t is easy to see why Beirut is one of the finest jewels in the Middle East’s crown. The Lebanese capital is a fascinating city with a rich and colourful history as one of the greatest trading points in the ancient world.
Fly to Beirut and join a growing number of visitors from across the globe who have embraced its diverse tourism offerings. Here you can go skiing or snowboarding in the glistening white mountains or swim in the warm Mediterranean Sea. If you want a more sedate experience, enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the Raouché, or Pigeons’ Rock, along the Corniche.
Beirut was once dubbed the “Paris of the Middle East”, and its café culture is still a strong feature in the city. While people-watching may be a relaxing pastime, the Lebanese capital also has a wealth of other attractions to entertain and enthral.
Start with the Cilicia Museum, which houses a spectacular collection of Armenian cultural artefacts. The National Museum of Beirut also offers an in-depth timeline of the country’s past, including Phoenician marble statues from the 5th century BC.
If you fancy getting out of the city for a while, then head for the Horsh Beirut, a 40,000-square-metre pine forest on the edge of the city. There are also plenty of classical architectural sites to visit, including the Roman Baths and the ruins of the Cardo Maximus. The Grand Serail is an example of Ottoman architecture at its finest.
Your trip to Beirut won’t be complete without including the city’s café culture in your itinerary. Head for Al-Raouda, a waterfront café that’s a favourite with the locals, for a taste of authentic and strong Arabic coffee. For some laid-back jazz and traditional Lebanese music with your refreshments, check out Li Beirut on the Corniche. This boulevard is one of the traditional locations for the locals to see and be seen, so a stroll down the Corniche is a must.