When it comes to global travel destinations, few cities have the unique beauty and historical significance of the Lebanese capital Beirut. Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Lebanon Mountains, this ancient city has long served as an important link between the Middle East and the rest of the world.
From its incredible architecture to its natural splendor, Beirut has attractions that are like no others. Here are just five that you don’t want to leave the city without visiting.
1. Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
Positioned next to a Christian church and directly in front of ancient Roman ruins, the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque is the perfect place to reflect on Beirut’s amazing history and melting-pot culture. Popularly known as the Blue Masjid, the mosque is an exceptional example of post-modern Middle Eastern architecture with a central blue dome that is roughly 185 high and minarets that shoot more than 213 feet into the sky.
2. The American University of Beirut (AUB)
Beirut’s most prestigious university is also home to some of its most historic buildings. But architecture isn’t the only thing that attracts hordes of visitors to the American University of Beirut (AUB). The AUB campus is home to a private beach, bird sanctuary, and impressive botanical gardens. It is dotted with hundreds of tree species that hail from locations around the world. Housing an immense collection of priceless artifacts, the AUB Archaeological Museum is open to the public throughout the week.
3. National Museum of Beirut
If museum-going is your thing, you will certainly want to visit the National Museum of Beirut to peruse its diverse collection of 100,000 ancient and medieval artifacts. It is particularly rich in ancient Phoenician objects including a marble sarcophagus with a stunning depiction of a Phoenician ship and a bronze statue of the Phoenician god Reshep that dates back to 19th century BC.
4. Raouche’s Pigeon Rocks
The top natural attraction within the city limits of Beirut is Pigeon Rocks. Located just off the Mediterranean coastline in the bustling residential and commercial neighborhood of Raouche, Pigeon Rocks loom large as geological monoliths surrounded by crashing waves. You can casually view them from a mainland café or hire a speedboat to examine their cavernous features more closely.
5. Roman Baths
A breathtaking testament to Beirut’s Roman roots, its Roman Berytus (Roman Baths) are situated in the heart of its downtown district. These impressive ruins are divided into four sections that offer an exceptional look back in time. The Roman Baths is also the site of a world-class Mediterranean garden as well as regular musical concerts and artistic performances.