My Top Ten Big Cities Outside Europe #6 – Beirut

#6 – Beirut, Lebanon (population estimated 1.3 million)

I visited the Lebanese capital in 2000 with Hamish, a mighty fine way to start our travels in the new millennium.

Beirut had been synonymous with civil war, terrorism & kidnapping but the city I visited was more akin to the Paris of the East title it had earned through being considered a Middle Eastern playground in the sixties and seventies.

There aren’t the great attractions of say an Eiffel Tower or Alhambra, yet just being in the city was an absolute joy.

In 2000 the country was still occupied by Syria on a cooperative basis and Israel in the south of the country on a hostile one as they fought to contain their sworn enemies of Hezbollah.

Amazingly the very week we were there Israel withdrew after some 15 years of conflict causing wild celebrations throughout Lebanon and an impromptu national holiday. I will never forget seeing truck loads of Hezbollah members waving rifles and flags through the streets of the capital to signal their victory.

I will also never forget our first night in Beirut as we heard what seemed like rounds of gunfire ringing out across the capital. Happily it turned out to be firecrackers set off in celebration at a Lebanese team winning the Middle Eastern basketball championships for the first time ever!

Here are a few pictorial highlights of my visit.

Warrior Statue, Beirut, Lebanon

Warrior Statue, Beirut

Battle-scarred buildings, Beirut, Lebanon

Battle-scarred buildings, Beirut

Civil War Memorial, Beirut, Lebanon

Civil War Memorial – Tanks Encased in Concrete

Sunset Over Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

Sunset Over Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

Jeita Grotto, Beirut, Lebanon

Jeita Grotto

Telepherique, Jounieh Near Beirut

Telepherique, Jounieh Near Beirut

Virgin Mary Statue, Our Lady of Lebanon, Harissa Mountain, Jounieh Near Beirut

Virgin Mary Statue, Our Lady of Lebanon, Harissa Mountain, Jounieh Near Beirut


  1. The coast line at Pigeon rocks reminds me of our trip to Rosh HaNikra near the Lebanese border in Israel. Those same unique white rock structures. As always – thanks for sharing your unique experiences with #FarawayFiles.

    1. Thanks Erin. Helsinki was great. Will write it up soon. Will.

  2. I’ve heard great things about Beirut and I’d love to visit one day. Must have been interesting to be there in 2000 #farwayfiles

    1. It’s a great experience. 2000 was brilliant and I’d like to go again one day.

  3. Work wanted to send us on a bonus trip to Beirut a long, long time ago. I really wanted to, but my colleagues thought it was a bit too adventurous 🙁 #farawayfiles

  4. Judy Carrino · · Reply

    I cannot click like. I don’t why.

    1. I don’t know why Judy. Some others are clicking like so it is working for some at least. Do you have the issue with other sites?

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