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News > GILF/GSR 2009 'All you need to know' > Useful Country Information
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Useful Country Information
Currency

The official Lebanese currency is the Lebanese pound or lira (LL). Notes are available in denominations of: LL1,000; LL5,000; LL10,000; LL20,000; LL50,000; and LL100,000. There are also LL250 and LL500 coins.

U.S. dollars are used widely throughout the country. Restaurants, hotels, and stores often quote their prices in U.S. dollars, and many establishments will convert and provide U.S. dollar prices for you upon request. If you plan to use U.S. dollars, it is advisable to bring small bills (US$1 to US$20 notes).

The US$/LL exchange rate is relatively stable, hovering around US$1=LL1,507.5.

Money or travelers checks can be exchanged at banks, private money exchange shops, and major hotels. Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) are accepted at most large establishments throughout the country. ATMs are also widely available in Beirut and larger cities and will usually dispense both U.S. dollars and Lebanese pounds.

Language

While Arabic is Lebanon's official language, English and French are widely spoken. Most Lebanese speak at least two or three languages, and visitors will find no problems communicating. Many establishments provide signs, menus, and information in both Arabic and English.

Time

Lebanese time is G.M.T. +2 hours in winter (October to March) and +3 hours in summer (April to September), when daylight savings time is observed.

Business Hours

Shops and businesses are typically open Monday through Saturday, 9:00-18:00. Hours vary, and in summer many establishments close early. Restaurant hours vary, and many restaurants, especially in Beirut, are open late. Banking hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30-12:30. Working hours for government offices and post offices are typically 8:00-14:00.

Communications

Telephones:
While the telephone system in Lebanon is well-developed, there are few public pay phones, and international phone calls are expensive. Most Lebanese use mobile phones, and coverage extends throughout the country. The country code for Lebanon is (961). This is followed by the local area code and the telephone number. The area code for mobile phones is (03) and the area code for Beirut is (01). If you are dialing Lebanon from outside the country, omit the (0) in the area code.

Internet:
There are Internet cafés available throughout Lebanon, and many larger hotels now offer high-speed and wireless Internet access for free or for a small fee.

Electricity

Electric current is 110/220 volts, 50 cycles. A two-pin plug, with round pins is commonly used (Type C, similar to many European countries), but other types of plugs are also in use so it is best to check before you go.

For more information, kindly refer to the Ministry of Tourism website.

 
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