Beirut Things to Do
Beirut is a beautiful city. If you’re there and looking for things to do, check out these sites:
Mosquée al-Omari (the Blue Mosque)
One of Beirut’s most important mosques, al-Omari is named after the second Caliph, Omar ibn al-Khattab, under whose leadership Beirut was conquered by Muslim armies in 635 AD. It is likely that the site of the mosque had previously been used as a church, and as a pagan temple even before. Except for a couple of Roman-period Corinthian columns in the courtyard, nothing appears to have survived from these ancient structures, for in 1115 AD, the Crusaders destroyed the mosque and erected their Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist on the site. When Saladin later ousted the Crusaders, he converted their cathedral into a mosque, but upon their return, they restored the Catholic cathedral. In 1291 AD, the Mamlukes finally expelled the Crusaders from Beirut and immediately re-converted the cathedral into a mosque once and for all.
Address: Al-Omari Mosque Street – Downtown Beirut
Directions: Near Place de l’Etoile
Located just off the western end of the Corniche are several natural rock structures/ arch known as Pigeon Rocks. You can also take a boat ride around the rock formations and through the caves.
The Place d’Etoile is where the famous Green Line used to run along during the disastrous years of the Civil War. It has since been rebuilt and reconstructed, and it features cafes and restaurants lined up along the streets – which are off-limits to vehicles. At the center of it all is the clock tower. The parliament is also located just opposite the clock tower.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Beirut.