People often ask us how to get to and from the airport by bus. Chadi has posted a helpful tip on another thread in Arabic, on the Airport Van, or Van Al-Matar, which I will paraphrase and expand on here in English:
The first thing that a newcomer to Lebanon should know is that there is no official (state-run, regulated and/or branded) airport bus route in Beirut. What does exist, however, is a van without a fixed schedule that regularly makes the trip between Rafic Hariri Airport and Downtown Beirut (via Bechara el-Khoury intersection) and ending up in Dora. This van route is not affiliated in any way with the Airport, meaning that there is no transit station to look for.
For people heading to Hamra or Ashrafieh, getting off at Bechara el-Khoury intersection and taking a service-taxi (a shared jitney-style taxi) or the Number 5 or Number 2 bus would complete their journey. For the traveler looking for comfort, this may seem like an inconvenient method, but for those who want to travel on a low budget, this is extremely economical, as the total cost from the airport to Hamra for example is around 3,000LL (1,000LL for the van, 2,000LL for a service-taxi).
There’s a trick to taking this van from the airport, however. After RHI restricted their activities, you will no longer find Airport Vans at the Arrivals gate — rather, you will have to go upstairs to Departures and wait for a van dropping someone off there.
This method is recommended for backpackers and low-budget travelers who don’t mind a bit of adventure. Even if you have large luggage, most van drivers will try to accommodate you.
Have you used the Van al-Matar before when visiting Lebanon? Let us know!
This topic was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by #BMP Jad.