Lebanon truly is one of our favourite places to travel, not just because it leads into Syria, but because it has its whole own vibe going on. It is though c complicated place, hence our Lebanon Travel Guide for 2023.
To read about why Lebanon is such a mess click here.
Why is Lebanon such as mess?
The reasons for Lebanon being on the brink of a failed state are multifaceted, but can be summed up with a few points. Their government system is what is known as confessional, which means that the President is Christian, PM Shia and Speaker Sunni. People also vote based on their religion.
A nice theory for those that love multiculturalism, but one that leads to unstable ineffective governments and a whole heap of corruption.
There’s even a joke when it comes to religion here, I asked my driver what religion he was (he had filled out forms to officially become an atheist), to which he replied “an atheist”, to which I replied “A Christian, Sunni, or Shia atheist”. Not unique to Lebanon, for we even had the same thing in Northern Ireland, but also not ideal for governance.
Lebanon Travel Guide – There is rampant inflation
The government has kept its currency artificially legged to the dollar which is very funny when you get a bar bill for $280, but the actual black market bill is $18. Yet while this is funny for an Instagram pic, it is not funny for anything else.
Lebanon Travel Guide Tip! Only bring USD, change said money and never ever use cards or even your card linked to Uber, or you will end up paying the crazy high exchange rate. Cash is king when traveling through
Lebanon Guide – Constant blackouts
Another huge problem with Lebanon is with electricity with the state only providing 3 hours of power per day. This means a few things, regular blackouts and people needing a generator to function, said generator also means there are constant lines for getting gas.
I can sum up this issue with a quote from our local partner “I am looking at my generator now and need to decide on charging 2 from out of my AC, computer, and phone for the next 45 minutes”
From a Lebanon travel guide point of view this merely means staying in hotels that have power, which YPT obviously always do. If traveling independently in Lebanon keep this in mind, as well as buying a sim so as not to rely on WiFi.
Beirut travel Guide
Formerly known as the Paris of the East, things are different now, but the nightlife still packs a punch. The place for hotels and bars in Beirut is Hamra Street. A great place to hang out, but also where you will find beggars and street walkers in Beirut, poverty is very real in the city.
And there are also a lot of other things to see and do in the capital from old churches to parliament and even our favourite pub!
To read about the Abu Eli Pub click here.
Should you travel to Lebanon in 2023?
Quite simply yes! and While our Lebanon travel guide might seem all doom and gloom the country is not. The food here is great, the people are great and there are historical sites for almost all Abrahamic religions, as well as much more contemporary ones, such as the Hezbollah “Disneyland”.
Lebanon is also a place that you can do alone, but by joining our group tour you to see so much more in a much shorter time and at a faction of the cost.
WE hope to see you here on our next tour.