Beirut – The Paris of the Middle East Deserves to be Explored
Perched on top of a peninsula that’s extending towards the west into the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut is the capital as well as the largest city of Lebanon. It is a stylish and vibrant metropolis with all the elements of fashion, flair, and fun that a holidaymaker would want in an ideal destination. As Beirut is one of the oldest cities across the world, it has been inhabited since 3000 BC. Numerous ancient civilizations have left their mark on Lebanon’s capital and word has it that Beirut has been destroyed and rebuilt as many as seven times in its entire history. And this is why, the city has gotten its sobriquet of ‘the Phoenix’ after the Greek mythological bird that takes birth again by rising from the ashes.
When it comes to climate, Beirut is no different and boasts a Mediterranean climate like other regions of Lebanon. With 300 days of sunlight around the year, it’s a delight to travel the length and breadth of Beirut on foot and explore several tourist honeypots it’s dotted with. There are myriad pursuits to enjoy in Beirut that tourists are often spoilt for choice. From marvelling at its incredible architecture to meandering through the by-lanes of the small town of Baalbek and ambling down Hamrah Street to catching a movie at Achrafie and shopping to one’s heart’s content in its many flea markets to revelling in the nightlife in Mar Mikhael; there’s nothing that this Middle Eastern city cannot offer to ensure its tourists’ delight. So, make haste and book your flight tickets to Beirut to let it mesmerize you with its quaint beauty.
Why people must visit Beirut?
Beirut is a pleasant mix of rich culture, intriguing history, striking architecture, vibrant nightlife, culinary scenes, and natural beauty, which is why people must visit it to experience Lebanese hospitality and traditions at least once. Scores of archaeological sites, landmarks, and museums adorn the city and make sightseeing spots worthy of a visit. To name a few are the National Museum of Beirut, Pigeon Rocks, and Roman Baths.
The captivating architecture speaks volumes about Beirut’s multifarious past. Varying from ancient vestiges to state-of-the-art skyscrapers, the city is nothing short of a melting point where discrete influences and styles come together. While downtown Beirut displays French colonial buildings, districts like Gemmayze boast eye-catching Ottoman-period houses.
Anyone who hasn’t heard of Lebanese cuisine must be living under a rock. And, there could be no place better than Beirut to nosh authentic flavours of Lebanese grub celebrated all over the globe. As the city is packed with restaurants, eateries, and street stalls, you can rest assured to tickle your taste buds with some of the scrumptious dishes, like mezze, falafel, shawarma, and finger-licking pastries.
Beirut serves as a paradise for party animals, thanks to its happening nightlife scenes. Rooftop lounges, chic cafes, ritzy clubs, and trendy bars are where you can let your hair down in a lively ambience. Look no further than the districts of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh, which are revered for their ultimate nightlife.
Also, its location adjacent to the Mediterranean coast works in the favour of Beirut. Tourists and locals take delight in plenty of water sports, exploring gorgeous sandy beaches and sauntering along the seaside promenade of Corniche. Picturesque mountains surround the city and offer awe-inspiring vistas and loads of opportunities for skiing and hiking, making the city all the more enticing to globetrotters.
Best places to visit in Beirut
National Museum of Beirut
National Museum of Beirut is one of the sought-after tourist honeypots of Beirut that attracts visitors galore. It houses a remarkable collection of archaeological objects of utmost significance. The ground floor of the museum displays around seventy enormous objects, including the Ahiram sarcophagus, King of Byblos, a colossal Egyptian-style statue, statues of children used as offerings to the God of Eshmoun, and several mosaics depicting mythological scenes. It is a great place to have your interest piqued.
Mohammad Al Amin Mosque
Standing in the propinquity of Martyrs’ Square is the grand Mohammad Al Amin Mosque. With an oriental and Ottoman touch, the mosque is built with yellow stones and features four minarets standing at a height of 65 metres. It is also the last resting place of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri who was assassinated on February 14th, 2005. It is the biggest mosque in entire Lebanon and draws many travellers.
Located in the central district of Beirut, Beirut Souks is a popular shopping strip that consists of a number of pathways and alleys. It is an ideal place for hanging out, going on a shopping spree, noshing the delicious grub, and catching a movie. This reconstructed shopping complex boasts over 200 shops, including luxury retail stores, a department store, a state-of-the-art cinema, a supermarket, and numerous high-end restaurants and cafes.
Beirut’s Leading International Airports
Beirut International Airport is the leading airport in Beirut that is situated approximately 9 kilometres south of the city. Also known as Rafik Hariri International Airport, the airport serves as a hub for Middle East Airlines – Air Liban, the flag carrier of Lebanon.