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Lebanon

If you’re travelling to Lebanon, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Latest Travel Alert

Citizens planning travel abroad should take into account the ongoing risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad and are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover. Before departure and during travel, citizens are advised to monitor our Travel Advice, follow us on Twitter, and register with their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate.

Travel to Lebanon

Since October 2022, there have been reported cases of cholera across the country. Cholera is a bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated drinking water or food. Drink only boiled or bottled water and ensure that food has been properly prepared. Additional information on cholera can be found here: Cholera (who.int)

There are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for travel to Lebanon from Ireland. There is no requirement to present certificates of vaccination/testing for COVID-19.

Additional information on COVID-19 in Lebanon can be found here: Ministry of Public Health - Lebanon

General Travel Advice 

The security situation in Lebanon remains unstable and can deteriorate without warning. The Department of Foreign Affairs currently advises against all non-essential travel to Lebanon. There is an increased risk of protests and demonstrations taking place in Lebanon, which can quickly lead to violence. If you are currently in Lebanon, you should avoid the immediate area of any protests or demonstrations. Remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Due to the economic and political crisis, the Lebanese Lira has lost 90% of its real value and restrictions have been placed on financial transactions and ATM withdrawals. If travelling to Lebanon ensure that you bring sufficient hard currency to cover entire duration of your stay.

Lebanon is also experiencing electricity and fuel shortages, leading to power outages. Pharmacies and hospitals also report shortages of medicines and medical equipment. Citizens should ensure they have sufficient quantities of prescription medications to cover the length of their stay.

Following the Beirut port explosion on 4 August 2020, buildings and infrastructure were severely damaged. This remains an ongoing concern and could pose a risk to your personal safety.  The best help is often close at hand; try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Political unrest

The political situation in Lebanon is fragile and has the potential to deteriorate quickly. Regional developments also have the potential to trigger popular unrest.

If in Lebanon, we advise you to exercise extreme caution and to consider your need to remain there. Monitor this travel advice, DFA social media and local media for updates. ..

Regional tensions

Political tensions and security concerns are heightened at present as a result of unrest in neighbouring Syria and the wider region. Syrian military forces have made several incursions into Lebanese territory. Protests, sectarian violence and kidnappings of foreigners have occurred throughout the country, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli.

Terrorism

There have been a number of attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants, mainly in the northern city of Tripoli and close to the Syrian border. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Lebanese Government interests, particularly the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), have been targeted for attacks by some of the militant groups, some of these resulting in fatalities.

Landmines

Unexploded ordnance, particularly in the South, and in the Bekaa Valley, is a risk. Don’t stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact before travelling to affected regions.

Kidnapping

Foreign nationals can be potential targets for kidnapping throughout Lebanon, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli and Baalbek or other parts of the Bekaa Valley, where we strongly advise you to keep to the main roads and larger towns.

Protests and Demonstrations

Protest and demonstrations can turn violent with little warning. We strongly advise all Irish citizens in Lebanon to avoid all protests and demonstrations. If caught up in a demonstration Irish citizens should not attempt to take photos and should leave the area immediately. Monitor local media for updates.

Crime

The risk to tourists from petty or violent crime is low in Lebanon. You should always take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Lebanon, report it to the local police immediately. Contact the Honorary Consul in Beirut or the Irish Embassy in Cairo if you require assistance.

Driving

If planning to drive in Lebanon, you should be extremely careful as the accident rate is high and road standards are variable. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. Your international driving permit must be certified by authorities on arrival
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
  • Avoid driving outside the main cities at night
  • Be aware that many traffic lights are not in operation due to electricity shortages.

Road closures

The road to the airport can be closed sporadically due to various factors, including local sectarian clashes, civil unrest in Syria and protests against government policies.

Diesel engines

If you’re driving your own car in Lebanon, be aware that vehicles with diesel engines are now banned.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Muslim culture

Although Lebanon may seem less conservative than its neighbours in the region, we recommend you dress modestly when visiting sites of religious significance, and areas outside the main cities.

Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public in certain areas as this may cause offence.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 

Local laws

While you’re in Lebanon, you’re subject to local laws, including ones that may seem harsh by Irish standards. For example, the laws around custody of children are significantly different to those in force in Ireland.If you are a parent be aware of your legal position.

If you have to deal with any legal matters in Lebanon, particularly about family law, we strongly advise you to get professional legal advice.

Photography

It’s against the law to photograph or video government buildings or military personnel, equipment and installations.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Climate

The temperature in certain areas of Lebanon during the summer months in some areas can reach over 40 degrees Celsius and you should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Earthquake

Lebanon is in an active earthquake zone. If travelling to or living in Lebanon, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Forest fires

Bush and forest fires are common during the summer months in Lebanon (usually June to September) particularly in heavily-forested areas. Follow local reports closely for warnings of forest fires and avoid any areas that may have fire warnings in place.

Sand storms

Sand and dust storms are also common so follow local reports closely for warnings.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens travelling for tourism purposes are eligible for an extendable one-month visa that can be issued on arrival at Beirut International airport or any other port of entry. Visas for other purposes can be obtained via the Embassy of Lebanon in London. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Lebanon.

For further information on entry visas for Lebanon please see General Directorate of General Security.

Regional travel

Having Israeli stamps in your passport or entry/exit stamps from Egypt’s and Jordan’s borders with Israel will prevent your entry into Lebanon.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see which vaccinations you may need  for travelling to Lebanon. 

Since October 2022, there have been reported cases of cholera across the country. Cholera is a bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated drinking water or food. Drink only boiled or bottled water and ensure that food has been properly prepared. Additional information on cholera can be found here: Cholera (who.int)

Water

In general, tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is cheap and readily available.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

We do not have an Embassy in Lebanon, please contact Embassy of Ireland Egypt.

If you are an Irish citizen and in need of emergency assistance outside of normal office hours, then you can contact us on the following emergency number: +20 1274443942

Alternatively, the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs can be contacted at +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
18 Hassan Sabry Street
Zamalek
Cairo
Egypt

Tel: +202 27287100
Fax: +202 27362863

Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Georges H. Siam
Badaro 2000 Building 1st Floor
Badaro Street
Badaro-Beirut
Lebanon

Tel: + 961 139 5005
Fax: + 961 139 2005

Email: Email us