Fun Travel Fact:
“Did you know you a Lebanese city – Beirut – is nicknamed the Paris of the Middle East?”– Knots about Travel
Traveling to Lebanon?
Lebanon gives Visa on arrival to most countries, of which Nigeria is one of those countries. Ensure, as always, that your passport has a validity of at least 6months, to be safe. It has a Mediterranean climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool, rainy winters; with August as its hottest month. I’ll recommend the months of October/November for a not too hot or cold weather. It is important to check security status before deciding to visit.
Where to visit?
Lebanon is a country where a lot of bible stories come alive, if you’re Christian. Remember Tyre and Sidon in the bible? That’s Lebanon! If you plan to go to Lebanon, be sure to take road trips to visit different cities in the country. Baalbek, for example, is an amazing city you should see, filled with Roman ruins, it will definitely remind you of Rome.
The city of Jounieh
My trip to Lebanon was a very memorable one. We took road trips to see different sides of the country. On the road to Beirut, we passed through Jounieh. You can spot the giant monument from the highway- the statue of the Virgin Mary with arms stretched out, in a pilgrimage site in Lebanon- Harissa, Our Lady of Lebanon. The site is in honor of Mary, Mother of Jesus. You can take a cable car (a 9-minute ride) to visit it, with a possibility of paragliding over the Bay. For me, I just glanced at the statue on as we drove by. There’s also a Casino in Jounieh, nothing close to Vegas but a pretty sight.
The city of Byblos
Byblos is another city I visited. One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world! We walked through the souks and past the cathedral of Saint John-Marc. This city also had a Roman feel. My favorite spot was the Harbor area, maybe because it was filled with different restaurants offering a variety of sea food dishes.
Beirut – The Paris of the Middle East
I spent most of my time in Beirut. A beautiful city, a bit pricy and very luxurious but worth it. We went to the hill top to see the dazzling city at night and took a walk along the Corniche all the way to the American University Campus. We ended up having dinner close to the Raouché neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the famous Pigeon Rocks (Raouché Rocks) by the coastline.
Downtown Beirut is one of the places you definitely should see, the architectural design of the souks are beautiful, in my opinion. There you can find high and medium brands, cos of course you’re in the Fashion hub of the Middle East. Nijmeh Square is also a place to see which has the city’s Rolex clock. Great coffee shops and a museum to visit are around it as well as the Mohammad Al-Amin mosque an amazing sight at night. To learn about Beirut’s history, you should visit the Grand Serail also known as the Government Palace – the Lebanese Prime Minister’s main base, built in the Ottoman era.
What to eat?
I LOVE me some good food so imagine the excitement when I got to choose from the rich Lebanese menu. I marveled at how everywhere we ate came with unleavened bread. The food in Lebanon was amazing from Kafta (little chunks of lamb, beef or chicken meatball barbequed on skewers), Fattoush (like a salad) to the hummus (made from chickpea), Falafel, Manakish, (bread topped with sesame seeds, olive oil and thyme) and Tabbouleh (like a side dish made from Parsely, mint, tomatoes and some other ingredients). There’s also the Rice Pilaf which you should try.
Another amazing thing about Lebanon, which I found particularly in Beirut is the NUTS. My Gosh!! Did we go crazy for the nuts! Almost everywhere we looked had stores that sold all types of freshly made nuts from almond, to pistachios to cashews, groundnuts name it, they had them all; as well as dried fruits and sweets which we bought as souvenirs for friends and family. I didn’t get to party at night but if you’re the life of a party I heard they have amazing places by the bay to party.
Have you been? Is it on your bucket list? Do tell! It may be part of our vacation packages. I hope you get inspired to visit after this read. Thank you for stopping by!
Until next time…