This guide will run you through all your options to get to your final destination in Lebanon from Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut which is Lebanon’s only civilian airport. Before jumping over to the options please read the following carefully.
Beware: The Airport Scam
Lining the street outside Beirut airport are dozens of taxis along with various taxi brokers trying to grab your attention. It’s important to note that these taxis and their promoters are all affiliated with one group that prevents normal taxis to enter the road immediately outside the airport where you as a traveller might be naturally inclined to choose a ride from.
What’s sad is that when you read through travel forums or ask previous travellers it will become evident that these taxis have developed a notoriety for screwing over customers by quoting travellers unfair prices or asking for more money than originally agreed to after the passenger is dropped off under some elaborate pretexts. This results in many travellers feeling ripped off for paying 2x to 3x the expected price.
So to avoid disappointment we strongly encourage you to plan ahead by either securing your ride ahead of time or at least educating yourself about the various alternatives. Don’t worry, the rest of the article will present you with your various transportation options including how they work, pricing examples, and last but not least their pros and cons.
No Public Transportation
As a traveller, you might be used to taking a bus, metro, train, or another public transportation method to get into the city from your arrival airport. Unfortunately, these options while usually convenient and affordable, are not currently offered in Beirut.
So unless you know a local willing to pick you up, the only way to get to your hotel, hostel, Airbnb, or accommodation is through one of the commercial initiatives listed below.
Beirut Airport Transfer Options
Now that you’re aware of the airport scam let’s get you up to speed with the more legitimate options to take you to your final destination on arrival.
Option 1: Pre-Booking a Taxi Company
One wayTo give you an idea of the prices we did some research with some of the main taxi companies with an itinerary from the airport to middle of Gemmayzeh neighborhood where many tourists stay.
- Allo Taxi has a ride calculator 30,000 LBP = 20 USD.
- Charlie Taxi
- Taxi Fare Finder’s rate calculator
How it Works
Call a taxi company above before you travel or book a ride on their website and follow their instructions on where to meet them after your arrival.
More affordable than dedicated transfer services.
Issues if your flight is delayed.
Option 2: Uber & Careem
The first mate and his Skipper too will do their very best to make the others comfortable in their tropic island nest. Doin’ it our way.
How It Works
- Make sure you have the right app installed on your phone before your travel to avoid incurring data charges.
- When you get out of customs which can take between 15 minutes from arrival to about 1 hour depending on the season and the time of your arrival, open your app and request your ride with a familiar interface.
- After the ride is booked, follow the instructions on where to wait for your driver which will most likely be in the adjacent airport parking lot.
- Uber charges clients a fixed price of $16.5 / ride to any destination within Beirut using a normal car (Uber X).
- Careem, a Middle Eastern competitor of Uber, charges clients a fixed price of $16.5 / ride to any destination within Beirut
- A process you’re familiar with.
- Drivers are usually very quick to arrive within an average of about 5 minutes.
- No need for local currency if your account has a credit card associated with it with the option to pay the driver with cash if needed.
- Fixed price and no need to bargain with the driver
- Need for internet connectivity on arrival to request a ride.
Note: Lebanon Travel Pass holders get a complimentary airport transfer to any destination in Beirut via Uber.
Option 3: Hotel Pickup Service
Get your hotel to book you a ride with one of their own drivers or a company they work with. According to Booking.com, there are a few hundred hotels, hostels, and other traveller accommodations in Lebanon offering airport shuttle service.
How It Works
- If you haven’t booked a hotel yet, search for ones with airport transfer services. Here’s an example with Booking.com
- If you’ve already booked your hotel, reach out to their team to inquire if they can supply you with a transfer service.
- Supply your hotel your scheduled arrival time and/o your flight number
- Your hotel will give you specific instructions on how to connect with your driver after your arrival.
- When you arrive and depending on your hotel’s instructions, either look for your driver at the arrival hall or in the parking depending.
- L’Hote Libanais, a boutique bed and breakfast operator, charges their guests $25 / airport pickup for up to 3 passengers.
- Get picked up directly by a hotel-approved driver that will more often than not wait for you with a signboard at the arrival hall.
- No problems locating your end-destination which is sometimes a problem in Lebanon due to the absence of a standard address system.
- Only available with certain hotels.
- Usually more expensive than booking a taxi company or a ride-sharing app.
Option 4: Airport Transfer Brokers
Come and knock on our door. We’ve been waiting for you. Where the kisses are hers and hers and his. Three’s company too.
How It Works
- Makin’ your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
- Takin’ a break from all your worries sure would help a lot! Movin’ on up to the east side.
- Suntransfers which is an online platform that connects travellers with airport transfers has a minimum price of $33.5 USD for 3 people to a destination within Beirut.
- We finally got a piece of the pie. Movin’ on up to the east side.
- We finally got a piece of the pie. Movin’ on up to the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie.
Option 5: Car Rental
If you’re planning to drive the
How it Works
Want Airport Transfer & More?
Meet The Lebanon Travel Pass
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What else do you get?
In addition to airport transfer on arrival the Lebanon Tourist Pass also gives you these 5 benefits:
- A local sim card with 500 MB in connectivity
- Free Whatsapp support during the duration of your trip
- Complimentary experiences
- Discounts at top-rated restaurants, bars, gift shops
- A personalized itinerary