Backpacking Lebanon

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!

If you’re looking for a real adventure and are ready to leave your comfort zone behind, you’ll fall in love with Lebanon’s impressive landscape, friendly people and fascinating cultural heritage. We’ve got the itinerary covered, so go ahead and pack your bags!


Important Basics

Official Language ( Arabic )
EnglishArabic
HelloMarhabaan
GoodbyeSalam
Thank youShukran
YesAh
NoLa
Capital City

Beirut

Form of Government

Parliamentary republic

Best Time to Visit

March to May and September to November

Fun Facts
  • The Keita Grotto is considered to be the second-largest cave containing stalactite and stalagmite in the world. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 43% of the Lebanese population speaks three languages – Arabic, French, and English.
  • The city of Baalbek produces delicious wine.
  • The Lebanon cedar is the national emblem of Lebanon.

Cities

Beirut

Your adventure begins... You’ll land in Beirut, where the country's only international airport is located.

Beirut isn’t only the capital, it’s also the largest city in the country, with about two million residents. This makes it an extremely busy center for trade and business. You’ll also find a fascinating mix of ancient culture, art, food, and nightlife. So let yourself fall in love with Beirut!

As Beirut is one of the oldest cities in the world (with the first settlers coming here over 5,000 years ago), it has a lot of cultural treasures. You’ll come across some impressive buildings while strolling downtown, like the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s office, the Grand Serail. If you walk across Martyr's Square, you have to check out the Mohammed Al Amin Mosque (also called the Blue Mosque). Non-Muslims can also visit the mosque, but please remember to wear appropriate clothing.

Continue walking along the promenade, where you'll be able to observe the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a spectacular sight, especially during sunset, when the sun sinks behind mountains into the Mediterranean Sea.

You might get hungry after experiencing all that culture, so make sure to take plenty of breaks to sample the local cuisine! Traditional Middle Eastern food is usually well-balanced and full of nutrients, so you’ll feel sated for the rest of your city exploring. Best of all, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Naturally, hummus is the most well-known dish. Stuffed vine leaves, olives, and pita bread are also popular as starters or as a snack. The national dish is called kibbeh, a fried ball of chopped pine nuts, spices, and minced meat.

You’ll notice pretty quickly that Beirut is a hip city and people like to hang out in restaurants and bars. Although bar-hopping is not cheap, you should spend at least one evening in one of the city's hot spots. Make sure to take advantage of the happy hour that is offered in most bars.

You can sleep in one of the local hostels downtown, where you can get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €26 a night.

Baalbek

We hope you didn’t get a hangover after sipping all those cocktails in the capital, because we’re headed to Baalbek next. It costs about €3 to travel there by bus. Unfortunately, the public transport system in Lebanon is not very reliable and a bit confusing, so you’d better ask for directions at the hostel before you leave. The best preserved Roman ruins in the country are waiting for you in the largest city in the Bekaa province. Travelers often say that the plains of Bekaa is one of the most beautiful regions of the country. The small villages are surrounded by vineyards, with snow-covered hilltops in the background. The main reason to visit Baalbek is mostly to check out the Roman ruins. At the time of the Greeks and Romans, the city was called Heliopolis, which means City of the Sun. The Acropolis and its temples are in perfect condition and will even impress backpackers who don’t usually care for cultural spots. Outdoor enthusiasts should take the chance and explore the rolling hills on a long hike. The hiking trails often lead through the vineyards, as Bekaa is the center of the country's viticulture. Keep an eye out for local wine at restaurants – wine always tastes best in its country of origin. In Baalbek, typical hostels are unfortunately hard to find. However, you can sleep at a local hotel and get a double room for €55 a night.

Jounieh

It’s time to get back to the coast! We hope you enjoyed the mountainous landscape in the Bekaa valley, but now, we’re taking a small trip to the town of Jounieh north of Beirut. The trip only takes about two hours by bus and costs €5. Jounieh experienced a great upswing in the 1950s and went from a simple fishing village to a modern city with about 350,000 inhabitants (as of 2019).

The city does well thanks to its proximity to Beirut and has thus become an important tourist destination. The most popular attraction is the Teleferique, a cable car that starts in the bay

of Journieh and leads over 1.5 kilometres to the opposite mountain. You’ll finally reach the shrine of the Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, at a height of 650 meters. You can walk closer to the statue of the Lady of Lebanon, which towers high above the city. The must-see of the region is the Jeita Grotto. It was developed over millions of years through underground vibrations and is one of the most visited natural wonders in the Middle East. To get there, you’ll need a car or take a taxi.

In the evening, relax in the center of Journieh. Along the Sea Side Road, meet new people and admire the sunset while sipping on fancy cocktails. This area has become the hip centre of the city, with a series of pubs and chic clubs.

At the end of your journey, you will return to the capital where you will take your flight back home. The short taxi ride from Journieh to the airport costs about €15.


Beirut

Beirut

Your adventure begins... You’ll land in Beirut, where the country's only international airport is located.

Beirut isn’t only the capital, it’s also the largest city in the country, with about two million residents. This makes it an extremely busy center for trade and business. You’ll also find a fascinating mix of ancient culture, art, food, and nightlife. So let yourself fall in love with Beirut!

As Beirut is one of the oldest cities in the world (with the first settlers coming here over 5,000 years ago), it has a lot of cultural treasures. You’ll come across some impressive buildings while strolling downtown, like the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s office, the Grand Serail. If you walk across Martyr's Square, you have to check out the Mohammed Al Amin Mosque (also called the Blue Mosque). Non-Muslims can also visit the mosque, but please remember to wear appropriate clothing.

Continue walking along the promenade, where you'll be able to observe the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a spectacular sight, especially during sunset, when the sun sinks behind mountains into the Mediterranean Sea.

You might get hungry after experiencing all that culture, so make sure to take plenty of breaks to sample the local cuisine! Traditional Middle Eastern food is usually well-balanced and full of nutrients, so you’ll feel sated for the rest of your city exploring. Best of all, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Naturally, hummus is the most well-known dish. Stuffed vine leaves, olives, and pita bread are also popular as starters or as a snack. The national dish is called kibbeh, a fried ball of chopped pine nuts, spices, and minced meat.

You’ll notice pretty quickly that Beirut is a hip city and people like to hang out in restaurants and bars. Although bar-hopping is not cheap, you should spend at least one evening in one of the city's hot spots. Make sure to take advantage of the happy hour that is offered in most bars.

You can sleep in one of the local hostels downtown, where you can get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €26 a night.

Baalbek

Baalbek

We hope you didn’t get a hangover after sipping all those cocktails in the capital, because we’re headed to Baalbek next. It costs about €3 to travel there by bus. Unfortunately, the public transport system in Lebanon is not very reliable and a bit confusing, so you’d better ask for directions at the hostel before you leave. The best preserved Roman ruins in the country are waiting for you in the largest city in the Bekaa province. Travelers often say that the plains of Bekaa is one of the most beautiful regions of the country. The small villages are surrounded by vineyards, with snow-covered hilltops in the background. The main reason to visit Baalbek is mostly to check out the Roman ruins. At the time of the Greeks and Romans, the city was called Heliopolis, which means City of the Sun. The Acropolis and its temples are in perfect condition and will even impress backpackers who don’t usually care for cultural spots. Outdoor enthusiasts should take the chance and explore the rolling hills on a long hike. The hiking trails often lead through the vineyards, as Bekaa is the center of the country's viticulture. Keep an eye out for local wine at restaurants – wine always tastes best in its country of origin. In Baalbek, typical hostels are unfortunately hard to find. However, you can sleep at a local hotel and get a double room for €55 a night.

Jounieh

Jounieh

It’s time to get back to the coast! We hope you enjoyed the mountainous landscape in the Bekaa valley, but now, we’re taking a small trip to the town of Jounieh north of Beirut. The trip only takes about two hours by bus and costs €5. Jounieh experienced a great upswing in the 1950s and went from a simple fishing village to a modern city with about 350,000 inhabitants (as of 2019).

The city does well thanks to its proximity to Beirut and has thus become an important tourist destination. The most popular attraction is the Teleferique, a cable car that starts in the bay

of Journieh and leads over 1.5 kilometres to the opposite mountain. You’ll finally reach the shrine of the Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, at a height of 650 meters. You can walk closer to the statue of the Lady of Lebanon, which towers high above the city. The must-see of the region is the Jeita Grotto. It was developed over millions of years through underground vibrations and is one of the most visited natural wonders in the Middle East. To get there, you’ll need a car or take a taxi.

In the evening, relax in the center of Journieh. Along the Sea Side Road, meet new people and admire the sunset while sipping on fancy cocktails. This area has become the hip centre of the city, with a series of pubs and chic clubs.

At the end of your journey, you will return to the capital where you will take your flight back home. The short taxi ride from Journieh to the airport costs about €15.

Lebanon Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home – Beirut
Home – Beirut
Flight
125
6-person dorm
26
2. Beirut
Beirut
-
6-person dorm
26
3. Beirut – Baalbek
Beirut – Baalbek
Bus
3
Double room
54
4. Baalbek
Baalbek
-
Double room
54
5. Baalbek
Baalbek
-
Double room
54
6. Baalbek – Jounieh
Baalbek – Jounieh
Bus
5
Double room
36
7. Jounieh
Jounieh
-
Double room
36
8. Jounieh
Jounieh
-
Double room
36
9. Jounieh
Jounieh
-
Double room
36
10. Jounieh – Beirut – Home
Jounieh – Beirut – Home
Taxi+Flight
135

Total price.

Flights 250,00
Transportation 18,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 358,00
Total626,00

Du möchtest 

deine eigene

Reise erstellen?

Du möchtest deine

eigene Reise erstellen?

Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Flat bread: a special breakfast in Lebanon that mostly consists of flat bread with spreads or dips. It is served with dried tomatoes and hummus.

Soups

Chard soup: the chard is cooked in the vegetable broth and then mixed with any type of meat. Traditionally, the soup often also contains nuts.

Main courses

Shawarma: skewers with meat and vegetables, which are then combined with tahin for a sweet and sour mixture. Everything is then put into a flatbread.

Kibbe Nayé: this mixture of meat is made from lamb and veal. Both kinds of meat are mixed raw and then served in a flat bread with hot spices and seasoning.

Ful: this also includes flatbread. A mixture of beans, feta cheese and tomatoes. It can be refined with herbs and spices.

Taboulé: the salad consists of parsley with mint. Bulgur and lemon juice are added and, according to your personal preference, some vegetables such as tomatoes or aubergine can also be served.

Mutabbal: this is an eggplant made into a puree. The dish can be served as a side dish or with a salad.

Drinks and snacks

Hummus: you can find it everywhere in Lebanon. As a side dish or simply as a snack, it always tastes delicious.

Baklava: this dessert consists of pistachios and rose water and is an absolute highlight of the Lebanese cuisine.

Arrak: traditional liquor in Lebanon. Locals drink it every day, so you should also try a sip or two.

Coffee: the Lebanese swear by their coffee. They usually prefer it strong and it is intensified with a spice called cardamon.

Lebanon

The exchange rate for 1 000 Lebanese pound is around 0.62 euros (as of May 2022). However, you usually pay in USD, thus the prices are stated in USD. See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of Living

Food

Free Time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Compliment the country and the culture. The locals will be very happy and you will learn a lot about life in Lebanon.

Willingness to help is very important in Lebanon. Locals also help each other wherever they can and you as a tourist are expected to follow these rules. So if you notice that your help is needed, don’t hesitate a moment!

Respect for the elderly. In Lebanon, the unwritten rule says that a person older than yourself has more rights. No matter if in daily life, in traffic or simply while interacting, try to express clear respect.

Don'ts

Leave your watch at home, you can't be very precise with the time here. You should also avoid asking what time it is or when the bus is coming because the Lebanese are very calm and relaxed, but any time pressure makes them lose their patience and they can get angry.

Do not refuse anything! The Lebanese are very generous and so you will often be offered something. To refuse a gift or an offer is considered impolite and therefore you should always thank them with a smile.

Don't use your left hand as much as possible because it is considered unclean in Lebanon. Just the other way round, as for example in Asia, where you should hardly use your right hand. So always try to give the right hand, this is how you show you’re pure and clean.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

Yes

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Travel documents must still be valid for 6 months at the time of entry. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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