Beirut Lebanon is known for its long civil war ending in 1990. However, things have moved on a lot since then. Here are a few things to do in Beirut Lebanon;
- Raouche Rocks
- Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
- Martyr’s Square
- National Museum of Beirut Lebanon
- Zaitunay Bay and Promenade
- Nejmeh Square and Clock Tower
- Beirut Souks
- Beit Beirut and Bullet Hole Filled Buildings
- Street Art
- Tallest Building in Lebanon
Hotels in Beirut are decent value, good luck finding a deal.
Firstly, let’s start with arguably the most beautiful part of Beirut, Raouche Rocks. They’re immediately to the west of Beirut, around 50 meters from the mainland. As a result, this is the famous Beirut sunset location. Moreover, the cliff edges facing the rocks are lined with bars and restaurants.
Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
The Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque first opened in 2008. It’s also known as the Blue Mosque due to its minarets. Of course, the most famous Blue Mosque is in Istanbul. Does the architectural style look familiar to you? It’s an Ottoman style mosque. Lastly, it has an interesting location, not only is it on the former Green Line but it’s also adjacent to the Cathedral.
Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque – Interior
Don’t be afraid to go inside the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque. You’ll be rewarded with detailed artwork if you do. As a matter of fact, I was welcome to visit at prayer time. If you’ve never witnessed prayer time in a mosque, here is a good place to do it. I’ve also witnessed prayer time at the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain. Respect the dress code and observe quietly from the rear.
Martyrs’ Square – Beirut Lebanon
When Beirut was under Ottoman Rule, martyrs were killed here. For this reason, the monument was erected in 1960. Although this monument was in the firing line during the civil war years, it still stands today. As a matter of fact, the bullet holes are still clearly visible. Other than the monument, this square is largely made up a a huge car park.
National Museum of Beirut Lebanon
When you mention Beirut Lebanon, people usually mention the civil war. However, there is much more to Beirut than this 15 year war. As a matter of fact, the majority of the 1300 artefacts survived this war. Visit the National Museum of Beirut to discover the a greater history of this area. Furthermore, another interesting place to visit is the Sursock Museum which displays art.
Zaitunay Bay and Promenade
Zaitunay Bay is a waterfront promenade which features shops and restaurants. With all the delicious Lebanese food on offer, foodies in particular will love this area. In addition to Zaitunay Bay, I recommend you take a walk on the promenade. As well as beautiful sea views you’ll also see Lebanese going about their daily lives.
Nejmeh Square – Clock Tower
The Clock Tower marks the center of modern day Beirut. As you can imagine, this area was heavily destroyed during the civil war. As a result, the center features several new buildings and is well organised. Finally, you’ll find several shops, restaurants as well as government buildings in this area. In fact, the Lebanese Parliament is based in this area.
If you are in Beirut for shopping, you’ll love Beirut Souks in the central district. If not for the shopping then for the beautiful building.
I Love Beirut Sign
Nowadays, as people travel the world they like to take pictures by the city signs. I’ve photographed these all over the world from Aruba and Curacao to Belgrade and Kosovo! In Beirut Central District you’ll find the I Love Beirut Lebanon sign.
I mentioned that the center of Beirut has been heavily restored in recent years. However, care has been taken to preserve the Roman history of the area. An interesting fact about the Roman Baths is they’re adjacent to Grand Serail (Government Palace). For this reason, you’ll see a lot of barbed wire protection in this area so walk carefully!
Roman Cardo Maximus
In the center of Beirut are the remains of an ancient Roman city. What you see is in fact, the remains of the main north to south street of the city. What was the name of Roman Beirut? It was called, Berytus which is where the name Beirut was derived. It’s adjacent to the main Mosque and Cathedral of Beirut.
Built in 1924 and known as the Yellow House, Beit Beirut is an example of Neo Ottoman architecture. Due to its location on the Green Line is was heavily damaged during the civil war. As a result it’s not only an example of Neo Ottoman architecture but also War architecture. An interesting fact about the building is that snipers used it during the war. Finally, read about the Mostar Sniper Tower in Bosnia which served a similar purpose.
Holiday Inn Beirut
The Holiday Inn Beirut opened in 1973, 2 years before the start of the Lebanese Civil War. It’s one of the tallest buildings close to the infamous Green Line. As a result, it was of high strategic importance. Although it’s forbidden to enter, you can see this huge civil war reminder from all over the city. What happened to the interior furnishings of the Holiday Inn Beirut? As you would imagine, they were looted.
Bullet Hole Riddled Buildings
The 2 most written about bullet hole buildings are the Holiday Inn as well as Beit Beirut. However, this was a 15 year civil war, and there are hundreds of these ruins. As you explore the area around the Green Line in particular, you’ll see many abandoned buildings.
Street Art in Beirut Lebanon
Street art is interesting in any city you visit. When you add the bullet hole filled buildings, street art can become very unique!
Tallest Building in Beirut – Sama Beirut
At 195 meters tall Sama Beirut is not only the tallest city in Beirut but in the whole of Lebanon. What’s more it’s an eco friendly building with many energy saving features.
How to get from Beirut to Tripoli
There are several buses each day between Lebanon and Tripoli. They leave from the main bus station which is a short walk from central Beirut. Simply turn up and pay for your ticket from the ticket office in the bus station.
Read about Srebrenica, Bosnia.