Beirut Airport to City Centre – 5 Best ways!

Beirut is Lebanon’s capital and largest city. The city has a long and rich history, and is known for its Mediterranean atmosphere and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Beirut is also home to the country’s only international airport. To help you get from the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport to the city centre, we have put together a list of the 5 best ways to get from the Airport to the centre of Beirut!

Beirut airport to centre
Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash

When leaving Beirut Airport you will soon be asked whether or not you need a taxi. The worst thing you can do is to follow the taxi driver and hurry into the cab. A lot of the taxis here sadly do not use meters and they are often ready to overcharge you by charging you double.

If you want to head to Beirut city centre from Beirut Airport, it is a good idea to first negotiate the fare. A fair fare would be about $20 as this is approximately what you would pay on a metered taxi.

If you do not feel like negotiating your way from Beirut International Airport to the centre of the city, you can also choose to take one of the airport taxis. The airport taxis at Rafic Hariri are all metered. You can recognise these taxis by the icon of a plane on their side. As mentioned before, the fare is likely to cost about $20 depending on where you are heading.

There is another taxi called ”service” where you get dropped off in the vicinity of where you want to be and where you need to share the taxi with others. Although a Service is very handy when heading to one of Beirut’s rooftop bars or one of the many great Beirut restaurants, it is not advised to take a Service from the airport. 

Beirut to City Centre by Uber

Another way to get from the Beirut International Airport to the centre of Beirut is by Uber. You can easily buy a sim card in the airport to use during your time in Beirut or connect to the internet in the airport to book an Uber. Uber is a great cheap alternative to booking a taxi. An Uber to the centre of the city will cost you about $10 to $14 depending on where you are heading.

Rafic Hariri International Airport to the centre by booked Transfer

If you are arriving at Beirut International Airport late or with a lot of luggage, I would recommend prebooking a transfer. An Airport transfer is about $9 to $10 and you won’t have the hassle of arranging a taxi or a simcard. You can book your transfer on the site of Viator and all you need to do is enter your flight number and the hotel or address of the Airbnb/accommodation where you will be staying. Someone will then be waiting for you at the airport with a plaque. You can also easily book a transfer back from the city to the airport when you are leaving.

Beirut Airport to City Centre by rental car

Beirut center to airport
Photo by Jo Kassis

If you are planning on seeing a lot of the country, I would recommend thinking about renting a car. There are a few car rental companies at the Rafic Hariri International Airport. If you are looking for a budget car rental at the Beirut Airport you can always do some research online. Car rental websites such as rentalcar.com will show you the cheapest cars at the budget car rentals at Beirut International Airport.

The price for renting a car at Beirut Airport will strongly depend on how long you need the car for. Renting a car for one day will set you back about $90 which is pretty steep. Renting a car for 14 days, however, will only cost $347, which is a lot more palatable and a very good deal if you are looking to head out into the countryside, the ski resorts, or explore some other cities and villages in the area.

Rafic Hariri International Airport to City Centre by hotel transfer

Another way you can head to Beirut city centre from the Rafic Hariri International Airport is through hotel transfer. Some of the hotels in Beirut like Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort Beirut, Radisson Blu Hotel, Beirut Verdun, and O Monot Boutique Hotel Beirut.

The handy thing about a hotel transfer is that they obviously know where your hotel is, but then again, a hotel transfer can be a lot more expensive than when you would arrange your own transfer from Beirut airport to the city centre. I have written an article on the best hotels in Beirut, which you can find here. 

Booking.com

How far is Beirut Airport from Beirut city centre?

Beirut Airport is located some 10 Km from the tourist district of Hamra, and 12km from the upper-class district of Mar Mikael. Do keep in mind that traffic in Beirut can be bad, especially since there are checkpoints along the way from Beirut International Airport. These checkpoints are nothing to be afraid about. We always found the soldiers to be very pleasant and incredibly nice and helpful.

How long is it from Beirut Airport to Beirut city centre?

Driving from Beirut Airport to the city centre of Beirut will take you about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the conditions of the road. During rush hour this can be up to 40 minutes.

Is there public transport from Beirut Airport to Beirut City Centre?

Want to take the bus from Beirut Airport to Beirut City centre? You can – but it might be quite stressful. The bus company in Beirut is called LCC. They have a blue route (route 5) that runs from Choueifat to Ain Mreisse near Hamra. Another line, the light green line runs from the Airport to Dora.

Once you are at the end of the bus route or at your destination, you will probably need to use a local taxi or Uber anyway, so trust me when I say that saving a few dollars is probably not going to be worth the hassle.

You can also take a little minivan but I would advise against it unless you are a local. You will need to know exactly where these minibuses are going and where they leave from to use them. There will often be a young man on the minibus that tries to attract more customers, who yells out stops and sells tickets. It is a great experience but maybe not so if you are coming from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport with a ton of luggage.

These are great options when going to see the sights or heading to one of the many great museums, but I would not recommend doing this when coming from the airport. 

Can you go from Beirut Airport to Byblos?

Yes you can go from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport to Byblos (Jbeil). The ancient city of Byblos lies some 45km from the airport, and on average it will take you 40 to 50 minutes to get from the airport to Byblos. When we visited Beirut, we were unable to take an Uber from Jbeil (Byblos) to Beirut. We could only take the local bus. I would recommend booking a transfer online, getting a rental car or arranging a hotel transfer. Some of the hotels in Byblos offering hotel transfers are: L’Hotel De Mon Pere, Aleph Boutique Hotel and Monoberge Hotel.

What is the airport code for Beirut Airport?

The airport code for Beirut Airport is BEY. The ICAO code is OLBA, and the official name of Beirut Airport is Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport.

How many terminals does Beirut Airport have?

Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport  currently has one terminal which is 4 stories. The terminal has an East Wing and a West Wing with 23 departure gates in total.

What airlines fly into Beirut Airport?

Some of the most popular airlines flying to Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport are:

  • Air France

  • Emirates

  • LOT

  • Royal Jordanian

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Qatar Airlines

  • Lufthansa

  • Middle East Airlines

  • Royal Air Maroc

  • Flydubai

  • Gulf Air

  • Tunisair

  • ITA Airways

What is the local Lebanese Airline?

The local Lebanese Airline is called Middle East Airlines. My husband and I flew to Lebanon on Middle East Airlines and found it a very pleasant flight. A lot more pleasant than flying with Pegasus, Flydubai, or British Airways Eurotraveler.

Middle East Airlines has nice food and comfortable seats. The Middle East Airlines flight we took had in-flight entertainment. We flew to Lebanon with Middle East Airlines from Heathrow. 

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