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What should I know before visiting Beirut?
You may encounter military checkpoints around Beirut
In order to keep Lebanon as safe as possible, military checkpoints are set up across the country for security purposes. You are most likely to come across security checkpoints on major roads while driving a rental car or riding in a taxi. If you encounter a checkpoint after your flights to Beirut, kindly address the soldiers and hand them your passport for inspection.
Note that travellers can be refused entry to Lebanon if they have previously visited Israel
Political relations between Lebanon and Israel have been tense since the 1970s. Visitors can be refused entry at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) if their passports contain visas or entry stamps from a previous trip to Israel. Israeli visas often come in paper form, so these can be removed from your passport before your flights to Beirut. However, if you have a permanent record of a trip to Israel in your passport, you may want to consider renewing your passport before your return flights to Beirut to avoid any problems at the border.
Lebanese vendors accept both Lebanese pounds and US dollars
When changing money before your cheap flights to Beirut, note that the official currency is the Lebanese pound; however, US dollars are accepted just about everywhere in the country. Note that the exchange rate between these two currencies is about 1500 pounds for each $1 USD, which equals about $1.55 NZD.
What is the best way to get around Beirut?
When you book airfare to Beirut, you can take advantage of an efficient transport network to explore the city. Buses and minibuses are the primary forms of public transport. They follow basic routes around the city; however, bus stops and routes are not strict, so you can essentially hail any bus you see in the centre and tell the driver where you are going. Buses run all throughout the day and are typically spaced apart by about 15 minutes. Minibuses operate the same way buses do, except rather than being proper buses, they are minivans that shuttle people around Beirut. Tickets to Beirut buses and minibuses are extremely affordable; one-way fare costs between 1000 and 1500 pounds (about $1 to $1.55 NZD).
Taxis are another form of transport available after arriving on flights to Beirut. Taxis are available from the airport as well as all throughout the city centre. Beirut taxis do not use meters, so you will need to agree on a price with the driver before getting in. Taxi rides around the city centre should fall somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds (about $10.35 and $12.40 NZD). Taxis can also be hired for a full day when you have return flights to Beirut, so you can plan a day trip to attractions outside of the city.
What are the best things to do in Beirut?
The Corniche is a seaside promenade on the northwestern edge of the city and is a must-visit attraction when you book cheap flights to Beirut. The Corniche is one of the most bustling parts of the city, making it a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture. The Corniche is lined with palm trees and looks out over the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. While strolling along the Corniche after your flights to Beirut, you’ll be able to spot local fishermen, visit local cafes, and see well-known landmarks such as Pigeon Rocks and the Luna Park Ferris wheel.
A trip to the Middle East is not complete without a visit to the local souks. Beirut is home to a series of souks that differ from others across the Middle East due to their modern architecture. Throughout the souks, visitors with return flights to Beirut can explore designer shops, restaurants, open-air piazzas, traditional produce markets, and a children’s science museum. There are more than 200 businesses within the Beirut Souks, making them a great place to shop for souvenirs after your flights to Beirut.
In the centre of the city, visitors with airfare to Beirut can gain insight into the Roman period of Lebanese history. The Roman Baths were an important meeting place for local people when Beirut was part of the Roman Empire from around 64 BC. The baths were destroyed in 551 AD when a major earthquake hit the area, and they were not discovered again until 1968. When you book tickets to Beirut for your holiday, visit the Roman Baths to learn more about the history of the city. There is no entrance fee for the Roman Baths, so visitors with cheap flights to Beirut are able to explore the ancient ruins at their leisure.