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10 Best Things To Do In Beirut, Lebanon: My New Top City (2023)

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Moving to a new country every two years

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Ah, Beirut!

A city with a pulse, a soul, and an energy that’s irresistible.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to explore the capital of Lebanon?

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover:

  • The 10 best things to do in Beirut
  • Unexpected things you’ll love
  • Areas to visit
  • And things to experience and more in 2023. 
Table of Contents

Best Things to do in Beirut: The vibrant streets

If I had to describe the streets of Beirut, it would be, Southern European, Diverse, Culturally rich, and alive!

Beirut has been in a difficult economic situation for some time now, but when you walk in the streets in the heart of Beirut, you wouldn’t guess that that’s the case.

New shops, bars, and restaurants open every month or week. People are shopping and enjoying life. You’ll see all of the famous International brands around as well.

The Paradiso rooftop bar is one of the best places to visit in Beirut at nightIt just opened up, is right on the coast, and was packed!

The language and dialect in Beirut

Hello! Ça va? Salam alaikum!

Wait what? Ça va? Yes! Many people speak English, French, and Arabic in Beirut, even in a few sentences!

I had the great opportunity to hang around with a friendly local for a day, and this is one of the things I noticed right away. All these languages are blended in a typical conversation during the day or on the phone. 

It shows how culturally diverse the city of Beirut is. It gives such a friendly vibe and energy to the city!

The vibe of the city and the people

When I was visiting Beirut, there was a certain island kind of vibe in the city. Everyone was relaxed, friendly, and willing to help with anything.

People are chilling in the streets or diving in the ocean along the coast.

When I was in China, things would go fast, especially at restaurants. A server would be there within the blink of an eye. In Beirut, things move much slower. I had to get used to it for a bit, but when you do, it adds to a relaxed kind of energy, like a holiday should be!

Whenever we went out dining, we would sit there for 2 hours, which is way longer than I’m used to! But I liked the more relaxed way of doing things.

Beach clubs in Beirut

Talking about relaxing… the Beirut beach clubs!

At first, I thought these places would be like actual clubs with loud music and DJs. How can you relax there? Well, luckily, there wasn’t any of that.

These beach resorts are big swimming pool areas along the ocean, giving a stunning view. There are many different beach resorts and clubs in Beirut, most just above the Corniche area.

Visiting one of these beach clubs is one of the best things to do in downtown Beirut.

The pools are filled with clean, filtered, salty seawater. So there is no need to use chemicals to keep the water nice and clean, which is great.

Visiting one of these clubs surely is on of the best things you can do in beautiful Beirut.

I even prefer the beach clubs over the actual beach in Beirut. You get the nice salty sea water, and it is filtered and just more convenient than the regular beach.

Great beach clubs in Beirut are:

  1. Sporting Beach Club
  2. Iris Beach Cubs Damour
  3. Ocean Blue Resort Beach Bar

A must-visit when in Lebanon: Jounieh

An extraordinary town just 20 minutes by car (depending on traffic) above Beirut is Jounieh.

This is an absolute must-visit when you are in Beirut!

The massive statue of the Lady of Lebanon, a world heritage site, is a 5-minute drive from Jounieh and has one of the most stunning views I’ve ever witnessed.

The area, Harissa, is easily reached by Uber taxi.

Among my top 10 things to do in Beirut, visiting Jounieh and the lady of labenon shrine is number one on that list.

Discover Jounieh and the Lady of Lebanon with my complete travel guide.

Jounieh in Lebanon

The Lebanese food

The food, omg, the food. Lebanese food is incredible! 

Lebanese cuisine is known for its Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Arabian influences. Popular dishes include:

  • Tabbouleh is a refreshing salad made with parsley, bulgur, and tomatoes.
  • Falafel, deep-fried patties made from ground chickpeas or fava beans.
  • Kebabs, skewered and grilled meats such as lamb or chicken. 


Please find the best places for coffee or dinner in Beirut with my Beirut foody guide.

Street photography in Beirut: Mar Mikhael and Achrafieh

As a photographer, the streets of Beirut are an absolute pleasure to walk around.

There is a lot of street art in all shapes and forms: paintings, statues, graffiti, and fully bright-colored houses.

For street photography, it doesn’t get any better than Beirut.

Located in West Beirut you’ll find Mar Michael.

Things to do in Mar Mikhael are viewing the brightly colored houses, enjoying some great coffee at one of the many coffee places, visiting ground zero of the explosion that occurred in 2020, and checking out the street art and lively streets.

Things to do in Achrafieh are enjoying the Spanish and Italian vibe streets, eating great Lebanese food, and enjoying the view from the small streets over the city. 

During my trip, I stayed at Park Suites Hotel in Achrafieh.

Achrafieh is one of my favorite areas, along with Mar Mikhael, which is more north of the city center.

East and west Beirut are both quite different areas which is one of the reasons why this city so interesting.

Discover my
Street Photography Gear

The diverse mix of religions in Beirut

Beirut is an incredibly diverse city. In the streets, you will see a gigantic mosque on one side and a beautiful old cathedral or church on the other side. (Another plus for epic street photography in Beirut!).

Seen here above is the Mohammad Al Amin Mosque.

There are also Armenian neighborhoods but predominantly Christian areas. I love it when people from all kinds of different backgrounds live together.

The Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is a mix of Ottoman and French architectural elements.

On the other side you can find the Saint George Maronite Cathedral.

The landscapes of the capital of Lebanon

The landscapes of the city of Beirut offer beautiful and diverse scenery. You’ll notice that Beirut is not a flat city! 

As you move up and down the town’s hills, you are treated to modern architecture and historical landmarks.

The contrasting elements of the old and the new are tangled together, creating a unique sight that is hard to find elsewhere! 

Make sure always to bring some water when exploring the city. 

When there are high temperatures, walking around is extra tough because the streets go up and down.

Another landscape feature of the city is the coastline and the view near the famous Pigeon Rocks. Truly stunning!

Architecture in Beirut

Because of the city’s diversity, you’ll see an incredible amount of buildings and structures ranging from old to new. Many areas have a Southern European-like Spanish or Italian vibe. 

This is very unique in the Middle East! The combination of old authentic streets with modern buildings and sometimes huge office or apartment buildings is such an amazing sight.

These contrasting styles beautifully show the city’s multicultural identity.

A trip to Beirut would be incomplete without seeing some of the city’s iconic buildings:

  1. Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque & Blue Mosque
  2. Place de l’Étoile
  3. The Egg
  4. Corniche

Final thoughts on why I love Beirut

Beirut, the vibrant and enchanting city, holds a special place in my heart.

The city is so diverse and there is so much to see so it’s hard to make a top 10 of best things to do in Beirut.

Every corner presents new things to see, blending history with modern styles in the most stunning ways. 

But it’s not just the buildings that make this city so remarkable; it’s the friendly and welcoming people, from starting conversations with strangers to experiencing their willingness to help with anything. 

And let’s not forget the incredible Lebanese food.

It’s great to explore the many Spanish and Italian-style streets for the perfect backdrop for street photography. Beirut, with its diversity, architecture, friendly people, fantastic food, and perfect streets for photography, truly is a city that I hope to visit again soon.

If I’m returning someday I also want to visit Byblos, another amazing historic town above Beirut.

Things to keep in mind when visiting Beirut

  • Because of the difficult economic situation, at most stores and restaurants, you can only pay by cash.
  • Make sure to bring enough cash for your entire trip! It might not be easy to find a working ATM. American dollars are widely accepted.
  • Although the city center and the coast are safe, the south below the city center and the east is less safe. My local friend told me that visiting Baalbek, the old ruins, are not safe to visit. If you still would like to go there, make sure to go there with a local or someone who really knows the area.
  • Like in Erbil, in Beirut, there are several power cuts during the day. So whenever you are in a building or outside during the evening, don’t be alarmed when the lights go out. It usually takes about a minute. 
  • For the latest safety info, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/lebanon

F.A.Q. Best Things To Do in Beirut

Beirut is the capital of Lebanon, located on Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast.


National Museum: Explore Lebanon’s history at the Beirut National Museum, housing archaeological and historical exhibits.

Beit Beirut: An architectural museum focusing on Beirut’s modern history, worth a visit.

Sursock Museum: Modern Art

Some must-see places in Beirut include Pigeon Rock, Hamra Street, Corniche, Raouche, the American University of Beirut, Gouraud street, Mohammad al-amin mosque, Jounieh, and the Lady of Lebanon.


You’ll find plenty of fun activities in Beirut, such as:

  • boat trips along the Corniche
  • paragliding in Jounieh
  • exploring Saifi Village
  • swimming and chilling at beach clubs
  • visiting the caves of Jeita Grotto
  • eating at local restaurants and souks like Souk El Tayeb and Souk Al Ahad.

Definitely! Beirut is a vibrant and historic city with a rich culture and stunning attractions.

It’s one of the best destinations to visit in the Middle East in 2023, in my opinion.

Beirut’s central district is a safe area. More to the south, or the east of Lebanon it is less/not safe because of political instability. Locals advised me not to take a trip to Baalbek.

For the latest info, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/lebanon

Yes, you can explore Beirut by bike, which is a great way to see the city and enjoy its beautiful surroundings.

There are many publicly available bikes you can rent. Always be careful driving in a new and unfamiliar city!

Beirut’s Corniche is a scenic waterfront promenade where you can stroll along and enjoy breathtaking views of Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast.

Hamra is a neighborhood in Beirut. You can explore the area’s streets filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Hamra is also known for its nightlife.

The best way to see Beirut is to explore it on foot.

The city is compact and walkable, allowing you to discover its hidden gems and appreciate its unique atmosphere.

You can also use Uber. There are many Uber drivers around and I’ve always had a great experience with them.

Some of the best places to shop include the Beirut Souks, which is a modern shopping district with international brands and local boutiques, and Armenia Street. Other popular shopping destinations are Hamra Street, Gemmayzeh, and the ABC Mall. 

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About the author

Chris Oberman is the founder and author of Moving Jack and has been traveling the world for over 20 years to 40+ countries.

He lives in a different country every two years which allows him to gain unique in-depth insights and experiences in new places abroad.

Quoted on Gritdaily.com, NRC Newspaper, Vice,and Feedspot.

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