Here’s a movie about Beirut. This movie will give you a quick impression of the destination. The movie is not made by our own IFLY crew members. A special IFLYtheworld movie is in production and will be online soon.
Lebanese dining (2 hrs)
Just outside Beirut in the old town of Byblos are many small restaurants. The most well known is the restaurant of Pepe the Pirate of Byblos. Many celebrities have been here the last 50 years and they all left a picture with autograph. You’ll see pictures of Marilyn Monroe, Franks Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Brigitte Bardot, Jacques Chirac and Aristotelis Onasis. Most of them are in the picture together with Pepe.
The menu is limited but the food is really good. For about 20 dollar you can eat more than enough.
Ruins in Byblos (3 hrs)
The old city of Byblos (or locally pronounced as Jbail) is inhabited for about 7000 years. In this town they found the oldest ruins of what we should call houses. To simplify trade they invented the Phoenician alphabet about 1000 years before Christ.
During daytime you can visit this archaeological site. It’s also nice to visit the local souk. At night the area gets a different atmosphere when the shops are closing and the many bars and restaurants are opening. It’s about 30 minutes drive from downtown and a taxi will cost you about 15 Dollar.
Caves of Jeita (3 hrs)
If you’re hot and need to cool down, go to the caves of Jeita at Ajatoun. These caves are about 20 minutes drive from downtown Beirut. The opening hours are 9 am till 9 pm and the entrance fee is 12 dollar. It possible to pay in US dollar everywhere.
You start uphill in a cable car. From there you can walk around in the Upper Grotto. Taking pictures is prohibited and you need to leave your camera behind in a locker. In a train you can go down again to the Lower Grotto which you can visit in an electric boat. With a bit of help from the boatman and a lot of fantasy you will see stalagmites and stalactites in the shape of duck’s head, cauliflower, or Romeo and Juliette. Unfortunately you only go in for about 500 metres because after that the cave will be too narrow. Too bad, even when you know the cave in total is about 6 km deep.
Downtown Beirut (1 hr - ½ day)
Life has returned to downtown Beirut. The old centre is completely renewed; it looks wonderful and has many restaurants and shops. All major brands are there with a store.
All streets are situated around Nejmeh Square, also called Place de L’etoile, referring to the ‘Paris’ of the Middel East. There are also archaeological sites from old Beirut and a Roman bathhouse, which can be viewed from many sites. Not amazingly beautiful but nice to see. Downtown dining is possible for about 25 dollar.
Jounieh Cable Car (2 hrs)
About 15 minutes by taxi out of town you have the Jounieh cable car. You mustn’t be afraid of heights because the cable car is really going high up in the air, over the houses and roads, and the carts are not the best quality.
But still it’s nice to do and once up the ‘mountain’ you can visit a church and an Arabic restaurant. And if you’re lucky, and the sky is clear, you can view Beirut on one side of the hill and Byblos on the other side.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Amman.