The Blue Mosque
Martyr’s Square, Downtown
It took six years to complete this blue-domed mosque that opened in 2008. Formally named the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque, it’s especially awe-inspiring when lit up at night, and the aquamarine dome and 65-foot-tall minarets reflect the traditional Ottoman style. Dress modestly and be prepared to remove your shoes; inside, opulent chandeliers light up incredible ancient calligraphic art. (Note: It’s next to the city’s oldest Greek Orthodox Church, also worth checking out).
Al Nahar Building, Downtown
The Lebanese adore nightlife, and Iris is the pinnacle of Beirut’s: The sleek rooftop bar has incredible views of the sunset over the Mediterranean, and after dark, DJs from all over the world play until 2 a.m.
499 Omar Daouk, Downtown
A perfectly curated selection of Middle Eastern-made items, from mother of pearl inlaid backgammon sets and hand-beaded eye clutches to incredible traditional fashion pieces (both men’s and women’s, vintage and modern). The entire space smells gorgeously of incense, and everything you buy will, too.
Martyr’s Sq., Downtown
With six bars and restaurants to choose from, plus an infinity pool overlooking the downtown skyline, and a full-service spa, this boutique hotel feels more cool Parisian than Middle Eastern. A cigar bar turns into a club at night (and has an impressive selection of Cubans).
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