Living Expenses: Living expenses in Beirut can be compared to other cities in semi-developed countries like Bangkok or Taipei. Living in Beirut is not expensive, but also not cheap. Depending on how you live, eat and cook, monthly living costs will range from $1200 to $2000.
Apartment Rentals: These range from $300-500 (shared) and $600-1000 (private). Check our housing FAQ for more info. In general Lebanese people do not live outside their homes until they are married so it is pretty hard to find a Lebanese roommate with whom to practice your Arabic. There is some on campus housing subject to availability (Saifi Urban Gardens): $420 per month (shared dormitory) $960 per month (private room) including breakfast and internet.
Food: The cost of food varies depending on where you eat! Groceries are cheap if you buy regular Lebanese things; Western and Asian items are expensive.
A rough guide to eating out is: a sandwich costs $2-$5, and a sit-down meal $8 and upwards.
Almost every Lebanese restaurant serves the same mezze (appetizers) and main dishes but the quality of food differs from one restaurant to another. Saifi has its own restaurant called Café Em Nazih that offers homestyle dishes at reasonable prices cooked by the head chef Em Nazih. She cooks many dishes that are not available in other restaurants because they are traditionally only made in the home. If you want to experience real homemade Lebanese cooking we suggest you try dish of the day offered at Café Em Nazih.
Transportation: A regular taxi is $4 and upwards (depending on the distance), a “servees” (shared taxi) is $1.33 (2,000 LBP), the bus is $0.66 and an airport taxi is $10-$30.
Entertainment: Beer $4-$6, wine $4-$8, movie $8, live music $15-$45 (regular tickets).
Currency: Lebanon has a dual currency which is the Lebanese Lira and US dollars. These are used interchangeably at the fixed exchange rate of 1500 LBP/$1 and both currencies can be used anywhere.