For such a relatively small country, Lebanon has a surprising number of different things to see and do. If you’re a history buff, then you’ll no doubt be tired by the end of your trip. No matter where you step in Lebanon, you seem to go into the ancient past. For nature lovers, who can resist a stroll through forests of the famous Lebanese cedars? Or hiking up and down beautiful mountainous landscapes? If shopping is your thing, you’ll see why Lebanon is often called the “Paris of the Middle East”. It has various shops and malls that carry high-end haute couture for the friendly and fashion-conscious Lebanese people. At the end of the day, however, all roads lead to Beirut’s nightlife full of gregarious parties. So, if you’re headed to Lebanon, read on to find out more about where to go and what to do.
First, you have to realize that Beirut is a kind of “vibe”. That is, rather than being a city of top-notch sightseeing spots (though it does have those as well), Beirut is more of a city with a certain atmosphere. Basically, a city where small moments create big memories. For example, you might find yourself walking around and suddenly coming upon a quaint but crumbling Ottoman-era mansion covered in bougainvillea and bullet holes. Or you may find yourself in a taxi and discover the driver to be a charming, older gentleman who enjoys singing old Arabic songs. This is the kind of atmosphere that Beirut communicates. It is the kind of atmosphere that anyone who visits feels.
If you’re an ancient history buff, your first stop should be at either the National Museum of Beirut. The St. George Crypt Museum is not to be ignored either. You will get an inside view of what life was like for the old-school Berytians (as the Phoenicians knew them).
If you’re a bookworm, head over to Beirut’s Hamra neighborhood and browse the used book shops. Afterward, enjoy your purchase with a nice cup of Arabic coffee at a local café. Next, head over to what is possibly the most beautiful university campus in all of the Middle East – the American University of Beirut. Here you’ll find lots of greenery mixed with a variety of architectural styles.
Towards the end of the day, stroll over to Corniche Beirut for a beautiful view of the famous Pigeon Rocks along with one of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll ever see. If you’ve worked up an appetite by now, go to one of Mar Mikhael restaurants for authentic mouth-watering Lebanese food.
Now it’s nighttime and you’ll find why Beirut nightlife lives up to the reputation. Bridgette Bardot and Marlon Brando used to mingle here with oil sheiks and James Bond-type spies back in the 1960s. Long before Dubai and Tel Aviv became known as today’s party’s capitals there was Beirut with its nighttime party scene that still ranges from glitzy rooftop temples to gritty, sticky-floor dives with lawn chairs on their patios. But be forewarned – Beirut is not for the faint of heart partiers. There’s no official closing time for bars or clubs, so be ready to party until the break of dawn. Incidentally, for those who don’t imbibe, Arabic coffee and shisha are available as an alternative to alcohol.
So, that’s a quick tour of things to do in Beirut. If visiting Beirut is on your bucket list of places you want to visit and maybe you also want to learn to speak Arabic to talk to the locals while you’re there, research shows that the best way to learn Arabic is through the use of Arabic learning apps like the Kaleela Arabic learning app. Visit our website and find out how you can learn Levantine Arabic or any of the other Arabic dialects spoken throughout the region by downloading the Kaleela Arabic learning app to your IOS or Android mobile device today.
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