There is something special about Beirut. I can sound subjective since I lived here since I was a kid but I can definitely guarantee a mix of chaos, lots of history and culture, amazing food, friendly people, and a city full of life.
It is not the perfect destination like Paris where everything is very harmonious and aligned. It is more the chaos that the war left in our souls yet the hope of the people to live happily.
Beirut is the Capital of Lebanon and one of its largest cities. Its population is around 1.3 million people. Let’s check what you can do in 48h in Beirut!
1- Have Breakfast and a walk at Raouche
2- Discover Downtown Beirut
- This area is full of history. It is the new Beirut that was built after the war. You can start by Saifi Village which is more a luxurious residential area very colorful and quiet.
Photos Credits: Joe SOKHN
- Then head to Martyrs’ Square.
- You can then visit Mohammad Al Amine Mosque and Saint George Maronite which are iconic in lots of touristic photos of Lebanon.
- Then you pass by the Grand Serail (the headquarters of the prime minister) and check the roman baths. Next, you can walk to Nijmeh Square where you will find the Lebanese parliament and Saint George church for Orthodox. There are cute streets and some churches/mosques that are nice to see in the area. Once you are done, continue to Samir Kassir Square & enjoy walking in the surrounding streets
- You can also visit Beirut Souks which is an interesting very modern mall of the old souks that used to exist previously before the war. If you happen to be there on a Saturday before 2 pm, there is a food market called Souk Al Tayeb. It is very recommended as the products are traditional & organic. At night, there is another food market called Souk el Akel where you can find yummy street food!
3- Have a Lebanese Lunch at Gemmayzeh
It is up to you to decide whether you are hungry and you want to try homemade Lebanese food at Le Chef or have Shawarma or Falafel sandwiches at Sandwich w Noss
4- Buy some souvenirs
There are several shops in the area: Finikia, L’artisan du Liban, Towa.
5- Visit Sursock in the afternoon
Start by climbing the Saint Nicolas Stairs. If you have any medical issue, you can always grab an uber. You can visit Sursock Museum which is very beautiful from outside. Check the exhibitions calendar before visiting. You can grab some coffee or tea at Coin Perdu Cafe or meshmosh hotel located on the stairs.
6- Have a drink at night at Mar Mikhael
You have many choices like Martin Cantina, Bar 35, Bonavidas, L’osteria.
If you are still hungry, you have lots of choices like Denyeh hek or Enab Mar Mikhael for Lebanese Food, Inka/Catrinas for Peruvian and Mexican Food, Bar Tartine & Sud for international Food.
1- Have a Lebanese Breakfast
- You can have a man’oucheh at Lebanese Bakery or Knefeh at L’abeille d’or
2- Discover history and amazing collections in our Museums
You can visit two of our famous rich museums:
- National Museum for History
- Mim Museum for one of the biggest collection of minerals around the world. I bet you will be amazed.
3- Have Lunch at Hamra/Bliss
- There are several options. I suggest Falafel Hamra or Kababji
4- Spend the afternoon in a park
- I suggest AUB (American University of Beirut), Sanayeh or Horsh Beirut. You will need to ask for permission for entering.
5- Have a drink at sunset
- I suggest either The Roof Four Seasons, Iris or C Lounge.
6- Have Dinner at Zeitouna Bay
There are multiple choices like Leila, Bar Tartine, Classic Burger Joint, Zaatar w zeit, Roadster, Babel sur Mer, Cafe Em Sharif, etc…
7- Party Hard
You have many options like Music Hall, Mandaloun if you like shows. You can go as well to Grand Factory and Ahm for cool partying
Some areas were not mentioned in this article
- Bourj Hammoud (Street food, gold shopping)
Hope you will enjoy your time in Beirut! It will definitely be an adventure that you will never forget!
Thank you Joe SOKHN for your continuous support and beautiful contribution of photos! Follow him on Instagram!