As I’ve previously written about in all of my Lebanon travel posts, we LOVED our time exploring Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Our time in the city was made so much easier by having a local sim card. We usually travel with sim cards from TravelSim which cover the majority of countries we visit, however we found that they didn’t cover many of the Middle Eastern countries we visited. We didn’t find a great deal of information online about how to get sim cards in Beirut but it actually couldn’t have been easier! Here’s how we navigated the system of getting a sim card in Beirut, Lebanon as tourists.
Arriving in Beirut
We were exhausted after flying into Beirut from Singapore via Dubai.
We’d booked a transfer with our trustworthy transfer company, hoppa from Beirut Airport to our hotel, Le Bristol. We were so tired that we didn’t even think to look for a SIM card at the airport and from memory there wasn’t anywhere super obvious to pick one up at either.
Finding a sim card
Once we arrived at the hotel, we set off in search of a sim card and a cash machine, both of which turned out to be really easy!
Le Bristol was located in downtown Beirut and we only had to walk one block before we found a bank. On the same block as the bank there was a small phone shop and the further we explored Beirut, we realised that there were phone shops on almost every corner!
Information about Lebanese sim cards
The guy in the shop was super helpful and explained the few options of plans to us, writing down the prices. He also set the sim card up in my phone for me which was really helpful as we obviously couldn’t read any Lebanese.
We paid $54 Australian Dollars for a sim card and 5GB of data. As we were only in Lebanon for a few days this was more than enough data.
You can see how much our time in Lebanon cost here: The Cost of travelling in Beirut.
We found that the internet was fast and reliable and because our hotel had good wifi, we only used the data for google maps and for booking ubers.
Why so expensive?
It was expensive, but from our research we found out that there are only two operators in Lebanon, both of which are owned by the state. This along with state regulations means that sim cards and data/credit are often the highest prices in the Middle Eastern region.
Was it worth getting a local sim card?
We really had no idea was to expect from our visit to Lebanon and really enjoyed every moment of our time there (except maybe almost getting heat stroke)!
Having a local sim card gave us the freedom, independence and security of knowing where we were going and being able to call ubers whenever we needed. We tended to walk from our hotel to most of the places we visited and then caught an uber back to the hotel as we were normally hot, sweaty, sunburned messes by then!
Hopefully this information will help you out when you’re getting a sim card in Beirut, Lebanon.
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