InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut
After an indulgent breakfast at the hotel or an eatery along the seafront, start your day with a stroll along the nearby Corniche. It’s easy to find your way on foot into Downtown Beirut, where you can visit the ancient Roman Baths and stop for coffee in historic Martyrs' Square.
Just north of Martyrs' Square you'll find Beirut Souks, a shopping and leisure complex where you can stop for lunch. Afterwards, browse the area’s designer fashion stores and jewellery boutiques, or head over to explore the cafés and bookshops in the Hamra district, Beirut's cultural heart.
Sip sundowner cocktails at a rooftop bar downtown, or head over to watch the sun set behind the Pigeon Rock off the coast at Raouché. Later, enjoy a night out in the Gemmayzeh or Mar Mikhael districts, both packed with buzzing bars and international restaurants where you can dine in the open air.
The name 'Beirut' means 'the wells' in the Phoenician language. The name refers to the abundant underground water supply that existed in the city at the time of the Phoenicians, who presided over an ancient civilization and trade network in the Eastern Mediterranean.
History and modernity
Taking a walk along Tyre’s coast places you in the spot where purple dye was first discovered in the second century after Heracles’ dog chewed on snail shells. Beirut is one of the world’s oldest cities, inhabited for 5,000 years. Today, ancient sites and modern nightlife exist side-by-side, and you can follow an afternoon at the Roman Baths with an evening at any of the city’s famous nightclubs.
An ancient law school
Beirut was famed for its law school during the ancient Roman era. Before its destruction in the 6th century AD, the school was the most prominent in the Roman Empire, and trained legal experts for three centuries before they departed for Roman territories across the world.
Lebanon's official currency is the Lebanese Pound, with an exchange rate of around 1,500 pounds to one US dollar. Dollars are commonly accepted alongside local currency, and some of the widely available ATMs in the city even dispense them. Local currency is handy for snacks, coffee and tips.