I’m going to tell you right up front: If it’s your first time in the city, getting around Beirut is not going to be stress-free. But with a little help and a keen eye, you can get the gist of it – and probably make friends for life.
From traditional Lebanese mezze restaurants to ubiquitous fast-food chains like TGI Fridays and Domino’s Pizza to an array of international cuisine, the choice of restaurants in Beirut is impressive, but to sample local food at its best, head to the street. The street food of Beirut is as diverse as the city itself, blending Arab, Turkish, and Mediterranean flavors, and nurturing an unashamedly sweet tooth.
The Mediterranean port city of Beirut has had a long — and at times very tumultuous — history, and religion has played a fundamental role in that history. Travelers wanting to gain a deeper understanding of life and history in Lebanon should visit a few religious sties in Beirut.
Moussa Castle in Lebanon is one of the country’s stranger, yet no less fascinating, attractions. Located atop a hill between Deir El Kamar and Beiteddine, the castle was built by a young visionary by the name of Moussa Abdel Karim Al Maamari.
Lebanon’s unique cultural history has helped to make its cuisine the most popular in the Middle East. Having been ruled by foreign powers for much of its existence, Lebanese cuisine has absorbed influences from a number of varied sources.
Nightlife is not really something you need to look for in Beirut — it is just about everywhere. The city really never sleeps, and as the ‘Party Capital of the Middle East’ there is something to satisfy nearly all tastes, with some of the coolest pubs, clubs and underground hotspots in the region.
Beirut is not really a city designed with pedestrians in mind, something you’ll notice fairly quickly due to the obvious lack of sidewalks. Furthermore, private transport is pretty much the norm, making public transportation fairly limited in comparison with other large cities. That said, here is the lowdown on getting around in Beirut.
On a high hill overlooking the Mediterranean some 30 miles south of Beirut lies the pilgrimage town of Maghdouche, famous for its 90-foot (30-meter) bronze Maronite shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Overlooking the Bay of Jounieh on the Mediterranean coast, Harissa is a mountain village that draws Christian pilgrims from around the world. A short drive away from Beirut, the main reason visitors come to Harissa is to visit the Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine, a 15-ton bronze statue of the Virgin Mary. It is one of Lebanon’s most renowned man-made landmarks.