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Destination:

Beirut

Beirut

Beirut is the perfect destination for seasoned travellers: here, East and West intertwine in intricate and fascinating ways, creating a city so magnetic few are able to resist its powerful draw. It's certainly true that much has changed over the latter half of the twentieth century – Beirut rising to become glitterati central in the 60s but falling from grace during the bloody Civil War – but the city is alive and kicking, enticing travellers with superb gastronomy, the Middle East's most vibrant nightlife and a close proximity to the ancient towns of Byblos and Baalbek.

Find your trip

Beirut
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The Corniche and Pigeon Rocks

Walk (or bike) along the Corniche to witness the leisurely flow of life by the Mediterranean; if you head south towards the Raouche neighbourhood, you will eventually come to one of Beirut's most iconic natural sites: the Pigeon Rocks, limestone formations jutting out of the sea. Come at sundown for shisha with a view.

Gemmayzeh & Mar Mikhael Neighbourhoods

To discover an edgier, hip side to the city, walk down the thoroughfares of Armenia Street (Mar Mikhael) and Gouraud Street (Gemmayzeh), and soak in Beirut's undeniable cool. There are plenty of attractive brunch spots and swank art galleries around (check out the St Nicholas Stairs in the summer for some al fresco art).

Dar Bistro & Books

This longstanding Hamra classic hosts patrons in the inviting inner courtyard, treating them to a an authentic homey Levantine experience rather than a meal alone. Stop by for just a coffee and dessert, too - and do not walk past one of the city's best bookshops as you make an exit.

Address
Roma, Wardieh Hamra, Beirut
Makan & Motto

If Makan's rotating menu of international (most often Asian) specialities and an aesthetically pleasing interior of a historic Levantine villa (with an incredibly atmospheric courtyard) weren't enough, Makan also operates on a rather unusual concept of allowing guests to pay what they please (or "what they think is fair") for the meal. Same goes for Motto, Makan's sister establishment a few blocks down Armenia Street - the primary culinary focus here is on Indian flavours, with different regions featured every week.

Beirut Souks

The polished Beirut Souks are far from an Oriental understanding of a boisterous marketplace. Stores that line these tranquil streets include upscale international names like Louis Vuitton, D&G, Armani, and more - along with more affordable high street brands. The Souks are more than just a shopping complex, with entertainment options, street markets and attractive public spaces.

Address
Waygand, Beirut
Souq al Ahad Sunday Market

Weekends see the Souq al Ahad fill up with vendors selling all manner of goods, from books to knick knacks and original antiques, most sold at prices that are simply unbeatable.

Safety

Keep up-to-date with travel safety advice when planning a trip to Beirut and all thorough your stay. While most visits are trouble-free, there is a risk of terrorism present at all times, especially so in crowded areas and around dates of political significance, such as elections. Governments of many countries advise against travel to some parts of Lebanon (particularly around the borders with Syria and Israel, and around refugee camps) and the southern suburbs of Beirut, where threat of terrorism is especially high.

Passport / Visa

Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates do not require a visa to enter Lebanon and stay for up to 6 months in a year for the purpose of tourism, provided they have no Israeli marks or stamps in their passports and a nonrefundable onward ticket; same applies to citizens of Jordan for stays of up to 3 months a year. Visa on arrival is granted under the above conditions to nationals of the European Union, much of Europe, the USA, Mexico, Canada, China, Australia, and many other countries across Asia and South America. If you do require a visa, an application must be made in advance via a Lebanese embassy or consulate closest to you. Please visit the General Security web page for up-to-date information.