Insider's Guide to Beirut

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

Get the
Inside Scoop

Privacy Policy

Beirut RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Ancient Sites Near Beirut

By Viator, October 2013

4.5 84 Reviews | Add your review

Beirut and environs have survived a long and turbulent history that goes back more than 5,000 years, making the area chock-full of historical sights. Beirut is an evocative cosmopolitan city well worth a few days of exploration, but for those interested in the region’s history there are a number of ancient sites near the capital worth checking out.

Jbail

While modern Jbail doesn’t have much to boast about, if you head to the city’s old quarter you will find a maze of narrow medieval streets, full of quaint shops and restaurants, that was once the site of ancient Byblos. This area of Jbail has been continuously inhabited for more than 7,000 years, making it one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities. The highlight here is the impressive crusader fort dominating the quarter.  

Baalbek

Situated about 50 miles from Beirut, Baalbek is home to the most impressive ancient site in the country and arguably the most important Roman site in the Middle East. The ruins, which date back to at least the third millennium BC, reveal what was once Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, one of the wonders of the ancient world. The temples here were built on a scale that rivaled those in Rome.

Aanjar

Aanjar is a small town founded by Armenian refugees from Turkey. It’s a relaxing place to spend a day, but most visitors come for Aanjar’s impressive complex of Umayyad ruins, which date back to around AD 705–715. It is the only archeological site in Lebanon from the Umayyad period.

Beiteddine

Set in the rolling highlands 28 miles southeast of Beirut, the imposing palace of Beiteddine was built in the 18th and 19th centuries and is an excellent example of classic Lebanese architecture. The sprawling complex boats richly decorated ceilings, opulent Turkish baths, colorful floor mosaics, a folkloric museum with costumes, jewelry and weapons of the era, a museum displaying Byzantine mosaics, and more.

Sidon

25 miles south of Beirut, Sidon was once a grand city of the Phoenician Empire, and many relics from the Phoenician can be found here, including the Temple of Eshmoun, a Phoenician holy site built in the 7th-century BC and named for the Phoenician God of Healing. It is considered to be among the best-preserved Phoenician sites in the country.

The Sidon Sea Castle, constructed by the Crusaders in 1228, is also worth visiting, as are the Castle of Saint-Louis (Land Castle) and the impressive Great Mosque.

Tyre (Sour)

According to Herodotus, Tyre was founded around 2750 BC. Today, Tyre is booming modern city (Lebanon’s fourth-largest), as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site with some of the finest examples of Roman architecture in the world, including Roman streets, arcades and one of the largest hippodromes of the period.

Tours & Tickets

See all

Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

Explore the fascinating Lebanese cities of Byblos and Harissa, as well as the world-famous Jeita Grotto, on a full-day trip from Beirut! On this must-do ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $90.00

Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

4.5 star rating: Recommended 28 Reviews

Take a full-day trip to the amazing cities of Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara, and immerse yourself in a captivating world of Lebanese history. The cities of Baalbek ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $90.00

Cedars of Lebanon, Kozhaya and Besharreh Day Trip from Beirut

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

On this Beirut full-day trip, discover the villages of Besharreh and Kozhaya in Lebanon's World Heritage-listed Holy Valley before exploring the Cedars of ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $75.00

Private Tour: Cedars of Lebanon, Kozhaya and Besharreh Day Trip from Beirut

On this private day trip from Beirut, discover the villages of Besharreh and Kozhaya in Lebanon's UNESCO World Heritage-listed Holy Valley. Besharreh and ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $55.00

Private Tour: Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

Take a private day trip from Beirut to the amazing cities of Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Lebanese history. The ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $55.00

Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche Day Trip from Beirut

4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

Enjoy a full-day trip from Beirut to the fascinating Lebanese cities of Tyre (a UNESCO World Heritage), Sidon and Maghdouche. With your local expert guide, ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.00

Historical Beirut Walking Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Be enchanted by the capital of modern Lebanon, the country’s cultural and commercial center. On your half-day guided tour of Beirut, see the city’s top ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $35.00

Byblos and Jeita Grotto Day Trip from Beirut

4 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

On this exciting day trip from Beirut to Byblos and Jeita, visit one of the oldest towns in the world and see the amazing Jeita Grotto, one of Lebanon’s most ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $65.00

Beirut Super Saver: Beirut Historical Walking Tour plus Day Trip to Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa

4 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Combine two popular tours from Beirut over two days for the ultimate experience of Lebanon! On your first day, take a 3-hour historical tour of Beirut with an ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $112.00
$125.00 Save $13.00

Private Tour: Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Discover the fascinating Lebanese cities of Byblos and Harissa, as well as the world-famous Jeita Grotto, on a private day trip from Beirut! On this guided ...  Read more

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.00

See all Ancient Sites Near Beirut Tours & Tickets

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message