Welcome to Beirut

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. Situated on Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is also a major financial and banking center and also one of the Middle East's largest ports.

This travel guide will go through everything you need to know before traveling to Beirut, Lebanon. Sit back and enjoy.

Map of Beirut


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Top attractions

Sursock Museum

The Sursock Museum is a musuem of modern art in Beirut, that is housed in a historic 1912 villa.

GR000579.jpg by Karim Sakr on 500px.com

Mohammad AlAmin Mosque

The Mohammad AlAmin Mosque is a famous, modern Ottoman-inspired mosque in Beirut.

The Holy Masterpiece! by Obada Yaghi on 500px.com

National Museum of Beirut

The National Museum of Beirut is one of the largest museums in Beirut and is known for its many exhibitions on Lebanese history.

National Museum of Beirut by Rami Tawil on 500px.com

Hamra

Hamra is a historic street in Beirut, with many old buildings, as well as new commercial centers.

Hamra 'Strt by Ralph Nakad on 500px.com

Martyrs' Square

Martyrs' Square is the central square and main public gathering place in Beirut, Lebanon.

Martyrs' Square, Beirut HDR by Obada Yaghi on 500px.com

Weather and Climate

Beirut has a warm and temperate Middle Eastern climate.

Question: What is the ideal time to visit Beirut?

Answer: The best time to visit Beirut is between April and November.

BEIRUT WEATHER

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History

Although Beirut has been inhabited for more than five thousand years, civilization was first brought to the area by the Phoenicians. Multiple ruins have been found in Beirut from the Phoeninican period. In the 2nd century BCE, Phoeninican Beirut was destroyed by Greek invaders, and the city was also periodically controlled by the Iranians. After Iranian control, Beirut was briefly under Armenian rule but was eventually conquered into Rome. During the Roman Period, Beirut was renamed as Berytus, and was part of the Province of Syria-Phoenicia; Latin also became the primary language spoken in the city. A prominent law school was also established in Beirut, during this time. A major earthquake destroyed parts of the city in the 6th century, and more than 30,000 city residents were killed. Beirut was conquered by Arab Muslims in the 7th century and was ruled by Prince Arslan bin al-Mundhir who founded the Principality of Sin el Fil in 759. Under Arab rule, Beirut became an important trading center, but was conquered by the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century. In 1187, Beirut was ruled by the Kurds, led by Saladin. However in 1197, Beirut was conquered during the German Crusade, and was briefly under the control of Henry the First of Brabant. In the 13th century, a Kurdish invasion destroyed parts of Beirut, but it was rebuilt with the help of the Germans. The city fell under Ottoman rule when the Turks conquered most of Syria and Lebanon, and Beirut quickly became the primary trading port in the Middle East, outpacing rivals in Israel.

Trade continued throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, primarily with European powers, like France. Beirut’s largest export was silk from which the city quickly grew rich. Beirut also had strong ties with the United States and many American missionaries moved to the city. The missionaries also founded the American University of Beirut, which is still active today. A rail link started construction in 1894 which eventually connected Beirut with Damascus and Aleppo. The railroad was constructed with the help of French engineers who had moved to the Ottoman city. After World War One and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks lost control of Beirut, and the city, along with the entirety of present-day Lebanon and Syria, became a colony of France. Beirut became the capital of Lebanon after the country gained independence from France in 1943, and quickly became a thriving intellectual and artistic hub, attracting many great minds from throughout the world. French continued to be spoken in many parts of Beirut, and the city also became a major tourist destination. Banking was the primary industry before the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s. During the civil war, Lebanon was divided between two factions, one controlled by Christians and the other, by Muslims. Beirut was also frequently bombed and raided by the Syrian Army during this time, and later by the Israeli Army. After the end of the war, Beirut started to grow again and became one of the largest trading hubs in the Middle East.

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