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11 Reasons Why You'll Fall in Love With Beirut

Picture of Amani Sharif
Freelance Writer
Updated: 30 December 2017
Lebanon’s capital, Beirut is a city with unique character and amazing sights to see. Not many experience Beirut and leave thinking one visit was enough. The city’s magnetic energy will draw you in and leave you wanting more. Here are 11 reasons you’ll fall in love with Beirut.

The history

A city that has survived civil war, occupation and political unrest, Beirut has a rich history. Evidence of its constant fall and rise is littered all over its streets. The juxtaposition of war torn and modern haven is almost staggering and creates a very interesting visual history right there for you to see as you walk in the city’s streets.

National Museum
National Museum | © Normalsanik/ Flickr

The vibe

Ever loved a city for nothing but its “vibe”? Beirut is definitely one of those places the charm of which you can’t put into words. This capital has a way of leaving a mark on your character and memory. Not many dislike Beirut and almost all want to come back for more of this cosmopolitan place.

The people

The Lebanese are a friendly people, that is especially true in Beirut where locals are used to seeing tourists year round. If you open yourself up to it you’ll quickly make friends in the city. From a driver who’ll take you to all the good spots to an acquaintance who’ll insist you come over for lunch or coffee, Beirut’s people are like no other.

The streets

Walking in Beirut’s streets is one of the best tourist activities. You never know what you’ll find as you wander around the city’s streets. Places like Bliss Street in Hamra, Gemmayzeh and Downtown Beirut are just some of the places you should walk around and take in.

The architecture

Buildings around Beirut range from Ottoman and French style buildings to restored Oriental structures in Downtown and modern high-rises by the see. There’s never a dull sight in Beirut as you marvel at every building’s unique architecture. Many will have been around for generations and carry the mark of eras long gone. You might even find an abandoned home to explore!

The food

Lebanese food is one of the world’s best cuisines and Beirut is at the center of it. Take advantage of your visit to the city and make sure you eat the food it has to offer. Don’t be afraid of street food corners and small local cafes as they usually have the best food. If you haven’t tried shawarma and falafel sandwiches in Beirut then you’ve surely wasted your time.

The art

Art in Beirut is a unique blend of oriental and western influences. The city itself inspires many artists to paint, write and make films as Beirut’s tumultuous history makes for amazing artistic inspiration and interpretation. Even down to the street art, most Lebanese art will be tied to its political unrest and tragic narrative.

Sursock Art Museum
Sursock Art Museum | © Peter O’Sullivan/ Flickr

The nightlife

Beirut continues to be the regional party central. It’s littered with night clubs, bars and venues to while the night away with good food, drink and company. You never know who you might meet or what might happen. This city has a nightlife like no other as many flock to capture the spirit of a Lebanese night.

The energy

Hand in hand with Beirut’s “vibe” the city has an energy that cannot be put into words. The sheer amount of people, their diversity and sense of purpose will leave you wanting more. Beirut is constantly buzzing with activity from the work rush on the highway to the relaxed atmosphere in Hamra, each corner has its own pace for you to experience.

Downtown

Perhaps one of the most distinctive places in the city, Downtown Beirut is a must visit. Restored after the war this street captures the essence of Beirut. From oriental architecture, to luxury boutiques and restaurants, Downtown Beirut is an experience and not just a place. Take a stroll through Beirut Souks and see what it means to be glamorous in Lebanon.

Day trips

Beirut occupies a strategic position for tourists. Being on the middle of the country’s coast it offers access to almost all the country’s major towns easily. A two hour drive north will get you to Tripoli, the country’s second biggest city, south to Tyr and east to Bekaa Valley. If you don’t want to stay in the city you’ll find it’s the prefect gateway to the rest of Lebanon.

Port of Byblos
Port of Byblos | © Petteri Sulonen/Flickr