People: I really like the Lebanese! Open and friendly, without being too pushy like the Jordanians sometimes were. I could browse around a souvenir shop without being bothered. At the same time, our car rental guy just rolled his eyes briefly at us when we arrived 1.5 h late and then asked us how the day went. I liked the mix of people you get to see: next to me in the table in a cafe there were 2 women and 2 guys. One of the women wearing a hijab, one wearing tight pants and a rather revealing shirt. She and the guys were having beers and all four of them were smoking shisha together. I felt welcome and safe at all times! There are barely any backpackers, but I always met some cool people to hang out with.
Food: Lebanon brought a little more variety to the Middle Eastern food again. There was still too much hummus, but there was also fattoush (a salad) and Manoosh (a kind of pizza) that I had not had before in Israel or Jordan.
Weather: There were some more clouds here and there, but mostly in a rather photogenic way so I did not mind 🙂 It was also a bit cooler than Jordan, but in a nice way.
Costs: I spent a bit more in Lebanon than I had to, since I treated myself to some beers and shisha and also didn’t take advantage of Couchsurfing, but rather stayed in a hostel the whole time. Also the rental car was expensive to rent just for one day. So in the end I spent 49€/day which was still below my 60€/day target.
Accommodation: I spent my whole time staying at Saifi Urban Gardens hostel in Beirut, which I really really liked. Potentially one of the best hostels I have ever stayed at. I met great people there to hang out with, and the attached cafe serves good, cheap food. There’s one more hostel in Beirut, but that’s it for hostel accommodation in Lebanon unfortunately. Luckily, the country is close enough so that you can stay in Beirut and go on day trips from here, but it would have been nice to stay in different places, like Byblos, Tripoli or Tannourine. Maybe this will change in the future though and there will be more hostels popping up!
Infrastructure: There is a good bus system which does go to many places, but not all of the interesting spots. To see Tannourine and the Baatara waterfall, we had to rent a car for example. However, if you stick to the coastal towns, there is good and cheap busses all the way North/South, and also Baalbek is well connected to Beirut.
Illnesses: Healthy & happy.
Safety: Never felt unsafe.
Itinerary: I stayed in Beirut and did day trips from there. I would have loved to see many more places, especially Baalbek, and spend more time in the mountains around Tannourine and in Tripoli. 4 days were simply not enough for this amazing country! I would recommend 10 days and a rental car to fully enjoy Lebanon’s sights and landscapes.
Highlight: The road trip to Tripoli and Baatara waterfall.
Click here to see all my pictures of Lebanon: