Sights & Landmarks in Beirut
Beirut was once the self-proclaimed "Paris of the Middle East". It still has an outdoor cafe culture, and European architecture can be found everywhere. Many Beirutis (as well as other Lebanese) speak French and/or English, to varying degrees, along with Arabic.
Each district has its own sights and places to visit. The following listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit to Beirut. The complete listings are found on each individual district page.
- Pigeon Rocks (Rawcheh District) A monumental natural arch jutting up from the Mediterranean. Great place to sit at one of the roadside cafes and watch the sun set.
- Place de l'Etoile (Nejmeh Square)(Downtown District), originally built by the French in the early 20th century in the very center of the Downtown district, it suffered a lot of war damage during the war but recently has been restored. It is currently under heavy security given that the Parliament sieges in the middle of it, and there are many army and police barrages to limit the access thereto.
- Martyr's Statue Downtown Martyr's Square, east of Nejmeh Square towards Ashrafieh.
- Jeita Grotto is a compound of crystallized caves in Lebanon located 20 km north of Beirut in the Valley of Nahr al-Kalb (Dog River). This grotto is made up of two limestone caves, upper galleries and a lower cave through which a 6230 m long river runs. Geologically, the caves provide a tunnel or escape route for the underground river. In this cave and galleries, the action of water in the limestone has created cathedral-like vaults full of various sizes, colors and shapes of stalactites and stalagmites, majestic curtains and fantastic rock formations. The total length of the cave is more than 9000 m and there is one among the biggest stalactites in the world hanging 8,20 m. The grotto accommodates a huge hall with a distance of 108 m from the ceiling till the water level.
Parks & Squares
- Sanayeh Park, Emmile Eddé Road, Hamra, Beirut
- Horsh Beirut (Beirut Pine Forest), (adjacent to the Beirut Hippodrome south of Ashrafieh)
- Khalil Gebran Park Downtown District (between Amir Amine St. and Toufik Khaled St.)
- Debbas Square Saifi village Downtown (between Charles Debbas St. and Dmascus St.)
- Nejmeh Square Central Downtown
- Herbal Garden Riad El Solh St. Downtown
- American University of Beirut campus By far the biggest and greenest park in Beirut. Non-students are only allowed to enter through the main gate on Bliss Street in Hamra. Visiters are required to show ID.
- Lebanese American University campus. While much smaller than AUB, the LAU campus in southern Hamra/Qoreitem is a cozy and quiet refuge from the busy streets of Beirut. ID is required to enter.