Paris of the East
The visitor immediately distinguishes the mixture of ancient and ultramodern. It has style and aesthetics, with a taste of oriental temperament. The capital of Lebanon has seen brilliant days since the end of World War II, and soon it was given the nickname "Paris of the East" because of its French influences as well as the vibrant life that prevailed in its alleys. In the centre of the city, Hamra, where there are many hotels and ethnic-style restaurant, there and the headquarters of the American University of Beirut an international cluster of offices and airlines. At the Southwest part, it lies at the seafront suburbs of Mantra and Pauche and many cafes overlooking the Mediterranean. In the National Museum, one finds an impressive collection of statuettes, sarcophagi, lekytths and jewellery of Byzantine art, treasures found in the kitsch in the ruins of Byzantine villas, and a marvellous marble head of the god Dionysus from Tyros. Traces of the Phoenician of Persian, Hellenistic, Pomeranian, Byzantine times are under the city.
Excursions and cultural heritage!
Outdoor cafes, landscaped hotels and waterfalls such as the Pinacle delta, the need to relax under the hot sun of the East, all make up the authentic Mediterranean nirvana. As the capital, it is the ideal starting point to visit most of Lebanon's sights, choosing one of the many day trips that are offered individually or with groups. Among the most popular are the Becca Valley, where Baalbek (ancient Heliopolis) is located with important Roman and Hellenistic buildings, including the temples of Dionysus and Zeus. Every summer it takes place the homonymous international festival, mainly with music, which this year marks 60 years. This tour includes a guided tour of the well-preserved Anzar, where the ruins of the city of Umaijad are located, as well as a visit to one of the local wineries. If you are wine-lover, it is worth spending one day exclusively on wine tourism.
Entertainment and traditional gastronomy!
In Beirut, you will not get bored at night. The city is famous for its clubs and bars, where locals and guests have fun until the morning. The Iris Bar, the White Club and the Music Hall of the Hellenic-Lebanese Michelle Eleutheriades at the beachfront, the Train Station Bar and the Enab restaurant in Mar Mikhael and the Bar-restaurants The Villa and Wall Street & Downtowner in Badaro are just some of the amazing nightlife places of the city. Its gastronomy is also excellent and with a huge range of choices, from traditional Lebanese to its special restaurants, with excellent fish and seafood, as well as the international cuisines. At most, even at a very expensive price, the hookahs are not missing, which is attended by specialized staff.
The distinct wines of Lebanon!
In viticulture, Lebanon is unique with its international wines, thanks to the Becca plateau, which provides an ideal climate and soil condition. At an altitude of 1,000m to 1,200m, the valley between Lebanon and Antilivanos is dew covered on summer evenings and mild winters. The mountains provide valuable water and the slopes create the ideal terroir. Although the vine has grown in the area for 6,000 years, modern wine production is due to the French conquerors and to the Jesuit Order, which made one of the first wineries, Château Ksara, in 1857. Generally, Lebanese winemakers prefer the French varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Rhone, such as Cinsaut, Carignan and Grenache. There are also interesting local grapes like Obeideh and Merwah.