The risk to tourists from petty or violent crime is moderate. There is a risk of vehicle crime and bag snatching. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.
There have been incidents of armed robberies and physical attacks against passengers in shared taxis (known locally as service taxis) with passengers being attacked by either the driver or other passengers. Don’t use shared taxis or taxis hailed on the street. Only use taxis from recognised companies. Hotels can advise on firms with cars that are recognised as being safe and well maintained.
There have been clashes in recent years between Lebanese security forces and militants in Tripoli and in areas north of Tripoli, including in Minyeh and Banine resulting in civilians, soldiers and militants being killed and/or injured.
In August 2014 clashes between extremist groups and Lebanese security forces in and around the town of Arsal resulted in the deaths of 18 soldiers and over 50 gunmen. A number of soldiers are still held captive. Armed incursions and shelling across the Syria border have resulted in casualties across several locations including Wadi Khaled, Al Qaa, Hermel, Baalbek and Aarsal in the Bekaa Valley.
Palestinian refugee camps are volatile environments where the Lebanese state has limited capacity to impose law and order. There has been a long pattern of violent clashes in particular in Ein El Helwe camp near Saida in southern Lebanon.
There was an attack on the Israeli military in the Shebaa Farms area on 28 January 2015 with reports of cross-border shelling near the towns of Majidiyeh, Kfarshouba, Abbasiye and Wazzani. A UN peacekeeper was killed and further casualties were reported.
There is a UN peacekeeping presence in the area south of the Litani River. Although de-mining operations have been carried out unexploded ordnance, including cluster bombs, remain in remote areas.
Roads, including the Beirut airport road, are subject to closure without notice.
You must hold an International Driving Permit to drive in Lebanon. This must be certified by the Lebanese authorities on arrival.
Driving standards are poor and the accident rate is high. Traffic lights are not always observed. It may be better to hire a car with a driver if you’re inexperienced. You must wear a seat belt (if fitted). Avoid travelling at night outside towns if possible. Vehicles with diesel engines are banned.
Carry ID with you at all times and be prepared to stop at check points to show your papers. The army have set up temporary check points on major and minor roads.
Celebratory gunfire into the air is common throughout Lebanon, including in response to speeches and messages by political leaders. If you find yourself in an area where there’s celebratory gunfire, take cover in a building and move away from windows.
The security situation can deteriorate quickly. Demonstrations and other forms of civil unrest can occur at short notice and often turn violent. Regional developments can have an impact on the local security situation. Monitor local media and avoid all protests.
Radio One 105.5 FM
Voice of Lebanon 93.3 FM
Radio Orient 88.3- 88.6 FM
Sawt El Ghad 97.1- 96.7 FM
BBC Arabic 93.1 FM