All visitors to Lebanon require a visa except
- Syrian nationals for six-month stays, provided they are arriving directly from Syria (check with the Lebanese Embassy for current regulations);
- nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE for stays of up to three months;
- transit passengers continuing by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided they can prove onward or return documentation, and they are not spending the night at or leaving the airport.
Free one-month tourist visas, renewable up to three months, are granted at the airport and frontier offices to
- nationals of the countries listed above;
- nationals of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China (PR), Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Hong Kong (SAR), Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Korea (Rep), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Macau (S A R), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yugoslavia;
- nationals of Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Comers Island, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast may also receive a free one month tourist visa, but they must have a two-way travel ticket, a hotel reservation or place of residence, and 2,000USD (the cash requirement may be exempted if the visa is obtained from the Lebanese embassy beforehand).
- The above list is subject to change. All visitors should check with their consulate or embassy in advance of departure for the most current details on visa regulations.
- For visiting nationals of countries not listed above and for other types of visas, including student and business, contact the Lebanese consulate or embassy in your country. Modest fees and processing times should also be taken into consideration.
- A passport valid for six months is required for all tourists except Syrian nationals with a valid ID.
- Passport controllers may refuse entry to Israeli and Palestinian passport-holders, holders of passports containing a visa for Israel (valid or expired, used or unused), and passports with entry stamps to Israel.
Getting There & Away
The world’s major metropolitan areas are linked by air with Beirut. The Rafic Hariri International Airport at Khaldeh (8 km from Beirut) is used by many international airlines plus the national carrier, Middle East Airlines (MEA). Additionally, several steamship lines connect the ports of Beirut and Jounieh with the rest of the world. There is a modest departure tax when exiting Lebanon, dependent upon the ticket class (economy: 50,000 LBP; business: 75,000 LBP; first: 100,000 LBP).
Free import for all passengers of 18 years or older (passengers below 18 years are allowed half of any specified quantities other than tobacco and alcoholic beverages):
- 800 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 100 cigarillos, or 1,000 grams of tobacco;
- 2 liters of champagne, whiskey or cognac, or a max. of 4 liters of other alcoholic beverages;
- 1 liter of eau de cologne and 100 grams of perfume;
- medicine (in prescribed dosages for personal use);
- personal belongings in non-commercial quantities without exceeding a total value of 2,000,000 LBP;
- all live animals must be accompanied by a valid health certificate, issued by a veterinarian in the country of origin, and approved and stamped by an appropriate government authority of that country; a rabies inoculation certificate is also required;
- local currency (Lebanese Pound, LBP) and foreign currencies in any form without restrictions, but gold coins must be declared.
Free export includes an unlimited quantity of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, but antiquities require an export license. Local and foreign currencies may be exported in any form without restrictions, with the exception of gold coins; however, if a quantity of gold is declared on arrival, the same quantity may be exported. Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Lebanon. Examination of travelers’ luggage is carried out rapidly and courteously. All ordinary personal effects are exempt from customs duty.
Currents & Currency
Electric currents are 110 or 220 volts, 50 cycles, so please check with the hotel or apartment or bring a converter or transformer. Currency in Lebanon is the Lebanese Pound (LBP), but US dollars and the euro are often accepted. At the time of writing, the exchange rate for these currencies is 1 EUR = 1.28 USD = 1919 LBP, but these rates are subject to frequent fluctuation.(as of 3/28/2013)
Official Languages & Holidays
Arabic is the national language, but many people also speak French or English, and educated Lebanese are trilingual. Thanks to this diverse population and its religious groups, Lebanon has many official holidays. On these days, all banks, government offices, and schools are closed, but it is usually possible to find shops and restaurants open for business.
- New Year’s Day – 1 January
- Feast of Maroun – 9 February
- Labour Day – 1 May
- Martyrs Day – 6 May
- Assumption Day – 15 August
- All Saints Day – 1 November
- Independence Day – 22 November
- Christmas Day – 25 December
- Good Friday (Western Christian)*
- Easter Monday (Western Christian)*
- Good Friday (Eastern Orthodox)*
- Easter Monday (Eastern Orthodox)*
- Id al-Fitr*
- Id al-Adha*
*Dates of Easter and Muslim holidays change from year to year.