Dbayeh is a small Mediterranean coastal town about twenty minutes outside the Lebanese capital of Beirut. It’s a quiet suburb, but close enough to the city to enjoy the comforts of both. Its draws to tourism include some commercial architecture, a neighborhood of restaurants and bars called “The Village,” and its proximity to Beirut. Here are the best things to do in and around Dbayeh!
1. Wander the ABC Shopping Center
Like any humungous shopping center, there are hundreds of stores to wander through here. There’s also some entertainment areas, including play areas and arts and crafts for kids, I-play areas, and a movie theater. If you’re hungry, thirsty, or just want a coffee or an ice-cream, there’s 15 different restaurants and cafés.
ABC Shopping Center
Address: Dbayeh Highway, Beirut, Lebanon
Website: ABC Shopping Center
2. Visit the National Museum of Beirut
Though the works for this museum started in 1919, it didn’t officially open until 1942. Until 1975 it featured many prehistoric to 19th-century Eastern collections. It was closed down in 1975 during the Lebanese Civil War, until 1991, however, there was extensive damage to the museum, and it has since undergone restorations to both the building and artifacts. Today you can see artifacts of all kinds from ancient periods such as their prehistoric collection, the Bronze and Iron Ages, the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, and a collection of artifacts from the Arab Conquest to the Mamluk period.
National Museum of Beirut
Address: Museum Street, Beirut, Lebanon
Website: National Museum of Beirut
3. Explore the Jeita Grotto
The massive caves of the Jeita Grotto are not to be missed. Guides will take you through the upper grotto to see the unique stone formations, and through the gorgeous lower grotto in a rowboat for a sort of cruise. It’s like a whole other world! Or like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Plus, they have other attractions, like mini cable cars, a mini zoo, a train ride, and a garden with sculptures.
Address: Jeita Grotto, Keserwan, Lebanon
Website: Jeita Grotto
4. See the Our Lady of Harissa Sanctuary
Harissa Park was opened in 1908 as a sanctuary to honor the Virgin Mary, the patron of Lebanon; today you can enjoy the area’s trees and views, and marvel at the epic statue of Mary, which stands at the top of a winding stone tower. There’s also a playground for kids and a family friendly restaurant. It’s a holy place for both Christians and Muslims, so all are welcome.
Our Lady of Harissa Sanctuary
Address: Jounieh, Lebanon
Website: Our Lady of Harissa Sanctuary
5. Walk around Gemmayzeh
The neighborhood of Gemmayzeh in Beirut is filled with more than a hundred shops, cafés, restaurants, and bars. It’s got a French bohemian vibe to it, and there’s a few attractions along the way, such as the St. Nicholas Stairs, a long set of scenic stairs that have seen much of Lebanon’s history. There’s also an Escape the Room attraction here, a game where you’re locked in a room and have one minute to figure out the clues to find the way out!
Escape the Room
Address: Gemmayzeh, Gouraud Street, 1st right after St. Nicolas stairs
Website: Escape the Room
6. Go to the Nicolas Sursock Museum
Named after the Lebanese art collector, this museum is dedicated to displaying, promoting, and restoring works of art. Some of their collections include contemporary art, oriental art, Nicolas Sursock’s collection, and other special collections and changing exhibitions. They also host a number of public programs, and hold a collection of periodicals, publications, and other historical documents about local and regional art in their archive and library.
Nicolas Sursock Museum
Address: Greek Orthodox Archbishopric Street, Beirut, Lebanon
Website: Nicolas Sursock Museum
7. Check out Zaitunay Bay
If you’re looking to get out on the water, look no further than Zaitunay Bay. Visitors rave about the scenery as you take a stroll along the water, and the view of the yachts, as well as the plethora of restaurants and coffee shops available to have a nice dinner or hang out at. There are a handful of shops to explore, and you can rent a boat through Water Nation Sports Center and go sailing; in addition, you can rent gear for things like scuba diving and water skiing from them, and even take lessons.
Address: sn Beirut Marina - Minet el Ho | Beirut Marina, Beirut, Lebanon
Website: Zaitunay Bay
Website: Water Nation Sports Center
8. Book a tour with Lebanon Tours and Travels
If you want to learn details about Lebanon you might not learn otherwise, why not book a special tour? Try Lebanon Tours and Travels out of Beirut, a company that has earned a certificate of excellence for their day tours for the past three years running. They’ll take you on all kinds of tours (including to places I’ve already mentioned) in the Beirut area; you can see ancient ruins, castles, and other historical sites, do a wine tour, see a waterfall, take a historical tour, and so much more! They are also known for their very friendly and hospitable tour guides; they have 21 different tours available, and one of their most popular tours is the Jeita Grotto, Harissa, and Byblos tour. They offer both private and group tours.
Lebanon Tours and Travels
Address: Makdessi Street, Beirut, Lebanon
Website: Lebanon Tours and Travels
Culture on the west coast
Though a 15-year war caused damage to many parts of Lebanon, areas such as Dbayeh and Beirut have bounced back with a flourish, and today there is much history, culture, and nature to explore on its west coast. It seems to be the diamond in the rough of the Mediterranean, so enjoy your time exploring there!
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