Are you planning a trip to Lebanon, a great cultural power in the Middle East? Find out in which neighborhood to stay in Beirut!
Located in the center of the country on a rocky promontory, Beirut – the capital of Lebanon and is built on two hills – Achrafiyeh and Ras-Beirut. It is a major historical, economic, financial, cultural and educational center in the Middle East, although the city suffered from several armed conflicts from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 2000s. Beirut is home to 363,033 inhabitants and 2 million of people throughout the urban area. It is a crossroads between East and West that attracts thousands of visitors and expatriates.
From the Christian quarter of Achrafiyeh to working-class neighborhoods or those by the sea or on the heights, accommodation in Beirut offers several atmospheres but you will be struck by the hospitality and kindness of the Beiruti Lebanese. Here is our presentation of the neighborhoods where to stay in Beirut.
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A true historic district and today the financial heart of the city, Downtown Beirut is located between the Christian quarter to the east and the Shiite and Sunni quarters to the west. It should be noted from the outset that Beirut and Lebanon have always been a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, from the Phoenicians to the Romans, from the Ottomans to the French. There is a festive, joyful and positive atmosphere.
Cuisine, fashion, visual arts and nightlife punctuate the life of the downtown district, and many cafes, bars and restaurants dot the streets of the city. During your urban walks, you will come across the famous Place De L’Étoile , right next to the Mohammad Al Amine Mosque and the archaeological site of Beirut. Do not miss, in the south of the district, the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. An ideal cultural crossroads where to stay in Beirut to discover the city.
It is the Christian district most popular with French expatriates. The Achrafiyeh district is also known and very popular with partygoers, especially in Gemmayzé, a nightlife hotspot formerly compared to New York’s Soho. The district stretches from Gemmayzé to the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital.
It is a chic, even rich district of Beirut, especially with the Sursock, where the richest of the city live in luxurious villas and castles. Accommodation in Achrafiyeh offers a central position but beware, the price can be rather high.
Located east of the city center, Bourj Hammoud is the Armenian district of Beirut, nicknamed “Little Armenia”. It is home to several tens of thousands of survivors of the Armenian genocide of 1915. You will find there, in particular, rue d’Armenie, one of the longest avenues in the Lebanese capital.
Many Armenian restaurants line the streets of this district, and the architecture is less Arab than Orthodox: a singular mixture of cultures where one has the feeling of being in Yerevan rather than Beirut.
The district also has many souks and a multitude of shops – especially on Arax Street – which will satisfy you if you want to buy souvenirs. Staying in Bourj Hammoud means sleeping in a second city center of 15,000 people and to discover another face of Lebanon.
This district located in the south of the city appears as a residential area that was once neglected and is now “on the way to development”: the Badaro district is on the rise! An authentic charm of the 1950s floats in the district, which has not undergone the massive urbanization and the modern concretization of the city.
Go there if you are traveling as a family with children, to enjoy manouches , go shopping or have a drink in a bar or even party in one of the major Beirut nightlife brands. The atmosphere is relaxed and the district is attracting more and more people. An alternative compromise where to stay in Beirut to be in contact with local youth!