Beirut Stories and Tips

Transportation and Renting a Car

Getting TO/AROUND: Don't worry, you CAN drive in Lebanon. Just expect the unexpected, and remain aware of everyone around you. Don't be surprised to find a car driving the wrong way down a oneway street, or someone to come to a complete stop, for no apparent reason, on the highway—perhaps even someone reversing 500m to an exit long since passed. Defense is key.I do recommend renting a car in Lebanon—I personally HATE (and yes hate is a strong word) but I hate Taxi drivers in Lebanon. They are the worst taxis of any city I have ever been to. They are obnoxious and honk at you when you are walking, they NEVER take you directly to where you want to go—usually opting for an out of the way tourist spot in the interim. Twice, two different drivers, wanted marriage before dropping me at my destination... lol... but I am serious. ("I am married" is a very handy phrase for women to learn in Arabic!!!) Most major car renters are there like Hertz and Avis, and car rentals are inexpensive (intermediate $40 a day, INCLUDING insurance!). One odd thing, they do have you pay the insurance deductable upfront (on a credit card $200-$500 depending on the insurance you buy) when you rent the car, like they are expecting an accident. However it is credited back upon return of the car. Also another unusual thing, when dropping the car at the airport, you go directly to departures (as if you were dropping someone off) call the rental car number (I used Avis) and someone ran out and took the car from the curb. It was very nice!!! No aiport rental car parking lots to find, no rental car shuttle buses to find and wait on!Website: www.avis.com

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