On September 18, 2012Andrew Bossone answered the question:Beirut was once famous exclusively for its nightclubs, but now it also has a thriving bar scene. Bars often have creative décor or a theme that gives a unique artistic vibe to going out. The three main neighborhoods for nightlife are Hamra, Gemmayzeh and Monot, while Byblos and Mar Mikhael are up-and-coming areas. New bars and lounges are opening frequently, so just look for crowded places or ask around for hot spots. For a good time set to Arabic music, try Mezyane or Barometre in Hamra. For clubbing go to super-exclusive White, Skybar or BO18, but don’t go too early. For the places to see and be seen, check out Dictateur in Mar Mikhael or Danny’s Alley in Hamra. Look at the schedule of musicians at the Democratic Republic of Music, aka DRM, or The Blue Note for a jazz show.
On September 18, 2012Andrew Bossone answered the question:The best way to see Beirut in one day should begin with breakfast, a coffee to go, and a walk on the Corniche (the pedestrian seaside walkway) starting from Rauche (pronounced Row-shay) going east. Take a 45-minute taxi to visit the stunning Jeita Grotto. Return to Beirut and ask the driver to bring you to Furn el Hamra for falafel or mankouche, a Lebanese favorite of flatbread baked in a brick oven with your choice of toppings. Wander around Hamra for shopping before resting and showering at your hotel. Check out some galleries in Quarantina, and then have dinner and drinks in Gemmayzeh. If you still have energy after midnight to stay out, head for a club. Go to Barbar take-out for late night snacks and juice.
On September 18, 2012Andrew Bossone answered the question:World-renowned designers have opened up shops in Beirut for the last several years, and Lebanese designers have their own unique style that blends East and West. For high-end shopping, go to Beirut Souks in downtown or the ABC Mall in Ashrafieh. Local boutiques are sprinkled around Gemmayzeh or in Hamra, which also has large clothing stores. If you look around, you can find good deals all over on nice clothes and accessories for men and women.
On September 18, 2012Andrew Bossone answered the question:Beirut is all about atmosphere and your kids will find it a fascinating and lively place, no matter where you go. Here, though, are five things to do that Forbes Travel Guide editors say will be especially fascinating for kids:
1. Go ride a bike. Head to the long seaside promenade known as the Corniche and rent bicycles from Beirut by Bike. The whole family will enjoy pedaling past scenic points along the Mediterranean. They even offer lessons for beginners.
2. Explore Jeita Grotto. A short ride from Beirut, the Jeita Grotto has stunning natural rock formations that resemble mushrooms, curtains and columns. Walk through the upper part, and then tour the lower portion in a small boat.
3. Spend a day at Lunapark. This seaside amusement park just off the Corniche has a Ferris wheel, bumper cars and games of chance that are thrilling for kids of any age.
4. Get crafty at Busy Box. This unique arts and crafts studio in Hamra is a place where both parents and kids can use their artistic talents to do everything from drawing to painting pictures to decorating ceramics.
5. Go hiking. Tour guides offer hikes at all levels around the picturesque mountains and valleys of Lebanon. Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend you book your hike in advance, as they are usually first come, first served.
On September 18, 2012Andrew Bossone answered the question:Beirut is a dynamic city with its mix of languages and cultures. You’ll find this ancient city has so many options when it comes to impressive sights and historical landmarks. Here are Forbes Travel Guide editor’s picks for the five best things to see and do in Beirut:
1. Visit Souk el Barghout. This famous market draws hundreds of shoppers and visitors and you won’t want to miss it. Shop for colorful trinkets ranging from pottery to scarves, sit in a café and enjoy a cup of coffee or indulge in some first-rate people watching.
2. Tour the Roman temples at Baalbeck. Beirut is full of historic sites, but these Roman temples at Baalbeck on the Bekaa plain are considered to be among the wonders of the ancient world. These surprisingly well-preserved temples are said to be the largest and grandest ever built.
3. Stoll along the Corniche. This seaside promenade is famous for its gorgeous views of both nature and people. Snap a photo at Pigeon Rocks or add on some time to relax on the sand.
4. Explore Jeita Grotto. Be sure to set aside a day for your exploration of these magical grottoes that are among the most impressive sites in the natural world. Walk through the upper grotto to see fantastic rock formations that resemble curtains, columns and mushrooms. Hop into a boat to see the lower grotto full of stalactites overhead and stalagmites jutting form the water.
5. Head to the country. The mountains have attractive vistas, winter ski slopes and wonderful hiking. The Bekaa Valley has recently seen a number of wineries that draw on a tradition dating back to ancient Phoenicia and influenced by 20th century French colonialism.