Beirut is the capital of Lebanon and host to the only international airport of the country. I kept it as the base for the whole of my trip.
From the moment I landed till the departure I felt this crazy electricity in the air, a sort of fun restlessness, I still miss it. The people of this city have the same fun energy.
I spent 2 full days exploring nooks and crannies of this city and you can relive some of that with me through Instagram stories above which have tons of recommendations…
Beirut has different districts which have different specialities:
• Hamra for Living and pubs
• Ashrafieh for museums
• Gemmayzeh and Zeytouniye Bay for food
• Raouché for the sea
• Mar Mikhael for partying and bars
• Downtown for shopping, socialising and fine dining
The best area to stay is Hamra which also has a good variety of food places as well as pubs. I stayed in aparthotel Studio 44 which was central and very clean.
Check the guide to find the best accommodation in a new city.
I took the Free Walking tour (highly recommend to book in advance) on my first day and it was great to understand the way to explore this gorgeous city. Here is the link to the book the tour which I would highly recommend.
I wandered around the downtown near Beirut Souks to explore the newer side of Beirut, the shopping malls and also found this contrast, the old Turkish style building right next to the almost completed building by Zaha Hadid.
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A small walk towards the old Holiday Inn building I found this beautiful square with some post-modern sculptures..
And eventually on to this, the perfect photo that represents Beirut for me; the old Holiday Inn building with its battel scars still visible…
Another fun area to explore is Zaitunay Bay with its line of restaurants and that famous ‘Stop Solodaire’ sign:
Beirut is a maze but there are small pockets that help you keep your sanity, Sanayeh Park was that spot for me:
Beirut has good beaches but sadly they are private and you have to pay to go to them, the public beach is pretty meh sadly but you can also leave the city and beaches are aplenty. I enjoyed going to Raouche to get my fix of that gorgeous Mediterranean Sea and for the Pigeon rocks.
Want to learn how to take perfect photos while travelling solo? Read this guide.
On the other side of Downtown and Beirut Souks, there is Martyr’s square and that gorgeous Al Amin mosque. Martyr’s square is quite secluded with roads around it but it isn’t exactly a public space (apart from the recent protests)
The first intro to the minarets of the mosque Al Amin is from Nijmeh square:
Fun Fact: During Roman times Beirut has had the best law school and that famous Justinian Code was written here.
To see the Roman and Turkish past of Beirut head to the Roman Baths at the bottom of Grand Sirayil which has the Prime Minister’s office.
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There’s a lot more to see and do but sadly I could do so much in the time I have had but Beirut will always have a special place in my heart.
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