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Top Ancient Sites Near Beirut

Top Ancient Sites Near Beirut

Beirut is a dynamic, cosmopolitan city with lots of worthwhile museums and a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. Still, many of Lebanon's most captivating attractions, including some of the most impressive ancient ruins in the Middle East, lie beyond the boundaries of the capital. See below for the must-see ancient sites near Beirut.

 

Byblos

Known as Jbail in Arabic, the seaside town of Byblos is about 23 miles (37 kilometers) north of Beirut. Believed to have been inhabited for more than 7,000 years, it is often touted as the oldest city in the world. The city's archaeological site contains Neolithic, Bronze Age, Greek, and Roman ruins as well as a rebuilt 12th-century Crusader castle.

 

Sidon

About 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Beirut, Sidon was once a wealthy Phoenician port city and a center for glass manufacture and purple dye production. Evidence of its ancient history can be found scattered around the historic Old City, while just northeast of town sits the well-preserved Phoenician Temple of Eshmun, which dates back to the seventh century BC.

 

Anjar

Set 36 miles (58 kilometers) east of Beirut, not far from the border with Syria, are the ruins of Anjar. Rediscovered in the 1940s, this fortified Umayyad city—now a UNESCO World Heritage Site—was originally built in the eighth century and is surrounded by sturdy stone walls. Key monuments include palaces and Roman-style thermal baths.

 

Tyre

About 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Beirut, the seaside city of Tyre is believed to date as far back as 2750 BC and was overseen by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and others—”all of whom left their mark. Archaeological sites, such as Al Mina and Al Bass, hold extensive Roman remains including archways, bathhouses, arenas, mosaics, and a necropolis.

 

Baalbek

About 54 miles (87 kilometers) from Beirut sits Baalbek, a city whose collection of Roman ruins rival any found in the Western Mediterranean. Known as Heliopolis (Sun City) in ancient times, Baalbek is home to many large temples, including the huge Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Bacchus, which is elaborately decorated with carvings of gods and goddesses.

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10 Tours and Activities | All Beirut Tours

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Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

star-4.5
This Byblos, Jeita Grotto, and Harissa day trip from Beirut showcases the best of Lebanon’s most fascinating cities. A must-do guided tour, this trip is ideal for first-time visitors, history lovers, and travelers interested in learning more about the ancient cities of the world. Learn how some 24 successive civilizations in Harissa have made it one of the top archeological sites in the country and get an up close look at the stunning caverns of Jeita Grotto. This tour also includes a stop in Byblos—widely recognized as one of the oldest cities in the world—and a traditional Lebanese lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$100.00
From
$100.00

Anjar, Baalbek, and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

Anjar, Baalbek, and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

star-4.5
Explore the ancient ruins and winemaking heritage of Lebanon on this full-day trip from Beirut, including lunch. With an expert guide, visit the age-old ruins at Baalbek, a stunning complex of Roman temples and buildings that made up the Roman city of Heliopolis. After a tour of the 8th-century Ummayad ruins at Anjar, finish at the Ksara Caves, a series of ancient caverns used as wine cellars by Lebanon’s oldest winery, Chateau Ksara. Tour the winery and cave cellars before your return to Beirut.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$100.00
From
$100.00

Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche Day Trip from Beirut

Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche Day Trip from Beirut

star-4.5
Marvel at UNESCO World Heritage–listed Roman architecture on this Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche day trip from Beirut. Explore the town of Tyre with your guide and gain insight into life here under Roman rule. Discover the ancient ruins of Sidon Sea Castle, the Castle of Saint-Louis and the 16th-century Great Mosque in Sidon. After a delicious lunch of Middle Eastern specialities in a traditional Lebanese restaurant, head on to Maghdouche. Here, admire top local attractions including the Old Cave and the Al-Saydeh Ancient Church before returning to Beirut.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$95.00
From
$95.00

Cedars of Lebanon, Qozhaya, and Bcharre Day Trip from Beirut

Cedars of Lebanon, Qozhaya, and Bcharre Day Trip from Beirut

star-4
Discover the Lebanon of old on this full-day trip from Beirut. Traveling by air-conditioned coach with an expert guide, visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Holy (Qadisha) Valley, famous for its early Christian monasteries and churches. Take a guided walking tour around Bsharri, the birthplace of poet Kahlil Gibran, and explore the Gibran Museum and religious sites before an included lunch stop. Then, visit the Monastery of St. Anthony in Kozhaya and admire the magnificent Cedars of Lebanon, where towering cedar trees—once part of the country’s prized ancient forests—still flourish.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
From
$90.00

Private Tour: Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

Private Tour: Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

star-5
Discover some of Lebanon’s top attractions with ease on this private Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara day trip from Beirut. Explore the ancient Roman city of Baalbek with your private guide and discover sites of interest including the Baalbek Heliopolis and the Temple of Jupiter. Soak up the atmosphere among the bustling markets of Anjar and visit the Umayyad Ruins. Marvel at the spectacular Ksara Caves in Ksara, where thousands of wine bottles lie maturing. Sample delicious local wines at the Chateau Ksara winery before returning to Beirut.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$170.00
Price varies by group size
From
$170.00
Price varies by group size

Private Tour: Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

Private Tour: Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

star-5
Explore the Lebanese cities of Harissa and Byblos, plus see the Jeita Grotto, on this private day tour from Beirut. Your seasoned and professional English-speaking guide shows you around one of the oldest cities on earth and takes you to one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. Gain insight into the history of this historical place, get an up-close look at the Statue of the Virgin Mary in Harissa, and venture into one of the area’s most well-known and well-preserved archeological areas. It’s a one-day tour that hits all the hot spots and is sure to leave you with a new appreciation of this ancient land.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$170.00
Price varies by group size
From
$170.00
Price varies by group size

Byblos and Jeita Grotto Day Trip from Beirut (Half Day)

Byblos and Jeita Grotto Day Trip from Beirut (Half Day)

star-4.5
This day trip from Beirut includes stops at Byblos and Jeita—two of Lebanon’s most famous destinations. Experience the wonder of one of the world’s oldest tounds and take in the beauty of the incredible Jeita Grotto with the knowledge and expertise of your friendly local guide. Learn about the 24 civilizations that came out of Byblos, which is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top archeological sites, and navigate the limestone caves of the enchanting Jita Grotto on this memorable day-long tour.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
From
$80.00

Historical Beirut Walking Tour

Historical Beirut Walking Tour

star-4
Discover the best of Beirut on this 3-hour walking tour, led by an expert guide. Learn about the city’s roots as a Roman city-state, and how it has risen and fallen, and retained its liberalist character through the centuries. Enjoy photo stops at the Martyr’s Statue, admire Nejmeh Square in the downtown district, and see other landmarks as your guide shares their secrets and stories. Finish with a visit to the National Museum of Beirut, a treasure trove of archaeological finds that chronicle both the city’s and Lebanon’s history.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Private Tour: Cedars of Lebanon, Kozhaya and Besharreh Day Trip from Beirut

Private Tour: Cedars of Lebanon, Kozhaya and Besharreh Day Trip from Beirut

star-3.5
Explore the UNESCO–listed Holy Valley on this private Cedars of Lebanon, Kozhaya and Besharreh day trip from Beirut. Discover top attractions in Besharreh including the Gibran Museum and surrounding churches. Visit the Monastery of St Anthony in Kozhaya with your private guide, and enjoy panoramic views over the forests and valleys. Travel into Lebanon’s highest mountain range where beautiful cedar groves and ancient forests await. Admire the majestic Cedars of Lebanon and learn of the many uses to which the beautiful timber has been put.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$170.00
Price varies by group size
From
$170.00
Price varies by group size

Beiteddine and Deir El Qamar Half-Day Trip from Beirut

Beiteddine and Deir El Qamar Half-Day Trip from Beirut

star-3.5
Discover the historical highlights of Lebanon’s Chouf region on this 6-hour tour from Beirut. With a local guide, travel by air-conditioned coach into the area’s terraced valleys and mountains, and visit the Beiteddine Palace, built by Emir Bashir Shihab II in 1818. Tour the beautiful arcades and courtyards, and hear how they were designed by Italian architects. After a delicious Lebanese lunch, explore the nearby town of Deir El Qamar. Stroll through the historical center and see its well-preserved medieval palace and other treasures, including the 15th-century Mosque of Fakhreddine.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
From
$80.00