American University of Beirut

University in Beirut
Image by Diego Fiore / Shutterstock

One of the Middle East’s most prestigious and expensive universities, the AUB was founded in 1866 by American Protestant missionary Daniel Bliss. Spread over 28 tree-filled hectares, it is a true oasis in this fume-filled city. The on-site archaeological museum was founded in 1868, and has a fine collection of Lebanese and Middle Eastern artefacts dating back to the early Stone Age. Inside the university gate, a visitor office can arrange a free tour of the campus.