Royal Beirut FAQ

About Lebanon
Map and Direction

What International Communications are There in Lebanon?
If you have a roaming mobile phone that belongs to the GSM system, it will work in Lebanon as well. The hotel offers international communications, wireless Internet access and fax machines when required. Internet cafés are inexpensive and plentiful in metropolitan areas, although the connection can be slow. There are payphones all over the country and calling cards can be bought from many shops.

What is The Weather Like in the Country?
Fabulous weather awaits visitors for most if not all of the year. Fall, spring and summer are almost always sunny with a few rain showers in fall and spring. During these three seasons, the temperature ranges almost always between 22C to 32C on the coast, with a humid climate in July and August. The winter will see some clouds and rain storms, but the sun always comes up a day or two later with clear blue skies whatever month it is. January and February are the coldest months, yet feel like a light spring to Europeans. Winter temperatures rarely dip below 15C in Beirut and on the coast. The mountains are always cooler so a jacket and warmer clothing is advised for our excursions.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Lebanon?
With valid passports, all travelers from almost any European country, North America and parts of Asia and South America can get a 15-day visa at the airport for USD 17, or around 12 Euros. There are also three-month single entry visas for USD 35 or around 25 Euros. Note that passports must be valid for six months at least. (Travelers holding passports that contain visas or entry/exit stamps for Israel are likely to be refused entry into Lebanon).

Is Lebanon Safe?
Lebanon’s turbulent history has created a strong desire for peace and security. After the departure of all foreign presence from the country, our government has been keen on ensuring safety and stability. Many foreigners feel that Lebanon is safer than most metropolitan cities in Europe and America. The crime rate is definitely lower in the country than elsewhere in the world, although common-sense precautions are advisable.

What is the Dress Code Like?
In a word, cool. You can dress practically anyway you like in cosmopolitan Beirut. On the whole, the Lebanese tend to be well dressed and pay attention to fashion and clothing, in line with other Mediterranean countries. When traveling to more traditional areas such as Tripoli, modest dress is recommended such as covering the shoulders for women and knee-length pants or dresses. Women will only need scarves when visiting a mosque.

What Languages are Spoken in Lebanon?
The national tongue is Arabic. Almost everyone speaks some English and/or French, particularly in the major cities. Due to a large part of the population having lived abroad during one time or another, visitors will be surprised to be addressed in Spanish, German or Italian every now and then. Tourists will find no problems communicating, and may establishments provide signs, menus and information in English.

What is the Time Difference in Lebanon?
Lebanon is +2 hours from GMT (The same as Athens and Helsinki). This means it is only one to two hours ahead of Europe, making any time difference virtually unnoticeable and allowing you to still feel energetic a little later than usual.

What is the Currency in Lebanon?
The Lebanese currency is the Lebanese Pound or Lira (LL). Notes are available in denominations of LL1,000, LL5,000, LL10,000, LL20,000, LL50,000, and LL100,000. There are also LL250 and LL500 coins. U.S. dollars are used widely throughout the country. Shops and restaurants often quote their prices in U.S. dollars, and most establishments will give you the equivalent in dollars if priced in LL. The exchange rate is around 1 USD for LL1,500. Credit cards are widely used and accepted at most large establishments.

What are the Public Holidays?
Due to its colourful, multi-denominational population, Lebanon has numerous public holidays that reflect its robust variety of people. Banks, government offices, and schools are closed on holidays, yet many shops and restaurants are open for business.

Holidays with Fixed Dates:

  • New Year's Day – January 1
  • Christmas (Armenian-Orthodox) – January 6
  • St. Maroun's Day – February 9
  • Labor Day – May 1
  • Martyrs' Day – May 6
  • Resistance and Liberation Day – May 25
  • Ascension Day – August 15
  • All Saints' Day – November 1
  • Independence Day – November 22
  • Christmas – December 25

Religious Holidays with Tentative Dates:

  • Catholic Good Friday
  • Orthodox Good Friday
  • Catholic Easter
  • Orthodox Easter
  • Muslim New Year
  • Eid Al-Fitr (three days)
  • Eid Al-Adha (three days)
  • Ashoura
  • Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
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