Energetic, warm and with an eye firmly fixed to the future, Beirut sings of revitalisation. Wander its streets and you’ll soon discover a warm welcome, as well as poignant shadows of the city’s past. This is the place where ancient Roman sites sit beside cool art galleries, and centuries-old bazaars meet chic designer boutiques.
Discover the liveliest of spirits and an intriguing blend of culture in this most surprising of cities.
Things to do
Beirut has a beach scene to rival the best in the world. Sip cocktails on a sun-bed at one of the city’s exclusive beach clubs, or stroll along the Corniche promenade beside Pigeon Rocks. For something a little more energetic, head to the coast at Batroun where windsurfers and jet skiers pepper the horizon.
FOOD & WINE
From traditional fare to international fine dining, Beirut’s restaurant culture is dynamic and sophisticated. Here you can dine on sushi platters one night, and local Lebanese mezze the next.
Beirut wears its history on its sleeve. Book a private, guided tour to learn more about the city’s heritage – from the ancient Roman baths and Byzantine churches, to the remains of the Amghen Abraham synagogue and the Jewish quarter. For a thought-provoking reminder of Beirut’s more recent past, you can see the bullet holes in the walls of the Holiday Inn yourself and visit the Place des Martyrs.
Along with a plate of kofta, ask your waiter for a glass of local wine. Beirut’s Bekaa Valley has been a grape-growing region for centuries.
Top tip from SLH