Category Archives: Tourism

L’Hote Libanais: Lebanese Families Invite You To Stay With Them

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Instead of staying in hotels the next time you visit Lebanon, L’Hote Libanais gives you the opportunity to stay with Lebanese families in their own homes. You can either stay with Jamil in his 84 year old Beirut home, chill with the Emirs in Roula’s mountain house in the Chouf area, or chill at Colette’s seaside house in Batroun.

I think a lot of tourists and locals would love this experience as it’s different from the hotel stay and closer to the real life in Beirut and Lebanon as a whole. We need more of these Bed & Breakfast places in order to promote tourism in Lebanon and let people discover the whole country and not just visit Beirut, go to the Jeita Grotto and Baalbeck.

Check out the website [Here].

Raouche in Beirut: Past vs. Present

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Raouche

I spotted this old picture of Raouche in the 1960s on OldBeirut and dug out some recent pictures of Raouche. If you look down on the right, there’s a huge space that hasn’t changed much in years, known as Dalieh which has natural caves and has been used by fishermen for years. However it looks like there are plans to turn this area into a private luxury marine as reported by Habib.

I think it would be shameful to turn Dalieh, one of Beirut’s last public shores, into yet another fancy project that barely few Lebanese have access to. A group of activists have started an online civil campaign that you can check out [Here].

raouche2 via Flickr

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How To Spend One Day In Lebanon

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I started this “How To Spend One Day In Lebanon” series of posts last year but had to stop them given the security situation at the time. However, I am hoping that this summer will be better for Lebanon so I will resume the posts in the upcoming weeks.

The 3 posts I’ve written last year are still valid and you can check them out below:

How To Spend One Day In Lebanon [Day1] [Day2] [Day3]

The Daily Beast Removed The Article On Lebanon Being The Worst Country To Go On Vacation

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Screenshot taken from Ginosblog

The Daily Beast had posted a list of the ten best and worst places to go on vacation last week, and named Lebanon the #1 worst place to go on vacation for Westerners right now. I have no idea how they came up with that list, but all of it didn’t make sense and for some reason the article was removed from their site now.

Valentine Giveaway: Dinner for Two At Le Gray Hotel

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If you still haven’t made plans for Valentine, here’s your chance to win a dinner for two at Le Gray Hotel on February 15th. I’ve been to Le Gray quite a few times last year and had the chance to discover all their venues, which are equally awesome. Gordon’s Café is a great spot for for a breakfast or a coffee (and awesome pizzas too) in Beirut, Cherry on the Rooftop Lounge is perfect for afternoon summer drinks while enjoying an awesome view, and you can always go in during the winter at Bar360 to have cocktails and enjoy a breath-taking view of Beirut from above with great music playing until late hours.

Last but not least, a romantic dinner at Indigo On The Roof is not to be missed, and that’s what I am offering for one of BlogBaladi’s readers. All you have to do is:

1- Go to My Instagram Account LeNajib (Follow me if you like).
2- Find Pictures I’ve taken at Le Gray.
3- Name three Le Gray Restaurants & Bars I’ve been to in a comment under this post.

You could always refer to Le Gray’s [website] to make sure your answers are correct.

I will draw randomly the name of the winner tomorrow at noon midnight.

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NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

15 Places American Tourists in Lebanon Can Feel Safe To Visit

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Eastern-style coffee

The U.S. government strongly urges U.S. citizens in Lebanon to exercise extreme caution and to avoid hotels, western-style shopping centers, including western-style grocery chain stores, and any public or social events where U.S. citizens normally congregate, as these sites are likely targets for terrorist attacks for at least the near term.

After reading the U.S Embassy warning to its citizens who are currently in Lebanon, I thought I share some of the not so Western-Style places that American Tourists, at least those adventurous enough to stay in Lebanon, could safely visit:

1- Al Falamanki – Sodeco, Beirut
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One of my favorite chillout spots in Beirut. Great Lebanese Food, Old Arabic songs all in a beautiful setting. Arguile and Backgammon also available. All the items on the menu are “Lebanonized”, even the “Red Bull“.

2- 3al Baladi – Jeita

If you don’t want to stay in Beirut, you can always head to 3al Baladi in Jeita. Labneh, Bayd Baladi, Saj, Chanklish and of course Arak Baladi. There’s also Arabic entertainment (one-man show), which I would never go to personally, on weekends.

3- Al Saniour Sea view – Maameltein

Arguile and Beer over a great view of the Jounieh Bay. This place has a style of its own when it comes to food as it has a Scud and a Patriot Man2oushe on the menu (I kid you not!).

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4- Kasr el Helou – Tripoli
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Despite all the armed clashes in Tripoli, Kasr el Helou is the safest place in town as everyone from all around Lebanon (except Douaihy) loves that place. Try the Halawit el Jeben and the Sfee7a.

5- Furn el Sabaya (The Ladies’ Oven) – Amchit
Furn El Sabaya Amchit
Picture via Paty

This is an authentic Lebanese (Not so Western-ZWZ-like) Furn. It is run by three ladies (Lorenza, Martha and Lucy) who serve their visitors unique and delicious home-made food. They take pride in their food and have been delivering the same quality for almost 20 years now. Read more about it [here].

6- Afif: Emperor of Lahm Baajeen

Even though this guy only serves Manakish, you could spend the day there listening to his stories and jokes. He speaks 3 languages (At least he tries to) and is more interested in making you laugh than finishing your Man2oushé.

7- Massaad – Zahle

Massaad is known as the best place to eat Taouk in Lebanon. It is located in Zahle and it is apparently recommended to have a Zehlewi with you when you’re ordering.

8- Al Sa’eh Library (مكتبة السائح)- Tripoli
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Even though the decades-old library got torched by some idiots, all of Tripoli is working to restore this precious library back to what it was. The library is owned by a Greek Orthodox Priest and contains tons of documents and books on Islam.

9- Mir Amin Palace
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If you want to know how Lebanese are able to have fun and enjoy life despite the troubles in their country, go visit the Mir Amin Palace and you’ll forget about everything.

10- Boubouffe
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You can’t visit Beirut and not try the best shawarma in the world.

11- Falafel Joseph – Sin el Fil

The most famous Falafel place in Lebanon. During the Christian fasting, you could wait up to 1 hour to get a Falafel Sandwich.

12- Jeita Grotto

It’s probably the safest place to be in Lebanon because Lebanese never go there (they’d rather have arguile), even though it’s a wonder of nature (Not one of the 7 new wonders though).

13- Cave Al Siwan – Mayrouba

Good Lebanese Food, Loud Arabic Music and an out of the ordinary cave. It doesn’t get better (and safer) than that.

14- Saida’s Soap Museum

A charming place to visit when you are visiting Saida. Make sure to pass by El Baba sweets and try Knefe there.

15- Kaak el Asmar – Ehden
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Ehden is one of the most beautiful and peaceful towns in Lebanon, and Kaak el Asmar is the best Kaak in Lebanon. Everytime someone’s coming down from Ehden, I ask them to bring along Kaak from el Asmar. They’re heavenly and taste much better than the stuff we have in Beirut.

I know there are tons of places I could add on this list, but I think it’s a good start for now.