Beirut, Lebanon: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon and has about 1.2 million population. It is the biggest city in Lebanon and it is divided into a number of districts.
Transportation in and around Beirut
Before you decide to travel to Beirut make sure that you get a visa. Once you have arranged that there are a number of ways to get in the city. One way is by plane via the Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport which is the only international airport in Lebanon. It is about 7 km of Beirut so you can take a taxi to the city. Another way to get in the city is by a car through Syria. And the last way to get in Beirut is by bus from Damascus.
Once you are in Lebanon you can get around the city by bus. There are two public bus companies, one's buses are blue and white, whereas the other's are red and white minibuses. Both companies are very efficient and they come often. All you have to do is raise a hand at a bus and it will stop anywhere. Another very often used way to get around is by 'service' which are shared taxis. Make sure that you pay the price for the shared taxi and that the driver is willing to take you to where you are going. There is also the opportunity to get around by a private taxi. There are two kinds of taxis: the hail-taxis and pre-booking taxis. You can also get around Beirut by car, but keep in mind that traffic in the center of the city is usually crowded and that is not easy to find a parking. So you can around on foot which is actually the best way to get around. Beirut is not so pedestrian friendly but you can still walk around it.
Even though it is not so big there are many things to be seen in Beirut. One thing are the Pigeon Rock which are a natural arch in the Mediterranean. You can get on a boat around the rocks to see them from up close. Another thing to see is Place de l'Etoile, also known as Nejmeh Square. In the center of the square there is the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George, the most important orthodox cathedral in Beirut and the oldest church in the city. The best thing near Beirut and a must see is the Jeita Grotto. It is a compound of crystallized caves made out of two limestone caves, upper galleries and a lower cave through which runs a river. If you want to see artifacts about the history of Lebanon you can visit the National Museum of Beirut. Here you can find around 1.300 artifacts which will bring back the spirit of the past.