Travel Tips

TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS

CLIMATE

Lebanon enjoys an essential Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and long warm summers. It almost never rains between June and October and visitors can count on 300 sunny days every year. In summer Lebanese like to escape the heat and humidity of the coast by going to the mountains. In winter, however, higher elevations can be cold and snow usually falls at elevations above 1000m.

LANGUAGE

Lebanon has one of the best educational levels in the Middle East region. Arabic is the official language in Lebanon, French and English are widely spoken. Foreign newspapers and magazines are available and the prolific local press publishes in French and English as well as Arabic. Communication is definitely not a problem!

ACCOMODATION

Lebanon has a good hotel capacity, including a number of outstanding luxury establishments. In Beirut, there are also many small, well-run hostelries. Several of the older large hotels have refurbished their premises and once again offer an elegant and convenient place to stay. Hotel space in the mountains is abundant, generally open in the summer season. There are some grand hotles in the mountains as well, open year-round. Furnished apartments, which offer self-service facilities, are found throughout Greater Beirut and in other populated centers.

COMMUNICATIONS

The domestic telephone service in Lebanon has improved enormously during the last twelve months, and international calls can now be made from domestic telephones. Most hotels have international lines. Telex and fax services are widely available. Cellular phones are widely used and can be rented by visitors.

CREDIT CARDS

 

Many major credit cards are now accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diner’s Club International are recognized, along with local credit cards such as Investment Credit Card, Cashless Card and Link.

TRANSPORTATION

Automobile rental companies provide self-driven cars or cars with a chauffeur. Lebanese taxis are comfortable and reasonably priced. Even cheaper is the “service-taxi” which allows one to share the cost of a trip with other passengers. Bus service is also available to certain destinations.

HEALTH

No vaccinations are required for entry into Lebanon. Lebanon’s medical services are very modern, with most doctors speaking French or English. The private hospitals are generally the best, but more expensive, so insurance should be taken out by all visitors.

CUSTOMS

The Duty Free allowance for entry into Lebanon is two bottles of alcohol and 500g of tobacco (400 cigarettes or 20 cigars). No duty is payable on personal possessions, and there are no restrictions on bringing foreign or local currency into or out of the country.

PASSPORTS & VISAS

A valid passport and a visa are required from foreigners who wish to enter Lebanon. Visas are delivered by Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad.

LOCAL TIME

Lebanese time is GMT + 2 hours in winter and 3 hours in summer.

TOURIST POLICE

In the event of any difficulty or problem, visitors may contact the Tourist Police at telephone: (01)343 209.

LEBANESE CURRENCY & BANKING

Movement of currency into and out of the country and all exchange transactions are completely free of any kind of control.Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or at money exchangers found in main business areas. Travellers cheques are accepted. The monetary unit is the Lebanese Pound. The Lebanese have always been famous for their banking industry, of which strick banking secrecy is a major feature. Currently, over 80 banks operate in the country and transactions are performed efficiently and at low cost.

1 US Dollar = 1,521.50 L.L. (03/31/98)
 

WHAT TO BRING

Everything that you might require during your stay can be bought in Lebanon at prices comparable to those in Europe or America. In summer, light cotton clothing, a hat and sunglasses are essential. Visitors during winter months will require warm clothing as well as wind and waterproof jacket.

WORKING HOURS

 

Government Offices 8.00am – 2.00pm
Banks 8.00am – 12.30pm
Shops 8.00am – 5.00pm
Private Offices 8.00am – 5.00pm

 

INFORMATION SERVICES IN LEBANON

Tourist information can be acquired from Embassies of Lebanon or form the Ministry of Tourism in Beirut:
The address is:
550 Central Bank Street, P.O.Box: 11-5344, Beirut – Lebanon
Tel: (01)340940 /4
Fax: (01)343279