Owing to it's colonial past, Lebanon displays a cocktail of cultures with Arabic traditions and a strong European influence. Religiously, it is the most diverse nation in the Middle-East with Islam and Christianity being the dominant ones. Due to the spill-over of the conflicts plaguing Syria, it is advisable to take the required safety precautions before embarking on a journey to visit this beautiful and breathtaking destination that still continues to stand strong.
Not surprisingly Beirut was once referred to as the 'Paris of the Middle-East' thanks to avant-grade French architecture scattered around the city that reminds the city of the colonial rule it was subjected to decades ago. The Lebanese capital is remarkably liberal and modern as compared to other strict Arab cities out there and the locals are friendly and hospitable to boot.
Notable sight-seeing points to visit in Beirut is the traditional Al Omari Mosque sporting sandstone walls in the interior and engraved Mamulk and Ottoman inscriptions, numerous ancient Roman baths, classic Matryr's Square accommodating a bullet-riddled bronze statue and the the oldest church in the city, Saint George Maronite Cathedral. Catch a glimpse of the spectacular and majestic snow-capped Mount Lebanon or go for a stroll around the popular Beirut Corniche to spend a relaxing evening to watch the sun disappear behind the glistening waters. Groove the night away and let your hair down for the party capital of the Middle-East is sparkling and shimmering with alcohol readily available and the city is inundated with hip pubs and bars.
Head over to the city of Baalbeck to view some of the best-reserved ruins in Lebanon including one of the biggest temples of the dynasty. The Al-Bass Tyre necropolis is an age-old site housed in Tyre and comprises of several stone and marble sacrophagi from the Roman and Byzantine times. Jeita Grotto are two inter-connected limestone caves covering a distance of almost 9kms (5.6 miles). Feel free to get lost in an entirely new world for the site gives out a mysterious vibe which has held a fascinating interest for millions of tourists from all over the globe.
History aficionados can pay a visit to the grand palace of Beiteddine. Famous being one of the crowning glories of Arabic architectural jewels, the ancient structure encompasses two huge courtyards, the 'midane', an enormous rectangular area for visitors and a smaller one for the royal private apartments complete with a marvellous fountain in the heart of the palace. Referred to as the 'Holy Valley', be sure to catch a glimpse of Qadisha Valley for it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed in with infinite caves, chapels and monasteries. Winter sports lovers and ski enthusiasts can go for skiing in Mzaar Kfardebian (also alled Ouyoune el Simane), biggest ski resort in the Middle-East.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, head over to the ancient Phonecian city of Byblos and be sure to marvel at the Roman amphiteather and the medieval castle. Located in the Beqaa Valley, Anjar is a city that houses the spectacular and rare ruins of an 8th century Omayyad city. Don't forget to visit the impressive mosques of Tripoli such as Al Muallaq Mosque, Al Mansouri , Al Attar Mosque , Tanyal Mosque, Al Burtasiyat Madrassa-Mosque, Mosque of Sayedi Abel El Wahid and so forth.
When it comes to shopping, head over to traditional souqs for quintessential merchandise such as local crafts and souvenirs like silver jewellery, hand-crafted robes and colorful handbags. Gorge into tasty Lebanese cuisine rich in olive oils, herbs, garlic and lemon. Enjoy sipping on sparkling and shimmering Lebanese wine such as the national spirit Arak.
Stay options in Lebanon are abundant with the richie-rich craving for the best luxury hotels and private apartments money can buy as well as modest and cheap accommodations which budget travellers can afford.
Lebanon experiences moderate Mediterranean climate. The best time to visit the country would be during the summer months when the temperatures are warm and pleasant. However, if one wants to indulge in a little bit of skiing, then winter is the right time.