Things to do in Beirut: A sneak-peek into Beirutis life

view from Al manara Beirut

I am not going to list the most common things to do in Beirut. If you want to discover and truly learn about the identity of this country,you’ll have to go behind the scenes,wander the streets and “roll in the mud”. After all, you can always choose to go for the “most popular places in Lebanon” option,but you’ll end up getting the marketed image of the country and miss out on all the genuine,un-promoted ones. So go for:

Exhibitions around the block

IMG_6381Getting in touch with the core identity of Lebanon through the eyes of local talent is by far the best way to discover the cultural background of this country. Free exhibitions are all around the city. You’ll just have to know where to look.Check beiruting.comor Lebtivity.com:these two search engines can come real handy in spotting all kind of events in Beirut. Recently,we got to visit Beirut Art Center and Station,two free visual art exhibitions at a walk distance from one another. The highlight of that visit was one really interesting short movie exhibited at Station:a refreshing glimpse on the sexual life of Lebanese youth,a topic that normally lies under the taboo etiquette.

 

A walk on the Corniche of Al-Manara

IMG_6323The Corniche of Al-Manara is maybe the most relaxing and soul-fulfilling activity to do in Beirut,no matter what time it is. You can go for a run or for a read,to paint,listen to live performance music,walk the dogs or just enjoy the wonderful view of the Mediterranean horizon. You’ll get to encounter all kind of people and stories. Have a warm corn stick in winter or an Arabic flavored ice cream in summer. Each visit to the Corniche has brought its own storyline and has never failed to make me want to comeback again.

Charlie’s:The pub with no name and a blue door

Charlies - 050This is a completely “personal opinion” regarding the pubs in Beirut. There is a lot of good places where you can have a decent drink whether it is in Gemmayzeh Street,Mar mkhayel and more recently in Badaro. But Charlie’s holds a special place in our hearts. Charlie’s is our second house,the kind of pubs where you can easily befriend the bartenders and before you even know it,you’re behind the DJ set playing your favorite playlist. I don’t know what is it about this place:the crowd,the staff,the music…A perfect combination to satisfy all kind of people and ages. Now,sometimes,it can be too crowded,especially during the weekends,and you might find yourself standing on the pavement outside with your drink in your hand,but this is when you’ll get to experience the true essence of Charlie’s and the beauty of its chaos. In fact,it is on this exact pavement that I made sure that Bea had enough drinks for me to kiss her for the first time:)))

Discovering the abandoned houses 

tradition-meets-modernity-2-1221425-639x892Skip the museum visits and go discover the history of Beirut in the most unconventional ways. It is better to try this out discretely and during nighttime since you might be accused of trespassing property(not likely though,this is why it is worth the try).The war on Lebanon left Beirut with a lot of abandoned houses scattered all over the city. Old traditional houses carrying the scares of a harsh period. Exploring these places will not only be a hell of a thrilling experience but will also give you a unique insight to the vulnerable life of Beirutis at that time.

 

 

After midnight,go underground

Beirut is quiet rewarding in terms of music genres. Whether,you are into house music,funk,techno,IDM,trance the underground nightlife scene is rich in its diversity. Since we are fans of electronic music,our personal recommendations would be The Gärten,BO18 and The Grand Factory,where International Deejays are weekly invited to play,not to forget the extremely talented local ones that are continuously up-lifting the underground music scene in Lebanon and in the world. And if you’re lucky enough you’ll get to meet the right people and join some really interesting house parties where music is usually more selective and less commercial. Just make sure to keep your ears satisfied. 

I got your backpack

Beatrice and Elie the Lebanese couple who decided to quit their desk jobs and pursue a life on the road. Extreme sports lovers, yoga practitioners, life philosophers, and adventure hunters, they hope to inspire and motivate people throughout their travel stories.

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8 Discussion to this post

  1. Luke says:

    I didn’t know anything about Beirut until I read your article.
    Looks like an amazingly fun and exciting city!
    Whats the food like there? I usually can’t get enough local food whenever I travel I always find that the most enjoyable part of any trip!
    Thanks for the great info, looks like there are some beautiful places over there.

    • Elie C. says:

      Hey Luke. I am glad that I introduced you to my hometown city. I am sure that you would enjoy your time if you ever pass by. As for the food, you can find all sorts of cuisines in Lebanon. But locally the food is mainly Mediterranean. the traditional “Mankouche” or “Knefe” are great for a breakfast. Cold and hot mezzas along with some grills fit perfectly for a lunch. And to best describe the taste of Lebanese local food I will translate a lebanese quote that says: “It is so tasty that you’ll want to eat you fingers afterwards” :))

  2. AJ says:

    Hey Great Article,

    I been hearing about Beirut but I didn’t know anything about Beirut until I read your article and I love it.
    It really look like an fun and exciting city!
    I wonder how is the people and the food like there? I love to travel and eat enough to the local food places I always find that the most enjoyable part of any trip!
    Thanks for the great info and the article, it really looks like there are some beautiful places over there and TONS of fun.

    AJ.

    • Elie C. says:

      hey AJ, I am glad that you got fascinated by my hometown city. you should come and visit.
      As for the food, I’d say the same thing as I said to Luke you can find all sorts of cuisines in Lebanon. But locally the food is mainly Mediterranean. the traditional “Mankouche” or “Knefe” are great for a breakfast. Cold and hot mezzas along with some grills fit perfectly for a lunch.
      As for the people I have no doubt that you will love everyone here. Everyone is very friendly especially when a tourist is in town. We always want to bring the best out of Lebanon so you’ll definitely meet some great people to show you around.
      Elie

  3. @Cloakedbeardco says:

    I have always wanted to travel to Beirut unfortunately ignorance of the landscape and adventures steered me away but your article reignited my curiosity! I think what would interest me more about going to Beirut is the food. What do you recommend as far as areas to visit with the best food?

    • I got your backpack says:

      Hey :) Beirut is indeed a special place with awesome nature and landscapes. The food is indeed special and actually the areas where you find good food is all over lebanon you have to try the lebanese restaurants and you can find those everywhere in the country :)

  4. Kevin says:

    You make Beirut sound like an real interesting place. I remember the trouble Lebanon had back in the 1980’s and am surprised how it has regrown since then. It must get real hot over there in the summer. Probably would be better to go in the spring or fall. Thanks for this post! It has definitely opened my eyes.

    • I got your backpack says:

      Hey Kevin :) Glad you like it and we’re happy to show people a different perspective of Beirut. As you said during summer it gets hot around 30- 35 c so it’s better to go during spring you will have amazing weather and nature as well. And if you are ever in Beirut let us know if we are there we will definetaly take you for nice tours :)

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