The tail end of my trip to Cairo coincided with a one-week country-wide public holiday. Naturally, I began looking for where to spend this time before returning to Nairobi. Having visited a few other cities in Egypt in my previous travels to the country, I began to look outward.
In the end, visiting Lebanon was my overall best choice. Reachable by only a short one-hour flight from Cairo and being fairly accessible to Nigerians due to its conditional visa-on-arrival policy, it seemed like the perfect option.
And I am so glad I got the chance to visit! I spent seven days in the country and had a fantastic time. Planning this trip was quite easy too, once I found out how relatively close all the main attractions were.
At first, I was quite overwhelmed trying to figure out the best places to go and to set up my base in. Eventually, I chose to spend three days in Batroun and four in Beirut. From Beirut, I was able to take day trips easily to other parts of the country.
What's Covered in this Post
Visiting Lebanon from Nigeria – Getting There and Travel Requirements…
I made this trip from Cairo but travelling from Nigeria to Lebanon is relatively easy as well. Several airlines make the trip to the country with stops at their various hubs. Only Middle East Airlines (MEA) flies directly from Lagos to Beirut.
At the time of this writing, Nigerian travellers are required to hold $2,000 in cash, in addition to paid accommodation in a 3-5 star hotel or private residence and a return flight ticket to get a visa on arrival.
Visiting Lebanon – Cash is King!
Due to an ongoing economical crisis, Lebanon is a heavily cash-dependent country. Many establishments do not even accept card payments and it would not be in your best interest to use your card there anyway. This is because the official exchange rate and the black market rate differ widely.
Therefore it is imperative to hold enough money in cash to last your entire stay. Otherwise, you may have to rely on receiving money via Western Union if you run out.
I had prepaid for my all accommodation in advance and had documents to show for it, so I did not travel with $2,000 in cash. Luckily, no one bothered me to show how much I had. My entry was smooth and hassle-free.
Visiting Lebanon – Getting Around…
For travellers on a budget, public transportation in Lebanon is quite affordable. Although, what you gain in cost savings, you may lose in time and comfort – as expected. Several buses, called “services”, ply the routes to all the main tourist cities and towns and it is possible to use a combination of buses, Ubers, local taxis and private or shared tours to get around.
Private tours or renting a car (if you’re comfortable driving around yourself) are probably the best ways to explore Lebanon but they do not come cheap for solo travellers. Most tours have a base price for two people and discounted pricing for more travellers.
Visiting Lebanon – Is Lebanon Cheap for Solo Travellers?
As a solo traveller, you bear the costs for at least two travellers. Unfortunately, there are no single supplements or discounted pricing in many cases. Shared tours and public transportation are the best options to save some money on day trips, while Uber rides within Beirut are generally affordable.
To save money on accommodation, consider booking an apartment on Airbnb or Couchsurfing (carefully), if you do not have a host.
How Many Days Are Ideal for Visiting Lebanon?
Technically, you can spend months travelling slowly within the country, but if you are pressed for time, I think you can visit the main attractions within 5-7 days. Lebanon is pretty small and many tourist sites are situated within a 2-3 hour drive from Beirut, making them easy day trips from the capital city.
I spent seven days in the country and was able to visit a few places comfortably. I scheduled an adequate amount of downtime into my itinerary and the trip did not feel rushed or tiring.
Is Lebanon Safe for Solo (Black) Female Travellers?
I felt safe throughout my time visiting Lebanon and had no safety-related incidents. For the most part, people were kind, pleasant and welcoming. My hosts in Batroun would not stop feeding me, the staff at the hotel in Beirut let me check in way 11 hours before check-in time without extra fees and a family even invited me to spend the rest of my stay in their home.
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On the flip side, I did have to deal with unwanted propositions from some men I encountered. I will recommend visiting Lebanon as a solo female traveller if you already have some solo destinations under your belt and also investing in travel insurance to cover the duration of your stay.
Visiting Lebanon – The Sum Up…
That being said, the positives from this trip greatly outweighed the negative encounters I mentioned above. I want to say that Lebanon was a surprisingly pleasant destination for me but it really wasn’t. I actually expected to have a good time, thanks to trip reports shared by Naija Nomads and Travelletters when they visited.
Luckily, I had a wonderful stay and it is a country that I look forward to revisiting sometime in the future!
Let me know; have you visited or considered visiting Lebanon? Please share your experiences or thoughts in the comment section below! Also, feel free to ask me anything you’d like to know about the country. I’ll be sure to include it in my upcoming posts!