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When researching Lebanon and Beirut in particular there’s one thing that will always come up- the cost of travelling to Lebanon, because it’s said that it’s expensive to visit Lebanon and not a budget destination.
I knew I wanted to go to Lebanon and after reading a few blogs I gauged the understanding that it was quite expensive in Lebanon and on par with Western European prices rather than Middle Eastern prices like Turkey and Jordan. I figured I’d spent the last 2.5 years taking trips to Western Europe on a whim so I couldn’t let the price of Lebanon put me off, and I’m so glad I didn’t!
How Expensive is it to Travel in Lebanon?
I really loved my time in Lebanon and I’m so glad I went. Firstly it’s different to anywhere I have been before, and secondly, you can visit Lebanon on a budget! Yes that’s right, the cost to travel to Lebanon and Beirut is not that expensive! Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.
Before I tell you what I spent so you can budget for your trip to Lebanon let me explain that Beirut is a City of contrasts. The locals will tell you people are rich or they’re poor, and this is obvious when exploring Beirut.
Downtown Beirut is where the modern Beirut Souks/ Shopping Mall is, it’s full of high street and designer brand, International restaurants and fancy looking cafes.
Then there are areas like Gemmayze which is the ‘hipster’ type area and also where I stayed when I was in Beirut at The Grand Meshmosh Hotel. This neighbourhood as some fancy coffee shops and restaurants too but not as fancy as Downtown and it’s easy to find cheaper places too.
Then you have areas like Hamra where the American University although I didn’t spend that much time there.
I wanted to tell you this that so you know that, like every City, Beirut has different options available so it’s hard to answer ‘is Beirut expensive?’. You can eat in a fancy place or in a takeaway place and the price will vary a lot.
For more of my Lebanon Posts have a look at:
Lebanon Spending Costs
Here is what I spent whilst I was in Lebanon to help you budget for your trip. I stayed for 6 nights and 5.5 days and the conversion rate is based on $1.00USD to 1,500 Lebanese Pound.
(Lebanese Pounds and US Dollars are both accepted in Lebanon)
Taxi from Airport at Midnight – €30.00 / 45000LP
Lunch – Vegetarian Wrap at a Restaurant in Gemmayze – $2.56 / 4000LP
Coffee at Hotel – $2.56 / 4000LP
Dinner – Salad at Hotel – $5.30 / 8000LP
Lunch & Coffee at Hotel – $6.60 / 10000LP
Dinner – Salad in Restaurant in Gemmayze – $4.65 – 7000LP
Biscuits from Small Shop – $0.65 – 1000LP
Taxi to Byblos – €30.00 / 45000LP
Byblos Castle Ticket – $5.30 / 8000LP
Lunch in Restaurant in Byblos $14.00 / 21000LP
Taxi from Byblos – $33.00 / 50000LP
Ice cream in Beirut Souk – $3.30 / 5000LP
Beirut Free Walking Tour Tip – $6.60 / 10000LP
Dinner – Wrap in Gemmayze – $3.30 / 5000LP
Day Tour to Chouwen with Explore Lebanon Tours – $80.00 / 120000LP
Harissa Entrance Ticket – $6.00 / 9000LP
Coffee at Harissa – $3.30 / 5000LP
Fruit for Dinner from Small Shop – $0.75 / 1500LP
Lunch Falafel Warp in Hamra – $2.30 / 3500LP
Drink at Starbucks – $5.65/ 8500LP
Taxi Through Beirut – $9.30 / 14000LP
Dinner – Salad at Hotel – $5.30 / 8000LP
Local Beer at Hotel – $4.00 / 6000LP
Taxi to Airport in Afternoon – $13.25 / 20000LP
Total $274.00 / 413,000LP
I wish I had pre-booked a taxi from the airport as it was a very stressful situation using a local taxi driver from outside who conned me with the price. I would book this Beirut Airport to City transfer in future, same price but less hassle!
Day Trips around Lebanon will increase the costs of your trip as they are not that cheap, but that’s because it’s not much of a visited Country meaning you get a unique experience (there is a positive!). To see Day Trips from Beirut have a look at these tours to get an idea of how much they will cost you! One thing I found is that there are not booking offices in the City like in other places, most day tours will need to be booked online and these tours on Viator are the best ones out there online!
I worked in collaboration with The Meshmosh Hotel (my review is here) so I did not have any accommodation costs. Had I have paid for it, my executive double room costs from $50.00 per night. They also offer shared bedrooms from $18.00 per night.
I really don’t think this is bad for nearly one week in a Middle Eastern Country which is said to be expensive!
I didn’t go out drinking, which Beirut is popular for, and I didn’t take many taxis, instead preferring to walk / risk my life walking (Uber is a popular and cheap way to get around Beirut). I travelled to Lebanon solo rather than as a family with children, I didn’t eat any crazy fancy meals but I ate well, and I did do 2 day trips which as you can tell equated to over half my spending alone, but they were well worth it!
Accommodation in Beirut:
Beirut doesn’t have as much accommodation on offer like many other cities it’s size however there a a number of hostels and lots of hotels in Beirut covering all budgets.
I hope this helps you plan your trip to Lebanon and Beirut and helps convince you to go and not be put off by the costs!
To SEE this walk around Beirut, have a look at my YouTube video here!
One last cost you need to think about is Insurance, do you have travel insurance for Lebanon yet? I used World Nomads as it is designed by travellers, for travellers and it covers you in all sorts of Countries and Activities!