Beirut Travel Guide, Lebanon
Beirut, the administrative capital of Lebanon, is indeed on its way to regain its past glory and magic. Whether we speak of its geographical advantage, its commercial and industrial significance or its cultural richness, Beirut has always been a force to recognize in the Middle East (no wonder it was bestowed the title ‘Pearl/Paris of the Middle East’). And if we talk of the city’s emergence as a tourist hotspot, we must admit that the city promises activities galore - visit the historic/pre-historic sights, go skiing in the mountains or just hang about in the many restaurants, nightclubs and watering holes that have come up in the Beirut region in the recent years.
Area: 19.8 sq km
Population: 2.1 million
Currency: Currency Lebanese Pound
Language: Arabic & French
In Beirut, you will see a blend of different architectures. The city’s more than 5000 years of history shows that it has been under various rules - Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Arab and Ottoman Empires. Take rounds of the excavated sites and you will see the characteristic architectural influences of these successive civilizations.
The planning and structural pattern that we see here today bears more resemblance to the Arabian and Western worlds. (Here it must be mentioned that most of the buildings and edifices in Beirut have had to be reconstructed following the huge-scale war destructions).
Beirut is the largest and busiest city of Lebanon. The city has an international airport. Bus and taxi services also are frequent and comparatively cheap. The seaport of the town, which lies on the east-west crossroads, has always enhanced Beirut’s significance as a trading center. Today, with its excellent infrastructure, banking facilities, free economic and foreign exchange systems, the place has turned into the commercial hub of the nation.
Being the economic hub, the city has many industries - right from food processing units to construction companies, chemical factories, textile firms and even publishing industry. With people streaming in from different parts of the country into Beirut in search of jobs, this city has also become the most populous city. The Beirutis are also engaged in Export/Import businesses.
The construction of world-class hotels in the recent years has improved the city’s worth as a tourism destination. In fact, Beirut is very often the chosen venue for international conferences/conventions as well as for different trading events.
People and Culture
Beirut is truly cosmopolitan in nature - people here follow different religions and cultures. In spite of this cultural and religious diversity, it is a very lively city and is known for its tolerance. No wonder that the Beirutis extend warm welcome to one and all. This is the most westernized city of Lebanon and its people deserve praise for yet another reason - the indomitable, ‘Never say die’ spirit. Indeed, it is this indomitable spirit of Beirut that saw it rise above the ravages of the wars (the two world wars, the Arab-Israel war and the Lebanese civil war) to stand up once again.
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