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Thread: Lebanon ATM Fee / Limit

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    Default Lebanon ATM Fee / Limit

    I'm headed to Lebanon next week.

    Does anyone know what the ATM withdrawal limit is?

    Do they locally charge additional fees? I read some complaints that people were charged their home country exchange fees (i.e. 2.5-3.5%) PLUS another few % by the local Lebanese banks.

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    I didn't use and ATMs when I was in Lebanon in April 2016 but I noticed that USD dollars were readily accepted everywhere. Credit cards were also widely accepted - I just used a no fx fee credit card nearly everywhere, and USD cash everywhere else. One thing to be aware of is that you'll need to ask to be charged in Lebanese Pounds for each credit card transaction. The exchange rate quoted by merchants for USD to Lebanese Pounds is nearly fixed/negligible between merchants, but there is a slight advantage to paying in Lebanese Pounds on a credit card. That being said, the difference was so small that I wouldn't exchange USD into Lebanese Pounds - you'll inevitable get some back as change eventually, and Lebanese Pounds are one of those currencies that you need to spend before leaving the country as they can't be exchanged abroad.

    Probably doesn't address your question, but that's my experience with money in Lebanon...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gainsbarre View Post
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    I didn't use and ATMs when I was in Lebanon in April 2016 but I noticed that USD dollars were readily accepted everywhere. Credit cards were also widely accepted - I just used a no fx fee credit card nearly everywhere, and USD cash everywhere else. One thing to be aware of is that you'll need to ask to be charged in Lebanese Pounds for each credit card transaction. The exchange rate quoted by merchants for USD to Lebanese Pounds is nearly fixed/negligible between merchants, but there is a slight advantage to paying in Lebanese Pounds on a credit card. That being said, the difference was so small that I wouldn't exchange USD into Lebanese Pounds - you'll inevitable get some back as change eventually, and Lebanese Pounds are one of those currencies that you need to spend before leaving the country as they can't be exchanged abroad.

    Probably doesn't address your question, but that's my experience with money in Lebanon...
    Thanks. Doesn't answer my questions but helpful to others who may come across this nonetheless. I usually avoid using plastic while traveling given the number of issues I've had with security blocks and attempts at fraudulently using them. My usual approach is to withdraw as much cash as I think I'll need for the trip in one shot to avoid excess bank fees (though they're excessive, regardless) and then exchange USD or EUR to local if I undershoot my estimate.

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    the lebanese pound is pegged to the USD so it's pretty much always 1 USD = 1500 LBP.

    Bring USD if you can, and when you pay they would likely give you change back in LBP.

    Can't help you with ATM fees/limits since we brought enough USD with us that we didn't have to pull any out. But even if you do, if you go to a reputable bank it should be reasonable.

    Sorry i couldn't answer your question but pretty cool to hear you're touring there being a non-lebanese (at least i assume you're not Lebanese )

    One tip - if you're going to Qadisha Valley, DO NOT follow google maps directions. it will take you to some random house lol. instead, follow the signs or ask locals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabad66 View Post
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    Sorry i couldn't answer your question but pretty cool to hear you're touring there being a non-lebanese (at least i assume you're not Lebanese )

    One tip - if you're going to Qadisha Valley, DO NOT follow google maps directions. it will take you to some random house lol. instead, follow the signs or ask locals.
    Yea, I really regret not visiting Syria and Lebanon back before the conflicts started though it seems Lebanon is generally quite safe now. I'm not 100% sure if I'll go to Tripoli though.

    We're getting around by public transport / taxis as I don't really want to deal with the hassle of renting a car given how the driving is.

    For Qadisha, I think our plan will be to hire a taxi from Byblos for the day and check out the Cedars, Qadisha Valley, and Baatara Gorge Waterfall.

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    I wouldn't want to drive in Lebanon either - I've driven all over the USA and Canada and that's perfectly fine for me, but the one other country I've driven in (the UK) was super stressful, mainly because of the narrower roads once you get off the motorways, the RHD (I'm used to making quick glances to my left and longer ones to my right - it's flipped with RHD), plus having to constantly remind myself that the left lane is the slow lane, lol. They drive on the right in Lebanon, but my main concern would be the high number of military checkpoints on the highways that I'd have to stop for if I was driving.

    I stayed in the same hotel in the Hamra district of Beirut for a week, and took day tours with a company. One daytrip went out to the Bekka Valley (Anjar, Baalbek and a winery), another to Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche, another around Beirut, Beiteddine and Deir El Qamar, plus one more to Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa. Lebanon is of course a very compact country (with Beirut right in the centre), so daily day trips from Beirut allowed me to see almost the entire country (minus Tripoli). I couldn't book most of these tours far in advance as they weren't bookable online when I visited Lebanon 3 years ago. The visit to Baalbek (the best preserved Roman ruins I've seen) and the walk through the cedars (never before or since smelt pine as fresh/nice as I did on this trek) were two big highlights for me. I thought that the prices were very reasonable for me at the time - just over $100 CAD per person for a full day trip that included rountrip transportation to/from your hotel and lunch. You'll also meet some more experienced/intrepid travellers in Lebanon, which was a plus for me.

    I'm not at all affiliated with this company but I went with them for all my day tours in Lebanon and really enjoyed it - http://www.nakhal.com/Lebanon/daily-tours
    Last edited by Gainsbarre; 04-05-2019 at 08:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidI View Post
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    We're getting around by public transport / taxis as I don't really want to deal with the hassle of renting a car given how the driving is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gainsbarre View Post
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    I wouldn't want to drive in Lebanon either - I've driven all over the USA and Canada and that's perfectly fine for me, but the one other country I've driven in (the UK) was super stressful, mainly because of the narrower roads once you get off the motorways, the RHD (I'm used to making quick glances to my left and longer ones to my right - it's flipped with RHD), plus having to constantly remind myself that the left lane is the slow lane, lol. They drive on the right in Lebanon, but my main concern would be the high number of military checkpoints on the highways that I'd have to stop for if I was driving.
    LOL, I've driven in Lebanon many times, it's not as bad as you guys make it out to be. Not as easy as driving in NA that's for sure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gainsbarre View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I wouldn't want to drive in Lebanon either - I've driven all over the USA and Canada and that's perfectly fine for me, but the one other country I've driven in (the UK) was super stressful, mainly because of the narrower roads once you get off the motorways, the RHD (I'm used to making quick glances to my left and longer ones to my right - it's flipped with RHD), plus having to constantly remind myself that the left lane is the slow lane, lol. They drive on the right in Lebanon, but my main concern would be the high number of military checkpoints on the highways that I'd have to stop for if I was driving.

    I stayed in the same hotel in the Hamra district of Beirut for a week, and took day tours with a company. One daytrip went out to the Bekka Valley (Anjar, Baalbek and a winery), another to Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche, another around Beirut, Beiteddine and Deir El Qamar, plus one more to Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa. Lebanon is of course a very compact country (with Beirut right in the centre), so daily day trips from Beirut allowed me to see almost the entire country (minus Tripoli). I couldn't book most of these tours far in advance as they weren't bookable online when I visited Lebanon 3 years ago. The visit to Baalbek (the best preserved Roman ruins I've seen) and the walk through the cedars (never before or since smelt pine as fresh/nice as I did on this trek) were two big highlights for me. I thought that the prices were very reasonable for me at the time - just over $100 CAD per person for a full day trip that included rountrip transportation to/from your hotel and lunch. You'll also meet some more experienced/intrepid travellers in Lebanon, which was a plus for me.

    I'm not at all affiliated with this company but I went with them for all my day tours in Lebanon and really enjoyed it - http://www.nakhal.com/Lebanon/daily-tours
    Thanks for the info. I've got 2.5 weeks there so hoping to see a fair bit though most of the adventures will be over the 10 days my girlfriend is with me. So far we've planned to:

    Bus to Byblos and sightsee there for a day or two.

    Hire a taxi from Byblos for a day to hopefully get around Qadisha Valley/Cedars/Baatara Gorge.

    Bus to Deir El-Qamar from Beirut and stay in a really nice old boutique hotel for a night and hopefully hitchike to the Shouf Cedars and back.

    Bus to Baalbek / Bacchus for a day.

    Bus to Tyre/Sidon.

    The rest of the days we'll check out Beirut and I may head up to Tripoli after my girlfriend leaves though if I'm enjoying Beirut I may just hang out around there.

    I don't try to see everything anymore and value the people and cultural experiences above the sights but if I'm missing any "must-sees" I'd love to hear other recommendations.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ZUS View Post
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    LOL, I've driven in Lebanon many times, it's not as bad as you guys make it out to be. Not as easy as driving in NA that's for sure
    The actual driving doesn't concern me. Dealing with the rental car agency, military checkpoints, and the language/cultural differences if we were to have an accident doesn't seem worth the hassle to me. My current drivers license is also from Yemen and looks like a library card (the spelling of "license" on the English side isn't even correct (licencse) so I'm not even sure if they'd rent a car to me to begin with. I tend to enjoy traveling on local buses and such as well since it's cheap AF and it leads to more interaction wtih the locals.

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