Seaside Walking Tour, Beirut

Seaside Walking Tour (Self Guided), Beirut

If you wish to unwind or, perhaps, seek some quality time with your family and friends in a completely safe environment, while in Beirut, the local seaside area offers ample opportunities for both. Lined with palm trees, the city's waterfront guarantees a truly joyful experience and is as much fun for watching the Mediterranean, beautiful people and breathing the air as it is for exploring the coastline.

Strolling down the elegantly landscaped 10 meter-wide pedestrian boardwalk surrounding Beirut Marina, which is dominated by prominent high-rising Beirut and Platinum Towers, the promenade passes Zaitunay Bay with all its boats and quays, restaurants and cafés, before breaking into a series of overlapping platforms as a new extension to the famous Corniche esplanade. Extant since the days of the French colony, the Corniche itself is inflated to create an ‘urban beach,’ with levels subtly articulated to provide outdoor spaces with public areas for artwork, jogging, and outlets offering a wide range of Lebanese snacks and drinks.

Marina Towers, a residential complex located near the Marina, takes its shape from the strata and layers in forking vectors; its horizontal layers have been inspired by the planar lapping waves of the sea that once washed the ancient beach on this site.

Among other sights worthy of attention are the Rafik Al Hariri Memorial and New Lighthouse Al Manara.

For a detailed discovery of Beirut's seashore, especially in the evening, take this self-guided walking tour and enjoy the fantastic location in its full splendor!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Seaside Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Seaside Walking Tour
Guide Location: Lebanon » Beirut (See other walking tours in Beirut)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Zaitunay Bay
  • Marina Towers
  • Beirut Tower
  • Platinum Tower
  • Rafik Al Hariri Memorial
  • Corniche (Waterfront Promenade)
  • New Lighthouse Al Manara
Zaitunay Bay

1) Zaitunay Bay (must see)

Zaitunay Bay is a harbor project, recently completed, around Beirut Marina. It is a wonderful part of town to explore, walk the promenade and people watch. There are restaurants with Lebanese and international cuisine, cafes and shopping options.

The project is conceived as an urban beach. The Beirut Corniche and the new sea promenade are broadened by overlapping layered platforms resembling sea waves. This modification affords more outdoor public spaces for artworks and exhibitions. The Quayside Restaurant Strip has over 17 restaurants and retail locations.

The strip runs alongside the Beirut Marina from the west border to the Yacht Club in the east. The single floor strip is below street level. The roofs of the strip are made to act as a continuation of the Corniche. The entry plaza, the quayside and the Corniche walkway form terraces resembling a stony "beach" over the cafes and shops.

The Yacht Club part of the development was completed in 2014. The Club has ample mooring space for most vessels. It has a clubhouse and nine club suites with facilities on two levels. On the lower level there is a swimming pool deck with bar, a restaurant, lounge, library, games room and gym.

The best time to visit Zaitunay Bay is in early evening when the setting sun illuminates the Mediterranean Sea.
Marina Towers

2) Marina Towers

Marina Towers is an iconic residential complex in Beirut, situated near the vibrant Beirut Marina. This prestigious development is composed of three distinct structures: the high-rise Marina Tower, and two mid-rise buildings, Marina Court and Marina Garden. The entire project, designed by the internationally acclaimed architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, encompasses over 7,000 square meters of land.

The centerpiece of the complex, Marina Tower, stands as a testament to modern architectural achievement, soaring to a height of 150 meters. This makes it the second tallest building in Lebanon. Its design cleverly follows a crescent shape, drawing inspiration from the rounded forms typical of waterfront architecture, which allows for stunning panoramic views. Residents can enjoy vistas of the sea, the surrounding mountains, the Beirut Central District Park, and the marina itself.

Marina Tower comprises 26 floors of luxury living spaces, including simplex and duplex apartments, and features a top-level penthouse complete with a private pool. The building's facade is a blend of stone and glass, highlighted by aluminum curtain walls and extensive double-glazing that reaches from the ground to the sky, emphasizing transparency and light.

Adjacent to Marina Tower is Marina Garden, which offers smaller residential units. This area is surrounded by lush gardens that span over 3,000 square meters, providing a serene environment for its inhabitants. Marina Court complements the Tower and Garden by offering flexible, modular apartments that can be expanded by joining units, catering to diverse living requirements.

For residents with nautical interests, there is convenient access to a nearby floating slip, facilitating seamless entry to the sea and enhancing the maritime lifestyle promised by its proximity to the Beirut Western Marina.

Marina Towers is currently recognized as the largest and most significant residential venture in the Mediterranean region, reflecting Beirut's luxurious and dynamic urban landscape.
Beirut Tower

3) Beirut Tower

Beirut Tower is a 25-storey residential development on Beirut’s seafront. Located by the Zaitunay Bay, on Fawsi Daouk Street near the beachfront, this luxurious high-riser offers a stunning view of the sea and Lebanon mountains.

The Beirut Tower stands next door to the Bay Tower, also known as the New Beirut Tower. Since the city reconstruction began after the civil war, high-rising towers have been popping up along the shore like mushrooms.

Being one of them, this tower can be frankly described as "skyscraper." It follows a postmodernist style with curtained wall facades. The building features gray granite walls and glazed balustrades, and has three separate entrances. The main entrance is a glass atrium, five stories high. Within the atrium is a garden with natural light.

Originally, slabs for this project were designed 400mm-thick, but then the thickness was reduced to 250mm in order to create a more spacious, flexible interior. The overall construction area of 50,000 square meters ensures an average floor area of approximately 2,000 square meters. The floor-to-floor height is about 11 feet.

Other than saving the materials and construction time, thinner slabs had enabled the creation of an extra storey within the original design. In addition to the 25 floors above street level there are also four floors below.
Platinum Tower

4) Platinum Tower

Platinum Tower stands as a prominent landmark in Beirut, distinguishing itself as the tallest residential building in the city with a height of 153 meters. This modern high-rise is strategically located on a large plot along the Saint George Bay Marina and is anticipated to connect directly to the marina via a pedestrian bridge in the future.

The tower's notable height makes it a striking feature of Beirut's skyline, although it will soon be surpassed by the Sama Beirut Tower, which is under construction in the Achrafieh district and will reach a height of 195 meters. Platinum Tower’s prestigious position on the seafront has solidified its status as a central and iconic figure in the cityscape.

Situated in a luxurious neighborhood, Platinum Tower is surrounded by several high-end hotels, including the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut Hotel, the Monroe Hotel, Le Vendôme Intercontinental Hotel, the Grand Hyatt, and the Four Seasons Hotel. The area is also rich in cultural and historical sites such as the Rafik Hariri memorial, Saint Elias Cathedral, the Corniche Beirut, All Saints Church, Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center, and the historic, bullet-riddled Holiday Inn Hotel—a reminder of Beirut's turbulent past during the civil war.

Architecturally, Platinum Tower comprises two distinct structures: a smaller one positioned closer to the sea and a lower one that overlooks the Beirut Central District. The design is accentuated at night by sophisticated lighting, which highlights the building's edges and top. Additionally, horizontal light lines are strategically placed on every ninth floor, enhancing its visibility and aesthetic appeal after sunset.
Rafik Al Hariri Memorial

5) Rafik Al Hariri Memorial

Rafic Hariri, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, was assassinated on this spot in 2005 in a car bomb attack which also took the lives of 22 civilians and several Hariri's bodyguards.

The Cedar Revolution which followed Hariri's assassination partly carried out his wishes for a free and independent Lebanon. The Memorial to the late Prime Minister, who symbolized the possibility of unity in the country and paid the ultimate price for that, is set near Saint George's Hotel. It features a statue of Rafik Hariri, a sculptural piece, and a torch.

The nearby commemorative garden, situated on a steeply sloping triangular site below the Grand Serail (Government Palace), pays tribute to Hariri's vision and achievements. Its steps symbolize gradual rebuilding of Beirut and an open invitation to the city; the granite planes represent sobriety and perseverance; the flowing water mirrors embody continuity; and a row of flowering Jacaranda trees evokes life’s constant renewal.
Corniche (Waterfront Promenade)

6) Corniche (Waterfront Promenade) (must see)

Corniche is a seaside promenade in the Central District of Beirut. A pleasant walkway, it has palm trees and great views of the sea in the west and Mount Lebanon in the east. It is an extension of the French Avenue, built during the time of the French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon. Some trees are bullet-scarred, a reminder of the civil war.

The Corniche is three miles long. It wraps around the promontory of Saint George Bay, turns west into Place Rafic Hariri, the Paris Avenue, and into the Avenue General de Gaulle, ending at Rafic Hariri Avenue. It is a favorite locale for strollers, joggers, and bicycles. Push carts offer snacks and drinks.

In 2001, seventy-six concrete benches lining the promenade were replaced with new benches sporting colored ceramics designed by the Lebanese artist Lena Kelekian. Lena also designed the Mega Chessboard on the broadest part of the walk by the Paris Avenue. The railings along the walk have been modified to keep daredevils from diving off the rails.
New Lighthouse Al Manara

7) New Lighthouse Al Manara

The words "Al Manara" in Arabic mean, "the Lighthouse." Beirut has had five different lighthouses since the 19th century. By the early 1800s Beirut had become a vital maritime nexus between east and west. To guide ships safely, the lighthouses were erected in succession at the tip of land called Ras-Beirut.

All five lighthouses have been operated by the Chablis family. The first lighthouse was a brick tower, a little less than fifty feet high and it burned kerosene. The second light, built in the 1920s, was on a little higher ground than the first. It was concrete, measuring 66 feet in height. In 1990 it was renovated by order of President Hrawe.

The third lighthouse was also built in Ras-Beirut. It's construction followed the loss of the French ship Champollion in 1952. The ship's navigator confused the lighthouse with the lights of the airport while trying for the harbor. The second lighthouse was replaced.

The third lighthouse and the fourth lighthouse were darkened by war and by subsequent shoreside constructions after the war that obscured them from the sea. In 2003 Beirut's fifth lighthouse was built. It is situated well away from built-up areas at the edge of the waterfront. It is 118 feet high, its light flashes white two times, every ten seconds.

Walking Tours in Beirut, Lebanon

Create Your Own Walk in Beirut

Create Your Own Walk in Beirut

Creating your own self-guided walk in Beirut is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Beirut Introduction Walking Tour

Beirut Introduction Walking Tour

How many times can a city die? Beirut, in 5,000 years, has died and come back many times. Archeological digs downtown have revealed Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader and Ottoman remains and signs of influence.

In 140 BC the city was destroyed by Diodotus Tryphon, a king of the Seleucid Empire. His Hellenistic city lies over the Phoenician one. Pompey the Great arrived in 64 BC...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles