Beirut is one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle Eastern world. Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, all the places to visit in Beirut city share history and character with some of the most exotic cities in the world – Italy, Morocco, Egypt, and Greece. Needless to say, Beirut tourism has flourished in the past decades. The wide avenues and boulevards built by French colonial rulers match the glorious mosque complexes that were built by the Ottomans and the Mamluks, and the ancient ruins of Roman temples and bathhouse top it all.
15 Best Places To Visit in Beirut
Here is a list of the best attractions in the city for every traveler. Lebanon has been attracting a number of tourists from all over the world due to these amazing places. Which one of these is your favorite?
- The American University Of Beirut (AUB)
- National Museum Of Beirut
- Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
- Beirut Souks
- Tourist Landmark Of Resistance
- Sursock Museum
- Roman Baths
- Martyrs’ Square
- Pigeon Rocks
- Grand Serail
- Saifi Village
- Beit Ed-Dine Palace
1. The American University Of Beirut (AUB)
The AUB is the most prestigious university in the city, and should be on your list of places to go in Beirut. The historic buildings are interspersed with botanical gardens, a bird sanctuary as well as a private beach on the 61 acres of land that comprise the university. The archaeological museum here is a must-visit and houses a large collection of important ancient artifacts. The AUB offers tours of its campus, and you can contact them on their website to get the ball rolling.
Location: Riad El-Solh
2. National Museum Of Beirut
This is the best museum in the 6000 year old city. The museum owns about 100,000 ancient and medieval artifacts unearthed in and around Lebanon and is one of the top 10 places to visit in Beirut. It has the world’s most extensive collection of Phoenician objects, and the marble sarcophagus showing a Phoenician ship is only bested in popularity by the Phoenician bronze statue of Reshep that dates back the 19th to 18th century BC.
Location: Avenue Abdallah el-Yafi
Timings: Tuesday – Sunday, 9AM to 5PM
Entry fee: INR 200
Only an hour-long drive away from the city, Byblos is one of the best places to visit near Beirut if you are a fan of history and archaeology. The city is one of the oldest of all Phoenician cities and has been continuously inhabited since 5000 BC. The National Museum of Obelisks was built 3200 to 3600 years ago, and is a surreal experience to visit. The Crusader Fort and the Sultan Abdul Majid Mosque are also pieces of history that are worth a visit.
Location: 37 km from Beirut
Suggested Read: 7 Beirut Resorts Promising An Awesome Stay In Lebanon
4. Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
Beirut sightseeing is not complete without a tour of the Blue Masjid, completed in 2008 and a beautiful specimen of post-modern Middle East architecture. The Zakhrafat inside the mosque is complex and appealing and the artistically decorated interiors and inscribed walls are open to the public. Once a small prayer corner, the Sunni place of worship was planned and built over several decades. The central blue dome is 48 metres high and the minarets tower at 65 metres, forming the most important feature of downtown Lebanon skyline.
Location: Martyr’s Square
Timings: Open 24 hours
5. Beirut Souks
Souk means market in Arabic. The Souks in the city are some of the most fun places in Beirut owing to the exotic and unique items they sell. The modern portion of the market houses the world’s foremost luxury brands, but tourists should definitely check out the Souk al Ahad, which is one of the most interesting places to visit in Beirut if you are looking for a souvenir. You can find all kinds of clothing, jewellery, furniture, and lamps here for prices that you can bargain with friendly Lebanese sellers.
Location: Corniche Al Nahr Emile Lahoud Avenue
Timings: Open every Sunday
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The town of Baalbek in Beqaa Valley, about two and half hours from Beirut, is best known for the Roman temple of Bacchus, one of the last standing Roman buildings in the world. The temple was built in memory of the Roman God of wine and is more than 1800 hundred years old. The courtyard in front of the temple now plays hosts to the Baalbeck International Festival, an annual celebration of history and architecture and one of the best places in Beirut to be if you are a fan of history and architecture.
Location: 85 km from Beirut
Temple entry fee: None
7. Tourist Landmark Of Resistance
This is a wartime museum and one of the most popular Beirut tourist attractions. Operated by the ruling militia of Hezbollah, the museum emphasises lopsided views of history but is still an important site to visit in order to gain a true understanding of the place. Located in the village of Mleeta, about three hours away from Beirut, the museum houses a bunker used by the Hezbollah and also an underground tunnel in use during the war.
Location: 82 km from Beirut
Suggested Read: These Museums In Beirut Will Put You Under A Deep Culture Trance
The Avenue de Paris that faces the sea in this upscale neighbourhood of Beirut is a popular haunt and one of the nice places to visit in Beirut. You can have an evening coffee at the many cafes that line this street. The Avenue is part of the larger Corniche Beirut that runs along the Mediterranean and houses clubs that are the hottest places to visit in Beirut at night. 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.
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9. Sursock Museum
The Sursock Museum, located in the Achrafieh, which is one of the oldest residential districts in Lebanon, is amongst the foremost art places to see in Beirut. Mostly a patron of modern art and also some contemporary exhibitions also, the museum is situated in the former residential villa of Beirut aristocrat Nicolas Sursock. While the various exhibitions are certainly an attraction, the expansive mansions on the street built in the style of Lebanese classic architecture will certainly blow your mind!
Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM every day except Thursday; Thursday – 12 PM to 9 PM
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10. Roman Baths
If you are wondering what to see in Beirut that will betray its Roman roots, the Berytus situated in the heart of downtown Beirut will not disappoint. An ancient thermae, the site was a meeting place for all Roman citizens in the city and was divided into four sections. One of these sections is now the site of artistic concerts and performances, while the other is now a Mediterranean garden and one of the foremost tourist places in Beirut.
Location: Banks and Capuchin Street
Timings: Open 24 hours
11. Martyrs’ Square
To reflect the Lebanon’s rocky political history, stands this Martyr’s Square, which is an iconic attraction. In the present day this is one of the famous spots to witness the civilian protests and gathering. This is an iconic landmark located at the Downtown Beirut. Formed and named in the year 1931, this place was a symbol of tribute for the martyr’s who executed the Ottoman rule.
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Timings: 24 Hours
12. Pigeon Rocks, Raouche
This natural marvel is located in the sea close to the historical Raouche, the Pigeon Rocks are considered one of the gems of Lebanon. This region is surrounded by rocks and there are evidences of human existence have also been found. While one takes a walk around the Raouche’s Corniche, one can take a beautiful glimpse of the entire sight.
Location: Raouche, Beirut, Lebanon
Timings: Sun-Sat (12AM)
13. Grand Serail
Locally known as the Government Palace, the Grand Serail is the main base of Lebanon’s prime minister. This marvellous building is known as the gem of the Ottoman’s Era and is a must-visit place for the people who are willing to know the intricacies of the Beirut’s history. This place is a must visit attractions while in Beirut.
Location: Majidiye, Beirut, Beirut Governorate, Lebanon
14. Saifi Village
This is an upscale and famous residential area located in Beirut, Saifi Village is one of the must visit locations which one must take a walk through. Reflecting the beautiful French Colonial style, this village is known to be a home to various art galleries and also a upscale farmer’s market.
Location: Said Akel, Bayrut, Lebanon
15. Beit Ed-Dine Palace
This is a 19th century palace located in Lebanon which is known for hosting the grand Beiteddine festival and also house the museum which makes it worth all the time. The construction of this palace started in 1788 and it was completed in around 30 years. The legends say that the prince had chopped off the hands of the architect’s so that another marvel cannot be made. This is a one of a kind marvel which holds a heavy importance in Lebanon.
Location: Mount Lebanon Governorate, Lebanon
Timings: 9AM-5PM (Tues-Sun), Monday (Closed)
Further Read: Top 7 Reasons To Visit Jordan Right Now
Beirut tourism will let you indulge in the best of nightlife, food, shopping, history, and architecture. So don’t wait and book your trip to the Middle East to scale all these awesome and beautiful places to visit in Beirut.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Beirut
Do I need a visa for Beirut?
Yes, you need a visa to visit Beirut. Unless you are a citizen of a GCC country, (eg. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, etc.), who do not require a visa for Lebanon, a visa is required. For most countries, Visa on arrival is offered for a duration of one month. However, this facility is not available for Indian citizens yet so you will have to contact the embassy. Also, those who have an Israeli visa or stamp on their passports might be denied entry in the country.
What is Beirut known for?
Known as the Paris of the Middle East, Beirut exudes the same old city charm as the French capital. Well known for fine Lebanese food, it is a place where years of history have been showcased. From the large ruins of ancient Rome to Ksara wine, there is a lot Beirut is known for along with a long list of places to visit in Beirut.
What is the best area to stay in Beirut?
Some of the best areas to stay in Beirut include Downtown Beirut, Beirut Central District, Hamra in West Beirut, Achrafieh in the east, and Raouché.
Can you drink the water in Beirut?
Though tap water in Beirut is considered safe to drink it is preferred you consume bottled water.
What currency is used in Beirut?
You can use either U.S. dollars or Lebanese pound in Beirut to make transactions. Also note that:
1 LBP = INR 0.047
Is Beirut an expensive city?
Yes, Beirut is considered to be the most expensive city in the Middle East and the cost of living here is high. In order to cut down on expenses, try staying in a 3-star hotel, use public transport for commuting, and eat at local restaurants and eating joints.