A 10-Day Lebanon Itinerary

the ideal lebanon itinerary for first-time visitors

This 10-day Lebanon itinerary was a little dream come true kind of experience. I’ve wanted to visit Lebanon for a long time and was very excited when I finally started to plan this trip. So, if you’re also planning (and dreaming) of visiting Lebanon, I can help you organize the perfect trip.

In the next lines, I will be sharing my exact 10-day Lebanon itinerary with you with practical tips for your visit, including how to get around and what the current economic situation is.

NOTE: Please note that this Lebanon itinerary doesn’t include visiting places such as Jeita Grotto, Harissa, and the popular destination in the south of Lebanon, Tyre and Sidon. It also doesn’t include the Baatara Gorge waterfall, a place that I would have loved to visit, but in autumn, when we traveled to Lebanon, there was no water in the waterfall, so you don’t get the full experience of visiting. If you want to visit the waterfall, make sure you plan your Lebanon itinerary during the springtime. And also, if you want to visit any of the places I mentioned that are not included in this itinerary, you can still do so by spending less time in some of the other places covered here.

Highlights of This 10-day Lebanon Itinerary:

  • Visit of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
  • Learn about Lebanon’s turbulent past.
  • Enjoy visiting some of Lebanon’s natural wonders.
  • Immerse yourself in Lebanon’s ancient past and cultural heritage.
  • Relax by the tranquil Mediterranean beaches.

Brief Lebanon Itinerary 

Day:Highlights:Overnight:
Day 1Arrive in Beirut and explore the cityBeirut
Day 2Explore BeirutBeirut
Day 3Go on a hiking/nature tripBeirut
Day 4Visit BaalbekBeirut
Day 5Arrive in Batroun and explore the townBatroun
Day 6 Explore Batroun Batroun
Day 7Explore Batroun’s surroundingsBatroun
Day 8Explore Batroun’s surroundingsBatroun
Day 9Visit Byblos Byblos
Day 10 Travel back to Beirut to fly back home

Day 1-2: Explore Beirut

Known as the “Paris of the Middle East” during its Golden Age, Beirut is a chaotic blend of modern and ancient charm, history, culture, and nightlife. Nowadays, unfortunately, the city is no longer as beautiful and attractive as it has been in its glory days, but it is absolutely worth visiting nonetheless. Beirut has literally survived the test of time and many battles and proudly wears its scars.

For those who don’t know or don’t remember, Beirut experienced one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in recent history. That was in 2020. The year before that, the Lebanon crisis began. The World Bank has classified the Lebanese crisis as one of the 10 worst economic crises globally since the 19th century – and possibly even as one of the top three. (And so much more happened in Lebanon before these two events) I won’t go into details about the crisis, the reasons for it, and such; the point of mentioning this was to say that now, amid economic crisis and political dysfunction, many of Beirut’s homes near the port (where the explosion happened) remain in ruins (and their tenants in limbo). And that might be a strange thing to say, but that site is actually quite unique.

 

See, while exploring Beirut, you can pass by a building destroyed by the explosion, and just a few steps away, there is a fancy restaurant, cafe, or boutique standing right next door. Fascinating really. It might not be everyone’s thing, but witnessing the city’s destruction and the way that local people survive everything that has happened to them was absolutely one of the highlights of my 10-day Lebanon itinerary.

But don’t let that put you off, as Beirut has so much more to offer. Another unique sight in the heart of Beirut is the Mohammad Al Amin Mosque, standing side by side with the Saint George Maronite Cathedral. Not everywhere can one see a mosque and a church standing next to each other. From a certain angle, it even looks like the cross of the church is sitting at the top of the mosque.

how to spend 10 days in lebanon

 

Some of the best things to do in Beirut include:

  • Explore Downtown Beirut
  • Stroll the Corniche
  • Shop at the Beirut Souks
  • Visit Martyrs’ Square
  • Walk along Gemmayzeh Street
  • Go to the trendy Mar Mikhael neighborhood
  • See the Pigeon Rocks
  • Admire the street art
  • Take a picture at the I Love Beirut sign
  • Hang out at Zaitunay Bay
  • Eat at the famous Beirut restaurant Le Chef
  • Experience the nightlife

Day 3: A Day Trip into the Nature of Lebanon

One thing you should definitely not miss on your 10-day Lebanon itinerary is to explore as much as you can of the beautiful nature the country has to offer. Where you would go on that day depends on what place you want to visit, and if you don’t hire a car, is it manageable to visit that place independently?

Here are some popular nature destinations:

  • The Cedars of God (there are a number of reserves where you can see them)
  • The Akoura Lakes
  • Jeita Grotto (can be visited along with Hariss in one day)
  • The Baatara Gorge waterfall
  • The Kadisha Valley
  • Laklouk
  • Chouwen
  • Tannourine

We went on a sunset and stargazing hike in Laklouk with Lebanon by Nature. The trip was absolutely fantastic and included a beautiful hiking route, stunning rock formations, a gorgeous sunset, and a great stargazing experience with a fire.

 

As we didn’t rent a car, our options were limited, so we just happened to go on the tour that was available. Lebanon by Nature and a few others organize weekly trips to different parts of Lebanon. You can find them and follow them on Instagram, where they share their upcoming trips, or contact them if you are interested in a bespoke trip to any particular place.

lebanon day trip

sunset in the mountains of lebanon

Day 4: A Day Trip to Baalbek

No trip to Lebanon is complete without a visit to the magnificent Baalbek. Baalbek, also known as Heliopolis in antiquity, is Lebanon’s most impressive archeological site, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. With a history of over 9,000 years, Baalbek has witnessed the rise and fall of numerous civilizations, each leaving an indelible mark on its landscape.

We visited Baalbek by hiring a private driver, which also took us to the ruins of Anjar and the oldest winery in the Middle East. You can calmly explore the Baalbek Temples in a matter of 2-3 hours, so even if you choose to travel by public transportation, like us by hiring a private driver or on a tour, the trip to Baalbek will take up your entire day.

Read my article dedicated to visiting Baalbek for more information on how to get there, prices, and practical tips for your visit.

baalbek travel guide

lebanon 10 day itinerary

Day 5-8: Relax or Get Active in Batroun

Oh, Batroun, my love! I absolutely fell in love with this charming little town nestled along the northern coast of Lebanon. Once a humble fishing village, this well-preserved old town has witnessed the passage of time, bearing witness to the rise and fall of ancient empires. From its Phoenician origins, possibly dating as far back as the 14th century BC, Batroun has evolved into a bustling coastal destination with a fascinating past.

History aside, Batroun is also a place to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. With its attractive beaches, Batroun draws in travelers to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun. Whether lounging at one of its beach clubs, taking a leisurely stroll along the coast, or indulging in water sports, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy Batroun.

Whether you are looking for history, relaxation, adventure, or gastronomic delights, I highly recommend you add Batroun to your 10-day Lebanin itinerary. You can thank me later.

visiting batroun on a lebanon itinerary

list of top things to do in batroun, lebanon

Some of the best things to do in Batroun (see my linked article for the full list) include:

  • Explore the beautiful Old town of Batroun
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • Take a boat ride
  • Go hiking in the surrounding mountains
  • Kayaking, surfing, and other water activities
  • Visit the nearby wineries
  • Explore the fishermen’s harbour
  • Try the local craft beer
  • Yoga and zen
  • Enjoy the nightlife

 

How to Get from Beirut to Batroun

Traveling from Beirut to Batroun is very easy. To reach Batroun from the capital city using public transportation, you first need to take a taxi to the Dowra bus station (please note that this isn’t a real bus station, but a large roundabout filled with plenty of minivans/marshrutkas traveling to different places across the country gather). When you reach Dowra, you will be approached by a person asking you where you want to travel to (or you just ask someone). Tell them that you want to travel to Batroun, and they will direct you to a minivan going in that direction.

An important thing to note here is that there is nothing such as a bus station (or the same kind of large roundabout where minivans gather, for that matter) in Batroun, and the minivan doesn’t even enter the town. By getting the minivan from Beirut, you will get dropped off at the main road. No worries, tho, as there is a bridge that you can use to easily cross to the other side of the road. From here, you can either take another taxi or just walk to your accommodation.

As for the price, I don’t remember exactly how much was it, but it was not more than 3-4 USD.

Day 9: Visit Tripoli or Byblos

Depending on how you decide to spend your time in Batroun, you can fit both a day trip to Tripoli and Byblos. I was very interested in visiting Tripoli, but in the end, we ended up not going as we were enjoying Batroun a lot. In the end, before returning to Beirut to fly back home, we spend a night in the town of Byblos.

Byblos is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. There are numerous activities and attractions to explore in this small town, reflecting the town’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning coastal setting. Here are some highlights not to miss when visiting Byblos:

  • Explore the old souks
  • Visit Saint John-Marc Cathedral
  • Climb to the top of the Byblos Citadel
  • Go to the Byblos harbor and home some fresh seafood
  • Relax by the beach
  • Shop for souvenirs
  • Have dinner at Feniqia
  • Museums – you can visit the Fossil or Wax museum

the best attractions of byblos, lebanon

a travel guide to visiting byblos, lebanon

As for Tripoli, it is the second-largest city in Lebanon. It is also situated on the Mediterranean coast and serves as a major port, a commercial and industrial center, and a popular beach destination. Tripoli is famous for the manufacture of soap and cotton goods. The city’s must-visit attractions include the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, the Great Mosque, the city’s many souks, hammams, and the Palm Island Nature Reserve.

How to Travel from Batroun to Tripoli and Byblos and Then Back to Beirut

To travel between these places in any direction, you need to go to that same road where you were dropped off, coming from Beirut to Batroun, and take another minivan. It is very easy. To catch the passing minivan, you just need to wave at it, and it will stop to pick you up.

*I also just want to mention that these minivans don’t have much space for luggage, so keep that in mind. I would offer to pay extra for a second seat if necessary and if your luggage doesn’t fit in their small trunks.

Day 10: Fly Home

On your final day in Lebanon, wave goodbye to the country and catch your flight back home (or your next destination). Reflect on the past 10 days you spent in Lebanon and the experiences you had. Did you like it? Would you go back?

 

Lebanon FAQ

What Language Do They Speak in Lebanon?

The official language of Lebanon is Arabic. Additionally, French is also commonly spoken, and English too, especially in tourist areas and among younger generations.

Is It Safe to Visit Lebanon?

The safety situation in Lebanon can vary depending on the region and current political developments. While Lebanon has faced challenges such as political instability and occasional security incidents in the past, many areas, including popular tourist destinations like Beirut, Batroun, and Byblos, are generally safe for visitors.

lebanon safety tips

When Is the Best Time to Visit Lebanon?

Lebanon is a great destination year-round. Spring and Autumn months are the best times to visit Lebanon if you want to spend more time exploring the outdoors because of the temperatures. However, winter in Lebanon is beautiful, too, and you can also ski and snowboard there. So, the best time really depends on what you are looking to see and do while visiting Lebanon.

best ti to visit lebanon

How Long Do You Need to Visit Lebanon?

While it’s possible to experience the highlights of the country in a week, ideally, you would want to spend around 10 days in Lebanon (and more) to fully immerse yourself in the country’s culture, history, and natural attractions.

How to Get Along Money-Wise Amidst the Economic Crisis?

As a traveler visiting Lebanon, it’s crucial to understand how money work in the country nowadays. After the crises began, the local currency was devaluated by 90%. At that time, 1 USD equaled 1,500 LBP. Now, at the time of writing (it was the same when I visited), 1 USD equals 89,700 LBP. And here, it gets interesting and also somehow confusing. Shortly after the crisis began, the Central Bank of Lebanon shifted its long-standing official exchange rate from 1,507.5 LBP to 15,000 LBP against the dollar, and that is still the official rate today. To survive and to get better value for their money, local people and businesses operate exclusively on the black market rate.

So, what you need to know is that using official banking channels, such as withdrawing money from ATMs or making card payments, can result in unfavorable exchange rates, often almost six times higher than those offered on the black market. To deal with it, exchanging currency on the black market is a common practice and can be done easily and conveniently throughout the country. You can even pay in dollars (in some places, prices are also displayed in dollars), and change is often provided in a mix of LBP and USD, which isn’t a problem as you can use both currencies to pay for everything.

getting money in lebanon in 2024

While exchanging money on the black market may seem like a bad idea, it has become a way of living. And for you, it is the only way to visit Lebanon now if you don’t want to pay ridiculous prices. To get an idea of what the difference is, here are a few examples:

  • Coffee costs 134,000 LBP, which is approximately 9 USD at the official rate and 1.50 USD at the black market rate.
  • A ride from Beirut to Batroun costs 200,000, which is approximately 14 USD at the official rate and 3 USD at the black market rate.
  • A dinner for two costs 2,300,000, which is 153 USD at the official rate and 25 USD at the black market rate.

To stay updated with the current rate at the time of your visit, you can use this website, Lebanon market rates today.

And remember: DON’T EXCHANGE MONEY AT HOME. KEEP AN EYE ON THE LEBANON MARKET RATES DAILY. EXCHANGE MONEY ON THE BLACK MARKET. DON’T WITHDRAW MONEY FROM THE ATMS. DON’T PAY BY CARD.

I hope that this article gave you a good overview of how to spend 10 days in Lebanon. Again, this 10-day Lebanon itinerary is for those who prefer slow travel. Instead of rushing between places, we prefer to spend more time in each place – depending on what our time allows. If you have any additional questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below, and don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Thank you for reading,

Bilyana

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