Getting From Beruit Airport to City Center – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Beruit Airport, Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon’s main international airport is the “Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport” (BEY), located around 9 km (5.6 miles) south from downtown Beirut.

It takes around 15 minutes by taxi to get from Beirut airport to the city centre. This is currently the main way to reach downtown Beirut from the airport as there is no public transport serving the airport.

We’ve set out below all the options available, including for late arrivals and other travel tips based on our personal experience travelling in Lebanon.

Public Taxi and Official Airport Taxi

Taxi is the main way to get from Beirut airport to the city centre and should cost no more than $20 (30,000 Lebanese pounds). There is always an abundance of public taxi drivers waiting outside the Arrivals Hall at all hours of the day. However, they do not use meters and will try to overcharge you the standard $20 rate.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

 

Gay Lebanon: Safe for Gay Travelers? – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 9th, 2018

Gay Lebanon

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

However, this is by Arabic standards. In other words, being gay in Lebanon won’t get you arrested with risk of death as it would in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran, and neither is it as restrictive as in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, being openly gay in Lebanon is a criminal offence, so you definitely need to be cautious.

We visited gay Lebanon as a gay couple to celebrate Stefan’s birthday. We absolutely loved the country, the people, the food and were so impressed to discover a thriving LGBTQ community, as well as a handful of really fun gay bars and clubs despite the anti-gay laws. Overall, travelling as a gay couple in Lebanon, we found it to be quite safe, but as long as you abide by various safety precautions.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

On the face of it, gay life in Lebanon is hard because homosexuality is a criminal offence. On the positive, there is a growing movement to decriminalise homosexuality in Lebanon on a political and legal level.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon Travel Resources

 

Gay Beruit – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 7th, 2018

Gay Beruit - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly places in the Arab world. This is saying a lot for a country where homosexuality is still a crime. However, by comparison to its Arab neighbours, Beirut has the best (albeit quite underground) gay scene, including one of the largest gay clubs in the Middle East called POSH.

We visited gay Beirut from Cyprus to celebrate Stefan’s birthday over a long weekend and absolutely loved the food, the people and of course the many gay parties. This is our gay guide to Beirut featuring the best gay bars and clubs, events, gay friendly hotels and best things to do.

A word of warning to gay travellers to Lebanon, although the country is more progressive than places like Iran, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is still a largely Islamic influenced country where homosexuality remains illegal. Therefore, be careful with public displays of affection and avoid posting anything online that is LGBTQ related before/during your trip to prevent any problems at the airport immigration. Also, avoid having an Israeli stamp in your passport as Lebanon has an outright ban on anything related to Israel/Israelis. Be sure to check out our article about gay life in Lebanon for more practical safety tips.

Gay bars in Beirut

As homosexuality is still illegal in Lebanon, places are careful not to advertise themselves as being openly “gay bars“, preferring “gay friendly” instead, in order to prevent having any problems with the police. These are the main gay friendly bars in Beirut that are thriving despite the anti-gay laws:

Bardo: this is one of the oldest and famous gay bars of Beirut. It is popular with twinks (and their fans) especially at the “Powerpuff Queens” party every Thursday. Generally it doesn’t get busy until after 11pm. But if you come before, it’s a lot quieter, which makes it great for a few cocktails, especially during the week when they have 2 for 1 happy hour offers. Bardo is open every day until 2am and is located in downtown Beirut on Mexico Street, just off Hamra Street.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Beruit Travel Resources

 

Harissa: Where The Virgin Mary is Watching Over Lebanon – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 13th, 2017

Harissa - Alain

Lebanon is a predominantly Muslim country but it is the most open-minded muslim country I’ve ever been to. Beirut, as a capital, is littered with Christian churches and mosques. People of two different faiths live in harmony. It’s a city where I didn’t feel like I have to watch out what I do.

I never had that feeling of being paranoid. Sorry Dubai or Abu Dhabi but you still make me paranoid everything I go there (8 times in the past two years). There’s this constant feeling of being watchful – because you don’t wanna end up in jail by just accidentally touching a man’s hip, right? Beirut, on the other hand, has a carefree, relaxed air despite the horrible traffic in the city. The people are nice and the Lebanese men are – oh, boy, don’t get me talking about them. Let’s just say, they’re my type. LOL…

About Harissa. It is a small community on top of Mt. Lebanon where a huge statue of the Virgin Mary is watching down the city with open arms. To reach Harissa, you’ve got to go to Jounieh, a city just 27 kms outside Beirut. It would take an hour with the endless traffic. Or less. Once you reach Jounieh, take a 9-minute cable ride to the top of Mt. Lebanon. You can also drive up there by car but riding the cable would be more panoramic and satisfying.

Jounieh. This city is famous for its club and restaurants. In fact, it is the nightlife spot of Beirut. You can admire its stunning view of the bay when you’re up there in Harissa.

Biblical City. Do you know that Mary and Jesus used to live in Lebanon? It’s been said that Mary would wait for Jesus at a cave in Maghdouche while he preached in Sidon and nearby places.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

Al Amin Mosque in Beirut – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 23rd, 2017

Al Amin Mosque - Keep Calm and Wander

While I was in Beirut, I had the chance to go inside Al Amin Mosque. The locals call it as Blue Mosque, simply because of its blue dome that sits on top of it. Mohammad Al Amin is not an ancient mosque. Compared to the Blue Mosque in Turkey, in Egypt or in any other countries in the Middle East, this is a new place of worship. It was inaugurated in 2008.

When I visited there on a hot June weather, I was hesitant to go inside because I was wearing shorts. However, I had a colourful sarong inside my bag, just in case I’d be refused entry. I could simply wrap it around my waist to cover my flawless legs.

I was there around 10:30 in the morning but the guard told me to come back at 11:00 because the janitors were still cleaning. So, I walked around the area – despite the searing heat and went back 30 minutes later. Good thing was – the guard let me in – with me in knee-length shorts. He asked if I were a muslim and when I said no, he handed me out a leaflet about Islam. He directed me to a space where I could place my shoes properly. I was the first visitor (or tourist) that day and it was so quiet. I could even hear my own footsteps on a carpeted floor. In fact, I was even guilty of making a teeny bit of a sound.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

I Love Beruit – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 7th, 2017

I Love Beirut - Keep Calm and Wander

A lot of cities around the world are joining the fad of installing “I Love …” signs. We have that, too, in my city – Toronto. These signs are usually placed in downtown area or where locals congregate. Or in touristy neighbourhoods.

Beirut, of course, has one. Its “I Love Beirut” sign is found at the lovely Beirut Souks. This is a trendy shopping area where fashionistas abound. Boy, I couldn’t get my eyes off those chic Lebanese men here.

But, one thing I noticed is that, shopping here is a bit more expensive than shopping in Toronto or NYC. You’ll find international brands and fabulous restaurants that serve local cuisine. The good thing is, it’s not touristy and crowded.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

Lebanese Cuisine – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 8th, 2017

Lebanese Cuisine - Alain

Below are photos of Lebanese cuisine / food I ate while in Beirut for three nights. These are all the dinner food we had for iftar. This is not a regular meal for dinner but it’s a food feast (aka, food porn).

Imagine three adults and a child gorging on these delightful cuisine? We had more than enough for all of us. I never went back to my hotel room every night without feeling bloated and exhausted from eating. Hahahahaha…

Thanks to a high school friend of mine and her generous Lebanese husband who spoiled me with these foods. Their hospitality made me gain extra pounds; Man, I’ve got to try what’s on the table, right? So, you can’t put all the blame on me.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

Beruit Pigeon Rocks – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 6th, 2017

Beruit Pigeon Rocks

“You’ve never been to Beirut if you don’t have a photo of yourself at Pigeon Rocks.” Those were the words of a friend who offered to host me at her house. I can’t blame her. If you google Beirut or Lebanon photos, Pigeon Rocks never fail to show up. Try googling “Things to do in Beirut” and these rocks are always on the list. In fact, it’s not just the tourists go there – they’re also a hit to the locals.

The cliff that overlooks Beirut Pigeon Rocks is a popular destination for the tourists. It is also a favourite hangout for the locals where cafes littered along the streets. The sea views are a welcome respite from the busy streets of Lebanon’s capital city.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

Lebanon: Beruit’s Growing Gay Scene

Author: , January 1st, 2012

Sitting at a cafe in Beirut Souks, Rabee lowers his voice and makes a quieting gesture. “Can we please keep this conversation down?” he asks. “I don’t want people at the next table to hear.”

Rabee is a good-looking young Lebanese man in his twenties, wearing a light-colored shirt and jeans. He is also gay, and hasn’t told his family or colleagues.

Homosexuality in Lebanon is still illegal under article 534, which outlaws “unnatural sex.” Despite this, Beirut has a burgeoning gay scene, and many gay bars and clubs are making a tidy profit, not just from Lebanese but from homosexuals who come to the city from other, less permissive countries in the Middle East.

Full Story from Albawaba

Click here for gay travel resources.

Gay FAM Trip Planned for Beruit, Lebanon

Author: , April 10th, 2010

San Francisco, Barcelona, Sydney and … Beirut? As surprising as it sounds, the buzz is building around Beirut, Lebanon, as a gay destination.

The New York Times dubbed Lebanon’s capital “the Provincetown of the Middle East” in a 2009 article and the winter 2010 edition of Netherlands-based Winq magazine devoted eight pages to the city, citing its emergence as “the (gay) party capital of the Middle East.”

Bertho Makso, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) ambassador to Lebanon, is coordinating the first familiarization tour and symposium to Lebanon for travel professionals who work in the gay and lesbian market.

Full Story from SDGLN

Click here for gay travel resources.