Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, see below.
Is the tour really free?
The Free Walking Tour is the title that now is internationally given to tours that work on a donation basis. At the end of the tour you can give the guide what you felt the tour was worth. It is the best way to ensure that our guides give their best during every tour. So, are the tips of the tour the only income? Yes, the only source of income for the guides is the tips that people provide after the tour. We at Free Walking Tour Beirut do not get any commission or sponsoring from any company or organization. Of course, any reasonable tip is accepted; in this way, anyone can join, no matter your travel budget.
WHAT IS A FAIR FEE TO PAY?
The main principle is that you give the guide what you feel the tour was worth, so the decision is up to you. You like to receive an indication? Based on experience, the average tip people give on free walking tours lies between 15.000 (10 USD) and 20.000 LL (13 USD).
WHAT LANGUAGE ARE THE TOURS GIVEN IN?
We currently only provide the tour in English. We are happy to organize for you a private tour in different languages like French, Arabic, Spanish, etc (see below). If your understanding of English is not very good, feel free to ask the guide to repeat anything that is unclear; he might even be able to speak your language :-)
Do you stop for any breaks?
The tour consists of about one hour walking, and one and a half hour talking. There is only a very short emergency bathroom and water break in the middle. Please prepare yourself with water or a bathroom visit before joining.
Is there a maximum number of people allowed on the tour?
How far will the walk be?
The tour is a little over 5 kilometers or 3 miles, a circle around Downtown Beirut.
How long will the tour be?
We always strive to do the tour in two and a half hours, as we believe this is the perfect timing for a free walking tour. However, sometimes the tour may take a bit longer or shorter, depending a little bit on the amount of questions and the pace of the group. It is mostly one hour walking, and one and a half hour talking.
Can I leave before the tour ends?
Yes, you are surely free to join and free to leave at any time you like. If you want to leave earlier, please let the guide know before the tour starts, so he/she can keep this in mind and help you to remember. Just before you leave, always let the guide know, so we don’t have to go looking for you.
Do I need to make a reservation?
How do I recognize the guide?
A guide holding a WHITE UMBRELLA with the Free Walking Tour Beirut logo standing at the entrance of the Beirut Souks.
Where can I find the group picture?
What if only a FEW people show up?
Then you’ll be able to hear the guide better! As long as at least 1 person shows up and wants to take the tour, it’s on!
Do you also do private tours?
Is the tour suitable for children?
Yes! Children are always welcome on our tours, as long as they do not disturb the guiding process. Just remember, it is about 5 km of walking, so please ensure your child will be able to walk this distance.
Where does the tour end?
The tour ends at Martyrs square. From there, you can either go your own way, or the guide will walk you back to the place where the tours started: the entrance of the Beirut souks.
What if it rains?
The good news is that it hardly rains in Beirut. Unfortunately, if it does, it pours. In principle, we will always try to run the tour as scheduled. That said, the general mindset of the people living in Lebanon is: When it rains, we don't go on a tour. And as they say "when in Rome, do as the Romans do", it is likely that we will cancel the tour in case of severe rainfall. We will always inform you in case of cancellation. No news means the tour is on!
What if I am late for the tour?
We will start walking about 5 to 10 minutes after the start time of the tour. Please be on time, as it is almost impossible to catch up with the tour later. Still too late? Check out the Mohammad Chattah monument; we will probably be there.
How can i find the meeting point?
The meeting point can be found on the "square" in front of the main entrance of the Beirut souks, on the side of Weygand street, next to the Ottoman shrine. It's the square on which Zara is located as well. For more details, see Directions.