Shopping in Beirut
Clothes and fashion - Beirut is the fashion capital of Lebanon and the region, with many prominent Lebanese designers located here, including (Elie Saab [www], Basil Soda [www], Pierre Katra [www] and Robert AbiNader [www].)
There are several shopping districts around the city.
- Downtown Beirut - The recently renovated city center that boasts fancy and designer stores.
- Hamra Street - An area featuring much revitalization over the last few years, with many international and upscale brands returning to the district.
- Mar-Elias Street - A busy street towards the south of Beirut. Many of the shops are Lebanese brands which means this is the perfect place to find bargains as most brands are local and cheap.
- Rue. Verdun - A shopping street with several high-end shopping malls and department stores.
- ABC Mall, Achrafieh Alfred Naccache Street, Mar Mitr, . Many international brands are here along with great restaurants, cafes, and a movie theater all in a mixed indoor/outdoor setting.
- Souks de Beirut is a new mall in downtown with international brands in an outdoor setting.
- Beirut Mall, . Tayouneh roundabout.
- ABC Beauté, Bab Idriss, downtown, +961 1 991888. Offering a wide range of international cosmetics and perfume brands, nail bar, professional hairdressers and stylists. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-7PM.
- Miss ABC, Hamra street, facing Cinema strand, +961 1 344740. Women's specialty store. Open Mon-Sat 9:45-7:45, closed Sunday.
- City Mall, Dora highway roundabout, Greater Beirut, +961 1 905555. Includes 100 stores, 15 cafes and restaurants, a Hypermarket, and 9 movie theaters.
- Dunes Center, . Centre Dunes, Verdun Str. Displaying some of the latest shopping brands, as well as many cafes and a movie theater.
- Virgin Megastore - Currently four branches in Beirut: Beirut International Airport, Martyr's square Downtown (claims to be the biggest Virgin Megastore outside the UK), City Mall (Dora roundabout), ABC department store (Ashrafieh).
- Music, Books, Event Tickets: Virgin Megastores Currently four branches in Beirut: Beirut International Airport, Martyr's square Downtown (claims to be the biggest Virgin Megastore outside the UK), City Mall (Dora roundabout), ABC department store (Ashrafieh).
Flea markets are surprisingly hard to find, occasional organized markets are held that are made to resemble flea markets.
- Souk El Tayeb Held every Saturday near BIEL downtown between 9AM-2PM, feed your soul as well as your face in Beirut's first organic farmer's market. Promoting traditional methods of farming and preserving, it's a great place to pick up local honey, cheese and breads, plus artisans' crafts. It also runs regular cookery classes, to learn how to make that perfect tabouleh (bulgur salad).
- Sunday Market Get up early and join the locals for a rummage at the Sunday Market which opens between 7AM and 1PM, next to Beirut River in the east. You might find antique jewellery, clothing and beads, or maybe just bric-à-brac, but there's an eclectic selection of goodies on show. Remember to bargain hard!
- Burj Hammoud Beirut's Armenian quarter, perfect place to shop for cheap bric-à-brac, artisan's crafts, souvenirs, copper and brass ware and faus-brands. Don't forget to haggle. Burj Hammoud is located to the East of ashrafieh across the Beirut river.
- Cash: Lebanese Lira and US dollars are both accepted everywhere, except for tiny number of government offices. Both payment and change for transactions may be given as a combination of the two. The exchange rate is fixed at 1,500LL to 1 USD.
- Payment cards: Many shops, hotels, restaurants, bars etc. accept international payment cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or American Express.
- Automatic bank tellers: Withdrawal can be made from any automatic bank teller found in any region of the country. Withdrawals can be made in either Lebanese Lira or the US dollar.
- Traveler's checks: Lebanese banks can exchange them very easily.