Lebanon is the city of tasty food and vibrant nightlife, and very warmhearted people. Its nature is ravishing, and its architecture is exciting and ever-changing. Below, we are offering a few weekend ideas of things and places to enjoy in this Middle Eastern capital.
Try lahmacun at one of the bakeries
A good start of the day here includes tracking down an Armenian bakery in Beirut’s older district, for lahmacun also called Armenian or Syrian pizza. It consists of thin dough, minced meat, vegetables, and is spiced up with pepper, cumin, etc. You will find this local fast-food in small nameless eateries. Locals with food experience say the best lahmacun in Lebanon is prepared at Ashrafieh. To make your morning meal more Beirut-styled, accompany your lahmacun with a glass of cool ayran.
Go to Martyrs Square
This is the heart of the city’s historical center. The square received its name in 1931, to commemorate the martyrs who were tortured there. Forty-five years later, it also served a separation line during a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. Nowadays, its skyline represents the perfect example of harmony Lebanon has in terms of relative religions. A modern transformation of a 19th century’s mosque stands in front of the Saint George Maronite Cathedral. The local architecture was designed by the finest engineering companies.
Attend the Sursock Museum
This landmark is placed on the cognominal street where the most powerful families of Beirut built their houses. The magnificent villas are full of greenery and receive delighted glances. The Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum appeared in 1961, inside one of these gorgeous houses, already after the death of its owner – Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock – who had indicated this in his will. Today, the museum homes modern and contemporary works of art created by local and foreign talents. By the way, just a few steps from the museum you will see the camera friendly Saint-Nicolas Stairs – also known as L'Escalier de L'Art. Take the stairs to the local artistic bohemian neighborhood, to have a cup of coffee at Sip cafe or a glass of beer at Torino Express.
Explore the souks
Beirut Souks is little of what you may expect from a Middle Eastern capital’s commercial shopping area. This leisure and shopping destination has modern air-conditioned centers built of glass, no hucksters, crowds and dust. Simply put, you won’t find a traditional Eastern market-place in Beirut Souks. But what you will certainly like is the wide choice of shopping, food and entertainment facilities offered here including fashion stores, a cinema, and numerous eating options.
Stroll along Zaitunay Bay
Although generally speaking, Beirut’s coastline is still developing and growing, Zaitunay Bay located around Beirut Marina, is a broad pedestrian area that has become the city’s top attraction since its opening seven years ago. If there is no chance of getting an invitation to the high-class club for the most distinguished local elite – Le Yacht Club – you may have some enjoyable time at one of the laid-back open-air cafes and restaurants that close late after midnight. There is also a music hall with a cabaret theatre, at a walking distance.
See one of the planet’s most ancient cities
If you are in Beirut for more than a couple of days, you should take a chance to see Bylbos – one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth. This Phoenician city is believed to have records going back to 6000 BC. There are not too many entertainment options here except seeing the ancient castle’s and temples’ ruins and diving into the original atmosphere of Bylbos old souk, or enjoying seafood by the sea. The road to Bylbos won’t take you long as the city is situated just forty km north of Beirut.