Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.
With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.
The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.
Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?
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Best places to stay in Lebanon
Middle East travel guide
The Middle East is one of history’s grand epics – a cradle of civilisations and a beautiful, complicated land that’s home to some of the most hospitable people on the planet.
Travel literature review: House of Stone
House of Stone by Anthony Shadid Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Reviewed by Anita Isalska House of Stone is a disarmingly personal exploration of identity and rediscovery, deftly drawing together small-scale human drama and the carnage of war...
Middle East - Lebanon (Chapter)
Lebanon, the original land of milk and honey, is a friendly, welcoming and culturally rich country with one slipper in the Arab world and one Jimmy Choo planted firmly in the West.
Eat your way around the world in Beirut
Is there anything more distinctly Lebanese than a greasy late-night kebab? Perhaps not. But while Beirut may have built its culinary reputation on a lamb grill or falafel wrap, the city’s restaurant critics are nowadays more likely to extol the virtues of Chinese dim sum or Californian sushi...
Middle East phrasebook
With eight key languages in this first ever phrasebook to the region, let no barriers - language or culture - get in your way.
Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut
Explore the fascinating Lebanese cities of Byblos and Harissa, as well as the world-famous Jeita Grotto, on a full-day trip from Beirut! On this must-do guided tour for any traveler to Lebanon, you'll visit Byblos, one of the oldest cities in the world, and see the impressive Jeita Grotto, one of the most stunning natural wonders on Earth.
Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut
Take a full-day trip to the amazing cities of Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara, and immerse yourself in a captivating world of Lebanese history. The cities of Baalbek and Anjar are famous mainly for their superb, excellently preserved ancient sites, such as Heliopolis and the Umayyad Ruins.
Travel literature review: Day of Honey
Day of Honey — A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Reviewed by Jessica Boland Annia Ciezadlo was a special correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Baghdad and The New Republic in Beirut, and now lives in New York...
Tony Wheeler's Bad Lands
In an age of plastic knives on planes, Tony Wheeler can make the extraordinary claim of having visited all the rogue countries currently on newsreaders' lips. Bad Lands is a witty first-hand account of his travels through places often perceived...