Lebanon is a fairly straightforward country when it comes to dress code. With a religiously diverse population and topographic makeup, how to dress for Lebanon depends on the type of activities you will be doing, where, and what clothing you generally feel most comfortable wearing.
The main things to consider are the time of year you will be traveling (Lebanon has four distinct seasons) and where in the country you will be visiting, i.e. coast versus mountains.
The weather and the temperature can vary greatly from one place to another so it’s good to take this into account when you pack for your trip.
What Do People Wear in Lebanon?
You are likely to see a diversity of dress during a visit to Lebanon, especially in Beirut. Depending on where you are and what you are doing in the city, some women may go for skimpy and skin-tight. In contrast, others may be fully covered in an abaya and a hijab (headscarf), with many others falling somewhere in between.
Men usually wear Western-style clothing—trousers, shorts, tee-shirts or button-downs. The same goes for kids, although you may occasionally see some in more conservative dress.
These standards may vary from city to city and region to region. For example, you will probably see considerably more people in conservative dress in places like the northern city of Tripoli than you would a little farther south along the coast in the beach town of Batroun.
Traditional Lebanese Dress
You may also encounter traditional Lebanese attire. In some of the villages in the Chouf mountains, for example, an area heavily populated by an ethnoreligious group called the Druze. Men wear the distinctive white laffa (white turban cloth) and women the mandil or futa (white veil/headdress).
No matter which region you are in, however, the point is to not dress too provocatively or offensively. (While there are people who wear inflammatory tee-shirts in Beirut, for example, it’s probably best to avoid such clothing during your visit.)
What Should Women Wear in Lebanon?
In general, women who visit Lebanon can typically wear the same Western-style clothing they would wear in most parts of Europe or North America.
While there is no strict dress code for women in Lebanon, keep in mind that even though short skirts and tank tops are fine, it’s probably best not to reveal too much cleavage or upper thigh while walking around on the street.
If you plan to visit any mosques, you should cover your legs, arms, and hair.
Late spring and summer (mid-June – mid-September) in Beirut and along the coast are very hot and humid, so it’s good to wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing to help keep as cool as possible. Dresses are very practical, and sleeveless shirts and shorts are totally acceptable. Bringing a hat, sunglasses, and a light scarf is essential for sun protection.
If you plan to enjoy some of Beirut’s famous nightlife, a formal evening dress or a smart outfit with pants could work well for going out to a high-end restaurant or a nightclub in the evening or to another formal occasion on your itinerary.
If you visit the beach it is fine to wear your bikini. Just remember to bring plenty of sunblock, a hat, beach cover-up, flip-flops, and sunglasses.
What Should Men Wear on a Visit to Lebanon?
Men visiting Lebanon can wear shorts, trousers, a shirt or a T-shirt. If you are going out in the evening or want to enjoy the nightlife, collared shirts, trousers, and even a suit jacket and tie are recommended. If visiting a mosque, it’s recommended to wear long sleeves and trousers.
Swimming trunks are standard if you go to the beach. Just be sure to bring a hat, flip-flops, sunglasses, sunblock for sun protection.
What Should Children Wear on a Visit to Lebanon?
Kids can wear shorts, trousers, long-sleeved shirts and T-shirts. Girls can easily wear a dress or a skirt.
Keep in mind that the sun can be extremely strong and the heat intense in Lebanon, so it’s important that children protect themselves by wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. If you go to the beach, it’s recommended that young children wear a bathing shirt for further sun protection.
More tips and FAQs about dress code in Dubai
Layer Up, Layer Down
If you will be spending any time in the mountains during your stay or visiting any part of Lebanon during the winter months (December – March), all visitors to Lebanon should dress in layers.
During the spring, summer, and early autumn, while it may get very hot during the day in the mountains, temperatures drop significantly once the sun sets. Bring a jumper, jacket or coat, and a scarf and hat to stay warm or easily remove if you get too hot.
During the winter, the mountains are significantly colder than it is along the coast, and they often get a lot of snow.
It’s good to keep in mind that many of the guesthouses and boutique hotels may not have electricity or heat throughout the entire night, so it’s good to pack warm pyjamas and socks just in case.
When it Rains, It Pours
In Lebanon, it literally does. While the country experiences roughly 300 days of sunshine a year, the winter months get a heavy concentration of rain. Often the weather can change unexpectedly into a thunder or hailstorm. If you are travelling to Lebanon during the winter, all visitors to Lebanon should bring a raincoat or waterproof jacket, an umbrella, rain boots or waterproof shoes.
Good Footwear is Essential
Be sure to bring decent footwear to Lebanon, whether they be sturdy sandals, trainers or hiking boots. The streets of Beirut are uneven, and sidewalks can be elusive. You and your children should wear good walking shoes (i.e. no flip-flops) to navigate the city safely on foot.
If you plan to do some hiking or skiing in the mountains or skiing, bring appropriate walking shoes, hiking boots, or even snow boots if you are going during the winter.
Is Hijab Compulsory in Lebanon?
It is not compulsory for local or foreign women to cover their hair in Lebanon. Some women choose to were a for religious reasons, but there is no law to cover your hair in Lebanon
Lebanon Packing List
Helping you prepare for a family trip to Lebanon, we’ve prepared this travel checklist. Click the link below to print out a PDF ready for your Lebanon vacation:
More on Visiting Lebanon
Don’t miss our further family-friendly guides to exploring Lebanon with kids:
Further Dress Code Advice for Visiting the Middle East
Travelling further around the Middle East? You may also be interested in checking our advice for:
- What to wear in Jordan
- What to wear in Turkey
- What to wear in Israel
- What to wear in Saudi Arabia
- What to wear in the United Arab Emirates
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