, home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins in the world. Marvel at the Temple of Bacchus and the Temple of Jupiter, surrounded by awe-inspiring columns and intricate stone carvings. The annual Baalbeck International Festival showcases classical music and performances against the backdrop of these majestic ruins.
  • Tripoli: Discover the vibrant city of Tripoli, with its rich history and bustling markets. Explore the labyrinthine streets of the old town, where you can find traditional souks, stunning mosques, and hammams. Taste delicious local street food, such as the famous Tripolitan sweets and hearty Lebanese dishes.
  • The Cedar Forest: Experience the natural beauty of Lebanon by visiting the iconic Cedar Forest. Located in the mountains of Lebanon, this ancient forest is home to majestic cedar trees, some of which are thousands of years old. Take a scenic hike through the forest and admire the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Jeita Grotto: Embark on an enchanting underground adventure at the Jeita Grotto. This remarkable network of caves boasts stunning stalactites and stalagmites, and features an underground river that you can explore by boat. Guided tours provide insight into the geological wonders of the grotto and its fascinating history.
  • The Beqaa Valley: Head to the Beqaa Valley, where picturesque vineyards, ancient Roman ruins, and charming villages await. Visit the stunning ruins of the Roman city of Baalbek and the breathtaking Temple of Bacchus. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit local wineries and try Lebanon’s renowned wines.

These destinations offer a mix of history, culture, natural beauty, and culinary delights to satisfy the interests of solo female travelers. Whether you prefer exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on stunning beaches, or immersing yourself in vibrant cities, Lebanon has something for everyone.

When planning your visit to these destinations, it is advisable to check for any travel advisories or restrictions. Stay informed about local customs and traditions to respect the culture and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience during your solo journey in Lebanon.

Cultural Norms and Etiquette in Lebanon

Understanding the cultural norms and etiquette of a country is essential for solo female travelers to ensure respect and harmony during their visit to Lebanon. Here are some key aspects of Lebanese culture to keep in mind:

  • Dress modestly: Lebanon is a predominantly Muslim country with conservative values. It is respectful to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites or conservative areas. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing and opt for modest, knee-length dresses or pants, along with covering their shoulders.
  • Greetings: Lebanese people are known for their warm hospitality. When meeting someone, it is customary to exchange greetings and handshakes. In more conservative areas, women may prefer to wait for the other person to initiate the handshake.
  • Punctuality: It is polite to be punctual when attending meetings or social gatherings. While the concept of time can be flexible, especially in social settings, it is respectful to arrive for business appointments and formal events on time.
  • Respect religious customs: Lebanon is home to various religious groups, including Muslims, Christians, and Druze. It is important to respect religious customs and practices. When visiting religious sites, women should cover their heads with a scarf (if required) and dress modestly.
  • Language: Arabic is the official language in Lebanon. While many people in urban areas speak English, learning a few basic Arabic phrases or greetings can go a long way in showing respect and building connections with the locals.
  • Negotiating and bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Lebanon, particularly in traditional markets (souks) and smaller shops. However, it is important to negotiate respectfully and avoid excessive haggling, as it may be seen as disrespectful.
  • Refrain from public displays of affection: Public displays of affection are generally not common in Lebanese culture. It is advisable to avoid excessive physical contact or intimate behavior in public, as it may be considered inappropriate.
  • Accepting invitations: Lebanese people are known for their generosity and hospitality. If you are invited to someone’s home, it is customary to bring a small gift, such as sweets or flowers, as a token of appreciation. It is polite to accept any food or drink offered to you, as refusing may be seen as impolite.
  • Tipping: Tipping is common in Lebanon, particularly in restaurants, cafes, and hotels. It is customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the bill. However, check if a service charge has already been included before adding additional gratuity.

By respecting the cultural norms and etiquette of Lebanon, solo female travelers can foster positive interactions, build connections with the locals, and enjoy a more enriching and authentic experience in the country.

As with any country, it is important to approach cultural differences with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Embracing the local customs and traditions will not only enhance your trip but also leave a lasting impression on the people you encounter.

Local Cuisine and Dining Options in Lebanon

Lebanon is a food lover’s paradise, offering a rich culinary heritage that blends flavors from the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and French cuisines. Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any trip to Lebanon for solo female travelers. Here are some highlights of the local cuisine and dining options to try during your visit:

Mezze: Mezze is a highlight of Lebanese cuisine and consists of a variety of small dishes served as appetizers. It offers a wide range of flavors, including hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves. Mezze is typically shared among the dining party, making it a sociable and interactive dining experience.

Shawarma and Falafel: Shawarma and falafel are popular street food options in Lebanon. Shawarma consists of tender, marinated slices of meat (usually chicken or beef) wrapped in freshly baked bread and topped with a selection of vegetables and sauces. Falafel are crispy chickpea patties, often served in pita bread with tahini sauce, fresh vegetables, and pickles.

Kibbeh: Kibbeh is a beloved traditional dish made of minced meat (lamb or beef), bulgur wheat, and spices. It can be enjoyed in various forms, such as raw (kibbeh nayyeh), baked (kibbeh bil-saynieh), or fried (kibbeh maqliyeh). Kibbeh is often accompanied by yogurt or a side of salad.

Grilled Meats: Lebanon is renowned for its delicious grilled meats. The most popular is shish taouk, marinated chicken skewers, often served with garlic sauce and grilled vegetables. Other grilled meats to try include kafta (minced meat kebabs) and shish kebabs (grilled marinated meat cubes).

Baklava and Sweets: Lebanese desserts are a delightful way to end a meal. Indulge in baklava, a sweet pastry filled with nuts and soaked in honey or syrup. Other popular sweets include maamoul (date or nut-filled cookies), halawet el-jibn (sweet cheese rolls), and knefeh (a cheesy pastry soaked in a sugar syrup).

In Lebanon, dining is more than just a meal—it is an experience. The Lebanese people take pride in their food, and mealtime is often a social gathering. When dining out, you will find a variety of restaurant options, ranging from casual eateries to upscale dining establishments. Restaurants in Lebanon offer a warm and welcoming ambiance, with many showcasing beautiful views of the sea, mountains, or historical landmarks.

While a solo female traveler, you can feel comfortable dining alone in Lebanon. The friendly and hospitable nature of the Lebanese people ensures a welcoming atmosphere in most establishments. Outdoor cafes and rooftop restaurants are popular choices, allowing you to soak in the vibrant ambiance while enjoying your meal.

During your culinary journey, don’t miss the opportunity to engage with locals, who are passionate about their cuisine and always ready to share their favorite food spots. Exploring local markets and food stalls is also a must, as it allows you to taste traditional street food and regional specialties.

Lebanon, with its rich history, diverse landscapes, warm hospitality, and delicious cuisine, is a captivating destination for solo female travelers. While safety is a concern for any traveler, with proper planning and awareness, solo female travelers can have a memorable and secure experience in this beautiful country.

Understanding the perception of safety and being informed about the current situation is vital. By staying up to date with travel advisories and exercising caution in crowded areas and during political events, solo female travelers can navigate Lebanon with confidence.

Lebanon’s cultural norms and etiquette offer guidelines to ensure respect and harmony during your journey. Dressing modestly, respecting religious sites, and learning a few Arabic phrases will help you connect with the locals and create meaningful connections.

Transportation options in Lebanon are abundant, giving you the flexibility to explore cities, historical sites, and natural wonders. Whether you choose taxis, ride-hailing services, or public buses, it is essential to prioritize safety and use reputable modes of transportation.

When it comes to accommodation, Lebanon offers a range of options to suit various preferences and budgets. From luxury hotels to guesthouses, hostels, and apartments, there is something for every solo female traveler. Prioritizing safety and selecting well-located accommodations will enhance your overall experience.

Don’t miss the chance to explore popular destinations like Beirut, Byblos, Baalbek, and the beautiful natural landscapes of the Cedar Forest and the Beqaa Valley. Immerse yourself in the local cuisine, savoring traditional dishes like mezze, shawarma, and baklava. Lebanese food is a delightful journey for the taste buds and a reflection of the country’s cultural diversity.

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FAQ About Solo Trips in Lebanon

Is lebanon a good place to solo travel, is lebanon safe for solo travelers, is lebanon expensive for solo travel.

You can save money by staying in a low-cost hotel or hostel and splitting your expenses with other travelers. A hostel can be a great place to meet new people if you are traveling alone, but you can also use GAFFL to connect with other travelers in Lebanon, share costs, and travel together to save money on your solo trip to Lebanon.

Essential Solo Travel Tips For A Trip To Lebanon

How are gaffl solo trips in lebanon different than tour companies, are gaffl solo trips in lebanon free, are gaffl solo trips in lebanon safe.

Travelers on GAFFL go through a multi-step verification process that includes phone, social, and government ID verification, so you can be confident in your potential travel companion. You also have the option of connecting or not connecting with anyone you want. On GAFFL, you have complete control over who you travel with.

Can you give me an example of how solo tours in Lebanon are different from Tour Companies?

How much money can gaffl save me on my next solo trip to lebanon.

A two-week trip to Lebanon with a traditional tour company can cost thousands of dollars. When you connect with a solo traveler on GAFFL and split costs for things like rental cars and lodging, you are not paying any additional fees that are typically associated with tour companies, and by splitting costs, the overall cost per person is significantly reduced.

Are GAFFL solo trips in Lebanon run by Tour Companies?

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"It’s really nice to have a platform like GAFFL with lots of travelers wanting to do the same as you, a real beautiful cultural exchange. You can meet people so easily and in a trustful way. We were four girls, from French, German and American backgrounds, without knowing each other from before. We spent an amazing week together, 2000km driving, camping on the way. We saw kangaroos, koalas, penguins and pelicans"

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“I have found GAFFL to be an amazing tool for finding similar minded travel partners to embark on an adventure. Through GAFFL, I had organized a trip to Mexico City last month and Quazi joined the trip from Victoria, BC. We spent 14 days of straight exploring, hiking, eating and drinking. Quite an amazing experience - all thanks to GAFFL!”

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"I accidentally scrolled across GAFFL and I'm so pleased I did. I met Amaia and immediately decided to road-trip together. We're spending 10 days together and it's great because we have so much in common. Couldn't have done it without GAFFL helping us find one another! It has honestly made NZ so much cheaper to explore as I get to split the costs with someone too​"

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IMAGES

  1. A guide to solo female travel in Lebanon

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  2. 12 Shots of Solo Travel Around the Country

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  3. 12 Shots of Solo Travel Around the Country

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  4. A Solo Traveller's Guide to Lebanon

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  5. A guide to solo female travel in Lebanon

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  6. Solo Female Travel in Lebanon: Is Lebanon Safe?

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  1. 10 things to see and to do in Lebanon

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  5. Lebanon Travel Guide: 9 BEST Places to visit in Lebanon (& Top Things to Do)

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COMMENTS

  1. A Solo Traveller's Guide To Lebanon

    22 February 2022 A country known for its political unrest might seem like an odd choice for a solo travel adventure. However, don't let the reputation intimidate you, as Lebanon is a good option for solo travelers if you take some precautions. Al Mina archaeological site in Tyre, Lebanon.

  2. A guide to solo female travel in Lebanon

    A guide to solo female travel in Lebanon By Joan Torres 1 Comments Last updated on September 8, 2023 I started travelling solo five years ago and I can´t stop it. When I was thinking of quitting my job and heading to unknown Asia, I also knew that I was going to do it alone. I have become a very independent and confident woman thanks to my travels.

  3. What's it Really Like to Travel Lebanon?

    Lebanon is much safer than people think it is, not unlike many destinations in the Middle East. The media paints the image of war, suicide bombers, and riots, but this is nothing like what you would see in Lebanon (or the vast majority of the Middle East) today. Lebanon has had wars in the past…like from 1975 to 1990.

  4. Solo Female Travel in Lebanon: Is Lebanon Safe?

    Yes. It was absolutely worth it to come to Lebanon — a country that is too often labeled as a dangerous place. In this in-depth post, I'm going to tell you what it's actually like to travel Lebanon as a woman on her own. (Do note that this post should only serve as the beginning of your personal research.

  5. Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling in Lebanon

    1. Guide vs Solo: Should You Visit Lebanon On Your Own? First, do you need a guide when traveling to Lebanon? As a frequent solo traveler and avid trip planner, I am used to being fiercely independent when I travel abroad. So, I tend to only seek out local guides for individual activities, like walking tours and cooking classes.

  6. Is Lebanon Safe to Visit as a Solo Female?

    After traveling to Lebanon I would answer your question on whether you should travel to Lebanon in two words: YES, absolutely! Lebanon is a beautiful country and should be on your must-see travel list. Traveling to Lebanon as a Solo Traveler Where is Lebanon? Is Lebanon Safe? Visa for Lebanon Where to Stay in Lebanon: Beirut

  7. Lebanon travel guide: a 2-week itinerary

    This is a compelling travel guide to Lebanon that shows how to visit the Levantine country during the crisis, including where to exchange in the black market. It also includes things to do, how to move around, where to stay and more.

  8. Lebanon Solo Female Travel Safety Tips and Advice

    Welcome to the Solo Female Travel Safety Tips and Advice page for Lebanon! This page is brought to you by Solo Female Travelers Tours, our curated small group trips for women, by women. On this page you will find first-hand, unbiased, and real safety tips, advice and reviews from women traveling solo, submitted directly from their personal ...

  9. Solo Female Travel in Lebanon

    Lebanon is currently ranked #87 best country for solo female travellers. Check full ranking. Meet locals in Lebanon Tet4er Speaking About Me I'm Margo, and I'm From Belarus. At the moment living in Lebanon. I love creative things and exclopre something new.. Countries I've Visited

  10. 12 Shots of Solo Travel Around the Country

    May 24, 2020 Escape the confines of your home by taking a virtual tour with Dounia Raphael, an explorer who loves to travel solo around Lebanon. Qadisha Valley Beaufort Castle (Nabatieh) Taanayel Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve Miziara Ehmej BaalbeckKfarmattaByblosKfour Jeita

  11. Complete Lebanon Itinerary: 1 Week, All the Highlights!

    LEARN MORE: Solo Female Travel in Lebanon : Is It Safe? Day 6: Sidon & Tyre. On the penultimate day of your Lebanon itinerary head to the country's south to enjoy the cities of Sidon and more importantly, Tyre. Also known as Sour, Tyre has some bustling souks, a beautiful fisherman's harbour and a delightful UNESCO-listed Old Town to wander.

  12. Solo Female Travel in Lebanon

    Solo Female Travel in Lebanon: Is It Safe? February 8, 2023 17 Dec When many people think about visiting the Middle East - especially solo female travellers - their minds tends to fill with all sorts of concerns. Is it safe? What can I wear? Will I get harassed?

  13. 11 Amazing Places For Solo Travel In The Middle East

    2. Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Dubai Marina. Photo via Disha of Disha Discovers. Nestled between the Arabian Gulf and the sands of the Arabian Desert, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is a city like no other and is one of the best places for solo travel in the Middle East.

  14. 25 Practical Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Lebanon

    1. Don't assume everyone is Muslim in Lebanon 2. There is more to Lebanon than just Beirut 3. Traveling to Lebanon felt perfectly safe as a solo female traveler 4. You will see checkpoints and the army is present in Lebanon 5. Be wowed by the long history of Lebanon 6. Bring a pen in your hand luggage when you travel to Lebanon 7.

  15. A Solo Female Traveler's Guide to Beirut

    Contrary to popular belief, Beirut is actually a wonderful place for a solo female traveler to visit. If you've been thinking of visiting Lebanon for a while, but have been too worried about safety to take the leap, let us ease your mind. Beirut is the cosmopolitan capital of the Middle East and is extremely warm and welcoming to foreigners.

  16. 13 Stunning Places to Visit in Lebanon

    Solo Female Travel in Lebanon: Is it Safe? Top 10 Travel Safety Tips for Women. Stay in Beirut and you can enjoy views like these. Where to Stay in Lebanon. Where's the best place to stay in Lebanon? If you're trying to see a lot of the country in a relatively short amount of time, it makes the most sense to stay in Beirut and do day trips.

  17. Traveling to Lebanon : r/solotravel

    Simple answer is Yes. Any country has some good and bad areas but as long as you're in a touristic area you'll be safe with minimal precautions. Areas like Beirut, Saida, Tyre, Batroun, Jbeil, Trablos, Baalbak and any area considered a hiking destination are considered safe. Can we pay by Card in Lebanon?

  18. Anyone been to Lebanon recently? : r/solotravel

    I spent almost 7 weeks traveling around Lebanon, starting this past March. I'm a solo female traveler from the US and I felt totally safe. I spent a few days in Tripoli and did a day trip to Baalbek without issues. As someone else already pointed out, things in Lebanon are pretty dire for the people who live there.

  19. Solo Female Travel in Lebanon: Is Lebanon Safe?

    However, when it comes to solo female travel, safety is a critical consideration. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the safety aspects for solo female travelers in Lebanon, as well as offer valuable tips to ensure a secure and memorable trip.

  20. Solo Female Travel in Tripoli

    Solo Female Travel in Tripoli Tripoli, located in the north of Lebanon, is a vibrant city known for its bustling souks, ancient mosques, and stunning Mediterranean coastline. It is the second largest city in Lebanon and is a great destination for those looking to explore the culture and history of the region.

  21. Best Solo Trips in Lebanon

    Lebanon is an excellent destination for someone who is new to solo travel because there are so many incredible places to visit, dishes to sample, and attractions to see.

  22. Solo Female Travel in Beirut

    Solo travel experience I went to Beirut alone in October of last year and felt safe the entire time. Beirut is a very diverse, lively city with old neighborhoods, but also with a huge amount of new investments and a myriad of great bars and restaurants that are opening there.

  23. Solo Female Travel in Jounieh

    Solo Female Travel in Jounieh. Jounieh is a beautiful coastal city located just 16 kilometers north of Lebanon's capital, Beirut. Known for its vibrant nightlife, serene beaches, and seaside culture, this picturesque city has a lot to offer the discerning traveler. The city is chiefly recognized for the annual summer festival it hosts ...