Hello readers! Let me introduce myself. Michelle Kandalaft Editor in Chief of Nightlife at BNL. After living my entire life in Los Angeles California I decided to make the move to Beirut Lebanon. They say home is where the heart is. I now know that this statement is 100% accurate. I am Lebanese which makes my heart and mind identical to the blood running through my veins.
While settling into my new home, I have the extreme pleasure of visiting breathtaking tourist spots, raging at unmatched nightclubs, soaking in rays at beautiful beaches and dinning at the finest eateries.
This post is a dedication to the beauty and life Lebanon is full of. Myself as well as familiar faces around town have put together our Top Ten lists of must see spots in Lebanon. Whether you are a visiting tourist or a resident the following are places myself and friends highly recommend.
MaDJam – Professional DJ on Mix FM shares his top 10 and reasons why he chose them!
1. Mzaar Ski Slope: It’s just so much fun especially on weekdays to get up there and feel free going down that hill overlooking the Bekaa, other mountain ranges and the Mediterranean sea with planes descending into Beirut. Enjoy the view on the way up the chairlift and the great turns & curves on the way down.
2. B-018: The only place that remains open year round and busy where some faces are familiar and others are random tourists in from abroad for the first time visiting Beirut. The resident DJs and theme nights really give the place the credit it deserves being in the top 50 clubs of the world.
3. Skybar: Open for 4 months a year, this place is packed 7 days a week for the whole summer season. The new giant screens and content the VJs play on them along with the LED lights really turned Skybar into more of a dancing place this year. Although some people are just there to socialize, you can’t deny that Beirut’s finest looking people are all around you.
4. Baalbak’s temple of Jupiter: Okay so this might be typical, but when you are actually in the closed giant hall, you can sense the kind of crazy things that happened there. Might be a little too graphic to explain, but if you get one of the pro tour guides they’ll tell you stories and when you look around you can imagine exactly what the room was built for.
5. Top of the Cedar mountain: This road is only open in the summer when the snow melts, but the view from up there is incredible! Even the air is so thin you might have trouble breathing. On the way down there are plenty of great restaurants to get some good food.
6. Jbeil Old Town: A friend of mine has a small pub called “The Garden” that’s open air right at the top of the old souks. I’ve played there a couple of times and it’s quite magical to add life to a city that’s thousands of years old and constantly inhabited. Adding our spirit to the souls of the past, present and future. Plenty of great places to eat as well. (pictured)
7. Em Ali: A tiny fish restaurant in Jiyye that’s very down to earth and humble, but the fried fish is out of this world! Sultan Ibrahim (or Red Mullet) and “Bizry” (tiny French fry sized fish) are my favorite. Good seafood doesn’t need all the luxury to taste good.
8. Wazzani river: right on the very tip of the southern border you could swim, eat, smoke arghilieh while soldiers from the other side watch you. The whole drive is quite an experience and worth spending a day in land that was occupied for over 20 years.
9. Jounieh Old Town: A few friends of mine kept insisting I go check our the new ‘pub’ alley in Jounieh and even though there’s only been one experience and it was a weekday, still had a great time. Very happy to see more zones like that opening up across the country.
10. Gemayze: Yeah I know expected, right? I can’t specify one place, cause there’s so much to see and do and eat and drink and… go early from 6pm to Torino’s and meet all kinds of interesting people, get the best pizza in Lebanon next door or chicken wings a few doors down. Then Porto til late, very late. There’s another 20 places I’d love to mention but there’s no space 🙂
2. Edde Sands
3. Mandaloun (pictured)
4. Benihana Restaurant
5. Byblos Souks
7. Abdel Wahab Restaurant
8. L’Entrecote De Paris Restaurant
Hady Beydoun- Professional Tattoo Artist http://www.hadybeydoun.com
When not spending his time creating masterpieces Hady frequents top places
-Pacifico & Habana
– Gemmeyze (pictured)
-Hamra of course.
-I would also recommend: Pierre & Friends in Batroun. It’s a pebble beach and a restaurant and bar. You can chill all day and party all night.
-And Lazy B is a beach resort which is great to just chill if you’re in a quiet mood.
Nadeen Bou Saleh- Koul El Noujoum Magazine this lovely lady is such a doll. She is always around town having a good time and making people smile. If you see her at a club say hello, I might even be with her 😉
4- BUDDHA BAR (pictured)
5- ABC MALL
6- BEIRUT SOUKS
7- LE MALL(HABTOOR)
10- EDDE SANDS
Michelle Kandalaft- BNL (BeirutNightLife) Nightlife Editor: Like I said I am new in town so if you see me around don’t be shy come and say hello. I will be representing BNL at many events in Lebanon. Keep up daily on twitter.com/beirutnightlife and twitter.com/aclockworkmish
#2. Sessine/Achrafieh- Best city in Lebanon. Always busy with something going on. I have a special love for Sessine circle because it is where I visited as a child and teenager. I have all my past memories in the Achrafieh.
#3. Livic’s- Lounge bar in Kaslik a very cozy, music themed pub. Awesome decor with music related photos covering the walls. Great place for chillin’, enjoying live music and wild karaoke nights.
#4. Jeita Grotto- A breathtaking wonder of nature. It is a compound of crystalized caves in the valley of Nahr Al Kalb made up of two limestone caves where the action of water in the limestone created cathedral like vaults of different sizes, shapes and colors. Truly a feast for the eyes. (pictured)
#5. B018- The one and only club in Lebanon that has stood the test of time. Almost reaching two decades in business and still on top. The retracting rooftop with large mirrors to reflect city lights inside the club are spectacular. DJ’s at B018 are always on point. The place welcomes a diverse group of people. Seems as though no matter what style you are you fit in at B018. I even feel comfortable there 😉
#6. Pier 7- Like myself the club is new to Lebanon and has a different vibe to it. From the cover art of the menu, the architecture and design to the people behind the scenes. There is something special about this club. I always seem to have a blast there.
#7. Edde Sands- One of the top beach resorts. Multiple pools, beautiful people, good times.
#8. Chocolate Lounge- Stylish and sweet! I love this eatery in the Sodeco District. I have a big sweet tooth so this place is perfect! The decor is unlike any other in Lebanon. Kind of a 60’s vibe with a modern twist. They have desserts but also incorporate chocolate and other sweets in their food items. I Can’t explain properly to give the place the credit it deserves. Go check it out for yourselves.
#9. Downtown Beirut- If you like high fashion you MUST visit downtown. The shops are perfect for any fashionista. Chanel, YSL, Fendi, Hermes, Christian Louboutin need I say more?? Also I must mention the buildings and architecture are like nothing I have ever seen before. Simply stunning. (pictured)
#10. New Beirut Waterfront- This is a new city/district that is currently being built across from La Marina Dbaye. The Waterfront distrcit will be a prime and active district which will include financial, business, residential, tourism and leisure spots. I attended a gala dinner introducing the city, the floor plans and mock up of the city blew me away. Once complete I am sure it will be on my top 10 so I am confidently adding it prematurely.
Please feel free to add your top list in a comment below. I would love suggestions on new places to visit!!