Lebanon travel advice
Latest updates: Removal of COVID-19 information
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Lebanon - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Lebanon due to an unpredictable security situation and the risk of terrorist attack.
Southern suburbs of Beirut - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the southern suburbs of Beirut, due to the presence of armed groups and the risk of violence from organized crime, kidnappings and threat of terrorist attacks. This includes the following areas:
Tariq el Jdideh and Bir Hasan - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the neighbourhoods of Tariq el Jdideh and Bir Hasan in the southern suburbs of Beirut, due to the unpredictable security situation.
North Lebanon - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the following parts of North Lebanon, due to an unpredictable security situation:
- North Governorate, including:
- Akkar District
- Miniyeh-Danniyeh District
- from Tripoli to Miryata, the area north of the Tripoli-Danniyeh Road, up to the limits of the Miniyeh-Danniyeh District
- the cities of Miryata, Majdalaiya, Zghorta, Rachiine and Achach
In Tripoli, the area west of Bechara El Khoury and Abdul Latif El Bissaf is excluded from this advisory only when accessed from the main highway coming from the south.
Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the neighbourhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen in Tripoli due to the presence of armed groups and the high risk of sporadic violence.
Border region with Syria - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria, due to landmines, unexploded ordnance and ongoing armed conflict.
North Eastern Bekaa Valley - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the North Eastern Bekaa Valley, due to the presence of armed groups and the high risk of sporadic violence. This area encompasses:
Rayak, Brital and Baalbek - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to Rayak, Brital and Baalbek (with the exception of the historic site of the Baalbek temples) due to the unpredictable security situation.
Palestinian refugee camps - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to Palestinian refugee camps and surrounding areas, due to the high risk of sporadic violence.
South of the Litani river - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to south of the Litani River, near the border with Israel, due to military activity. Historical and tourist sites in the city of Tyre and the main coastal highway from the Litani River to Tyre are excluded from this advisory.
Safety and security
The security situation is deteriorating in Lebanon. The country is facing a major economic crisis, resulting in severe shortages of basic necessities including medicines and fuel. Tensions and altercations between individuals waiting at gas stations and pharmacies have occurred outside Beirut.
The economic instability has also affected the delivery of public services, including healthcare.
Crime rate is on the rise. Decreasing resources within security forces is affecting law enforcement.
Pre-existing sectarian tensions, coupled with the spillover of the conflict in Syria, are also playing a destabilizing role in the country.
Southern Suburbs of Beirut
Armed groups are present in large parts of Beirut’s southern suburbs. These neighbourhoods are targets for organized crime and terrorist attacks causing deaths and injuries. Tactics used by terrorists include car bombing, suicide bombing and rocket fire. There is also a risk of kidnapping and you could be caught in violent clashes between armed groups.
While Lebanese security forces have conducted operations in northern Lebanon to improve the security situation, some parts of the region remain unstable. Some of these areas have experienced inter-communal violence that can spread to outlying areas. Heavy weapons fire (machine guns, grenades and rocket-propelled grenades), sniper activity and terrorist incidents have occurred.
Extremist groups have sought refuge in northern Lebanon, including throughout Akkar District.
Border region with Syria
The security situation in regions bordering Syria has deteriorated as a result of the ongoing conflict. Armed groups as well as the Lebanese and Syrian military have carried out operations resulting in casualties. Tensions between armed groups have also increased in border areas, resulting in violent clashes and kidnappings.
The border is not always clearly marked.
North Eastern Bekaa Valley
The security situation in the North Eastern Bekaa Valley is volatile and there is an ongoing risk of sporadic violence, organized crime, and kidnapping.
Palestinian refugee camps
The security situation in Palestinian refugee camps and surrounding areas remains tense and unpredictable. Violence is common in some camps—particularly Ain el Helweh, near Saida, and Beddawi, near Tripoli.
Refugee camps are often located close to urban centres and are not always visibly demarcated. Exercise caution and remain aware of your whereabouts at all times in order to avoid unknowingly entering a camp. Palestinian authorities control the security in most camps and may delay or refuse to grant Canadian officials access to Canadian in these areas.
Areas South of Litani River
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) maintains additional peacekeepers south of the Litani River near the border with Israel due to the security situation. This region remains highly militarized and volatile. Rocket launches and border incidents resulting in casualties occasionally occur, provoking retaliatory attacks in this region and elsewhere in Lebanon.
Forces other than the Lebanese authorities exert significant control over parts of this region. Access restrictions may delay or prevent Canadian officials from providing assistance to citizens in these areas.
The international border between Lebanon and Israel is not entirely defined. UNIFIL enforces the Blue Line, which separates the two countries. Areas adjacent to the Blue Line are often heavily mined. The areas of Ghajar, Kfar Shouba Hills and Shebaa Farms are inaccessible from Lebanon. The border with Israel is closed.
If you are travelling to the city of Tyre, use only the main coastal highway. Travel permits from Lebanese authorities and/or UNIFIL may be required to enter areas south of the Litani River that border Israel.
There’s a threat of terrorism. Attacks can occur at any time and any place in Lebanon.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, military installations and schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Local authorities are on a high state of alert and carry out anti-terrorism operations across the country to prevent attacks. The potential for attacks and a rapid deterioration of the security situation remains across the country, including in Beirut.
There is a significant presence of terrorist groups in several areas of southern Lebanon, including in the southern suburbs of Beirut and the northern Bekaa Valley. Armed actors other than Lebanese authorities exert a large amount of control in some areas, and they may delay or prevent Canadian officials from assisting Canadians in the region.
Politically-motivated attacks also remain likely. A number of such attacks have taken place in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during sporting events, religious holidays and other public celebrations. Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Lebanon is experiencing chronic fuel shortages. You may have some difficulties securing fuel.
There are frequent, prolonged and unpredictable closures of fuel stations. Long lineups have formed at gas stations, creating road blockades which have led to several accidents. Arguments and violent altercations, sometimes involving use of weapons have also occurred. Decrease in fuel quality has also been reported causing damages to vehicles.
Fuel and diesel shortages are also impacting other sectors such as:
- telecommunication, including internet
- water and waste collection
- shops, cafes and restaurants
The difficulty to access fuel and diesel has led to frequent unplanned closures of power generators and interruptions in the delivery of basic commodities such as water, flour, and gas.
Medicine and medical supplies
There are shortages of medicine and medical supplies. When available, these may be very costly. Such shortages have also significantly affected the health care sector, with many private hospitals closing or reducing their services.
Ensure that your emergency kit is complete.
Exchange rates and foreign currency
In recent months, the value of the Lebanese Pound has depreciated quickly against the US Dollar. As a result, there is a high inflation on prices of most goods and services. The economic situation could affect your ability to pay for goods and services.
There is also a severe shortage of foreign currency. It is very difficult to access US Dollars locally. Change in foreign currency may also not be available. While ATMs are generally stocked with Lebanese Pounds, there may be limits on daily withdrawals imposed by certain banks.
Many stores and companies no longer accept credit/debit cards.
- Plan accordingly
- Ensure that you have access to adequate cash
- Avoid carrying large sums of cash on yourself and keep foreign currency out of sight
Power outages and rationing of electricity are common in many parts of the country, including in Beirut. They may affect critical infrastructure, such as hospitals. They could also affect other essential services such as food production and distribution.
Other services are often disrupted during such events, including:
- public water supply
- communications, mainly cellular telephone and Internet
The deterioration of the security environment and the political uncertainty may lead to an increase in civil unrest at any time. Planned and spontaneous demonstrations related to the domestic and regional situations regularly occur in Lebanon, particularly in Beirut.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
The road to Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport is subject to sporadic closures, due to various factors including clashes between various local groups. Access to the airport may be unavailable for extended periods when the security situation deteriorates.
- Avoid all areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Allow extra time to get to and from the airport
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Kidnappings have occurred in the border areas with Syria, in the Bekaa Valley and could happen in other parts of Lebanon. In the southern suburbs of Beirut, foreigners and residents have been held against their will. Although most incidents of kidnapping typically involve Lebanese residents, foreigners have also been targeted. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times.
Landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to pose a threat in some parts of the country, including south of the Litani River and near the northeastern border region.
- Look for posted landmine warnings
- Stay on paved roads
- Avoid walking or hiking in these areas.
Petty crime has significantly increased since 2020. Purse snatching, pick pocketing, car thefts, and residential break-ins, occur regularly.
There are reports of thefts at Beirut’s international airport. Criminals have stolen goods from luggage, looking especially for medications.
- Be vigilant in all crowded locations
- Don’t carry large sums of money
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
Violent crime and sexual assault have also increased. Shooting incidents, especially at gas stations, have led to injuries and deaths of civilians.
There is a highly visible security presence throughout the country.
- Exercise vigilance and appropriate safety precautions
- Carry personal documentation with you and follow the instructions of Lebanese security authorities
Congestion and aggressive driving are serious problems throughout the country. Drivers often don’t respect the rules of the road, and traffic laws are not consistently enforced. Be cautious when crossing streets, as drivers don’t always give pedestrians and cyclists the right of way.
Road accidents and serious road rage incidents causing injury or death are common in Lebanon.
Road lighting is sporadic and unreliable in urban areas and virtually non-existent in rural areas. At night, many drivers use their high beams exclusively, often creating a serious hazard due to blinding glare. Increased power cuts have led to interruptions of traffic lights in the city centre, including at major intersections.
Avoid public transportation, which is crowded, unsafe and unreliable.
Foreigners using shared transportation have been victims of armed robbery, either by the driver or other passengers. Most major hotel chains will have an agreement with a reputable taxi company and can arrange the taxi for you.
- Don’t use shared or “service” taxis.
- Always pre-arrange transportation with a safe and reliable taxi company.
- Don’t hail taxis off the street and avoid using unmarked taxi services.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Lebanese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Lebanon.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: required
Student visa: required
Work visa: required
Business visa: required
As a Canadian citizen, you must obtain a visa to visit Lebanon. Ensure you apply for the proper type of visa for the specific purpose of your trip. Visas are available at Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad or at any port of entry into Lebanon.
Make sure your visa is valid for the duration of your stay. An expired entry visa must be extended by Lebanese authorities or you will not be allowed to leave the country.
Your passport must show a Lebanese entry stamp in order to exit the country. If you acquire a new passport while in Lebanon, you must present your old passport containing proof of entry to authorities upon departure.
When local courts issue travel bans, the authorities at points of exit are instantly informed and won’t allow you to exit Lebanon, regardless of your nationality.
Travel to or from Israel is illegal in Lebanon. You may be refused entry into Lebanon if your passport bears an Israeli visa, an Israeli border stamp, or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel, as such a stamp could indicate you visited Israel prior to visiting Lebanon.
South of the Litani River
Travel permits from Lebanese authorities and/or UNIFIL may be required to enter areas south of the Litani River bordering Israel.
Children and travel
Children travelling with only one parent may be required to provide an authorization letter from the other parent to exit Lebanon.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
Cases of locally-acquired Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been reported in this country.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Some people infected with MERS-CoV experience no symptoms, while others may experience mild flu-like or more severe pneumonia-like symptoms. About one-third of reported cases have resulted in death.
Eat and drink safely, and avoid close contact with animals, especially camels. If you must visit a farm or market, make sure you practise good hygiene and wash your hands before and after contact with animals.
There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect against MERS.
Medical services and facilities
The medical services and supplies in Lebanon are being affected by the economic crisis and the fuel shortages. As such :
- air conditioning and lighting may be turned off
- non-essential medical treatment may be cancelled
- some sections of hospitals may have reduced capacity or be closed
- hospitals may refuse to admit patients due to the lack of space or supplies
Medical care facilities could be difficult to access and services can be expensive. Private facilities may not have access to basic resources and may be forced to close or reduce their services, increasing the pressures on the public health system.
Payment in advance is almost always required in private health care facilities.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
It is prohibited to photograph or videotape government buildings or military personnel, equipment and installations.
Avoid photographing individuals without their permission.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Individuals charged with drug offences can expect to remain in jail and to be denied bail throughout the judicial process. This process often takes years.
Dress and behaviour
The dress code in Lebanon is more relaxed than most Middle Eastern countries.
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
Ensure your travel insurance is valid for driving in Lebanon.
You must carry an international driving permit.
In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when :
Lebanon’s law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face arrest or detention.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Lebanon.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Lebanon.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Lebanon, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
Canadians of Lebanese descent carrying Lebanese identification documents will be treated as Lebanese nationals by local authorities. Dual Canadian-Iraqis, Palestinians and Syrians may face additional questioning.
Family law matters in Lebanon, including child custody and divorce-related decisions, are settled according to local religious laws.
Canadian custody documents, including Canadian court orders pertaining to custody, may not be automatically recognized or enforceable in Lebanon.
Relatives frequently place travel bans on Canadians. If you are involved in custody or other family disputes, consult a lawyer for advice on how religious law in Lebanon may affect your family situation.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Lebanon.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Lebanon by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Lebanon to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
The currency is the Lebanese pound (LBP).
There is also a severe shortage of foreign currency. It is very difficult to access US Dollars locally. Change in foreign currency may not be available. While ATMs are generally stocked with Lebanese Pounds, there may be limits on daily withdrawals imposed by certain banks.
Many stores and companies no longer accept credit/debit cards.
Traveller’s cheques are not accepted and will not be changed by local financial institutions.
Natural disasters and climate
Lebanon is located in a seismic zone. There have been several minor earthquakes in recent years.
In the winter months, mountain roads, including the main Beirut–Damascus highway, may be temporarily blocked or become impassable due to heavy snowfall. Flash floods can occur, rendering roads temporarily dangerous or impracticable.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 112
- medical assistance: 140
- firefighters: 175
Beirut - Embassy of Canada
SyriaAppointment Book your appointment online
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Beirut and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
- Date modified: