Overlooking the city and sea of Beirut

Is Beirut Safe for Tourists? (2024)

Beirut is the capital, chief port, and largest city in Lebanon. Before the mid-1990s, the city was seen as one of the most westernized regions in the Arab Middle East. The city was once the banking center for Arab wealth and soon after became an ever-growing hub for tourism.

Previously, Beirut was a thriving city before being devastated by countless wars, terrorism, and political conflicts. More than 10 years of a Civil War left the area wrecked, ravaged, and under a different kind of governance. Following the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, Beirut became a center for Palestinian Resistance Organizations.

This city has a rich history, diverse culture, gorgeous architecture, and stunning views. However, the lasting effects of conflict in Lebanon are everywhere, stifling the potential for growth, tourism, and peace. In the midst of all this, you might be left wondering: is Beirut safe for tourists? With lots to do on your traveler checklist, let us help you explore how a journey through the Lebanese capital would unfold.

A walkway between beautiful buildings in Beirut

Why Visit Beirut?

Did you know Beirut was once regarded as “the Paris of the Middle East”? This was the popular moniker for the city due to its French-influenced charm and culture following the Second World War.

 Beirut is not the best or safest place to visit at the moment. This is a shame because it has so much history, culture, and adventure that would be perfect for tourists.

The city has a subtropical climate, which means that summers are warm and humid while winters are moderately cool. The warm weather is perfect for exploring the city. You could visit the Sursok Museum (with free admission) to admire the contemporary artworks or partake in fun activities like youth programs or family day tours.

Aftermath of destruction in Beirut

Is Beirut Dangerous?

Beirut is, unfortunately, quite dangerous at present. With a long history of being caught in the middle of various conflicts, the Lebanese city is just not fit for tourists at the moment.

Many governments have warned their citizens against visiting the city due to the uncertainty of safety. The US Travel Advisory placed Lebanon at a Level 4 Warning, advising against traveling to the country altogether. The travel advisory cites terrorism, civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, and kidnapping as possible threats and reasons not to visit Beirut.

While many countries and their bustling cities have crime, it is still a point of concern. Crime in Beirut outside of the political and civil conflict is generally low in most areas, with a crime index score of 46.74.

Dangerous Areas in Beirut

Burj Al Barajneh

Located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Burj Al Barajneh is known for housing thousands of refugees. The region has become increasingly dangerous over the years as the area grows in population and neglect.

Burj Al Barajneh was established when countless Palestinian citizens had to flee their country due to the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. The region has since gained thousands of refugees and displaced families due to various other wars and conflicts.

There are many safety hazards in the area, like overcrowding, unstable infrastructure, crime, poverty, exposed electrical work, and the constant threat of civil unrest or terrorist attacks.

Haret Hreik

Haret Hreik is in the southern region of Beirut. The town houses a population of Shia Muslims and Maronite Christians and also acts as the headquarters of the Shiite and militant group Hezbollah.

The region was once an agricultural center. Following the arrival of countless refugees, Haret Hreik was forced to become a more urbanized area.

The area is presided over by Hezbollah. While the militant organization’s presence provides safety to some residents, it could also be a source of danger for others. There have been attacks such as the bombing of cars and properties, as well as shootings that have injured and killed residents.

A breathtaking aerial view of Beirut's cityscape

Is it Safe to Live in Beirut?

Beirut has the same petty crimes that most, if not all, cities have. Some areas are very safe to visit and live in, while other parts of the city are riddled with crime and unfavorable living conditions.

The biggest threat to life in Beirut at the moment is related to international and domestic terrorism as well as civil unrest. If and when these issues are not a concern, you’ll find that locals are delighted to welcome visitors and share the culture and beauty of this wonderful place.

Lebanon and its capital city have a diverse population of locals, refugees, and expats, many of whom will attest to the beauty and moderate safety of life in Beirut.

Graffiti showcasing street art scene in Beirut

Safe Areas in Beirut

Mar Mikhael

Mar Mikhael is a charming neighborhood in the city of Beirut. This region is famous for its wide variety of stores, restaurants, cafes, and pubs. It is a lively neighborhood with plenty to do.

You can walk the streets of the bustling neighborhood and see all the amazing street art. You could also head over to the Galerie Tanit to see some amazing exhibits showcasing various pieces of contemporary art.

Suppose touring Mar Michael leaves you hungry; no problem. You can head over to a restaurant like Tawlet Mar Mikhael, which is a wonderful culinary establishment serving traditional Lebanese cuisine.

The Corniche and Raouché

If you want to explore a picturesque region with tons of activities, world-class restaurants, and an amazing ocean view, Raouché and the Corniche Boulevard are perfect for you. You could visit the Mineral Museum of Beirut to see one of the temporary exhibits and learn about beautiful crystals and minerals.

 The Corniche boulevard offers a day spent strolling down the Avenue de Paris, making for a relaxing yet exciting activity. The seaside street is a popular attraction for locals and tourists. At any time of the day, you might see people jogging, walking their dogs, or grabbing some snacks and enjoying a tranquil afternoon overlooking the Pigeon Rocks.

Downtown Beirut

Beirut’s Central district is also known as Downtown Beirut. The historical neighborhood is easily accessible from any part of the city, which is great considering all it has to offer.

 One of the best ways to explore Downtown Beirut while learning about its rich and expansive history is to embark on the Beirut Heritage Trail. The walking tour connects various historically significant buildings, spaces, and archeological sites.

 Another landmark you must see is the Place de l’Etoile, especially if you’re a fan of history and architecture. You could see the architecturally wonderful Al-Abed Clock Tower or marvel at the beautiful Neoclassical-style facade of the Saint George Maronite Cathedral.

Vandalized store front in Beirut

Warnings & Dangers in Beirut

When traveling, it is important to remember that most, if not all, destinations come with potential dangers. Beirut is no different. The state of safety in Beirut could change at any moment, and that is why travel to the city is advised against by some countries.

The biggest threat to safety in Beirut is the civil unrest. You need to stay informed on current affairs before and while touring the city. When this is not a threat, it is much safer for people to visit.

It is essential to remain aware of your surroundings and the state of the place you’re visiting to have a safe and worry-free vacation.

Martyr's Monument statue in Beirut

Overall Travel Risk (9/10)

While the obvious threat at present in Beirut concerns terrorism and civil unrest, the state of affairs could change at any moment. There are other travel risks to consider when traveling to Beirut.

We found that the biggest travel risks are cases of terrorism and civil unrest, crime (petty and violent), healthcare-related woes, and weather and natural disasters. These are concerns that plague locals, expats, and tourists. The time at which you visit Beirut could also either increase or decrease the severity of these risks.

There are ways in which you might be able to avoid these risks. It is essential to stay up-to-date with news and government-issued notices, as this could keep you safe during your travels to Beirut.

Terrorism and Civil Unrest

A countless number of terrorist attacks, bombings, and assassinations have been executed in Lebanon over the years. Beirut has suffered its fair share of civil conflict.

Violent outbreaks like the 2006 Lebanon Conflict and the 2021 Beirut Clashes claimed innocent civilian lives, injured many, and left the city in devastating ruin. The conflict between the Lebanese Armed Forces, Hezbollah, Lebanese Forces, and the Amal Movement poses a major threat to the city, civilians, and visitors.

Lebanese citizens have the right to protest, but public demonstrations have been the target of attacks in the past. Travelers are advised to avoid such gatherings.


A serious travel risk for anyone looking to tour Beirut at present would be the compromised Healthcare system. The economic crisis and fuel shortage are greatly affecting the quality and availability of healthcare for locals and tourists.

Visiting a Medical facility in Beirut can be quite expensive in general for a tourist (you would have to visit a private facility). The economic crisis has led medical staff to relocate, leaving hospitals understaffed and unable to assist everyone who may come in.

With power outages, broken air conditioning, and overburdened hospital workers, hospitals are not always able to operate at their best.


The severity of crime in Beirut fluctuates from region to region. Certain areas are much safer than others, but a general awareness is still essential.

Petty crimes are common in densely populated areas and tourist hotspots. The best way to avoid this is to be vigilant and alert at all times. The International Security Forces cited a decrease in crime statistics in 2024, but it remains a valid threat to locals and tourists.

The Organized Crime Index of Lebanon highlights the dangers of organized crime in the country. It lists the illegal trade of arms, counterfeit goods, drugs, and tobacco, as well as human trafficking as some of the biggest crime-related issues.

Weather and Natural Disasters

Weather conditions, specifically in summer, can become so severe that they cause forest fires. In case of fire-related emergencies, you will be evacuated and led to safety by officials. These safety precautions are taken due to the unpredictability of forest fires and the danger that comes with them spreading.

Lebanon has a moderately low seismicity, which makes it vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and tremors. There have been major earthquakes in the history of the country but none in recent years. Beirut and the rest of Lebanon may experience aftershocks from earthquakes in neighboring countries due to their proximity.

Busy streets of Beirut

Tips for Staying Safe in Beirut

Traveling to Beirut at present is not advised. Still, if you’re heading to the Lebanese city anyway, there are a few tips that would be beneficial to learn. These notes are good to remember during any trip and will always be helpful.

  • Avoid large public gatherings: Public gatherings are frequent targets of terrorist attacks. Try to steer clear of such events.
  • Always carry bottled water: Water sources could be compromised, and you should only drink treated water to prevent illness.
  • Don’t take pictures everywhere: Photographing certain places and people is illegal, and doing so could result in extreme punishment.
  • Always have some kind of identification: Always keep your ID or Passport with you so that you may be identified.
  • Stay informed on domestic affairs: Follow and read reputable news sources and stay updated on the state of Beirut before and during traveling.

Raouche Rocks and view of the sea at sunset in Beirut

Is Beirut Safe | Frequently Asked Questions

What Should You Wear While in Beirut?

Beirut does not have a specific dress code, and tourists can wear whatever they want. It would be best to wear what is suited for the weather. Dress warmly in the colder months and wear light, breathable clothing and hats during the hot summers. When visiting religious sites, dress more modestly (longer pants, skirts, and a headscarf when suggested).

What Do You Do if You’re Trapped in Beirut?                

It is important to stay informed and up-to-date on current affairs in Lebanon and to plan your visit around it. If you’re in Beirut when conflict arises, you need to assess your options and plan your route to safety.

You can start by getting as much information on what’s happening, where it’s happening, and how close or far you are to the conflict. You need to contact your embassy and inform them of your situation, and with their help, you’ll have a clearer plan and path back home to safety.

What Vaccinations are Required to Travel to Beirut?

There are specific vaccinations suggested and/or required when traveling to Lebanon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the routine shots required are for Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Shingles, MMR, Influenza, Hepatitis A and B, and a completed round of vaccinations for COVID-19.

Can You Visit the Hospital When Sick?

In case of emergency, you are permitted to visit a hospital in Beirut. You will need to provide medical staff with your identification and information on any pre-existing health-related issues.

Most hospitals are private, so you would have to pay for your doctor’s visit. Having travel insurance will be a major help if you would need medical attention. The insurance will help cover your medical bills and other emergency expenses.

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