Cosmopolitan Beirut is unlike any other Middle Eastern capital. The surrounding countryside is part of the difference. Set on the Mediterranean, midway along Lebanon’s coast, Beirut is a short drive from beaches and, surprisingly, ski slopes, forest-clad mountains and dramatic river gorges—with not a patch of desert in sight. As the city dates from the 15th century BC, Beirut is naturally rich in history. Phoenicians, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans and French are among those who have left evidence of their sojourns. The cultural diversity of Beirut’s 2.1 million people is a happy result. French is commonly spoken. Along the wealth of European-style architecture, this explains why Beirut has been dubbed “the Paris of the Middle East.” What you don’t expect is how young the city feels. Attractive streets in Ashrafieh or chic Solidère brim with the latest fashions, busy sidewalk cafés or trendy nightclubs. Beirutis like to party, all night long, and they do it with elegance and energy. If dancing till dawn isn’t your thing, stroll the Corniche as the sun sets and enjoy the carefree spirit of a picturesque seaside town, backed by the Beirut Central District’s gleaming skyscrapers. Or linger over meze, the local “small plates” delicacies; Lebanese cuisine is at its zenith here. Whatever you want from a city, Beirut is ready to charm you.
1418 Professor Wafic Sinno Avenue
2020 4107 Minet El Hosn
Tel. +961 (1) 761000
Fax +961 (1) 761100
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Five places to experience the glamour of the city after dark.