13 reasons why you should travel to Lebanon right now
Just a few months ago Lebanon underwent a terrible tragedy. Amidst all the Covid craze Beirut experienced a literally shattering explosion that impacted the country immensely. If you are concerned about how safe is it to travel to Lebanon right now, let me tell you that you have not much to be afraid of. In Lebanon population is devastated but also eager to welcome people that are interested in their culture. And let’s not beat around the bush - your buck that you will spend there will also mean the world to all the local businesses and support their livelihood. This is why I want to emphasize 13 reasons why you should travel to Lebanon right now! But before I tell you what to do in Lebanon, I would like to paint a picture and explain some basic facts about the country as well as the current situation.
Is it safe to travel to Lebanon?
It seems like the Lebanon population cannot get a breather. The country was recovering and finally getting better after the civil war that ended in the 90s. But the recent explosion just made it feel like it is another destination to avoid. So how safe is it to travel to Lebanon after all? Generally, it is one of the safest Middle East countries! Just make sure to do your research, avoid the refugee camps, and particular neighborhoods in Beirut that might be less welcoming towards tourists. Recent advice tells us to avoid the damaged buildings - don’t risk your health and life because many of them are on the brink of falling apart. Take care of your own safety, and you will be fine!
Where is Lebanon?
It is a small country on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Syria and Israel. If you will have a look at where is Lebanon located, you will see that it is blessed by the coast, mountains, and great latitude. More on that below!
How to travel to Lebanon?
If you are now looking for convenient ways how to travel to Lebanon, then there are just two options for you. You can either fly or come by cruise ship. There are no rail connections, and coming by car is unsafe from the Syrian side, but the border with Israel is closed.
To enter Lebanon visa is required for nationals of most countries, some of them can acquire it on arrival. Just to make sure if you need it made before arrival, check our page on Lebanon visa policy.
In Lebanon Visa and other credit cards are usually widely accepted, but in these times the vendors might experience some disruptions. Just to make sure you get the most of this trip, equip yourself with some dollars or euros so you can exchange them for local Lebanon currency. By the way, in Lebanon currency is called the Lebanese Pound, sometimes Lebanese Lira.
Just as in many countries, also in Lebanon flag is one of the most important national symbols. Theirs consists of two red and one white stripe as well as a green tree in the middle. The tree on the Lebanon flag is another symbol of this country - the green cedar.
So why should you go there exactly now?
1. It is an unlikely destination
If you prefer less touristy places, then now is the time! Many people will avoid coming here due to recent events, but your time in Lebanon will be blessed with less hassle and non-existent crowds. And since there will be less of you, strangers, you can also expect more profound attention from the locals and hosts!
2. Lebanese dish
This is always a reason to travel to Lebanon! Hearty, delicious, and homemade meals are something you can expect to have practically anywhere you go in the Middle East! What is the top Lebanese dish? Among others, definitely try Kibbeh!
3. Beaches in Lebanon
Lebanese are very proud of their waterfront. And it totally makes sense knowing how great the Lebanon weather conditions are. Just choose whether you want to bathe in a fancy resort or a Greek-style fishermen village. Or maybe a beach with a view of ancient ruins? Totally up to you, they have it all! It is the Mediterranean, after all!
4. Lebanon people
In Lebanon population is extremely diverse and, therefore, also quite tolerant and open towards tourists. And let’s not even start talking about the famous Lebanon people hospitality! You will feel welcomed, cheerful, and blessed to have witnessed their effort in making you feel comfortable!
5. Great all year round
Even if you have not done your research too thoroughly, figuring out what to do in Lebanon will be easy for anyone. You know why? They are proud of being the only country in the Middle East with four distinct seasons. It just means there is something for every type of traveler. Beach? Ok. Snow in the mountains? Ok. Hiking in forests? Ok! And the best thing is - you can experience all facets of Lebanon weather in a matter of one day. The travel from the mountains down to the beach will take no time in Lebanon because the country is so compact!
6. Spectacular caves
One of the things you should definitely put on your list when considering what to do in Lebanon is the Jeita Grotto. It is a breathtaking natural wonder that lies just a short distance from Beirut. To be more precise - these are two interconnected limestone caves spanning about 9km in length. Totally worth your time in Lebanon!
7. Byblos city
It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Just imagine, people have been living there since 5000BC! And for you as a traveler, it gives a sea of opportunities for exploring. Besides the historical heritage, the city has been named in numerous cases as the best Arab or Middle Eastern city. To paint a picture - in their time, Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando were regulars here. It does give an impression of how fancy and amazing this city must be!
8. Paragliding in Lebanon
If you are that kind of traveler looking for something to pump your blood a little faster, then this will be the perfect activity! Is it safe to travel to Lebanon for paragliding? There are many points in Lebanon offering to see those spectacular views from the top. And they have been offering such activity for a while. No worries about this one!
9. Beirut Souks
If you have not encountered the name before, then let me clarify. Souks are permanently enclosed marketplaces where you can find all your heart wishes for. In the past, you would see traditional products sold, but nowadays, many of these places have become more like malls. Taking into account that many consider Beirut as the fashion capital of the Middle East, you should definitely use your time in Lebanon wisely by doing some shopping! And especially now, consider going there just to support the locals by spending a little more than a few dimes of your Lebanon currency on your souvenir purchases. How about buying everything with the Lebanon flag on it? The local economy will appreciate this!
10. Baalbek city
Another historic highlight not to be missed during your travel to Lebanon! It has been at the crossroads for many civilizations throughout the centuries. During Greek and Roman times, the city had the name of Heliopolis, but nowadays, it still features numerous spectacular architecture masterpieces from those times. A beauty that never ceases to be truly exciting for travelers curious about the past.
11. Lebanon Wine
You won’t hear this often about Middle Eastern countries, but Lebanon is famous for its wine. It does make sense that in such great Lebanon weather, the grapes grow well. It is actually one of the oldest places in the world where wine is being produced! No urgency here, but definitely worth exploring more!
12. Mountains and hiking
If you are an outdoorsy person, then the nature of Lebanon will blow your mind. The canyons and the green slopes of mountains you will be able to see there...oh my! Something I never expected to see while researching this topic. Maybe because so few places feature Lebanon as an outdoor tourism destination, and the sights are therefore unfamiliar. But nevertheless, breathtakingly spectacular. Let yourself be surprised by the white and green trails of this unlikely beauty!
13. Beirut is about to experience a renaissance
In the aftermath of everything, you can be sure that people are not giving up, and it will be exciting to see the rebirth of the city in Lebanon. The hope in people’s eyes, as well as the new plans and ideas on restoration and future development, will be exciting to watch. Visiting now, you can observe this exciting process first hand!
Hopefully, you don’t question whether is it safe to travel to Lebanon or where is Lebanon! After all, what you should be concerned with is how to travel to Lebanon, and how can you manage to get there ASAP, right? The beauty of this country is unparalleled, and they need your visit now more than ever. See you in Beirut?
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.