Beirut has many faces for travellers to discover and you will be surprised at each and every one...
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is a lively and vibrant city that frequently tops lists of hip and cool places to see. A spectacular Mediterranean coastline (the Corniche) is a clue that t-shirts and shorts are suitable in spring and autumn, while pools in Beirut hotels will be a blessing during the long hot summer, when the mercury frequently creeps above 30C. Nearby mountains, apart from providing a stunning city backdrop, also draw ski-wielding holidaymakers during winter.
Add all of this to thriving cultural and modern art scenes and you can rest assured that Beirut will prove to be a memorable holiday destination.
Hotels in Beirut tend to be concentrated around the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of the coastline...
Many hotels are either on or just minutes from the Corniche. These central coastal areas, at the tip of the peninsula city, are favourite spots for tourists. Slightly to the east of here, a little further along the seashore, is the Beirut Central District (BCD), also known as Centre Ville. This is the historical heart of Beirut, and many attractions can be viewed in this area. Thanks to a massive regeneration project, much of the BCD has been transformed and now features lively hubs of activity, with many new and modern hotels springing up.
Further east from Centre Ville is the marina, which has also been the recipient of a breath of new life. Many luxury hotels can be booked in this area.
Budget hotels are easily found across the city, and standards are very decent, even in the lowest price brackets. Several big recognisable brands have invested in the city such as Intercontinental, Radisson Blu, Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Golden Tulip, Four Seasons, Ramada and Four Points by Sheraton – to complement the locally run and managed hotels popular with both Europeans and Arabs.
From your Beirut hotel it’s easy to reach these popular tourist attractions…
Top five attractions
Eat, drink, walk, or simply watch the people go by on this lovely stretch of palm-tree-lined city coastline.
National Museum of Beirut
A captivating collection of archaeological treasures attracts visitors to the museum; allow at least half a day to look around.
At the heart of the historical centre and sandwiched between tall buildings, the baths were only discovered and restored in the past 50 years. It's a peaceful spot to linger for a while.
Hippodrome Du Parc De Beyrouth
Horse racing in Lebanon is an ancient and proud tradition. Have a flutter on your favourite Arabian horse at the Hippodrome every Wednesday or Sunday.
Two hours from Beirut is the town of Baalbek (also called Baalbeck), where ancient Roman temple ruins dominate the skyline. A day trip is possible from the city.
Music, dance and Lebanese culture feature high on the agenda at these top annual events in Beirut…
Al Bustan Festival; March/February: A five-week programme of classical music takes place at the Emile Bustani Auditorium.
Beirut Nights; June-August: From street performers and up-and-coming artists, to some of the globe's biggest musical acts, Beirut Nights is a diverse summer-long event.
Byblos International Festival; June/July: Lebanese culture is celebrated during summer in ancient Byblos, which is less than an hour from Beirut.