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Ride the Teleferique to Harissa
The iconic Teleferique cable car ascends 650m from the coast to the Harissa mountaintop, where the Our Lady of Lebanon monument stands. Built in 1965, it’s one of Lebanon’s oldest tourist attractions just 16km north of the capital. The nine-minute journey to the shrine offers panoramic views of the azure Jounieh Bay, pine-covered hills, and Beirut skyline at a distance.
- +961 9936 075
- Go to Website
Enjoy a wine-soaked lunch at IXSIR Winery
Hire a driver and head to the award-winning IXSIR winery in the Batroun mountains, about an hour north of Beirut (traffic aside, of course). Its name is derived from the Arabic word for “elixir”, a reference to the divine reds, whites, and rosés produced from Lebanon’s rich terroir. Take a tour of the cellar, built 12m underneath a traditional stone house, then indulge in the seemingly endless buffet spread. Pair with endless bottles of wine, if you must.
- +961 1442 664
- Go to Website
Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
Don’t sleep on this gem of a museum (pardon the pun) on the campus of Saint-Joseph University. The superb Mim displays one of the grandest private collections of minerals, gemstones, and prehistoric fossils. You’ll see over 1,400 fascinating minerals of hypnotising colors, shapes and sizes, sourced from over 70 countries. Digital displays go beyond the periodic table to give an interactive scientific education on each specimen’s composition.
- +961 1421 672
- Go to Website
Souk el Tayeb Farmers’ Market
If you’re in downtown Beirut on Wednesday or Saturday, head to Souk el Tayeb, which translates to “the tasty market.” The open-air market was created in 2004, initially as an experiment to allow farmers from around the country to sell produce in one place. It has since grown and evolved into a biweekly mainstay that shares pan-Lebanese culinary traditions, with its organizers spawning the oft-recommended restaurant Tawlet in Mar Mikhael.
Dip into the sea at Pierre and Friends
Perched above a free-to-access pebble beach north of Beirut, Pierre and Friends is an irresistible seaside pub that opposes the pretentious attitude of other nearby beach clubs. The restaurant specialises in fresh-caught fish (get the Sultan Ibrahim, fried) and is open all-year. More than a place to nibble, sip and tan by the Mediterranean, it’s also a sporting club with equipment for kite-surfing, wind-surfing, or whatever kind of surfing you prefer.
- +961 3352 930
- Go to Website
Beirut is a city of layers, so a walking tour is invaluable to peeling them all back. Take a four-hour stroll with Walk Beirut through the most storied areas of the city. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of repose throughout. Founded by Ronnie Chatah, the son of an assassinated Lebanese official, the tour engages walkers with extensive storytelling and context about the country’s tumultuous past.
Feted as the oldest record shop in Beirut and founded by Khatchik Mardirian, the father of current owner Diran, Chico has served up musical delectations since the 1960s and through war, peace and everything in-between.
- +961 1 743 855
A luscious art-house cinema – the first and only in Lebanon – with a focus on Lebanese and Arabic films. The Metropolis hosts various events and festivals throughout the year as well as pop-ups across the country.
Set in a street of equally awesome palatial piles, this early 20th-century, ornate villa houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary Lebanese art, as well as international and Islamic art pieces.
A renovation of a traditional Lebanese family home devastated during the Civil War. Beit Beirut was intended for use as a cultural museum to commemorate the war, but as of October 2018 opening hours are irregular. Check before visiting.
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