A guide to solo female travel in Lebanon
I started travelling solo five years ago and I can´t stop it.
When I was thinking of quitting my job and heading to unknown Asia, I also knew that I was going to do it alone.
I have become a very independent and confident woman thanks to my travels.
I constantly meet hundreds of women on the road and even in the most remote countries.
We want to demonstrate that we are not scared and also that we are as capable as men of carrying our bags around the world.
This is why I recommend solo traveling to you and every single woman reading this article, we need more crazy women on the road.
Lebanon is the ideal place to travel by yourself if you want an adventure in the Middle East.
My experience has been incredible and I haven’t had a single problem.
However, if you have never travelled without company, I would prefer to recommend a short trip to a country where it might be easier to travel, just to see how you feel.
Lebanon is a liberal country but it is located in one of the tensest regions of the world.
I don’t really want you to get scared when you see the first United Nations tank as you get close to the Israeli border for a coffee next to the beach.
It doesn’t matter if you go alone or with a group, always check the current situation of the country you are visiting.
The situation in Lebanon can change quite easily and it is currently suffering an important social revolution.
This is going to affect your trip one way or the other if you are travelling in the following months.
I visited Lebanon at a very tense time, when protests were happening quite often and the economy was about to collapse. It didn’t result in a bad experience, though.
Despite the protests, it was very interesting to learn about Lebanon during this crisis.
In this article I want to tell you my experience and offer you tips on how to travel to Lebanon as a woman.
Why I decided to travel solo in Lebanon as a woman
I had been travelling for a few months in some of the most conservative countries.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had filled my limit of rules to obey and I needed some kind of freedom.
I was in desperate need of feeling relaxed when talking to others, showing my arms and wearing jeans again. I had in my mind that Beirut was the party capital of the Middle East, something I definitely agree with now. I also knew that I was going to eat really well.
Hummus, olive oil and good wine – what else do you need?
So yeah, I wanted good food and partying.
I had the necessary pretext to land in this country and learn more about this controversial region of the world.
I had never had the impression that Lebanon was a dangerous place for women and other female travellers I had met when travelling, never shared with me a negative comment about this country.
You will love Lebanon, Leti.
So, I arrived without any plans. It ended up becoming a three-week stay with a non-stop itinerary.
Tips on visiting Lebanon as a solo female traveler
How it is recommended for women to dress when travelling solo in Lebanon
It is so incredible to see how hijabs blend with high-heel shoes in Beirut.
I was really impressed with the tolerance they show towards other religions.
Sometimes in other countries, I feel like there is a massive lack of respect, but it didn’t cross my mind in Lebanon.
You can dress however you want, but always within certain limits.
The Muslim population is quite large so you should dress accordingly, at least.
You don´t need to show your knees to travel around, do you get it?
I travelled over a month and I never had problems, not even weird looks.
Jeans, trekking boots and there you go.
If you are in Beirut, do whatever you want with your clothes. No one is going to disturb you.
Solo women in Lebanon and their local interactions
I behaved the same way I do in my own country.
I felt as free as I do back home.
Lebanese people weren’t surprised at all when walking past me on the streets.
On a different note, they were very surprised that my previous visit had been to Saudi Arabia. Too conservative for them.
I walked through bazaars, got lost in the mountains and had food in many restaurants.
No problems at all. Only people approaching me in a gentle way.
It didn’t matter to them seeing me alone, I wish this happened in every country.
Common sense is always important, as well as intuition, this applies to Lebanon as well as Germany.
It is really bad, but there are still a lot of people in the world who want to take advantage of a solo female traveller.
Never doubt when facing someone who is being disrespectful to you, stay away or ask for help.
Privileges and limits of being a woman travelling solo in Lebanon
Many people think we suffer a lot of disadvantages when traveling solo, and I only have one thing to say: NO WAY.
Local people look after us even more because they consider we are weak – let’s prove we aren´t – and they feed, help and support us even more than they do with men.
Limits in this country for a woman: inexistent.
There are no problems with public transport, restaurants or supermarkets.
It is a liberal country and it is used to cultural and religious mix.
How could they disrespect a woman travelling alone?
Transport and accommodation tips
Public transport, hitchhiking, renting a car or any other way you consider.
There are only some areas of the country you shouldn’t visit, Joan mentions them here, but apart from that, you can relax.
You can always book a nice hotel but I recommend Couchsurfing 100%
I recommend Couchsurfing everywhere but specially in Beirut, where the traveller’s community is very active and alive.
There are plenty of events and day trips from the city, if you want to meet people.
I personally travelled around most of the country thanks to my hosts.
There is nothing better than exploring Lebanon with a local – do it just for the good falafel -.
I stayed with three different people in Beirut and it was such a good experience.
From a nightclub manager to a woman who welcomes rich Saudi men who come to Lebanon to enjoy the freedom they miss in their country.
They were respectful and very keen on showing me their country, I was lucky with my hosts, you won’t feel insecure in Beirut.
Checking the references of your potential host is important. Check what other female travellers said and that, will hopefully guarantee a good experience for you too.
I also check the nationalities of the female travellers who leave comments because I think that, maybe a girl from Iran has a different perception than a girl from Italy.
It is my opinion.
Nightlife and flirting in Lebanon
If you enjoy the nightlife or if you want a Lebanese romance, remember that Tinder reaches even the most conservative country in the world.
It is a very mixed country in terms of people: you don’t know if you are dating the most liberal or conservative person. Be careful!
Go out until late and enjoy Beirut until sunrise, it is part of the beauty of the city.
If you stay out late, trust Uber or other apps.
Local taxis aren’t that reliable, they always want some extra money.
When I travel, I always try to find a good local contact.
Someone I trust in case I need to contact him/her if something goes wrong.
Sometimes you can’t communicate in the local language or you don’t understand what is going on around you.
Do I recommend Lebanon to other female travellers?
If you are not sure about going by yourself, Lebanese people are marvellous and very sociable.
You will feel comfortable and you can always change plans in the country if something is not suitable enough for you. I am pretty sure you will find a way to make the most of your trip.
It is important to say that we all have different experiences; I can tell you amazing adventures when travelling solo but maybe there are other women who weren’t so lucky.
We are all different, but I don’t think you will hear about many bad experiences in Lebanon.
If you don’t know where to start, Beirut is your place. Here you can read the travel guide.
It will provide you with the confidence you need to get lost in the rest of the country.
You can also make Beirut the base from which you visit the rest of the country. Here you can read a great travel guide.
If you find a place where you feel comfortable, simply stay there.
It is true that I did it because I wanted to rest after a few months travelling and it worked really well for me.
Conclusion? Is it safe to travel to Lebanon as a solo female traveler?
In terms of terrorism, political issues, sensitive areas and more, I recommend you read this detailed analysis from Against the Compass.
Lebanon is safe.
You should never lose a minimal level of alert, but it is easy to let go of it here.
It is a very interesting country with lots to offer, don’t miss it just because you are afraid of going alone. You will miss the beautiful seaside walk of Beirut and the beauty of its people.
I think you can travel the world and survive, come back home and something bad could happen. Enjoy, fly far away.
In case you are taking a long trip in the Middle East, I am sure you will enjoy having your freedom back in Lebanon. Let’s be honest here, it is not easy to travel in this region as a woman.
Lebanon is a great country for us.
More content about Lebanon
Beirut travel guide
Is Lebanon safe?
Also, don’t miss my Syria guide!
For more content about the region, don’t forget to read all my travel guides to the Middle East