Lebanon is a favorite amongst tourists owing to its hospitality and vibrant lifestyle. It offers everything, right from rich culture and heritage to much more contemporary activities. Beirut, the capital city, is all that and more. So get ready to immerse yourself into a town that represents Lebanon’s Fashion, music, art, and multiculturalism.
A 2-day Getaway at Beautiful Beirut
Day 1: Byblos, Harissa, and Mar Mikhael
Start your day with a heavy but delicious Lebanese breakfast of creamy labneh and manakish and head to your first destination, Byblos. Located just 35 km north of Beirut, Byblos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While walking through the gorgeous cafés and its old souqs, you are reminded of the city’s past inhabitants, the Egyptians, and the Phoenicians. Take time to marvel at the Crusader’s castle, which is flanked by several Phoenician, Egyptian, and Roman structures.
Make a quick stop at Roman-styled Saint John-Marc Cathedral. Don’t miss visiting Byblos Harbour, which provides a glimpse into Lebanon’s side of Mediterranean. The harbor is an ideal location to have your leisure lunch.
On your route back to Beirut, make a quick stop at Harissa’s Our Lady of Lebanon, a Marian shrine and pilgrimage site of Lebanon. The shrine’s highlight is the 15-ton bronze statue, which is 8.5 meters high and 5 meters in diameter.
Head back to base in Beirut, but the day is not yet over. Stroll around the Mar Mikhael area, the fashionable neighborhood known for its trendy boutiques, art galleries, and antique furniture stores. End your day by dining at the plethora of restaurants, or cafés here.
Day 2: Raouche, Blue Mosque, and Shopping
Begin your day at Raouche, a well-known corniche of Beirut. The cliff-side cafés that line along the corniche are an ideal location for breakfast. With pigeon rocks for view, the experience is only furthered. Mythologically, Raouche is said to be the remains of a sea monster, the Greek hero Perseus killed to save Andromeda.
Alternatively, you can also head to Jeita Grotto, the karstic limestone caves. They are strategically lit for a good view of its beauty. A trip to Baalbek can also be squeezed on this morning.
You can spend the second half of the day, visiting the famous Mohammad Al-Amin mosque or the Blue mosque. Spend a relaxing and peaceful afternoon marveling at the intricate inlay work of the mosque.
A trip is truly incomplete if you don’t indulge in shopping. So, its time for retail therapy at the beautiful souqs of Beirut. Visit the local flea market, Souq el Ahad or the Sunday Market. After getting the ethnic shopping feels, head to the Beirut Souks, which is more contemporary and home to some beautiful luxury brands.