Beirut is a jewel of a city on Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast. The city is the country’s seat of power and its most important port. Beirut is also one of the oldest cities in the world and appears in records kept by the ancient Egyptians. Naturally, there are plenty of things to do in Beirut Lebanon and places to see. The extended city is home to more than 2 million people, but the actual city is quite small and alive with the scent of jasmine and coffee at the various French-style cafes spread throughout.
Top 16 Things To Do In Beirut
If you are wondering what to do in Beirut, then keep scrolling down and get acquainted with the best things to do in Beirut 2020:
- Beirut – Experience the architecture
- Baalbek – Explore its bylanes
- Hamra Street – Take a stroll
- Achrafie – Watch an art film
- National Museum – Step back in time
- Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque – Seek blessings
- Beirut – Shop in flea markets
- Mar Mikhael – Enjoy the nightlife
- Byblos – Take a road trip
- Tourist Landmark Of Resistance – Pay homage
- Beirut – Indulge in local wine
- Raouche – Check out rock formations
- Sursock Museum – Visit exhibitions
- Roman Baths – Get awestruck
- Beit Ed Dine Palace – Feel like a royal
- Our Lady Of Lebanon – Watch the sunrise
1. Beirut – Experience The Architecture
Lebanon has been influenced by several civilizations – Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman and the French. If you take a stroll through Rue John Kennedy and Rue Omar ed-Daouk, you will see the most beautiful neo-Ottoman mansions. From here, the city center is only a short distance away from where you will find the Place d’Étoile, restored to its old glory after the devastation of the war. The St. George’s Cathedral is also nearby, and is the perfect example of French architecture. It is one of the best things to do in Beirut.
2. Baalbek – Explore Its Bylanes
The small town of Baalbek is only a two-hour drive away from Beirut. The charming place has a number of places that will stun you. The Bacchus Temple, built to celebrate the Roman god of wine, is an 1800 year old masterpiece and still stands in relative pristine condition. The landmark architecture of the temple, with its enormous beams and intricate inscriptions, is definitely something that you should see.
Location: 85 km from Beirut
Temple entry fee: Free
3. Hamra Street – Take A Stroll
Because the city of Lebanon is so small, taking a simple stroll on its most famous streets may not be the most unusual thing to do in Beirut. Take a tour of the campus of the American University of Beirut, where you will find the archaeological museum that houses brilliant treasures from the country’s storied past. Also, you will find the best mezze at the Mezyan and T Marbouta that are within walking distance. Mezyan also has live Arabic music and a dinner date there is a good idea.
Location: Rue 31
Cost for two at Mezyan: INR 2500
4. Achrafie – Watch An Art Film
Are you confused about what to do in Beirut at night? Don’t worry,The Achrafieh is your answer as it is the perfect companion to the lively Hamrah street and is one of the oldest portions of the city. Its sleepy streets have been making way for all kinds of modern houses but you can still find old French manors and shephard’s paddocks here. Metropolis Sofil in the neighbourhood is the sole arthouse cinema in the city, and catching a flick here is one of the best things to do in Lebanon at night.
Location: Eastern downtown Beirut
Cost for two at Almayass: INR 5000
Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM
5. National Museum – Step Back In Time
The sarcophagi carved in marble from the times of Tyre, unearthed here a long time ago, are the star attractions at the museum that harkens back to the classical roots of the city. Excavation of bronze statues from Byblos are also on display here and there is also a short audio visual presentation on how the museum and its exhibits were saved when the building became a frontier during the bloody civil war. It is one of the best things to do in Beirut this weekend!
Location: Avenue Abdellah el-Yafi
Timings: Tuesday – Sunday, 9AM to 5PM
Entry fee: INR 200
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6. Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque – Seek Blessings
The Blue Mosque, the Mohammad al-Amin mosque is a Sunni place of worship and one of the world’s most beautiful pieces of Muslim architecture. Completed in 2008, visiting the mosque is one of the best free things to do in Beirut. The mosque allows visitors inside and has the most artistically decorated interiors, referred to as Zakhfarat in the local parlance. You would also like the beautiful Islamic calligraphy and stained glass windows.
Location: Martyr’s Square
Entry fee: None
Timings: Open 24 hours
7. Beirut – Shop In Flea Markets
The Beirut Souks in the downtown is an enormous market that dates back 5000 years, and now houses literally every luxury brand in the world. However, this reinvention may not be light on your pockets, so hop by to the Souk Al Ahad, the flea market that opens only on Sundays for one of the most fun activities to do in Beirut. If you have the eye for it, you can get all kinds of antique furniture, lamps, oriental jewelry, all for dirt cheap prices.
Location: Corniche Al Nahr Emile Lahoud Avenue
Timings: Open every Sunday
8. Mar Mikhael – Enjoy The Nightlife
It is unusual to find a pub and club scene in an Arabic city, but the Beirut districts of Gemmayzeh, Armenia Street, Mar Mikhael, and Gouraud Street are a lively celebration of the hipster culture in Lebanon and offer the best things to do in Beirut at night. There is a ton of graffiti here, which is street art for a lot of people, so bring your camera along for the best snaps of the most unusual art you will find. The St. Nicholas Stairs is surrounded by old mansions and is the site of the open air exhibitions during the Arabic summer.
Location: Gemmayzeh Street
9. Byblos – Take A Road Trip
It is one of the most romantic things to do in Beirut. The world’s first Phoenician city, Byblos has seen so much history that it is disorienting. Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Persians as well as Ottomans have all occupied the city at some point of time. There are so many ramparts and souks from medieval times here that you can just spot from the bougainvillea lined streets. The World Heritage Site is also the host of the annual Byblos festival, and visiting the city is one of the top 10 things to do in Beirut.
Location: 37 kilometres from Beirut
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10. Tourist Landmark Of Resistance – Pay Homage
Any visit to the Beirut is incomplete without recognising the recent history of turmoil and war that the country went through. Located on the Mleeta hills, the museum documents some of the events of the civil war. Built by the militia that currently rules the country, the museum provides a perspective nevertheless. A Merkava tank and several other artifacts saved from the war are all laid out and the place definitely drives home the enormous tragedy of the Lebanese people.
Location: 82 km from Beirut
11. Beirut – Indulge In Local Wine
Established in 1857 by Jesuit Priests, Chateau Ksara developed the first dry wine in Beirut and since then it is one of the most popular fun things to do in Beirut. Go get some freshly brewed wine at this place and also get a tour around the winery which will be the highlight of your trip.
Location: Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
12. Raouche – Check Out Rock Formations
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 or a cup of piping hot coffee. Make sure to stop by here in Beirut!
13. Sursock Museum – Visit Exhibitions
The Sursock Museum is a sight to behold. It 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 drive you crazy.
Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM every day except Thursday; Thursday – 12 PM to 9 PM
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14. Roman Baths – Get Awestruck
Roman Baths historically 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. Step back in time at this gorgeous place!
Location: Banks and Capuchin Street
Timings: Open 24 hours
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15. Beit Ed Dine Palace – Feel Like A Royal
It took 30 years for this palace to be fully built, starting from the year 1788. The Beit Ed-Dine Palace in Beirut is home to an ancient museum and a musical festival which takes place here annually. Make sure to attend that musical event on your trip to Beirut.
16. Our Lady Of Lebanon – Watch The Sunrise
Our lady of Lebanon is made in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus. You can take a tour of the massive monument or visit the place in the dark of the light when you will get mesmerized by the glowing statue. You can watch the sunrise from here and get a shining perspective of the city.
The city offers a different way to experience the Mediterranean life, and should be on your list of places to go. This list of things to do in Beirut offers a tiny snapshot into the wonders of the city. Take a trip to the Middle East and we guarantee you the perfect holiday experience you desire!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Beirut
A. From stepping back in time at its museums to shopping in souks, there are a range of things to do in Beirut.
A. Beirut Central District or Downtown Beirut is the best area to stay in Beirut.
A. It’s absolutely safe to walk around in Beirut and explore the city on foot irrespective of the area or time of the day.
A. You can get through the day in just about $30 if you travel, stay, and eat like a local in Beirut. However, if you choose expensive accommodation and dine in 5-star restaurants, you’re bound to be spending as much as $300 a day!
A. While it is true that Beirut is considered to be the most expensive city in the Middle East, you can still travel around in budget if you plan well. Eat at local restaurants, choose a 3-star accommodation near the market area, use public transport to get around, and visit in the offseason.
A. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost you somewhere between $33 to $66.
A. Lebanese tap water is proclaimed safe to drink, but it is still advised you opt for packaged drinking water.
A. Yes, Indian nationals need to acquire a visa for visiting Lebanon.
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