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Top 10 Places To Visit In Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut is one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle Eastern world. Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, all the places to visit in Beirut city share history and character with some of the most exotic cities in the world – Italy, Morocco, Egypt, and Greece. Needless to say, Beirut tourism has flourished in the past decades. The wide avenues and boulevards built by French colonial rulers match the glorious mosque complexes that were built by the Ottomans and the Mamluks, and the ancient ruins of Roman temples and bathhouses top it all.

Here are the Top 10 Places to Visit in Beirut, which are worth visiting on a Beirut trip:

1. National Museum of Beirut

Located on the former Green Line, the museum is a magnificent insight into Lebanon's history. The museum is a 15-minute walk south of Sodeco Square along Rue De Damas. It showcases a number of Phoenician and Egyptian artifacts, depicting the earliest known traces of the Phoenician era. There are numerous artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Mamluk ages. You will be marveled at the kind of objects used even just for utility purposes in these prehistoric civilizations.

2. Grand Al Omari Mosque

It is the largest mosque in Beirut. Head downtown to the Al-Omari Mosque, for a startling insight into antiquity. A microcosm of Lebanese history, the mosque sits on a site of ancient ruins of a Crusader church, which in turn was a Byzantine church when built, that was itself built on the foundations of a Roman temple to Jupiter. In 1291, the Mamluks established the elegant sandstone mosque that stands today.

But its history lives on in this warm, intimate sanctuary: Mamluk, Ottoman, and Greek inscriptions, along with its cross-shaped plan and Byzantine architectural features, betray BeirutÍs multifaceted past.

3. Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque

Beirut sightseeing is not complete without a tour of the Blue Masjid, completed in 2008 and a beautiful specimen of post-modern Middle East architecture. The Zakhrafat inside the mosque is complex and appealing and the artistically decorated interiors and inscribed walls are open to the public. Once a small prayer corner, the Sunni place of worship was planned and built over several decades. The central blue dome is 48 meters high and the minarets tower at 65 meters, forming the most important feature of the downtown Lebanon skyline.

4. Baalbek

The town of Baalbek in Beqaa Valley, about two and half hours from Beirut, is best known for the Roman temple of Bacchus, one of the last standing Roman buildings in the world. The temple was built in memory of the Roman God of wine and is more than 1800 hundred years old. The courtyard in front of the temple now plays host to the Baalbeck International Festival, an annual celebration of history and architecture and one of the best places in Beirut to be if you are a fan of history and architecture.

5. Raouche

The Avenue de Paris that faces the sea in this upscale neighborhood of Beirut is a popular haunt and one of the nice places to visit in Beirut. You can have an evening coffee at the many cafes that line this street. The Avenue is part of the larger Corniche Beirut that runs along the Mediterranean and houses clubs that are the hottest places to visit in Beirut at night. Off the coast at Raouche, the Pigeon Rock is a series of weird rock formations jutting out of the water.

6. Martyrs' Square

An important landmark in Lebanese history, Martyrs’ Square is dedicated to those who were executed during Ottoman rule. It is also the traditional dividing line between East and West Beirut. First constructed in 1931, the monument has remained relevant due to the repeated political assassinations in Lebanon’s recent past.

7. Saifi Village

An upscale residential area in Beirut, Saifi Village is definitely worth walking through. Built-in the French Colonial style, the village is home to several art galleries and an upscale farmers’ market.

8. Jeita Grotto

These caves are the longest ones in Lebanon and featured as a finalist in the New Seven Wonders of Nature competition. Approximately 18 km away from Beirut, driving to Jeita Grotto is the best way to get there. Alternatively, you can take a minibus or taxi. It consists of two separate, but interconnected limestone caves. This place is considered to be one of the world's most amazing agglomerations of stalactites and stalagmites. A boat will take you to the lower grotto, while you can explore the upper grotto on foot. As for what lies inside, it's for you to unravel!

9. Hamra Street

A center of Beirut’s 1960’s intellectual activity, it is no surprise that this street was called the city’s Champs Elysees. It is a popular place with tourists and locals alike, who gather here to try to absorb the remnants of the intellectual city. Hamra is home to several bookshops, three universities (including the American University of Beirut), and a rich nightlife.

10. Beirut Souks

Souk means market in Arabic. The Souks in the city are some of the most fun places in Beirut owing to the exotic and unique items they sell. The modern portion of the market houses the world’s foremost luxury brands, but tourists should definitely check out the Souk al Ahad, which is one of the most interesting places to visit in Beirut if you are looking for a souvenir. You can find all kinds of clothing, jewelry, furniture, and lamps here for prices that you can bargain with friendly Lebanese sellers.

Besides this, there is much more to explore in Beirut!!!

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