You will certainly need more than 1 day in Beirut to see the city properly and see all of Beirut’s attractions but if you are limited on time or want to dedicate one day exploring the ‘touristy’ things to do in Beirut, follow this guide as I’ll tell you how to get from West Beirut to East Beirut seeing a lot of the popular areas and attractions in just one day!
I visited Beirut after being in Turkey, I got a Pegasus Airlines flight from Istanbul and woke the following morning wanting to go out and see Beirut but not sure what to do in Beirut, where to go in Beirut and how to get around Beirut and I wish I had had this post to read so here’s my Beirut Travel Blog for your 1 day in Beirut!
1 Day in Beirut Things To Do
Sightseeing in Beirut Tips!
One important thing to note about Beirut is that it is not pedestrian-friendly due to the crazy traffic and lack of pedestrian walkways but with a bit of confidence you can definitely walk around the city and you can walk to all of the places I have detailed below for your 1 day in Beirut things to do!
If you don’t fancy risking for life, Uber is a popular way to get around if you have wifi and if not there are plenty of taxi’s, just agree on a fare before you get in.
If you’d rather see Beirut with a Guide and get a better understanding of its history, which is incredible! Have a look at this Historical Half Day Tour and this Historical Walking Tour on Viator, Viator is very popular for booking day trips in and from Beirut as there are not any travel companies to book with in-person in Beirut I found.
Alternatively, you could think about doing the Beirut hop-on, hop-off bus, I know it’s super touristy but seriously, crossing the roads on foot in Beirut can be a bit crazy and I wish I had seen Beirut on this bus when I was there!
To help you see where everything is for your one day in Beirut, here is a map and each point I’ve detailed below is a point on the map to help you see the best things to do in Beirut!
Things To Do in Beirut in One Day
Start your day and Beirut itinerary at the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque which can’t be missed, literally, it’s huge. It only opened in 2005 and cost millions of dollars to build. Before you walk in, if you are female there are Abayas just outside the main door so you don’t have to worry about wearing clothing that covers you or taking covering clothes with you. The inside is so grand and impressive do make sure you do go inside.
Next door is the Saint Georges Maronite Cathedral which isn’t as impressive inside but it’s worth a look and seeing these 2 religious sites so close together will give you a good idea of how religion is perceived in Lebanon, people in Lebanon do not fight or argue over religion, and there are so many different communities living in Beirut.
Next to the Cathedral are some Roman Ruins, you’ll actually see lots of ruins whilst walking around the city.
Nijmeh Square is next and you’ll probably be so surprised with the architecture, the buildings around here are very French and the facades are still the same as they were pre-war.
Before you leave the square be sure to head into Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, you can’t take photos in there but wow is it incredible, it’s so colourful and so detailed!
Beirut City Tours
If you’d rather see Beirut with a Guide and get a better understanding of its history, which is incredible! Have a look att this Historical Half Day Tour and this Historical Walking Tour on Viator. Viator is very popular for booking day trips in and from Beirut as there are not any travel companies to book with in-person in Beirut I found.
Alternatively, you could go on the Beirut hop-on, hop-off bus.
Then head towards the Beirut Souks, now if its quaint old souks you’re looking for, you’re not going to find them here. In fact, before the war, this area was where traditional Souks were but they were destroyed and when it came to rebuilding the area Beirut decided to build a modern shopping complex instead. Although it hasn’t got much character it’s interesting to see.
There is a range of high street stores and designer brands along with some cafes and restaurants. Most importantly for tourists, there is free wifi and toilets.
Before you leave, be sure to snap a photo with the I Love Beirut sign as this is one of the top things to do in Beirut!
Downtown Beirut is interesting, it’s very fancy with lovely French architecture. Although there is a lot of traffic it is pretty walkable thanks to its sidewalks and pedestrian crossings (when the drivers stop at the green pedestrian light that is).
Make your next stop Zaitunay Bay as it’s a popular place in Beirut to visit and to get there I would recommend walking along Bab Idriss, the architecture here is so contrasting too, there are huge, fancy skyscrapers of apartments and hotels and below them smaller Villa looking properties.
Before you get to Zaitunay Bay be sure to look out for an abandoned building with holes in the side. This is the old Holiday Inn Hotel of Beirut, it was completed in 1974, just a year before the war of 1975-1990 started, it had a revolving restaurant at the top and you can still see the circle where it would have gone over the edge. It’s interesting to see and a stark reminder of the war which is why, despite Beirut being a City lacking in space, it hasn’t been taken down, yet, anyway.
To SEE this walk around Beirut, have a look at my YouTube video here!
Zaitunay Bay is located around Beirut Marina where many yachts are docked and there are various places to eat, drink and get a coffee including the likes of Starbucks.
After the marina, walk a long Rafic El Hariri, it’s a busy road but before long you will be right on by the ocean. Despite Beirut being a coastal city, you don’t really see the coast that much thanks to the many huge buildings and busy roads that line the coast.
There is a pedestrian walking path which continues along the coast and by the road of Paris, it’s also known as the Corniche. From here I saw lots of locals swimming and enjoying the sunshine if you feel brave enough, take some swimwear to join them too if it’s a hot day.
Also, look out for Beirut Luna Park alone the Corniche which would be a fun thing to do with kids in Beirut.
Now it’s onto one of the most popular places to visit in Beirut, or at least one of the most photographed I’d say- Raouche Rocks. From where you are, you may want to get a taxi at this stage as the rest of the walk is far and not pedestrian-friendly I found.
Raouche Rocks are a unique rock formation and also known as Pigeon Rocks. There will most likely be people trying to sell you boat rides around the bottom and it is possible to walk down to the side of them.
I won’t lie to you, I wasn’t a huge fan of them because there was so much rubbish as I went to walk down them and it was very smelly so I decided to turn back! Rubbish is a big problem in Beirut I found.
As the Rocks are West facing it’s said to be a good place to watch the sunset in Beirut on you 1 day in Beirut things to do!
This will be a good way to spend your first day in Beirut so you can see a lot of popular places to visit in Beirut and get a good feel for the city with just 1 day in Beirut
If you want to visit some Museum’s in Beirut, here are some popular and good ones:
- National Museum of Beirut
- Beit Beirut Museum
- Sursock Museum
If you are in Beirut on Tuesday I would really recommend the Free Walking Tour of Beirut on at 5:00pm every Tuesday from the Souks, it was really good, one of the best free walking tours I’ve done actually and the guide explained the history of Beirut from the start to the present day and it was very interesting and engaging!
If you are not there on a Tuesday but want to do a walking tour with a guide to explain the history of Beirut, which is incredible, have a look at this walking tour and this one on Viator, Viator is very popular for booking day trips in and from Beirut as there are not any travel companies to book with in person in Beirut I found.
There’s also a hop on, hop off bus in Beirut which is a good idea to save you having to dodge the traffic and work out the Uber & Taxi situation.
Of course walking around the city is free and a good way to keep costs low when travelling to Lebanon but if you want more ideas of Free Things To Do in Beirut, check out Steph’s post from Big World, Small Pockets.
To SEE this walk around Beirut, have a look at my YouTube video here
- For more of my Lebanon Posts have a look at:
- The Cost of Travelling To Lebanon!
- Day Trip to Byblos from Beirut via Uber!
- A Day Trip to Chouwen Nature Reserve from Beirut with Explore Lebanon Tours
- The Grand Meshmosh Hotel Review
Thursday 4th of July 2019
Great to read your post on Lebanon! I am wanting to travel there in October after visiting Israel, however hard to find much detail from those who have been. How did you feel travelling there without a tour? And would you say it is okay to travel alone there? At least in Beirut?
Thursday 4th of July 2019
Hello, thank you for reading it. It’s totally fine to visit alone, plus I don’t think there are many tours anyway. Doing day tours will help you see more though as the public transport isn’t great. Just be sure not to get any stamps from Israel (they don’t stamp now really anyway but just saying it just in case) as technically you can’t go to Lebanon if you’ve been to Israel.. or at least if there’s proof in your passport you’ve been! :)