Top 14 Things To Do In Beirut, Lebanon´s Beautiful Capital


The magazine closed for two years, but it’s back now, presiding over a nightlife scene that the recent unpleasantness seems only to have enhanced. I hope so, I really do, but I worry that I’ll jinx it somehow. I said the same when our guide came out in 1996, when we did a new edition in 1998, and when I returned to see the south after the Israelis pulled out in 2000. And like a hardened celebrity hack, I’ve learnt the hard way not to be taken in by its appearance. There are two spanking new hotels – Le Gray, a sister hotel to the feted One Aldwych in London and Carlisle Bay in Antigua, has just opened; and that seal of international luxury approval, a Four Seasons, is opening soon. What’s more, this year the New York Times nominated it its number one destination in the world.

Its grand and majestic structures, while hard to imagine, were clearly of great value as Byblos is known to have been occupied by multiple residents since Neolithic times. After walking through the ancient remnants of the puerto rico tipping one of the oldest Phoenician cities, we stopped by the old souk in the area and then were off to the airport. Beirut’s downtown core is its thousand-year old Beirut Central District in the geographical heart of the city.

The best way to see Baalbek is on a guided tour, to learn about its history, architecture and the citizens which once called this city home. There’s evidence of the Crusaders having visited with ruins of a 12th-century castle overlooking the city, and Roman columns stand on the land surrounding. Just 30 minutes drive south of Beirut is a favourite spot for both locals and tourists. The coastal city is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 7000 BC. The Ancient Roman BathsJust 15 minutes’ walk from Saifi Village, you’ll discover the ancient archaeological site of Beirut’s Roman Baths.

You haven’t been to Beirut, if you haven’t tried homemade Arak. This aniseed spirit is their national drink and it packs a punch. Go to one of the local kiosks where Beirutis crowd around onto the streets outside smashing back Arak. The beautiful blue-domed grand mosque stands proud as the icon of Beirut. It is incredibly photogenic with its warm Romanesque stone and striking blue dome. With two locations across the city, I visited the Mar Mikhael one which has a leafy outdoor terrace with hammocks and a canopy of trees overhead.

As the country’s main airport is just 5 kilometres from Downtown Beirut, the capital city is easy to access once you land. When he passed, he bequeathed the beautiful structure of the city, and today It houses unique collections of modern and contemporary artwork in Beirut. The once beautiful structure was almost completely destroyed. However, today, post-civil war, it has been lovingly restored as a museum space. The city may have had a tumultuous past with a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990, but today it’s a hip metropolis and the Middle Eastern centre for banking and tourism. The American University of Beirut is an exceptional research and teaching university in the Middle East, with a diverse student population, all of whom enjoy full free speech rights, which is unique in the Arab world.

Off the coast at Raouche, the Pigeon Rock is a series of weird rock formations jutting out of the water. The cliff that overlooks the rocks are a popular spot for both locals and tourists with everybody scrambling for a picture. Our flight was Saturday evening, so we quickly finished breakfast, and met our driver for our last set of adventures outside the city limits. This time he took us to Byblos, a UNESCO World Heritage site about 40 kilometers from the city. Today, the medieval town is mostly in ruins, but is still a magnificent sight to see.



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