Two years ago, I had the chance to visit Lebanon. Despite the security warnings, my friend and I packed our bags and a few hours later landed in Beirut to begin our fantastic road trip. Let me tell you more about it 🙂
Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world. During my Erasmus exchange year, I met a Lebanese guy who is now a good friend of mine. Two years ago, as we were hesitating on where to meet up with an other friend who had moved back to her homeland, my Lebanese friend suggested that we come visit him in Lebanon. Excited about this trip, my friend and I, ignored the embassy warnings, packed our bags and were on our way to Lebanon!
The day after we landed, we started our road-trip through Lebanon. We had the chance of being accompanied by locals who knew where to go, what’s worth seeing and above all … where we shouldn’t go! Except one incident (motorway being blocked), everything went really well and I keep wonderful memories of this trip. Great adventure!
I have picked for you my favorite places in Lebanon. Not easy to choose only ten but here they are…:)
My top 10 favorite places
- Beirut : You should at least spend a day to visit the “Paris of the Middle East”. Many civilizations have influenced Beirut (and Lebanon in general). There are many monuments, sites and museums to visit. I would like to point out two places that I particularly enjoyed in Beirut :
- Geymmayzeh street : It is THE place to be (especially at night). Many bars, restaurants and nightclubs. It really gives a sense of the multicultural melting pot of Beirut .
- “Corniche” – the Raouche : Really nice walk along the Corniche and view on the famous “Raouche”.
- Jeita Grotto : if you had to visit only one place in Lebanon that would be it! A true beauty! Spectacular! Majestic! Do not miss it! (I don’t have any pictures of it as it was forbidden)
- Batroun – Phoenician wall : Located in northern Lebanon, Batroun is (one of) the place to go for history/culture lovers. The town is one of the oldest in the world. Many cultural sites to visit. Do not miss the Phoenician wall. It was built to protect the town against tidal waves. Quite impressive that it is still standing!
- Byblos : UNESCO World Heritage Site. Byblos is believed to be the “oldest continuously inhabited city in the world”. Plan to spend a day in Byblos as there are many beautiful places to visit. Do not miss the old port and the souq.
- Qadisha Valley – “Cedars of God” : UNESCO World Heritage Site. Majestic forest with centenary cedars. The last ones standing (*epic music*) due to massive deforestation.
- Baalbek : UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rich archeological site with vestiges from Phoenician and Greco-Roman civilizations. See also Baalbek festival taking place in the archeological site itself with concerts in the Temple of Bacchus. How cool is that? 🙂
- Beiteddine Palace : Majestic palace built by emir Bashir Shihab. See also Beiteddine Festival.
- Monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya : Beautiful monastery in the mountains. Amazing site and views. If you have time, do not miss it.
If you have been to Lebanon or are living there, I would love to here about your favorite places ❤
- Although we didn’t pay attention to the warnings, we were quite lucky as the airport got blocked only few days after we left (not to mentioned the terrorist attacks in Beirut). Not every places are safe to go. If you can, do take a local guide with you. Better be safe than sorry.
- A note on Baalbek : Lebanon is a very narrow country and Balbeek is only 10km away from the Syrian border. Yes, the army is watching the border but better be aware of it and read the news before going.
- A note about driving in Lebanon : If you can drive in Beirut, you can drive anywhere! “Slightly” chaotic 🙂 Some tourists absolutely love driving there since they can drive (very) “freely”. “Red light/Stop sign are optional” kind of “freely” 🙂
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