If you’re planning a trip to Lebanon in 2023, be sure to include Beirut, one of the most captivating cities in the Middle East, on your itinerary. Situated on the picturesque coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut offers a unique blend of history and character, drawing inspiration from renowned cities like Italy, Morocco, Egypt, and Greece. With its magnificent architecture, ancient ruins, and vibrant atmosphere, Beirut has become a thriving hub for tourism in recent decades. To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve compiled a list of the top attractions in the city that cater to every traveler’s interests.
Let’s dive in and explore the Best Places to Visit in Lebanon in 2023
1. The American University of Beirut (AUB)
A must-visit destination in Beirut is the prestigious American University of Beirut (AUB). Spread across 61 acres of land, this renowned university boasts a combination of historic buildings, botanical gardens, a bird sanctuary, and even a private beach. The campus also houses an impressive archaeological museum that showcases a vast collection of ancient artifacts. To arrange a tour of the university, visit their website for more information.
2. National Museum of Beirut
For history enthusiasts, the National Museum of Beirut is an absolute gem. As the best museum in the city, it proudly displays around 100,000 ancient and medieval artifacts discovered in and around Lebanon. Among its treasures, you’ll find the world’s most extensive collection of Phoenician objects, including the famous marble sarcophagus featuring a Phoenician ship. The museum’s centerpiece, however, is the Phoenician bronze statue of Reshep, dating back to the 19th to 18th century BC.
Just an hour’s drive from Beirut lies Byblos, a paradise for history and archaeology enthusiasts. This ancient city is one of the oldest Phoenician settlements and has continuously been inhabited since 5000 BC. Exploring Byblos is like stepping back in time. Don’t miss the surreal experience of visiting the National Museum of Obelisks, built over 3200 to 3600 years ago. Additionally, the Crusader Fort and the Sultan Abdul Majid Mosque are historical landmarks that offer captivating insights into the past.
4. Beirut Souks
When it comes to experiencing the vibrant culture of Beirut, a visit to the city’s Souks is a must. “Souk” means market in Arabic, and Beirut’s Souks are renowned for their exotic and unique offerings. While the modern section of the market is home to prestigious luxury brands, make sure to explore Souk al Ahad for an authentic and fascinating shopping experience. Here, you’ll find a plethora of clothing, jewelry, furniture, and lamps, all available at negotiable prices from friendly Lebanese vendors.
Located approximately two and a half hours from Beirut in the beautiful Beqaa Valley, the town of Baalbek is famous for its awe-inspiring Roman temple of Bacchus. This extraordinary structure is one of the few remaining Roman buildings in the world and stands as a testament to ancient architectural mastery. Built over 1800 years ago in honor of the Roman God of wine, the temple’s courtyard now serves as the venue for the Baalbeck International Festival—an annual celebration of history and architecture that history buffs won’t want to miss.
Situated in an upscale neighborhood of Beirut, Raouche offers a delightful coastal experience. Take a leisurely stroll along Avenue de Paris, which runs parallel to the sea and features numerous charming cafes. In the evening, the Corniche Beirut, which extends along the Mediterranean, comes alive with vibrant clubs and nightlife. Off the coast of Raouche, you’ll find Pigeon Rock, a series of striking rock formations rising from the water. The cliff overlooking the rocks is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, all vying to capture the perfect photograph.
7. Sursock Museum
Art lovers should make their way to the Sursock Museum, located in the historic Achrafieh district, one of Lebanon’s oldest residential areas. This renowned museum primarily focuses on modern and contemporary art exhibitions. Housed in the former residence of Beirut aristocrat Nicolas Sursock, the museum offers an immersive cultural experience. As you explore the exhibitions, be prepared to be captivated by the majestic Lebanese architectural style exhibited in the surrounding mansions—a visual feast for the eyes.
8. Saifi Village
For a taste of upscale living and artistic flair, don’t miss Saifi Village. Located in the heart of Beirut, this charming village showcases exquisite French Colonial architecture and is home to various art galleries. Take a leisurely walk through the streets and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Additionally, Saifi Village hosts an upscale farmer’s market, offering an opportunity to indulge in local produce and culinary delights.
Hope you enjoyed our list of Best Places to Visit in Lebanon in 2023
Lebanon, particularly Beirut, promises an unforgettable vacation filled with lively nightlife, delectable cuisine, excellent shopping opportunities, and a rich tapestry of history and architecture. So don’t hesitate—book your trip to Lebanon in 2023 and discover the wonders that await you in this enchanting Middle Eastern gem.
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