As the capital city of Lebanon, Beirut encapsulates a rich segment of the country’s culture. It is home to the third oldest museum in the Middle-East, countless tourist attractions, and an elegant fabric of art and fashion. Beirut’s architecture is a perplexing fusion of archaic and contemporary, most part of which is unfrequented. Scroll down to explore the hidden gems of Beirut. By Ishani Singh
Here are five places in Beruit which are not-so-famous yet a fantastic catch for tourists!
1) Souk al-Ahad Sunday Market
The Souk al-Ahad is the place where you can find clothes, hardware, home and kitchen accessories, spices and what not, at incredibly cheap prices! Sellers offer fake iPhones, duplicate audio speakers and the likes at throwaway rates, and there is a popular bargaining culture among both buyers and sellers. Antiques are also a coveted element of the Sunday market, and if you have been unable to find something in one of Beruit’s most famous shopping malls, you will most likely find it here!
2) Adonis Valley
The deep Adonis Valley is situated along the banks of the Nahr Ibrahim (Adonis River) and is about 30 kms long. It offers a lush green mountain landscape and a very calm environment, suitable for a swim in the river. Moreover, you can go hiking along with the caves or even enjoy a pleasant drive through the mountains. There is also an organic farm sitting under Fatri in Mount Lebanon where you can savour a breakfast made with their organic products and even experience the olive picking harvest event.
3) Mar Mikhael
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Mar Mikhael houses some of the city’s most interesting cafés and bars lined across the street. The vibe of the place is dominantly vintage, and you can quaff cocktails, enjoy a beer and find some amazing classic rock music ruling over the sound system. Bodo, Cargo and Chaplin among others are famous for their comfortable sitting, cheap drinks and wonderful food, indigenous to Lebanon and beyond.
4) Basterma Mano
Located in Bourj Hammoud, this sandwich place serves delicious Armenian specialties. You can enjoy their Shawarma Soujouk, Shawarma Djej and the garlic-free basturma, which are famous items among visitors. The prices at the restaurant are easy on the pocket and it is located just 14 minutes away from Beirut. Known for its excellent service, Mano stands out as a feisty food paradise.
5) Our Lady of Lebanon, Jounieh
Just 16 km out of Beirut, there is the city of Jounieh, a coastal town, which accommodates fancy resorts and has a vibrant nightlife. It is also home to the Casino Du Liban. From Jounieh, you can take the Téléphérique for a ride up to Harissa where the shrine of ‘Our Lady of Lebanon’ is located. The ride offers panoramic views on Beirut and Jounieh, and the vast, blue spread of the Mediterranean Sea.
So if you find yourself in Beirut, do keep this list handy for a different Lebanese experience.