Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut is located within the premises of the American University of Beirut and was established in 1868. It is one of the oldest museums in the area and has an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts that were excavated from in and around the region. The display includes Cypriot pottery, ancient agricultural tools, cave paintings, the story of the discovery of fire, artifacts from the Prehistoric, Neolithic, Cenolla and Stone ages. The collection in the museum is available for research and offers educational programs for the benefit of the crowd.
An architectural masterpiece of Beirut, the Mohammed Al Amin Mosque is one of the most fascinating landmarks of the city. Its sandy gold facade, flanked by four minarets and topped with turquoise blue domes, is a stark reminder of the magnificent Ottoman architectural influence. Formerly, a monastery or Zawiya was present on the site of what is today the Mohammed Al Amin mosque. Spanning an area of 11,000 square meters (2.7 acres), the mosque is a part of the Martyrs’ Square. Inspired by the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, the interiors of the mosque are as breathtaking as its edifice. From its opulent chandeliers, mosaic work on walls and ceilings to gilded carvings, the mosque is a stunning example of intricate artwork. A structure of monumental elegance, the Mohammed Al Amin Mosque exudes grandeur from every corner.
Stretched along the city's marina, the Zaitunay Bay is Beirut's glitzy promenade bustling with urban activity. The area which was once barren has now been turned into a luxurious display of Beirut's gastronomy, entertainment and culture. From a yacht club, upscale lounges and restaurants to retail shops, the bay has it all. It is also a socio-cultural hub with its vibrant monthly and festival markets.
Established in 1942, the National Museum of Beirut is an archaeology museum that has a vast collection of artifacts on display. With over 100,000 objects, the museum has artifacts that range from the prehistoric times to medieval Mamluk ages. The museum was closed at some time in history due to the outbreak of the Lebanese War, however, it reopened to the public in 1999. Today, a lot of tours are conducted in the museum to make the visitors aware of the history of these exhibits. The collection that they possess is mind-blowing while getting to witness something that belongs to the bygone era is truly mesmerizing. This museum is a must-visit on your trip to Beirut.
Raouche Rocks also known as Pigeon Rocks, is one of the most famous attractions of the city. These coral reefs are approximately 190 feet tall (57 meters), offering a picturesque sight to viewers passing by. Locals use the path around here for jogging or taking a stroll. The spot is most visited around the sunset time, as it offers a pleasant view of the setting sun. What better way to spend your evening, than visiting this set of rocks by the swirling waters and gazing at the submerging sun.
Overlooking the waters of the Mediterranean, the Martyrs’ Square is one of the most significant landmarks of Beirut. Located in the city center, it was named after the watchtower of Burj Al Kashef. Renamed after French and Russian canons were placed, it was established as the Martyrs’ Square in 1931 as a tribute to the Lebanese nationals who were martyred during the Ottoman rule. The Martyrs’ Monument from 1965 is the work of Italian sculptor Marino Mazzacurati and acts as the centerpiece of the square. Bustling with restaurants and cinema halls, the square is being revamped into becoming one of the trendiest places in the city.
This once-handsome Ottoman-revivalist building may now appear a shadow of its former self, but it still continues to preserve the local history and culture of the city through its in-house museum and cultural center. Housing both the museum and the center, Beit Beirut is part of the limestone-hewn Barakat building, a historic edifice commissioned by Nicholas Barakat and built by Youssef Aftimus. This ocher structure, replete with a colonnaded center and two blocks full of long windows, housed middle-class families for several years until the event of the Lebanese civil war. Shortly after, Barakat fell into disrepair, but was ultimately salvaged from demolition by heritage activists. The building currently functions as a museum, showcasing almost 7,000 years of history of Lebanon through a series of archived artifacts.
Byblos is coastal city located by the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon. It is believed to be oldest continuously inhabited city and has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The glorious history of the city dates back to more than 7000 years, with attractions like Byblos Castle, archaeological site of Great Temple standing as a witness. The Byblos port is a major fishing port and attracts many tourists annually. Enjoy the splendid views of pale-hued brick houses while sampling some of the restaurants known for their local cuisine.
Nestled between the Nejmeh Square and the Holy Chapel of Sayyidat-al-Nourieh (Our Lady of Light), the Saint Georges Greek Orthodox Cathedral is the oldest extant church in the city of Beirut. After undergoing a series of modifications up until 1910 and surviving attacks of robbery and vandalism during the Lebanese civil war, the church retains its unparalleled glory. The Cathedral has a unique rectangular shape with its nave divided into five beautiful bays that are further subdivided into three bays. Dating back to the 17th Century, it is a must-see while touring the city.
Deep in the Nahr al-Kalb valley in Beirut, the Jeita Grotto is part of a massive cave system that spans 9 kilometers (5.6 miles), and consists of two distinct, yet interlinked karstic limestone caves. A Martian wonderland carved by gradually-formed stalactites, stalagmites and intricate columns, the grotto was settled in the prehistoric times, only to be left undiscovered until Reverend William Thomson stumbled upon it in 1836. The Upper Grotto is wildly engulfed in spectacular geological formations that suspend from its ancient ceiling, while the Lower Grotto is fed by an underground river that also supplies water to millions of Lebanese citizens. The caves are dotted with random spots of sunlight that filter in through cracks in the cave, creating a shimmering effect that adds to the already magical setting of the place. A well-planned walkway encircles the upper galleries of the cave, an ingenious way to admire the cave's beauty without disturbing its natural terrain.
Gemmayzeh is a lively neighborhood located in the north-eastern part of Beirut. Once a quiet area, Gemmayzeh has become the nightlife hub of the city post 2005. The area is packed with some of the best bars and pubs that Beirut has to offer. It is home to some prominent architectural buildings of historic importance.