Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
The last few years the Lebanese capital's airport has been thoroughly expanded and modernized. It was badly needed following the turbulent years of civil war. The hard work has paid off: Beirut Airport is now considered one of the best airports in the Middle East. The building activities have however not yet ended. In 2011 the construction of a new terminal was started.
IATA airport code: BEY
ICAO airport code: OLBA
There's no train connection with Beirut Airport.
Car and bus
The airport is situated 9 kilometers south of Beirut's center, in the city's suburbs. The airport is easily accessible by rental car: from the city center the Hafez el Asad road leads directly to the airport. The way to Beirut International Airport is clearly signposted.
There's no regular bus service between the airport and Beirut's center. You can however get to the city in a minibus. These are not located in front of the Arrivals Hall but in front of the Departure Hall.
Car rental Beirut Airport
The counters for car rental at Beirut International Airport can be found in the Arrivals Hall. Eight rental companies are represented: the international rental companies Avis, Budget, Hertz and National, and the local providers Hala, CityCar, LenaCar and Catrans. You can also book a rental car in advance using the service provided by EasyTerra; they compare the rates of several providers in a single quote.
Official taxis can be recognized by the airport logo on the side. These taxis use set rates. There are also unofficial taxis, for which you need to negotiate a clear price with the driver in advance. Some drivers ask ridiculous prices. A ride to Beirut's center costs about 15,000 Lebanese pounds.
There's a large parking lot outside the terminal with modern payment facilities and a capacity of almost 2400 cars. You pay 3500 pounds for the first hour, 6000 pounds for the second hour and 7500 pounds for the third hour. The day rate amounts to 18,000 pounds. All prices are excluding 10% VAT.
There's no hotel at Beirut Airport. The nearest hotels are located north of the airport, on the beach, like Coral Beach Hotel and Resort (Tel. +961(0)1 859 000). Other hotels nearby the airport include Ramada Beirut Downtown (Tel. +961(0)1 990 299), Hazmieh Rotana Hotel (Tel. +961(0)1 458 000) and Le Gray Hotel Beirut (Tel. +961(0)1 971 111). For more hotels and to book online you can go to Booking.com. They offer a large range of hotels at competitive internet rates.
Shops and restaurants
There aren't a lot of eating and drinking facilities at Beirut Airport but they are big. In the Arrivals Hall you'll find the Akle restaurant and café Matik. There's a Japanese fish restaurant in the Departure Hall. In addition there are some small snack bars and coffee shops. Beirut Airport has a large number of shops including several duty-free shops.
You cannot store your baggage. For lost baggage you need to turn to the Middle East Airlines office.
There are information desks in both the Arrivals and Departure Halls for inquiries about Beirut Airport, flight schedules and airport services. There's an office of the Ministry of Tourism in the Arrivals Hall, where you can inquire about places worth seeing in Beirut and the rest of Lebanon.
There are two lounges at Beirut Airport, the LAT lounge and the Cedar lounge. In the latter you cannot only fax, copy or use the internet, but definitely also enjoy a drink in what can best be described as a large covered garden. Business hotels in Beirut (see Hotels) offer extensive business facilities, like meeting space and conference rooms.
Beirut International Airport has excellent accessibility for the disabled. There are wheelchair ramps, adapted elevators and toilets, and also low-hanging telephones.
There are banks, exchange offices and ATM's scattered around the terminals. The First Aid station can be reached via telephone number +961(0)1 629 088, extension 2020. There are 15 internet kiosks and wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is available everywhere in the terminal; be it not for free. To use wireless internet you need to buy a ticket with access code at the duty-free shop. Some restaurants do offer free Wi-Fi access for clients.