One of the best things to do in Lebanon is to shop and spend time in the souks, where you can find everything from spices to the newest fashion trends!
Lebanon’s old souks are definitely worth seeing, whether you’re trying to buy local products or just take it all in. Fatima, a culture enthusiast, takes us on a journey.
Let’s check the top 10 Souks in Lebanon:
Not to be missed is Baalbeck’s real souk, which dates back to the Ottoman era and is made up of bakeries, butcher shops, and spice shops.
In addition, you’ll find all kinds of local products and spices, including dried fruits, herbs, and nuts. If you have interest in buying something, bargaining is a must.
A pleasant cobblestone bazaar with arched sandstone arches is Batroun’s historic souk. It has a number of lanes where blacksmiths, cobblers, and tailors still carry out their traditional trades.
The most notable aspect of this souk is the view from the rooftop. Watching the crowds passing by, you have a beautiful view of old houses and balconies.
Douma is a traditional Lebanese village with red-tiled roofs on its stone homes, quiet streets, and a picturesque souk. Its “Al Bandar” souk, which brought commodities from Damascus and the Bekaa as well as cedarwood for shipbuilding, significantly boosted the town’s economy.
With its cathedrals, monasteries, and arcaded stone stores, it is picture-perfect. There are little shops that would provide reasonably priced products and locally produced crafts. There used to be tailor shops, shoe stores, woodworkers, and furniture producers.
4) North Lebanon’s Tripoli Souks
One of Lebanon’s largest and busiest souks is in Tripoli. They are the excellent location for Lebanese individuals to shop for gold, carpets, tapestries, and other items across the nation.
Mosques and soap manufacturers are just a few of the historical remnants found throughout Tripoli’s souks. And the souka of Al-Attara and Souq al-Gemmeziyyeh are two of Tripoli’s most obvious attractions.
In the heart of Jezzine, near Souk El Sedd, are numerous artisan stores that sell the area’s renowned firebird cutlery.
The specialty of this shop is that they carve the handles of the knives and then wrap them in the form of a bird with its head at the tip. You can purchase items from this area from Souk Al-Boushehda, where there are many shops that sell local crafts.
With its large arched stone windows, this souk invites you to stroll around and admire everything it has to offer. You can spot fresh fish displayed in beautiful clear tanks. The souk offers a wide variety of goods ranging from local spices, textiles, and olive oil.
6) Rachaya Rachaya El Wadi
It is located at the foot of Mount Hermon, in the center of the Wadi Al Taym valley. One of Lebanon’s oldest souks, which dates to the 17th century, is the one in your neighborhood.
In EI Wadi, you will find a unique collection of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Its souk and the surrounding town are home to more than 100 workshops, which sell everything from home accessories to breads and cheeses.
7) The souks in Byblos
One of Lebanon’s most popular and well-known traditional souks is Byblos. You can visit numerous restaurants that serve a variety of dishes and cuisine in addition to visiting different shops stocked with Lebanese traditional souvenirs and cultural artifacts.
Moreover, the “souk of silk” or Souk el-Tabbakhineh is a gold mine for silk lovers. This place also has some cute cafes and restaurants overlooking the sea.
8) The Douma Souks region in Batroun
The Douma souks are home to a variety of tiny, tastefully decorated shops that specialize in selling Lebanese items.
The Zahlawi ice cream sold at Douma souks is well-known across Lebanon. Each summer, tourists flock to the souks of Jezzine and Batroun to buy the sweet treats.
9) Keserwan by Zouk Mikael Souk
The souk of Zouk Mikael is famous for its carpentry, handcrafted jewelry, traditional loom weavers, and other crafts.
Due to the variety of restaurants and cafes there, it is a lively souk both during the day and at night. The ochre-colored “souk of the ‘él” where you can find a variety of spices and dried fruits is one of the most beautiful areas in Lebanon.
It’s also famous for its “medina,” which means that it has a nice atmosphere and is fully connected with the sea. This souk was built in the 19th century by Mr. Aoun and is a blend of traditional architectural styles.
10) North Lebanon’s Hasroun Souk-Bsharri neighborhood
Hasroun Souk is an expression of the village’s history and customs. Under historic vaults and arches, the shops are scattered on both sides of the street.
There are many vintage bakeries, ice cream massage parlors, fruit and vegetable markets, and coffee shops. In addition to this, you can also find a number of stores and old houses that sell handcrafted goods.
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Prices, bargaining and discounts
Well, shopping in Lebanon can be quite an experience, but it is a very exciting one. The prices are high compared to other Middle Eastern countries. However, if you are good at bargaining and willing to wait until the end of sales season, you can get some great deals.
And make sure to inquire about the price of shipping when purchasing online from Lebanon. It can be a costly process unless you plan ahead! If you do want to buy something online, make sure that it ships from within Lebanon for lower shipping fees.
What about discounts? They are not common in Lebanon since there is a fixed price for most things. However, if you know how to negotiate a lower price, it is possible to get a discount.
How to buy gifts in Lebanon
You can buy gifts in Lebanon without problem. In fact, this is one of the best places for shopping for souvenirs and items that are not just typical tourist trinkets. If you want to buy gifts for people back home, then Beirut and Mount Lebanon are the best areas as they offer more choices and range at cheaper prices. Other regions have similar products but at higher prices.
Besides, anything you buy should be in Lebanon’s traditional, genuine wares. Things from China or the United States will be considered as knockoffs.
And in case you are looking for something that is unique and not commonly found in other places, don’t buy it online. If you only want it to be delivered to your home then by all means go ahead and purchase it online but if you want it imported, then buy it locally! There’s a vast difference between the quality of goods shipped from overseas and those coming right to your doorsteps.
So, here we have a great place to enjoy yourself. And you can also get some of the best gifts for your family and friends back home here. Hope this helps you to plan your trip better! Enjoy shopping!