After 6:30: Nightlife in Beirut
Here are five places to experience the glamour and dazzle of the city after dark.
In no other city of the Middle East is glamour so palpably a part of life as it is in Beirut. One can come to Beirut and be dazzled by so much: the world-class cuisine, the Beiruti sense of style via Paris and London, the famous curving waterfront with its mix of historic and contemporary influences. Beirut is living through one of its peak moments right now—the humming nightlife compares with anything the world has to offer. Here are some suggested places for visitors to immerse themselves in the romance of Beirut.
Skybar, 961/3 939 191, Biel
Set upon the open-air roof of a high-rise, perched against dizzy views of the sea, Skybar is designed like a mini-stadium of steel and glass where you can see the entire space and look beyond to the elements. A disco with live entertainment from rap to techno on weekends, it gets packed with hundreds of people into their 30s dancing as searchlights beam upward and fireworks erupt overhead.
Al Mandaloun Sur Mer, 961 3/570 777, Downtown, Biel
Arguably Beirut’s top fine-dining seafood venue with breathtaking sea views along the coastline from the outdoor terrace. If you doubted that locals can afford to live well, you won’t when the bill comes. The Lebanese-style fish dishes are utterly peerless—do not miss the salmon and sea bass ceviche, and the shisha, sweetened tobacco for the hookah.
Purple Moon, 961 1/444 009, Pasteur Street, Gemmayzeh
The well-heeled older folks come to this pub and restaurant to let their hair down to nightly sing-along and dance music in the pub section. The neighbourhood stays open late with art galleries and boutiques, which is a blessing as the venue opens at 9:00 pm. The restaurant serves international fusion cuisine.
The Roof, 961 1/761 000, 1418 Professor Wafic Sinno Avenue, Minet El Hosn
The rooftop lounge with swimming pool at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut is the sunset watcher’s dream and, at 26 floors above sea level, it’s one sunset that should not be missed, as cocktails, bikinis, and Beirut fade to evening. Come after a full day for a leisurely cocktail, or visit later in the night for house-made tapas. The later it gets, the louder it gets. Four DJs cover a variety of music count and take requests that set the tone. If you don’t want to dance, there’s plenty of comfortable seating to chill out and chat.
Centrale, 961 1/575 858, Mar Maroun Street, Saifi
Utterly unforgettable design of an oblong futuristic spaceship-like design with sublime haute French cuisine. Afterward, you take the pod elevator up to the bar with a retractable roof for views of Old Beirut. The building is sheathed in a steel web; architecture as adventure. Here as anywhere in the city, ask for the Beirut specialty Chocolat Mou.