15 Places You Must Visit When In Lebanon

Bryan Denton / The New York Times | World Tourism

Lebanon is a country with many landmarks. Anywhere you go, there’s something beautiful to admire and interesting to explore.

Whether you’re into natural sightseeing, historical places, or you just wanna have a good time, you are guaranteed to find a place or two (and most probably all) on this list that will meet your taste.

It is also advisable that you check out all of these places at least once in your lifetime.

Why? Well, Lebanon has a lot to offer. Tourists from all over the world come to visit its famous landmarks. It is filled with beauty, culture, history, inspiring vibes, and magical scenes that are unique.

#1 Zouk Mikael Old Souk

Once a key commercial place in Lebanon of the 19th century, the Old Souk has nonetheless kept its vibrant authenticity and most of its heritage artisanship, which products are found throughout the souk.

Located in Keserwan, the Old Souk of Zouk Mikael is an experience in itself, whether at day time or at night time. It’s there where you can enjoy hunting for beautiful handmade arts so typically Lebanese.

#2 The Cedars of God

The Cedars of God is a millenniums-old forest located in the Kadisha Valley of Bsharri. In 1998, they were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The forest is rigorously protected. The Cedars of God and the Kadisha Valley are of great religious and historical importance, as the valley was a site settled by the early Christian monks to escape religious persecution.

#3 The National Museum

Beirut National Museum is the principal museum of archaeology in Lebanon. The collection began after World War I, and the museum was officially opened in 1942.

With nearly 100,000 objects inside the beautiful building, there is just so much to see and discover behind those walls. It was designed in a French-inspired Egyptian Revival architecture by the architects Antoine Nahas and Pierre Leprince-Ringuet and built with Lebanese ochre limestone.

History is all over the National Museum, and in its location. During the 1975 Lebanese Civil War, the museum stood on the front line that separated the warring factions.

#4 Baalbek Temple

The Baalbek temple includes two of the largest and grandest Roman temple ruins: the Temple of Bacchus and the Temple of Jupiter. It was inscribed in 1984 as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Temple of Bacchus is one of the best-preserved and grandest Roman ruins; its age is unknown, but its fine ornamentation can be dated to the second century CE.

#5 Sidon Sea Castle

This castle was built by the crusaders in the thirteenth century as a fortress of the Holy Land, built on a small island connected to the mainland by a narrow 80m long roadway.

Sidon’s Sea Castle has witnessed several wars and has been damaged and renovated many times.

#6 Saint George Bay / Zaituna Bay

Saint George Bay has come to be known in recent times as Zaituna Bay, a touristic destination located at the Beirut Marina and has many restaurants, cafes, shops, promenades, and some great views.

The Zaituna Bay project was designed by Steven Holl Architects and executed by Nabil Gholam Architecture and Planning.

#7 El-Raouche

The Pigeon’s Rock at Raouche is one of the most famous landmarks in Lebanon. It is surrounded by beautiful buildings, restaurants, and cafes all along the wide corniche that overlooks the rock.

The two huge rock formations, which stand like gigantic sentinels, are a popular destination for tourists.

Legends claimed that the Raouche rocks are the remains of a sea monster the Greek hero Perseus killed to save Andromeda then used Medusa’s head on the monster to turn it into stone.

#8 Gebran Khalil Gebran Museum

Dedicated to the Lebanese iconic writer and philosopher Gebran Khalil Gebran, this biographical museum in Bsharri was founded in 1935 and it possesses 440 original paintings and drawings of Gebran and his tomb.

It also includes his furniture and belongings from his studio when he lived in New York City and his private manuscripts.

The Gebran National Committee restored and expanded the monastery in 1975 to house more exhibits. They expanded it again in 1995 when it opened its doors to the public.

#9 Harissa

Our Lady of Lebanon is a shrine and pilgrimage site in Harissa, and also an iconic landmark of Lebanon. It is now considered one of the most important shrines in the world honoring The Mother of Jesus.

The shrine overlooks the amazing picturesque bay of Jounieh. It became a major touristic attraction when the Téléphérique was launched, transporting locals and tourists from the coastal city of Jounieh to Harissa.

#10 Al-Amin Mosque

The Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque is a Sunni Muslim religious site located in the breathtaking place that is downtown Beirut.

It is the biggest mosque in Lebanon. The design is evocative of the Ottomans’ monumental architecture, with a built area covering approximately 11,000 square meters, a 48-meter-high blue dome, and 65-meter-high minarets.

Al-Amin mosque has become a dominant feature of the Beirut skyline.

#11 Phoenician Wall

The ancient Phoenician sea wall, built by the Phoenicians, is 225 meters long and 1 to 1.5 meters thick located in the heart of Batroun. This wall protected the Phoenicians and Romans against invaders and sea storms.

#12 Byblos Old Souk

The Old Souk in Byblos is the number one destination for locals and visitors. The city was an important site for the Phoenicians and the Greeks, thus adding to its historical value.

The souk was built during the Ottoman reign. It is now filled with small shops, cafes, and bars, and has a unique vibe to it.

The ruins, the churches, the harbor, the castle, and the old souk make Byblos one of the most beautiful places in Lebanon. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.

#13 Jeita Grotto

The Jeita Grotto is located in the valley of Nahr El-Kalb at 18 km North of Beirut. Taking a tour around the Grotto, you will find 2 limestones crystallized grottoes characterized by extraordinary concretions of stalactites and stalagmites which were naturally sculpted in different forms, sizes, and colors.

The grotto was discovered in 1836 by an American missionary who, venturing some 50 m into the cave, fired a shot from his gun and found a cavern of major importance.

Jeita Grotto is one of the most visited tourist sites in Lebanon.

#14 The Taanayel Lake

The lake of Taanayel is one of the most peaceful places in Lebanon. It is hauntingly beautiful and there are so many things to see and do in the area.

Take a walk or ride your bicycle under the majestic trees and smooth pathway leading to one of the most amazing lakes in the country. There’s also a variety of farm animals to meet. Plus, you can always go horseback riding.

The area has shrines surrounded by greenery, flowers, and a quiet atmosphere.

#15 Baatara Gorge Waterfall

Like the Jezzine waterfall and the lake of Chouwen, Balou’ Bal’aa (Battara Gorge Waterfall) is one of the places in Lebanon that are our pride and joy.

Located in Tannourine, the waterfall drops 255 meters into the Balaa Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone located on the Lebanon Mountain Trail.

Discovered to the western world in 1952 by French bio-speleologist Henri Coiffait, the waterfall and accompanying sinkhole were fully mapped in the 1980s by the Spéléo Club du Liban.