Grand Serail


The Grand Serail, a majestic Ottoman-era building that has been restored to its former grandeur and is now the Prime Minister's base, is a splendid edifice. As things stand, though, you're unlikely to get close as the area is heavily protected in a tangle of barricades, soldiers and razor wire.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Beirut attractions

1. Robert Mouawad Private Museum

0.12 MILES

The world would be a poorer place if it didn't host idiosyncratic cultural institutions such as this one. Conceived and funded by jeweller and collector…

2. Roman Baths

0.13 MILES

The largest outdoor sight in downtown Beirut hearkening back to the days when the city was a centre of Roman law, the baths here underwent a major…

3. Place de l'Etoile

0.21 MILES

Named for the starburst formed by the radial streets of the main square, Place de l’Étoile seems to either be totally empty or rammed with families with…

4. Cardo Maximus

0.23 MILES

The 'cardo maximus' was the principal north–south street of a Roman city, and you can see the evocative remains of Beirut's cardo maximus between the city…

5. St George Greek Orthodox Cathedral

0.24 MILES

This was built in 1767 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. In 1975, during the civil war, a bomb fell here and unearthed the ruins of a…

6. Maronite Cathedral of St George

0.25 MILES

The neoclassical facade of this late 19th-century cathedral, next to the Mohammed Al Amin mosque, was inspired by the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in…

7. St George Crypt Museum

0.26 MILES

When a bomb fell on the Orthodox cathedral in 1975, the only silver lining was that it revealed these ruins beneath. Though the area is small, an…

8. Al Omari Mosque

0.27 MILES

Built in the 12th century as the Church of John the Baptist of the Knights Hospitaller, this attractive building was converted into a mosque in 1291. It…