Downtown Beirut is the best point to start exploring the city. Located in the heart of the city, downtown is just next to the Beirut port and marina. The area is lined with cafes, restaurants and shops. There are also a number of historical sites along the area that travellers can see. The Martyr's Square and Nejmeh Square are located in the area. There are also a few gardens in downtown Beirut including Khalil Gebran Park, Debbas Square and Herbal Garden.
Ashrafieh is one of the oldest districts of Beirut. The Sassine Square and Sodeco Square are excellent for shopping in the afternoon. Travellers can visit the Nicolas Sursock Museum, National Museum of Beirutand several art galleries in this district. The district is popular for its nightclubs and pubs, as such not very conducive for a Halal conscious traveller, especially in the evenings.
In general, some parts of Beirut has a very active night life that Halal conscious travellers should avoid. If you are venturing out at night, check out with the locals the areas that you should avoid.
Ain El Mraiseh north of downtown Beirut is a lovely coastal district. The Corniche in the area has been beautifully developed and is ideal for skating and enjoying stunning views of the sea.
Hamra Street is a shopper's paradise. Located west of downtown, Hamra has a number of art galleries and the AUB Museumthat travellers can visit. Other Museums in Beirut include Beirut Art Museum, Emmagoss Gallery and Matignon Gallery.
The Sanayeh Park provides a serene ambiance for travellers to relax.
Rawcheh is known for its landmark Pigeon Rocks. Located along the coastline, Rawcheh has several coffee shops and restaurants.
The Mohammad Al-Amin Masjid is the main masjid in the city. The interiors of the masjid has been beautifully designed. TheAl Omari masjid is one of the most visited attractions of the city. The masjid was built in the 13th century and is one of the most well-preserved historic monuments in the city.
Lebanese food is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Travellers should definitely try the Lebanese Mezze, an elaborate meal of over thirty hot and cold dishes. The flat pitta bread, Hommos, Moutabal and Sambousseksare also a must try. Halal food is generally available in Lebanon.
Beirut has a wide range of shopping malls like ABC Mall, Beirut Mall, Miss ABC, ABC Beauté, Dunes Centre, City Mall, and ABC Beauté. The Souk El Tayeb, Sunday Market and Burj Hammoud are also excellent places to shop apart from the downtown area, Hamra Street and Mar Elias Street.
Beirut is also home to the American University of Beirut.
Sometime in 1326, Ibn Battuta on his way to Damascus went through. He mentions in the Rihla "We went on from there(Tiberias) to Beirut, a small town with fine markets and a beautiful mosque. Fruits and iron are exported from it to Egypt."