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If you are flying into Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, you will have no trouble getting a taxi at the curb. There are dozens of taxi drivers just waiting for passengers to pick up. To go somewhere in the city of Beirut from the airport, it will probably cost you about $20, depending on how far you go and the amount of people you are traveling with. If you need to go somewhere else in Lebanon that is further away from the city, it will cost you a bit more money. The taxis in Beirut are usually white Mercedes Benz's or BMW's. However, in the last few years some newer types of cars have been converted into taxis, but they should still be white. If they are not and there are no registrations in the back, it might not be wise to get in the taxi, just to be safe. If you need a taxi anywhere else in the city, it is not too hard to find one during the day. At night it can be a little bit harder, especially if it is very late. As for rental cars, you will also be able to rent cars at the airport. There are several agencies that will rent to you, including Avis Rent-A-Car and National. The airport is not the only location to rent a car, but it is probably the best because they will sometimes offer better rates than other locations throughout the city.
Travelers arriving into Beirut's airport and seeking a taxi to go into town need to be aware of a scam. When you exit the terminal, many drivers will be barking at you offering to take you into the city for $35. The real fare should be a lot less, $20 or at most $25. Someone who looks like a taxi driver may approach you offering a lower fare. That person may only be a "go-between" you and the ultimate taxi driver. One can easily find oneself being transferred into two or more taxis for the ultimate ride into Beirut, and, once off the airport premises, the ultimate driver may pretend no knowledge of the fare you were quoted and insist on $35. The moral of the story is: if you can at all avoid it, do not take a taxi from the airport -- ask your hotel in advance to send a car for you.
A very efficient alternative is to book a taxi online with one of the reputable taxi firms that has an online booking service. Register in advance with, say, allotaxi.com and book before even leaving your home country. If you have forgotten to order a cab ahead of time, use a smartphone to get the taxi firm's site up and book from the arrival lounge. As the closest taxis are dispatched they can be with you in 10 minutes or less, and the price is the same - US$20. Avoid the rip-off, use a reputable firm, pay the proper price, sort it online, even if you've forgotten ahead of time - stay safe.
Also, travelers within Beirut should know that most taxis are not metered, and it is generally impossible for tourists to know what the "correct" fares should be. This leaves the tourist at the mercy of the taxi driver, who may or may not be honest. Quoted fares range wildly for the same trip, and bargaining is always possible, although Beirut would be much better off with proper, regulated, metered taxis to eliminate the uncertainty and overcharging.
Travelers also have the option of using "servis" taxi's which are taxi's that other people traveling in the same direction you are can ride with you for part of the way. The advantage of this is a huge reduction in cost and most natives use this form of transportation. You will be able to travel anywhere in Beirut for $1.00 or converted 1500 lira per person. If the driver sees that you are not natives, he will most likely tell you the price is much higher for servis but everyone knows that the one dollar Beirut price is agreed upon. The solution to this is to ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE PRICE IS AGREED UPON BEFORE YOU GET INTO THE TAXI. You will see taxi's honking and slowing down as they approach you, the purpose of this is to ask you where you are going- just lean in and tell him where you are going. If he is going in your direction he will tell you to get in. Many times Taxi's try to tell you that's not what you agreed upon, the confusiion could be either you said taxi instead of servis which makes a huge difference in the price, or he is fooling you which unfortunately happens very often. In cities outside of Beirut, a legitimate taxi is the better option. You should be able to travel anywhere in Lebanon for under $30. Natives that use taxi's usually pay $15 for areas such as Byblos, Kaslik, Edde Sands etc. Don't be afraid to negotiate before you get into the taxi or on the phone, more often than not they will agree to your price.