Thanks in part to major national airlines, we hear daily about Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Doha. Dubai has quickly become one of the 10 most visited cities on the planet, with no sign of slowing down any time soon, Muscat is already a trending destination and there’s big things ahead for Abu Dhabi and Doha. But with all the major press and hype, one city has been largely overlooked – making it the perfect place to go instead. Beirut is so much more than the game you play with beer cups on a ping pong table, in fact, it’s a hidden gem.
Beirut has excellent connectivity from both short haul and long haul destinations via countless major airlines. You can reach Beirut with direct flights from Europe, and direct from just about anywhere in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Basically – there’s no excuse. Getting there is easy and you’ll soon know exactly why you should.
It’s just about impossible to beat the inimitable feeling of vibrant sunshine caressing the body, especially after a long winter. Beirut is a port city with beaches, palm trees and everything else you seek from a sunny destination, with the added benefit of designer shopping, delectable food and progressive, buzzing city culture. It’s actually one of the best nightlife cities in the world!
Multi Faith, Multi Cultural
Beirut is without a doubt one of the most religiously tolerant cities in the Middle East. There’s a virtually equal balance between Islam and Catholicism, with many other cultures, backgrounds and religions reflected in communities throughout. This melting pot society has created a unique, progressive vibe – which is absolutely infectious for visitors.
Lebanese is a foodie favorite. From Kibbeh to Kofta you’ll find delicious treats which reflect the fusion and influences which are central to Lebanon. Thanks to a nice exchange rate, food is extremely reasonably priced which makes this an even more attractive destination for travelers of all budgets.
You Can Ski
It’s currently 76°F and sunny in Beirut, and the weather is pretty much tanning perfection all year round. But if you drive just one hour outside of the city, you’ll soon find a rugged, snowy paradise in the Cedars, Faraya and Mzaar Kfardebian which offer high quality skiing! Find a place where you can go from a tan to a ski outfit in just an hour, and you’ll find a winner.
Incredible Wine Region
Did you know Lebanon is one of the most exciting wine regions on earth? The Beqaa Valley, Ksara and many coastal regions boast world renowned wineries such as Chateau Musar and Lebanon is actually one of the oldest wine producers on earth, with vineyards dating back to 725BC! Unlike many countries of the region, finding a great drink is both affordable and encouraged!
With deep French, English and Arabic routes, visitors will find great fluency in a variety of languages, making things such as everyday transactions and directions very simple. Most people in the city will speak at least two languages, which is far better than we can say for most cities!
Travelers have an endless fascination with caves and Instagram worthy sights. Amongst insanely picturesque mountain regions and harbors, you’ll also find the Jeita Grotto, which has been inhabited on and off since prehistoric times. The cave is only accessible by boat using underground rivers and is without a doubt a sightseeing treat you won’t soon forget.
Have you been to Lebanon? What’d you think?
Thanks to Mohamed Basma, our Lebanese expert from Lebanon for helping open our minds to all that Lebanon has to offer.
Have you been there? Or is this your friend? It did not have a byline on it so I wasn’t sure if you had been there and were writing it or if your friend had written it. I have not been there but would like to!
But, I have to take issue with you saying it is one of the most religiously tolerant cities – unless you are putting it behind most cities in Israel. Given that Lebanon is always in a state of war with Israel, people of Jewish faith are not welcome on a public level like people of the Muslim faith are in Israel.
I wrote the article and have been. Mohamed is a longtime friend and I asked “what are we missing”.
I’ve been very curious about Beirut. Are there any safety considerations or areas of the cities to avoid?
How Would Tel Aviv compare ?
It’s another great option.
I enjoy all things about your site, and am a regular reader.
I too have a great desire to visit Beirut….. especially as you have so wonderfully described the city.
I wish to go in the next few months….. please please give some current advice as to the reality of the facts…. I am of the Jewish faith, and want to be “professionally assured “ that I will be welcomed. And comfortable at immigration
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