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Lebanon Tourist Information

LocationBusiness HoursEntry Requirements
Currency & Exchange FacilitiesClimateHolidays
Tourist Information OfficesEmergency Phone NumbersTipping

See Useful Arabic Words & Phrases
General Information

Lebanon is a liberal democracy with a constitution agreed upon in 1926 but amended many times since then (last time was in 1990). The Lebanese Republic achieved independence in 1943.

Area 10,452 km2
Population 3,562,699 (2002)
Capital Beirut
Capital population 1,452,112 (2002)

The political system was then adapted to satisfy the deep sociological and historical needs created by the presence of eighteen religious communities within the country.

Despite the resent years of war during the period 1975 to 1990, Lebanon nowadays resembles an extremely active building site.

PresidentMichel Sleiman
Principal CitiesBeirut, Tripoli, and Sidon

Southwestern Asia, bordering eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea, bounded on the north and east by Syria, on the south by Isreal, and on the west by the Mediterranean sea. See map in Map & Sites page.

Official languageArabicSecond languageFrench & English
ReligionsMuslims 75% - Christians 24%MeasuresMetric
TimeGMT +02:00 - US EST +7Electricity110/220 V, 50 AC
CurrencyLebanese Pound (see below)Int'l Dialing Code00961
Business Hours
Government Offices8:00 to 14:00 (Mon to Sat)
Banks8:00 to 12:30 - to 12:00 Saturday
Shops & Malls9:00 to 18:00 - to 17:00 in Summer
Private Sector8:00 to 17:00 - with one or two hours lunch break
Note: during the holy month of Ramadan working hours are usually reduced.
Entry Requirements

A valid passport and a visa are required to enter Lebanon. Visas are delivered by Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad

Lebanon has always known the freedom of money transfer, permitting any person to bring in or take out any capital of his/her choice at any time without restriction.

Note: No Israeli stamp or any crossing point with Israel stamp should be on your passport this includes Araba border, Sheikh Hussein border, Rafah border, and Taba border.

Currency & Exchange Facilities

The currency of Lebanon is Lebanese Pound (called Lira) - 1 US Dollar equals LL 1513.750 (1 May 2001).

Coin denominations are: 50, 100, 250, and 500 liras.
Paper denominations are: 500, 1000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000, and 100.000 liras.

After the drastic devaluation of the Lebanese currency in the late eighties, the whole economy is dollarized. Though today many transactions are quoted in the Lebanese currency, large purchases and real estate deals are conducted in US dollars.

Major credit cards, such as Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, and American Express, are accepted in large establishments throughout the country. ATMs are becoming more numerous and many are located outside bank branches and in the business areas of major cities.


Lebanon enjoys an essential Mediterranean climate with rainy winters and long warm summers with an average of 300 sunny days a year.

The winter is mild on the coast and snowy in the mountains. Annual rainfall ranges from 700 to 1200mm.

The summer is hot on the coast and mild in the mountains. In some spring months, one can ski in the mountains and swim on the coast, both in the same day.

Average temperature in Centigrade for Beirut (coastal) and Zahle (Bekaa)
New Year1st JanuarySt. Maroun's Day9th February
Good Friday1 DayEaster Monday1 Day
Labor Day1st MayMartyr's Day6th May
Ascention15th AugustAll Saints Day1st November
Independence Day22nd NovemberChristmas Day25th Dec & 6th Jan

Islamic holidays based on Hijri/Lunar calendar
Eid Al-Fiter3 days marking end of Ramadan (fasting month)
Eid Al-Adha3 days at the end of Hajj
Islamic New Year1st of Moharram
Ashoura10th of Moharram
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) Birthday12th Rabe'a El-Awwal
Al-Isra' Wal Mi'raj27th Rajab
Tourist Information Offices
Ministry of Tourism - Tourist Information+961 (1) 340940
Middle East Airlines (MEA)+961 (1) 629125 - 822780
Airport Information+961 (1) 628000
Emergency Phone Numbers
Nationwide Emergency112Police Operation160
Tourist Police350901/343504Beirut Information427714/5
Jounieh Information900000/9301111Sidon Information721221/725811/2
Tripoli Information200400/1Zahle Information800169

Tipping is a way of showing your satisfaction with a service rendered. Tips to your driver, guide and the hotel personnel are not included and left to your discretion.

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