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Holidays in Lebanon

Understanding Lebanon


Lebanon is a country with a long and rich history Roman ruins are scattered about the country and are easily accessible Byblos, Beirut, and Sidon are among the oldest continuously populated cities in the world There are Roman baths in Beirut, as well as the Cardio Maximus - to name a few Byblos is also rich in Roman ruins and for a small fee you can view them they are located near the bazaar There are a lot of ancient mosques, synagogues, and churches in Lebanon Also be sure to visit the Place des Martyrs Martyrs' Square in Beirut, a statue erected in memory of the Lebanese nationalists who were hanged by the Ottomans for revolting during World War 1 The statue is now riddled with bullet holes from the civil war, but is still beautiful


The people of Lebanon comprise a wide variety of ethnic groups and religions, with the majority split between Christian Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek-Catholic Melkites, Armenians, Protestant, Coptic Christians and Muslim Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Alawites Other smaller groups include a large number over 250,000 of Palestinian refugees in the country The population increases dramatically in the Summer months June to September, due to the large influx of tourists and the temporary return of a large number of the Lebanese diaspora

People are very easy-going and welcoming You should not be scared of talking to people on the streets and asking information, since most of them will do their best to help you In general, though, avoid any comment on politics and religion

Lebanon is populated by a very open and highly educated people They are known for their love of life, generosity and wild spirit They tend to neglect regulation and insist on respecting all others

Lebanon had once been called Switzerland and Paris of the East The recent wars have diminished this status but the Lebanese have always acted in unexpected ways Their pursuit of happiness and fun overshadows their financial capabilities and political problems


Lebanon has a temperate Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and cooler, wet winters

Summer is generally considered the best time to visit, as there is virtually no rain between June and August, and the temperatures range between about 20-30°C 68-86°F At this time it is very humid on the coast, but dryer and somewhat cooler but not cold in the mountains

Autumn and spring are also good times to visit, with a bit more rain but without the tourist crowds attracted in summer

Snow falls for a large part of winter in the mountain regions that form a large portion of the country, and there are numerous ski resorts However, the coast is still relatively mild, with maximums rarely falling below 13°C 55°F

Time zone

Lebanon is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time GMT, and observes daylight savings from end-March to end-October


The official language of Lebanon is Arabic The Lebanese dialect is similar to other Arabic dialects, like those of Syria and Jordan However, The Lebanese dialect of Arabic is very different from some other dialects, particularly the dialects from Arabic Gulf countries

Many Lebanese are bilingual and even trilingual English and to a lesser extent French is widely spoken and understood and street and place signs are in both Arabic first and French second, owing to Lebanon's period as a French mandated territory after the First World War English is increasingly more widely used, especially in the cities, and among the younger crowd Most young people will understand English and to a lesser extent French, which is more prevalent among the older generations Generally, signs and outdoors are written in at least two languages Arabic and English and/or French

See also: Lebanese Arabic phrasebook


Lebanon has a number of both Christian and Islamic holidays Holidays that are observed by the Lebanese Government are indicated in bold letters

  • New Year's Day January 1
  • St Valentine's Day February 14
  • St Maroun's Day February 9- Christian religious observances
  • Prophet's Day March 9- Islamic religious observances
  • Easter A Sunday in March or April- Christian religious observances
  • Labor Day May 1- most businesses and schools closed
  • Liberation of the South May 25
  • St Elias's Day July 20- A lot of fireworks and festivals
  • Assumption Day August 15
  • Ramadan variable-Islamic religious observances
  • Eid el Fiitr variable-Islamic religious observances
  • Independence Day November 22- All businesses and schools closed
  • Eid il-Burbara or Saint Barbara's Day December 4- Christian religious observances
  • Christmas December 25- Most businesses and restaurants closed the evening before and all day; family gathering, exchanging gifts, Christian religious observances
  • New Year's Eve December 31

All in all, Beirut, Lebanon's capitol city, is a vibrant, stylish metropolis with all of the fun fashion and flare that any city lover would look for ranking it among the world's top tourist destinations Being perched on the shore of the marvelous Mediterranean Sea, Beirut has a special climate that is perfect for year round visits Beirut has something to offer that no other world capitol has The exuberant Lebanese people who enjoy a variety ranging from roadside a la Parisienne coffee shops, to rooftop open air cafes, with cutting edge fashion and the latest in world trends hosting the world class Lebanese designer boutiques such as Issam Chammas, Elie Saab, and BassilLebanese designers have dressed stars such as Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Brad Pitt, Anne Hathaway, Katy Perry, Paula Abdul, Carrie Underwood, Helen Mirren, Halle Berry, and Beyonce for the Oscars, Cannes Film Festival, Grammy Awards, and many others Boss, Teddy Smith, Paco Rabban, Marc Jacob, Valentino, Christian Louboutin and any other name that might come to mind - Lebanon's got it!

Don't forget exploring the treasures of the country's national museum or dancing till the break of dawn at one of the many many Lebanese trendy clubs or lounges or even relaxing away at one of the country's numerous relaxation spas or leisure clubs

Talking in Lebanon

Latvian' Latviešu valoda is the only official language and it belongs to the Eastern Baltic sub-group of the Baltic language group in the Indo-European language family Besides Latvian, Russian is spoken fluently by most of the people 70% of people speak it as a second language according to the Eurobarometer poll of 2005, since Latvia was part of the Soviet Union It is also possible to get by with English, especially in Riga

What to see in Lebanon

Lebanon is a country rich in natural scenery from beautiful beaches to mountains and valleys Lebanese people take pride that Lebanon is one of the few countries that gives you the opportunity to go skiing in the morning and going to the beach in the afternoon

Beirut Downtown Visitors from all around get astonished by the beautiful downtown Beirut also has a vast array of nightclubs, restaurants and other entertaining places, including the famous Place de l'Etoile, where hundreds of tourists pass by and enjoy a delightful meal or a cup of coffee at the outdoor cafes In addition to those, the capital provides other restaurants and hangouts that people of all ages can enjoy and have a wild time with Electronic, Oriental, Pop, Blues, and Jazz Music provided by many fine bars, nightclubs and live music venues

Baalbeck Roman Temples in the city of Baalbeck are among the largest and most beautiful Roman ruins

Al Bass Archaeological Site, Tyre, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest and best preserved Roman archeological sites in the world The site is made up of a huge Necropolis, a massive monumental arch leading to a Roman Road, alongside which there is an excellent example of an acqueduct as well as the largest and best preserved Roman Hippodrome found to date

Jeita Grotto Jeita Grotto is nominated to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World Jeita Grotto is the jewel of tourism in Lebanon offering to its visitors qualified modern services and accommodation in harmony with a fascinating nature It creates a magical trip which enables them to spend a day of wonder-filled adventure by being carried away from a tangible world to a wonderland where are found 2 fabulous grottoes full of an unimaginable beauty and of a magical fascination! It is a source of attraction for whole the families wishing to discover a mysterious world in the heart of the earthThe “Touristic Site of Jeita” gathers all elements of nature such as stone, water, trees, flowers, air and animals in a venturous environment and with a touch of Lebanese cultural heritage It is one of the most impressive and interesting natural sites in the world

Beiteddin One of the most precious Arabic architectural jewels is the palace of Beiteddine This historic monument comprises of two large courtyards: the “midane”, a vast rectangular place for visitors, and a smaller one for the royal private apartments, with a magnificent fountain in its centre

Qadisha Valley Holy Valley Located in north Lebanon, the “Holy Valley” spreads from Bcharreh to the coast Classified under UNESCO's world heritage, its countless caves, chapels and monasteries as well as its luxuriant vegetation transformed it into the most famous natural site of Lebanon

Byblos also known in Arabic as "Jbeil", is a must-see ancient Phoenician city that had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site Its touristic attractions are truly representative of Lebanon's most ancient civilizations

Anjar is a city in the Beqaa Valley with tens of local restaurants where you can enjoy the unique Lebanese cuisine The city is home to the unique ruins of an 8th century Omayyad city

What to do in Lebanon


The Lebanese people know how to live despite political turmoil Lebanon is a world-class party destination and has been rated by the New York Times as the number 1 tourist destination in the year of 2009 This is partly due to its spectacular nightlife It features several clubbing locations such as the thrilling Gemmayze district or the Monot Street where people party far past dawn It boasts several renowned DJs but it has also been visited by some of the world's most famous such as Tiesto, David Guetta, Armen Van Buren, Paul van Dyk who frequently visit Lebanon in tribute to its party animals Many world famous bands and performers have performed in Lebanon or have shows plannedas well such as Keane, Deep Purple, The Pussycat Dolls, Akon, Snoop Dog and Gad Elmaleh Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton have both hosted parties in Lebanon and The Pussycat Dolls spent a night in the lebanese nightclubs Lebanon is also known for it's sky-high rooftop bars such as Sky Bar, White and Beiruf Not to forget the beautiful island centered in Beirut called Riviera Lebanese clubs and bars are world-class, marvelous, and fascinating destinations Greater Beirut is a sleepless city, as the great majority of it open 24 hours a day For those who like trendiest arabic songs, the one-man show places will entertain you till dawn like Cassino, Concerto, Richello and many others

Lebanon also has a huge beach party scene having exquisite beaches and beach resorts such as Oceana, Laguava or Edde Sands and Janna Sur Mer

Lebanese locations are widely diverse and exhibit "occidental" life style that is omnipresent to the degree that you will no doubt commit the mistake of thinking you're in a grand European capital in one moment and Las Vegas in another


  • Lebanon Mountain Trail LMT - 350-plus km national hiking trail extending from Al Qobaiyat in the north to Marjaayoun in the south


Lebanon has six ski resorts with groomed slopes, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels: 16 Beyond the ski-able domains await you kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails waiting to be explored; Lebanon has something for everyone Each of the ski resorts has a different flavor; however, it is Faraya Mzaar 17 Kfardebian that offers world-class infrastructure and facilities for the tourists, at less then 40 minutes drive from Beirut


Lebanon is one of the oldest sites of wine production in the world and today enjoys a burgeoning industry producing award-winning wines for export throughout the world, mainly in the UK, Europe and the United States Wine Tasting is an absolute must with any visit to Lebanon Below are some wine producers in Lebanon for you to keep an eye out for: - - * Chateau Musar 18 - * Chateau Ksara 19 - * Chateau Kefraya 20 - * Domaine Wardy 21 - * Vin Héritage 22 - * Chateau Fakra 23 - * Chateau Nakad 24 - * Massaya 25 - * Domaine des Tourelles 26 - * Clos Saint Thomas 27 - * Cave Kouroum 28 - * Clos de Cana 29 - * Nabise Mont Liban 30 - * Enotica - * Chateau Khoury 31 - * Couvent St Sauveur

Buying stuff in Lebanon


The Lebanese currency is the Lebanese pound, abbreviated "LBP" or "Lebanese Lira" abbreviated "LL", which is the most common abbreviation Its value is kept stable relative to the US dollar, with a value of about LL1,500 to US$1 Either Lebanese pounds or US dollars are accepted almost everywhere, and it is common to pay in dollars but receive change in pounds in which case, make sure you don't get short-changed

Bills used are LL1000, LL5000, LL10,000, LL20,000, LL50,000 and LL100,000

There are LL50, LL100, LL250 and LL500 coins LL50 and LL100 coins are virtually never used

Exchange rates

Correct as of November 2009:

$ US DollarUSD$1 = LL1,504LL1,000 = USD$067
£ Pound Sterling£100 = LL2,529LL1,000 = £040
€ Euro€100 = LL2,251LL1,000 = €044
$ Australian DollarAUD$1 = LL1,407LL1,000 = AUD$071
$ New Zealand DollarNZD$1 = LL1,126LL1,000 = NZD$089
$ Canadian DollarCAD$1 = LL1,435LL1,000 = CAD$070
¥ Japanese Yen¥100 = LL1687LL1,000 = ¥59

Food and eating in Lebanon

Lebanon fosters exquisite cuisine ranging from a mezza of vegetarian dishes such as tabouleh, fattoush, and warak anab to delicious dips like hommos and moutabal

Must haves include Lebanese barbeque such as shish tawouk barbequed chicken - usually consumed with garlic, lahm mishwe barbequed meat, and kafta barbequed seasoned minced meat

A full meal at an Arabic restaurant can cost as little as 15 us dollars 22500 LL depending on where you go

"Lebanese fast food" is also available as sandwiches offered in roadside shops, such as shawarma sandwiches known in other countries as doner - or gyros in greece Shawarma, as opposed to doner is seasoned with tarator sauce based on sesame oil, vegetables and is rolled in lebanese thin breadthe best place to eat "Lebanese fast food" is at BarBar Restaurant in Hamra Various barbequed meat sandwiches are also available, and even things such as lamb or chicken spleen, brains, lamb bone marrow or lamb testicles can be served as sandwiches

Breakfast usually consists of manaeesh which looks like a folded pizza, most common toppings are zaatar a mixture of thyme, olive oil sesame seedswhich should only be taken as 'Extra' say yes to the tomatoes onions and mint leaves, jebneh cheese and lahm bi ajin minced meat Some new trendy places such as "zaatar w zeit" and "Leil nhar" experiment with new toppings, such as "halloum and bacon" Both places stay open 24 hours a day and partygoers often go there for a bite at 4 in the morning

Another traditional breakfast food is knefeh; a special kind of breaded cheese that is served with a simple syrup in a sesame seed bread It is also served as dessert, but somehow it tastes better in the morning; it is also extremely filling!

Lebanon is also very famous for its arabic sweets which can be found at leading restaurants The city of Tripoli, however, is THE city for Lebanese sweets Many critics refer to it as the "Sweet Capital" of Lebanon, the Hallab sweets is the place to visit when making a trip to Tripoli

If taking a trip to the Bekaa, the restuarants known as the El-Wadi restuarants in Zahle serve exquisite Lebanese food In Beirut, Abd el-Wahab in the "Monot" area also serves excellent lebanese food in a traditional setting

International food chains such as KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King or Domino's pizza and many other are widely spread and easily found across the country French Patisseries, Chinese, Italian, American and Japanese cuisine are also widely spread and are found in virtually all of the country's malls such as Chopsticks, Sushi-ko, Bob's, Creapaway, Water Lemon, you should try Biscuit in Mansourieh for the best in Bakery foods and patisseries etc Cafes also exist virtually everywhere Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Moka and more

Drinking in Lebanon

Lebanon's wines have an international reputation Grapes have been grown since antiquity, and the vineyards, largely in the Bekaa Valley, produce the base wine for distillation into the national spirit Arak, which, like Ouzo, is flavoured with aniseed and becomes cloudy when diluted with water Arak is the traditional accompniment to Meze

But the grapes have also historically been used to make wine This used to be predominantly white and sweet, but the soliders and administrators that came to administer the French mandate after World War One created a demand for red wine, and large acreages were planted especially with the Cinsault grape Over the last 20 years these have been supplemented with the most popular international varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

Wineries often offer wine tasting and are very welcoming The highly individual, old fashioned, Chateau Musar, is based at Ghazir, 15 miles north of Beirut, and trucks in the grapes from Bekaa In Bekaa itself, wineries include the large Kefraya, Ksara, the oldest winery of all, Massaya, a fashionable new producer in Tanail, and Nakad in Jdeita, which like Musar has stuck with an idiosyncratic old fashioned approach Kefraya, in the West Bekaa region, also has a nice restaurant attached and the region itself is beautiful to pass through

Lebanon and specially Beirut is famous for its excellent night life The choice can vary from international nightclubs such as the famous "Buddha Bar" or "Crobar" to many local clubs that cater from teens to seniors

Favourite areas to go out are "Monot" and "Gemmeyzeh" Streets in "Ashrafieh" area of Beirut and the newly built "down town" area The downtown area is popular with tourists, particularly Arabs from the Gulf As for Westerners the Gemmayzeh area would be more appealing, Monot has died down in recent years and all of he pre-clubbing activity is mostly centered in Gemmayzeh

It is worth mentionining that in Beirut, one would usually have dinner aroung 9, go for a few drinks in the pubs in Gemmayzeh at 11, and then go to a club at around 1AM and then continue to B018 at aroung 3:00 to 4AM If amazing night life does not interest you, or you prefer to get to bed earlier then have a drink in Gemmayzeh where most of the pubs are done in very good taste and it will give you the opportunity to get a good idea of Lebanese culture

For adults and especially the 30 plus,"Crystal" Monot Street used to be the place but now it turned into "Palais" Many Lebanese enjoy frequenting "Element" Ashrafieh, which tends to rarely play any Arabic music "Al Mandaloun" Ashrafieh focuses more on Arab-pop music than Western dance music and is a good place to more typical lebanese society If you are going to Lebanon in the summer then you cannot miss going to Skybar and White which are two rooftop clubs in the downtown area of Bierut, White is more laid back and I would say it is an excellent place for an older crowd Skybar is phenomenal, a must-see in the months it's open June to September/October Situated on the top of the Biel exhibition centre it offers an exquisite view of Beirut's coast and the mountains around it It does not get very crowded early in the night and is, therefore, good for a more quiet drink at 9 to 10PM but after that you will encounter a line, a crowd of impeccably dressed lebanese, more upbeat music and during the weekend you usually need to have connections in order to get in

Accommodation in Lebanon

Lebanon is full of hotels in most of the areas across the country from $40 The best way to save money if you are staying for long is furnished apartments which comes with cleaning and other services

Cities in Lebanon

bayrut  beirut  jazzin  jubayl  jubb jannin  juniyah  riyaq  sur  

What do you think about Lebanon?

How expensive is Lebanon?
Meal in inexpensive restaurant11.02 USD
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)49.25 USD
McDonalds meal8.84 USD
Local beer (0.5 draft)2.22 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.76 USD
Cappuccino3.04 USD
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)0.71 USD
Water (0.33 bottle)0.45 USD
Milk (1l)1.61 USD
Fresh bread (500g)0.82 USD
White Rice (1kg)1.49 USD
Eggs (12) 2.64 USD
Local Cheese (1kg) 7.12 USD
Chicken Breast (1kg) 6.97 USD
Apples (1kg) 1.63 USD
Oranges (1kg) 1.22 USD
Tomato (1kg) 1.25 USD
Potato (1kg) 0.84 USD
Lettuce (1 head) 0.88 USD
Water (1.5l)0.66 USD
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 11.03 USD
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)1.18 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.23 USD
Cigarettes1.84 USD
One way local bus ticket1.47 USD
Monthly pass for bus49 USD
Taxi start6.77 USD
Taxi 1km2.79 USD
Taxi 1hour waiting13.8 USD
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.11 USD
Utilities for a "normal" apartment151.52 USD
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 17.97 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 756.25 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 551.1 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 920.8 USD, your travel companion

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