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Is Lebanon Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Is Lebanon Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Lebanon is one of the most vibrant countries in the middle east. Unfortunately, political instability and violence have recently plagued this beautiful country. Tourists today wonder, “Is Lebanon safe to visit?”

Despite the potential dangers of traveling to Lebanon, many people want to travel here to experience the vibrant culture, rich history, and incredible natural beauty. 

If you’re thinking about traveling to Lebanon, you must be aware of the safety concerns and potential challenges you may encounter. With some preparation and knowledge, you can feel confident traveling to this exciting country!

We’ll discuss some of the most common safety concerns for travelers to Lebanon, including crime, bad neighborhoods, natural disasters, weather conditions, health and disease risks, and dangerous animals.

We’ll also provide tips and advice on dealing with these challenges so that you can enjoy your trip to Lebanon without worrying about safety. 

Is Lebanon Safe to Visit?

Port in Byblos with boats in the water and colorful buildings for a piece on Is Lebanon Safe

Historical houses and boats in the old port of Byblos, Lebanon in October 2018/Sun_Shine/Shutterstock

Yes, Lebanon is safe to visit. Despite recent political instability and violence in the country, it is still possible to travel to Lebanon without putting yourself at risk.

While there is always some degree of risk when traveling to any destination, minimizing these risks and staying safe during your trip is essential.

The first thing to consider is the safety of Lebanon as a whole. While there are certain areas of the country that you should avoid due to high crime rates or poor infrastructure, the vast majority of Lebanon is perfectly safe to visit.

Make sure to research and read up on any areas that you intend to travel through or stay in so that you are aware of any potential safety risks.

Crime in Lebanon

One of the biggest safety concerns in Lebanon is non-violent crime. Petty theft is common, especially in larger cities like Beirut and Tripoli. While this is undoubtedly a concern for tourists, there are steps that you can take to minimize the risk of being targeted by criminals.

Keeping your valuables and belongings out of sight is essential, especially in crowded areas. Avoid carrying large amounts of money or wearing expensive jewelry. Using a money belt or concealed pockets is also a good idea to keep your cash and important documents safe.

Another important tip is to always travel in groups or with a companion. Traveling in a group is especially important at night when traveling alone is never recommended.

Avoid walking alone at night and only use licensed taxis or public transport to get around. Try to keep a low profile. You can do this by dressing conservatively. Avoid wearing flashy or expensive clothing, as this is more likely to attract unwanted attention.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

While most of Lebanon is safe to visit, you should avoid certain areas due to high crime rates and poor infrastructure. These are typically the more impoverished areas of large cities, such as Tripoli and Beirut.

It’s best to avoid these areas entirely or only visit during the day, as they can be pretty dangerous at night. Most tourists never need to step foot in these high-crime zones. 

If you are unsure about a neighborhood you want to visit, you can check online message boards or talk with a local. Locals are always a great source of information for questions like this. You can also speak to the host at your place of lodging.

Getting a Visa to Travel to Lebanon

Sidon Sea Castle ruins draw lots of tourists wh may wonder Is Lebanon Safe

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Most nationalities can get a 30-day tourist visa upon their arrival in Lebanon. To get a visa, you must present your passport and be prepared to pay a small fee.

Make sure you have at least six months remaining on your passport before you consider traveling to Lebanon. Many countries require this for entry.

Not all nationalities are eligible for this visa on arrival. To be sure, you should contact the embassy or consulate of your home country to see if you are required to get a visa in advance. Remember that the government often restricts travel in times of political unrest.

Natural Disasters in Lebanon

Another paramount safety concern is natural disasters, especially earthquakes and floods. Lebanon is in an active earthquake zone, which means that earthquakes are a common occurrence. Be sure to familiarize yourself with what to do if an earthquake strikes.

Floods are also not uncommon in Lebanon, especially during the rainy season. Ensure you have an emergency plan in place if a flood strikes. An emergency plan is crucial when traveling with children or pets.

In the case of a natural disaster, pay close attention to all announcements made by the Lebanese government. You should heed all instructions and proceed along the designated evacuation route.

You can help plan ahead by locating the nearest evacuation route near your place of lodging.

Transportation in Lebanon

Transportation in Lebanon can be hit or miss. Public transit is decent in the bigger cities. There are buses and trains that you can use to get around.

Make sure you know how long it will take before you embark on a journey, as public transportation here – and elsewhere – is not always reliable.

The best way to get around cities is by licensed taxis. Remember that public transportation is not available during the night, so taxis are the only way to get around after work or during the weekend.

If you are traveling to more remote destinations, a rental car is your best option. Driving is relatively easy in Lebanon, as the roads are well-maintained and traffic is not an issue.

The only genuine concern is that you should take extra care and caution when driving at night. There’s always a chance you may run into unsafe drivers.

Cellular Phone Service in Lebanon

Cloudy skies over a vista view showing an old church in Lebanon for a piece on Is Lebanon Safe

Khaled Bakkora/Shutterstock

With a cell phone, you can easily stay in touch with friends and family back home. In Lebanon, there is excellent cell service, so you won’t have to worry about having a signal. Access to emergency services makes you that much safer abroad! 

You must buy a local SIM card or use one of your own SIMs with a local number when you visit Lebanon. 

The primary carrier in Lebanon is Orange. You can buy prepaid minutes from local convenience stores. Local SIM cards are far more affordable than international plans and will give you internet access throughout Lebanon.

Health and Disease Concerns in Lebanon

The health and safety of travelers are also a concern in Lebanon. While disease is not as common as it is when visiting a country with poor water quality, it is still possible here.

Make sure you stay up to date on all necessary vaccinations, such as typhoid and yellow fever. When traveling to more remote areas, ensure that you have the necessary gear to prevent insect bites. 

You should visit your doctor  before you go if you’re unsure about what vaccinations you should receive.

Another big concern is picking up sexually transmitted diseases, so be sure to practice safe sex at all times. It is also essential to have adequate travel health insurance before leaving your home country to receive medical care in an emergency.

Dangerous and Poisonous Animals in Lebanon

Lebanon is also home to many dangerous and poisonous animals that can pose a threat in some situations. Be sure to exercise caution when outside – your chances of running into a venomous snake are very high here.

The most dangerous snakes in Lebanon are the Palestinian viper and the blunt-nosed viper. Both of these snakes are incredibly dangerous and have venomous bites.

If you have the unfortunate experience of getting bit or stung, head to the nearest hospital to get the necessary treatment. In an emergency, call local emergency services or visit the nearest hospital.

In addition to snakes, you should also be aware of black widow and brown recluse spiders. These spiders are also prevalent in Lebanon and can be found inside your home or outside. Although the bites will not likely kill you, they can definitely ruin your vacation.

If you suspect a spider is dangerous, ensure you avoid it at all costs. If you are bitten or stung, seek medical attention immediately for the necessary care and treatment.

Weather in Lebanon

The weather in Lebanon is generally mild and pleasant throughout the year. However, you should always be ready for sudden storms and heavy rain. Take extra care from October to May, as these are the most likely times for dangerous weather.

The rainy season is also the time of year when outbreaks of diseases like dengue fever are more common. Wear insect repellant and head covers to prevent bites and plan outdoor activities during the coolest parts of the day.

Given the nature of the weather in Lebanon, you should pack for various conditions, including light and heavy clothing. If you visit the mountains, pack warm and waterproof clothes and layers you can remove as the day warms up.

To enjoy a relaxing beach vacation, pack plenty of light, breathable clothes that you can quickly rinse off at the end of the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Greek Orthodox cathedral and mosque side by side in Lebanon

Diego Fiore/Shutterstock

Would-be travelers have a lot of questions about Lebanon and how to travel there safely. These are some commonly asked questions about visiting Lebanon – browse through to find answers to some of your questions! 

Is it safe to walk in Beirut?

Yes, Beirut is generally a safe place to walk. However, you should always be aware of your surroundings and use caution when walking in more remote or unfamiliar areas. You should generally avoid walking alone at night and using public transportation after dark.

Is Lebanon friendly to the U.S.?

Lebanon is generally a friendly place for Americans. While there is some political tension between the U.S. and Lebanon, most people in Lebanon welcome visitors.

Is Lebanon an excellent place to live?

Lebanon is a great place to live for many reasons. It is a beautiful, culturally rich country with friendly and welcoming people. Since it's a relatively safe country, some tourists may end up settling in here for a while!

Is Lebanon safe from ISIS?

While there is some risk of terrorism in Lebanon, the country is generally safe from ISIS and other extremist groups.

You should always exercise caution when traveling in Lebanon and avoid known conflict areas or regions with a high risk of terrorism. However, for the most part, Lebanon is a safe and welcoming tourist destination.

Is Lebanon poor?

Lebanon is a relatively wealthy country, and it is home to a large number of high-end luxury resorts and hotels. However, the government is also facing some economic challenges and is home to a growing number of people living in poverty.

So, Is Lebanon Safe to Visit?

Overall, traveling to Lebanon is safe for most people if you take the proper precautions and heed safety warnings. You should exercise caution when walking in unfamiliar neighborhoods and be ready for possible natural disasters and transportation issues.

Ensure you have a plan for emergencies and keep yourself informed of any political unrest or potential terrorist threats. Keep you belongings secure and safe while you’re here and make sure you carry a cell phone. With these easy precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience traveling in Lebanon!