Once referred to as the “Paris of the Mediterranean” Lebanon was renowned as a freewheeling hub of music, literature and intellect in the Middle East. For over two decades foreign travellers have steered clear of Lebanon, and rightfully so. Lebanon has been afflicted with years of civil war, political unrest and has been at the mercy of some unruly neighbours. However, over the past few years the country has been rebuilding its cities at a breakneck pace and there is a renewed sense of its former glory.
The capital city of Beirut is usually described as a city of contrasts. Beirut is where eastern traditions meet western progression, ultra-modern high-rises are erected around ancient ruins and where the desert collides abruptly with the sea. All of these juxtapositions create a depth and multi-layer dynamic that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the world.
Once you exit Beirut International Airport have your hoppa Lebanon airport transfer bring you to your chic downtown accommodation, where you can dust yourself off before setting out on your Lebanese holiday. Visitors from all over the world are rediscovering Beirut, and you will surely hear a dozen different languages being spoken in your hotel lobby. Start your day at Martyr’s Square, which is also home to some Roman ruins. Spend a day exploring the city sites such as: the National Museum of Beirut where you can find over 100,000 artefacts throughout the archaeological collections; the Hamra shopping district, a commercialised, westernised and immensely popular neighbourhood chockfull of shops, cafés as well as international and Lebanese restaurants; the Place de l’Etoile with its verdant tree-lined streets and many splendid cafés and chic boutiques; and the Corniche seaside promenade is always a great place to people watch. Beiruti families, couples and smartly dressed teens love to come here and watch the world pass by and the gaze at the glowing sunsets. Visit Beirut during the summer months and enjoy lounging on Ramlet el-Baida, Beirut’s only sand beach and swimming or boating around Pigeon Rocks. As night settles over Beirut, tap into your inner night owl and do as the locals do. The nightlife here doesn’t start heating up until midnight and carries on until sunrise. But before hitting the town, be sure to stop by and admire the Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque, which always looks its best after dark. The steamy clubs and bars in Achrafieh and nearby Gemmayze are always packed to capacity with a fashionable crowd and where you can dance until dawn.
Outside Beirut are the scatterings of ancient ruins from the many great civilizations that once occupied the land. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans and Ottomans are some of the better-known inhabitants. The more significant ruins are easily accessible and visitors are usually able to see a handful of them in one day. The ancient cities of Byblos, Tyre and Anjar are renowned for their numerous Roman remains. The most famous Phoenician and Roman archaeological site in Lebanon is Baalbek, which houses the largest temple in all of the Roman Empire.
Other popular tourist destinations include: Tripoli, considered the oldest city in Lebanon and dates back ten centuries ago; and the Jeita Grotto, a dazzling underground river and cave system that you can tour by boat.
Share in Lebanon’s triumph as the country makes a comeback you will want to write home about. Pre-book your Lebanon airport transfers with hoppa and all the details of your arrival and departure will be well tended to. Hoppa ensures you arrive on holiday carefree and relaxed.