Resort

Lebanon,
Beirut

Introduction

Beirut has always stood its ground as a playground for Arabs and Europeans in search of oriental frisson. Hotels such as the Four Seasons and Le Gray have opened their doors and fashion brands including Hermès and Louis Vuitton are gracing the new Souks. Add in legendary hospitality, a famed party scene and layers of history and you have a city with a unique patina that visitors and locals cannot get enough of.

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Essentials

  1. Make sure your passport is free of Israeli stamps.
  2. Visas can be obtained at the airport.
  3. Arrange pick-up to avoid being overcharged by airport taxis.
  4. Don't sweat the Arabic, or indeed the Lebanese pounds: answers will invariably come in English or French and the bill can be settled in US dollars.
  5. Tuck into a plate of 'kibbeh nayeh', Lebanon's traditional dish combining raw meat, bulgur and onion – but make sure it comes from a trusted restaurant.

Two-hour tour

  • American University Beirut — Historical campus located in a cradle of trees overlooking the Mediterranean sea.

    Cairo Street

    +961 (0)1 350 000

    Visit website
  • Walk in downtown Beirut — The city centre, a no man's land during the war, is now home to restored souks, with dozens of shops and restaurants.

  • Beirut National Museum — Meet the Phoenicians, the mysterious civilisation that created the alphabet.

    Museum Street

    Visit website

Hotels

  • Affordable and well located

    BEYt Guesthouse

    Armenia Street, Mar Mikhael

    +961 (0)1 444 110

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  • Dependable and stylish

    Albergo (Relais & Chateaux)

    137 Abdel Wahab el Inglizi St, Achrafieh

    +961 (0)1 339 797

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  • Premium

    Four Seasons

    1418 Professor Wafic Sinno Avenue, Minet el Hosn

    +961 (0)1 761 000

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Dining

  • DInner for two

    Chez Jean-Claude

    Gabriel Khabbaz Street, Ashrafieh

    +961 (0)1 201 190

  • Fast breakfast

    Cafe Em Nazih

    Pasteur Street, Gemmayzeh

    +961 (0)1 562 509

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  • Leisurely breakfast

    Urbanista

    Gouraud Street, Gemmayzeh

    +961 (0)1 567 811

  • Mid-morning coffee

    Rawda

    Chouran Street, Manara (next to Luna Park)

    +961 (0)1 743 348

  • Lunch with friends

    Tawlet

    12 Naher Street, Chalhoub Bldg (facing Spoiler Center), Mar Mikhael

    +961 (0)1 448 129

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  • Lunch on your own

    T-Marbouta

    Hamra Square, Hamra

    +961 (0)1 350 274

  • Afternoon tea/drink

    Balima

    Ghalghout Street, Saifi Village

    +961 (0)1 985 295

  • Dinner with friends

    Seza

    Patriarche Arida Street, Mar Mikhael

    +961 (0)1 570 711

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  • Big dinner with friends

    Falamanki

    Monot Street, Monot

    +961 (0)1 323 456

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  • Late drinks

    Torino Express

    Gouraud Street, Gemmayzeh

    +961 (0)3 611 101

  • Midnight snacks

    Barbar — (open 24 hours)

    Spears Street, Hamra

    +961 (0)1 379 778

  • Midnight snacks

    Kabab-ji

    Hamra Street, next to the Masrah Madinah theatre

    +961 (0)1 741 555

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  • Late bite

    Barbar (open 24hrs)

    Spears Street, Hamra

    +961 (0)1 379 778

Reading

  • Bookshop

    Papercup

    Agopian building, Pharaon Street, Mar Mikhael

    +961 (0)1 443 083

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  • Books

    Dar Bistro & Books

    Roma Street, Hamra

    +961 (0)1 37 33 48

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Shopping

  • Something you can't get anywhere else

    Les Artisans du Liban et d'Orient

    Rafik Hariri Avenue, Ain el Mreisseh (opposite Palm Beach Hotel)

    +961 (0)1 362 610

  • Lost luggage - where to buy shirts

    ABC Mall

    Achrafieh

    +961 (0)1 212 888

  • Something for the kids

    Sunflowers Boutique

    Mkhallassiye Street, Saifi Village

    +961 (0)1 972 727

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  • Something for someone you love

    Monocle Shop-in-shop at Officina Slowear

    Patriarch Howayek Street, Bab Idriss (Central District)

    +961 (0)1 999 230

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Transport

  • Servees — Lebanon’s public transport system revolves around communal cabs known as “servees” taxis. To use one, hail any car with a red licence plate and tell the driver your destination. If they are going your way they will gesture for you to get in; if not, they’ll drive off. One journey costs just LL2,000 (€1.20), or LL4,000 (€2.40) if it’s out of the driver’s way. Other passengers will jump in and out, offering a great chance to make conversation with locals.

Fitness

  • Get a swim in

    Sporting Club

    Chouran Street, El-Manara

    +961 (0)1 742 481

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