Beirut was once the self-proclaimed "Paris of the Middle East". It still has an outdoor cafe culture, and European architecture can be found everywhere. Many Beirutis (as well as other Lebanese) speak French and/or English, to varying degrees, along with Arabic.
Each district has its own sights and places to visit. The following listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit to Beirut. The complete listings are found on each individual district page.
District) A monumental natural arch jutting up from the Mediterranean. Great place to sit at one of the roadside cafes and watch the sun set.
Place de l'Etoile
District), originally built by the French in the early 20th century in the very center of the Downtown district, it suffered a lot of war damage during the war but recently has been restored.
Martyr's Statue Downtown
Martyr's Square, east of Nejmeh Square towards Ashrafieh.
Jeita Grotto is a compound of crystallized caves in Lebanon located 20 km north of Beirut in the Valley of Nahr al-Kalb (Dog River). This grotto is made up of two limestone caves, upper galleries and a lower cave through which a 6230 m long river runs. Geologically, the caves provide a tunnel or escape route for the underground river. In this cave and galleries, the action of water in the limestone has created cathedral-like vaults full of various sizes, colors and shapes of stalactites and stalagmites, majestic curtains and fantastic rock formations. The total length of the cave is more than 9000 m and there is one among the biggest stalactites in the world hanging 8,20 m. The grotto accommodates a huge hall with a distance of 108 m from the ceiling till the water level.
Museums and galleries
National Museum Of BeirutAbout 1,300 artifacts are exhibited, ranging in date from prehistoric times to the medieval Mamluk period mainly dealing with Lebanon's Archeology and History. Tu-Su 9AM-5PM, closed Mon and Holidays, Fee: 5.000L.L (adult), 1.000L.L (students, under 18). Sursock Museum
District), Rue. Sursock (street), Ashrafieh, Beirut. (Contemporary Modern art
), the building itself is a perfect example of the typical 18th century Lebanese palace. Lebanese and International art is permanently displayed in the intricately preserved interior. At July 2010, the museum is closed due to building works next door.
Beirut Art Center
District), Rue. 97 (street), Sin El-Fil, Beirut. (Contemporary Modern art
), the first non-profit public space in Beirut, housing an exhibition space, screening and performance auditorium, bookstore, mediatheque, cafe and terrace. Designed by architect Raed Abi Lama. Tel: 01 397 018.
AUB MuseumArcheology and History, the Middle East's oldest museum. Rue. Bliss (Rue. 33), Hamra,(01)340549. Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00, closed holidays.
Parks & Squares
, Emmile Eddé Road, Hamra
Horsh Beirut (Beirut Pine Forest)
, (adjacent to the Beirut Hippodrome south of Ashrafieh
Khalil Gebran Park Downtown
District (between Amir Amine St. and Toufik Khaled St.)
Saifi village Downtown
(between Charles Debbas St. and Dmascus St.)
Riad El Solh St. Downtown
Festivals & Events
Beirut International Film FestivalHeld annually in October, the Beirut Film Festival exhibits films from all over the middle east, usually in either Arabic or French. The films vary enormously and some can be intensely political. Beirut International Jazz FestivalHeld annually during the month of July over a period of four days, some of the greatest international jazz artists as well as musicians from around Lebanon play some quality music near the Beirut marina.
One Big Sunday, Beach party with live DJs held every Sunday during the summer months in various resorts and beaches, organised by Mix FM .
Bacardi Night, Annual festival held during the summer with some of the hottest DJs and bands from around the world, organised by Mix FM .