Backpacking In Lebanon

in Lebanon

Over the last 10 years, for many travelers, Lebanon has been taken off the map. That reality is unfortunate for both Lebanon and many of the backpackers who avoid it due to the sporadic violence that has plague the country in recent history. Lebanon is home to numerous Roman ruins, a vibrant downtown in Beirut (once known at the Paris of the Middle East), and gorgeous beaches. Also, we’d be remiss not to mention the incredible cuisine throughout Lebanon which is a blend of Asian, Arab, and Mediterranean flavors.

Backpackers planning on going to Lebanon who have been backpacking in Israel, should remember to either use a separate passport or otherwise destroy the separate piece of paper containing the Israeli entry stamps. VisasĀ  are typically easy to obtain for most citizens of Western Europe and the US, although it’s important to verify the specifics with your local embassy before making any reservations.

baalbek temple lebanon sursock house lebanon

Things To Do In Beirut

Backpackers headed to Lebanon should make time to spend and enjoy backpacking in Beirut. The city has great nightlife and is a fun stop along any backpacking trail with active nightclubs, parties, dancing, and drinking. There are countless restaurants along the popular Place de l’Etoile where you can enjoy fine Lebanese dining before a night out on the town. The area is also a great place to hang out, drink coffee, or visit an Internet cafe during the day. This area is fairly safe, just be on the lookout for pickpockets and follow any good traveler common sense you would anywhere.

  • Another very famous site and well worth a visit is the Baalbeck Temple. Home to Roman ruins thousands of years old, this city located in the eastern part of Lebanon is also a wonderful glimpse into the small town and farm like in the Lebanese countryside. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Baalbeck is one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world. When visiting Baalbeck, it’s much like having the entire site to yourself as it’s often not too crowded due to the decreased tourism to Lebanon in general. Visiting Heliopolis (as it was known) is free, making it a great budget travel destination.

Another wonderful archeological site in Lebanon is Tyre. Since Lebanon is such a small country, all of these sites are just a short (and usually) cheap car or bus ride from Beirut. Tyre, where backpackers will find more extremely well-preserved Roman ruins, is a 3 hour drive and arrangements can often be made for $10 or less. The bus system in Lebanon is fairly well developed and can be navigated by most experienced travelers. Most budget hotels (hostels are hard to find outside of Beirut) can also help you make arrangements to many of Lebanon’s most popular sites can towns.

Finally, Lebanon is a culinary delight and we recommend eating at more than just the most expensive and more European restaurants. The street food and local cafes each serve up their own variety of Mediterranean ‘fusion’ cooking that’s both tasty and inexpensive. A great combination for backpackers in Lebanon.

Previous post:

Next post: