18 things to do in Beirut

Here is a list of some of my favorite experiences in Beirut:

1- Take a walk in Achrafieh.

Walk down the memory lane of one of Beirut’s oldest districts. Admire the beautiful European feel architecture and elegant neighborhoods in Achrafieh. In my last visit to Beirut I stayed in Sofitel hotel in Achrafieh. The location of the hotel was perfect for walks.

 

Achrafya
Old building in Achrafieh

 

2- Visit the colorful stairs at Gemmayzeh

Armenia Street and Gouraud Street of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh, are the beating hearts of youthful Beirut. With their bohemian style, graffiti, hip culinary scene, galleries and colorful stairs. It is definitely worth stopping once or twice.

Mer Michael

Couldn’t resist taking a portrait of myself at the colorful steps

 

3- Day trip to Jaita grotto.

The famous crystalized caves are situated in the Nahr al-Kalb valley about 20 km from Beirut. Go on a walking tour to the upper caves and a boat ride on the lower parts of the caves. Don’t miss the small garden on your way out.

Jeita grotto
Jeita grotto

 

4- Shop at Aswaq Beirut (Beirut Souks)

I was there during the festive season in December. There is something about Christmas decoration that makes my heart full of joy. Christmas is celebrated widely in Lebanon you can also spot the decorated Christmas trees from apartment windows on the street.

Aswaaq Beirut
Beirut souks

 

5- Unleash your inner bookworm at Antoine bookstore.

I loved this bookstore. The collection of books in Arabic and English were great. The branch in Beirut souks had a photography gallery showing beautiful work curated in Paris.

Antoine bookstore
Antoine bookstore near my hotel in Achrafieh

 

6- Have Kunafa on kaak
You must try it at least once!  Wash it off with some Turkish coffee.

Kunafa kaak bun with Turkish coffee
Kunafa kaak bun with Turkish coffee

 

7- Shop for fresh fruits

You simple can’t resist stopping at the small grocery shops on the road and buy local grown fruits.

 

Fresh fruits
Fresh mandarin

 

8- Have Turkish coffee at Café Younis

Café Younis roaster originally opened in 1935 in downtown Lebanon. Café Younis coffee shop in AlHamra was only opened in 2008. I really enjoyed the beautiful details about the café. The coffee was great too. I still use the Turkish coffee I bought from Café Younis.

 

Café Younes
Café Younes in Hamra

 

9- Ain El Mraiseh

Walk or jog on the Cornish, watch the fishermen and enjoy the Mediterranean shores. The area is full of hotels and restaurants.

 

Ain El Mrayse
Ain El Mraiseh cornish

 

10- Have a manqoosha

It comes in different shapes, sizes and flavors but they are all tasty and it is the official breakfast meal in Lebanon. Have it with zaatar (thyme) or labneh.

Manqoosha Zaatar
Manqoosha Zaatar
Manqoosha
Manqoosha with labneh

 

11- Taste Armenian cuisine in Bourj Hammoud

Bourj Hammoud’s heart beats at a different pace to the rest of Beirut’s. A product of war in Armenia, during which refugees from Anatolia settled down here. Walk around and get of a sense of its distinct atmosphere. Experience the senses, sounds and sights of another culture. Get to Onno for authentic Armenian-Lebanese cuisine.

Onno Armenian restaurant
Onno Armenian restaurant

 

12- Oslo ice cream

A small ice cream shop in Mar Mikhael street founded by a Lebanese chef living in LA. The flavors are so carefully crafted and so addictive. You can visit their website here to know more about the concept and flavors.

Oslo ice cream
Oslo ice cream

 

13- Lookout for Ashekman’s Street Art

Look for Ashekman’s amazing murals in Achrafieh and all over Beirut. Stay up to date with their projects through Instagram @Ashekman

“We mainly do graffiti in Beirut city, we cover the war leftovers with our art, where we paint our graffiti on walls full of bullet holes or we simply cover the politicians posters and militias slogans with our tags, the street us ours, we rule the street with our art and spray cans no need for guns and politics!” – Ashekman

 

Ashakman
Ashekman’s tribute to Lebanese singer Wadih Al Safi

 

14- Take a photo of the Rock of Raouche

You can’t visit Beirut without stopping at its famous rock.  Pigeons’ Rock (also known as the Rock of Raouché). Located at Beirut’s westernmost tip, the two huge rock formations are a popular destination for locals and tourists. You can enjoy the beautiful view while sipping coffee at seaside cafes overlooking the rock.

Rouche
Raouche

 

15- Shop at ABC mall

Enjoy Beirut’s fanciest mall in Achrafieh. You can find everything here from cloths to books and food.

ABC mall Achrafya
ABC mall Achrafieh

 

16- Hamra street

It is the main street for the city of Beirut. Famous for the cafes, theatre and local hangouts.

Alhmara theatre
Alhmara old theatre hosted many famous plays throughout the years

 

17- Go on a day trip to Byblos (Jbail)

Escape the busy life of Beirut to visit this little gem listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk on the cobblestone streets, buy local souvenirs from the old souq and watch the beautiful sunset at the fishing harbour. Also don’t forget to try eat sea food here !

Byblos (Jbail)
Byblos (Jbail)

 

18- Visit the Rose House

One of the last traditional houses standing in the middle of Beirut. ‘The Rose House’ is a 19th Century mansion in Manara, Ras Beirut. I was lucky to visit the Rose house when it was hosting Tom Young’s exhibition.

Rose House
Rose House

 

What’s your favorite things to do in Beirut ?

  • Julie Tegho

    There’s coffee and lunch in Badaro and also drinks (Orient express; kiss proof); shopping local designers dinner in Mar Mikhael; and recently: check out for art exhibitions: Sursock Museum; Aishti Foundation; live performances organised by Beirut Jam Sessions;

    • rshrsho

      Can not wait to go back I want to visit all the museums

  • Emilie Houwat

    There’s also Saida, Batroun amongst many others, next time you come visit :)

    • rshrsho

      Next visit Nshallah xx

  • A Robertson

    beautiful pics and great recommendations