Rafic Hariri International Airport
Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut is the country’s only international gateway and thus the only way to get into Lebanon by air. The airport services a range of airlines from a host of different regions, including the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Travelers from the United States have direct flight options on Air France from New York-JFK, Boston and Miami; British Airways from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago O’Hare; or Lufthansa from Detroit, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
The airport has many passenger services, including extensive banking options. ATMs and foreign currency exchange can be found at the Arrivals terminal, while a large, full-service bank is located in the Departures hall. Restaurants and cafés can be found all over the airport, while duty-free and gift shops are located in the Departures area.
Lebanon's airport is located about three miles south of downtown. While there is no shuttle service to make the 20-minute journey, there are local buses which operate on this route. Simply wait at the roundabout outside the Arrivals terminal for the bus to make its rounds. There are also airport taxis which can be identified by an official Beirut International Airport sign on their side doors. The price for these cabs is fixed.
Damascus International Airport (Syria)
Another option for tourists who are unable to fly directly into Lebanon is to fly into Damascus in Syria. From here, there are several buses which travel to the Lebanese capital. These generally leave on the hour, every hour, to make the five-hour trip to the border. At the border, travelers will need to pay a Syrian exit fee and acquire a visa to enter Lebanon.
Damascus International Airport is Syria’s largest and busiest airport, seeing over five million passengers a year. Travelers from the United States can catch flights from all over the country. Alitalia flies from Boston Logan, Atlanta Hartsfield, Detroit Wayne County and Miami International, while Emirates has connections from Seattle, San Francisco and New York-JFK.
Being the country’s largest gateway, the airport has several services for the convenience of passengers. There are two duty-free outlets, banking facilities (including ATMs, foreign currency exchange and a fully functioning bank), three large restaurants, and many small cafés. Transportation from the airport is by taxis or buses.