When arriving in Beirut, be prepared to be ripped off by taxi drivers. Paying less than 20 US$ for the five minute ride down towan seems to be impossible for foreigners, some try to charge as much as 40. If possible, arrange transport beforehand.
Unique Suggestions: Haggle. It may be unnerving if you're not used to this kind or aggressive bargining, but try not to pay more than 25 $
Fun Alternatives: Arrange transport beforehand
the dollar is very widely used in lebanon. the local people think that all foreigners are rich and whenever they quote prices at shops or taxi they will quote you in dollars and a lot more then they would do to the locals. always ask for local lebanese lira price and negotiate
Taxi's in Beirut sometimes have a mind of thier own.... or maybe it is just the driver. I could never seem to get to where I actually wanted to go and often got out of the cab and walked. The driver (1 in particular who was always at the top of the que when I needed a cab...) seemed to like to take me to places he thought I wanted to go - like his friends salon instead of the place I had a manicure appointment at (directions and address in hand) or the internet cafe of a buddy instead of the one I WANTED! Arrrgh.
On another attempt with another driver, he wanted to marry me instead of taking me back to my hotel - a quick "I am married" seemed to get the car headed in the right direction.
Or when walking around, as I like to be a tourist and just walk it - taxi's will stop, honk at you, scream "Taxi" at you.... it is horrible... but I think the lack of employment in Lebanon has made practically everyone with a car a Taxi and there are just far to many.
Lastly, they OVER charge with a capital O and seem to think because they ran the air con. that it warrants an overly-inflated price.
Unique Suggestions: BEFORE GETTING IN THE CAR - negotiate the rate, as there is rarely a meter.
if you are lucky enough to find a cabby you like - get his cell phone number and stick with him - chances are he will be all too pleased for a repeat customer as well.
Learn to say "I am married" in Arabic whether you are or not, it will come in handy!
Fun Alternatives: Walk....
in smaller shops huggle and make the price less then 50 %. when a tourist steps in to a small shop the prices will rise "automaticly" to much more then the ordinary price.. some people huggle 10-20% and think that they did a good deal while in the real case the shop owner is still the winner. He did after all raise the prise as he saw you where an tourist..
I dont Huggle as I dont care, but If I notice that the shop owner is trying to fool me with the price then I dont buy from that shop.
VT discourages political discussions and forums for good reason. These pages are to help tourists not advocate an opinion. However, how many churches, fortresses, walled cities, and other historical sites that we choose to visit have a fundamentally religious and/or military reason for being in the first place? As tourists we have to understand the history of the places we are visiting. And, we live in this world, so we have to take an interest in the events that happen around us which shape our history. We are not meant to be impassioned observers.
Yesterday a large bomb went off in downtown Beirut killing a well-known and well-respected former Prime Minister who was widely seen to speak for the region and was an advocate of peace and prosperity in an area plagued by violence and poverty. Lebanon suffered from years of sectarian violence and civil war and was finally reaping the peace dividend, restoring its infrastructure, rebuilding its economy, and attracting tourists back to its beautiful shores. Beirut was once called the Paris of the Middle East. Under PM Rafik al-Hariri, the country was turning its back on the strife that has debilitated the region and was again becoming a jewel in the Mediterranean.
I visited Beirut last summer and really enjoyed it. I was looking forward to skiing in the Cedars in Lebanon in a few weeks. I can only hope that this bomb blast is an isolated incident and that the citizens of Lebanon resist the understandable urge to point fingers and play the blame game. I hope that many tourists will continue to flock to Beirut and Lebanon and spend their money there. The brave people of Lebanon deserve our support in their choice of peace, prosperity and religious tolerance over a senseless circle of violence, retribution, retaliation and war. We should not let the terrorists win. Not in a country that has come so far and is so close to becoming a normal free country again.
Cab drivers try to take advantage of tourists for fees so i can recommend you ask the hotel or anyone onthe streets how much a trip should cost.If its less than a 10-15 mins distance you should pay 1000LL (1500=1000) at night theyre a it steeper and cost 5000LL
Unique Suggestions: Ifyou do end up ussing a cab always ask the price before you get in and you can always haggle
Fun Alternatives: If you still have problems or on a tight budget i recomend you takethe buses for out of town trips 500LL a trip so if a trip is point A,B,C and you need to chang busses its a 1000LL
Hotels and local cash exchanges charge hefty charges on travellers cheques.
Unique Suggestions: cash travellers cheques at a Bank, and try shopping around before you cash them. Most banks will charge a small fee.
Fun Alternatives: If you're using Thomas Cook travelleres cheques, The new offices of Thomas Cook Lebanon are located on the ?Massaref Street? in Beirut?s Central District. (commission free)
Try to have your travellers cheques in US$ before you go, it's the most trusted currency
you buy a sandwitch day 1..chances are you'll get it 5 times the price day 2 and 1/2 the price day 3..
as a tourist, you will be chewed and spit out in the price exaggeration game - hang in there.
Unique Suggestions: Don't be embressed to bargain- everything and anything goes, including so called fixed price shops (Unless you're in a fancy designer shop in Verdun or Solidaire)
Fun Alternatives: If you have local lebanese friends, they'll be happy to move around with you and teach you the 1-2-3s of bargaining...
Also, be smiley and cheery when you are, don't think of it as an offence, its just a way of life there
I guess everyone knows its motto: "Love All, Serve All" - and, if I may add, "Stay Home". It's located in Ein El Mreisseh, inside the Bayview Hotel, along the Corniche. But if you need the HardRock Cafe during your travels there's something wrong with you
Unique Suggestions: Buy the T-shirt! I hope you haven't gone there for the food!
Fun Alternatives: If you've never seen a hard rock cafe I guess it's ok to go there - otherwise just head for any bars downtown: they are so much better.
This is breathtaking, just look over to the bay of jounieh and it will blow your mind away. Just beautiful!
Here in beirut you can relax all time . there is no one distrub you . the people here is lovly people and when you need help they help you as they can , for me i haven,t any problem , take your time
Pigeon Rocks is a genuine tourist trap. The usual Coca Cola and Fujifilm signs and overpriced drinks and food at the cafés.
Unique Suggestions: Dip your toes in the Mediterrean.
Not a tourist trap but a place were I saw many tourists was at the statue 'Lady of Harissa'. You can go up there by car or take the cable car from downtown Jounieh.