Travelers to Beirut can relish in the simple pleasure of sipping a thick coffee at an outdoor café or people watching along the Corniche, a three-mile coastal promenade where bullet holes still riddle the well-manicured palm trees. Visitors can similarly amble along the newly constructed Zaitunay Bay esplanade where private yachts moored offshore bear witness to Beirut’s surging wealth.
Though Beirut has no shortage of easy transport, travelers can take pleasure in strolling in the pedestrian mall around Nejmeh Square and gawk at the masterfully planned architecture. Nearby, in Martyr’s Square, many of the country’s largest political gatherings have taken place and the grounds are still a hotspot for raucous political expression.
Beirut is much more than picturesque squares and glittering promenades. It’s also a regional center of culture and commerce. At the ultra-popular Souk el Barghout, shoppers can search for everything from designer shoes to traditional caftans. Meanwhile, across town, history buffs will get lost in the sprawling National Museum and the numerous cultural artifacts residing within.
For the 1.5 million people who call Beirut home, however, gambling on horse races at the Hippodrome and dancing all night at thumping nightclubs are elements of a daily Beirut life steeped in pleasure and enjoyment. For thousands of years Beirut has been an alluring fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean lifestyle, and as Lebanon progresses into an increasingly modern future, Beirut will be the capital city leading the Lebanese charge forward.
Review by Nada D, October 2012
Doing what: Full-Day Tour of Beirut, Beiteddine and Deir El Qamar
It was the best tour ever I will never forget this cities it was like a dream I recommend it to all the persons planning to visit Lebanon it is a must to discover Beiteddine and Deir Al Qamar u don't have to miss it
Thanks to the well-informed, charming Eliane I learnt a lot about the recently 'contested' parts of Beirut during the civil war, the rebirth of downtown Beirut. The visit to the Museum was special. Would be great to have a slightly longer tour for those of us interested in a deeper and slightly wider experience, ie Ottoman Beirut, getting inside key buildings, a neighbourhood, personalised stories. Needless to say south Beirut is ignored by most tour groups but hard to ignore politically!
A great way to see Beirut, the tour was well paced and informative. I recommend this to everyone who goes there. I was so impressed I did a tour the next day to the Becca Valley.