It is hard not to be spellbound by the breathtaking beauty of the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque (left) in Beirut's Martyr’s Square and the eye-catching architecture of the basilica (right) nestled in the hills at Harissa: This basically does not exist in Lebanon. There are cabs everywhere in Beirut, but there are also plenty of drivers looking to take advantage of wide-eyed western tourists.
If you get a chance to try some, you should tuck in.
Dishes to look out for include kibbeh, fattoush, tabbouleh, and others you'll recognise - like mixed grills, halloumi, pitta and humus.
Lesson Number One – excitedly admitting to a streetwise Beirut cab driver, ‘yes, it is my first time in Lebanon’ will ensure you get taken for a ride in more ways than one.
But any angst caused by my expensive opening foray into Lebanese travel was to evaporate as soon as I laid eyes on my accommodation.
These were the words of wisdom from my tour guide during a long day of sight-seeing in Beirut and after five hectic but enjoyable days in the city, I had to agree - the Lebanese know how to enjoy themselves.
At first I was concerned about missing connections or enduring a long, tedious journey, but in fact it was simple, efficient and stress-free.
But like most modern cities, Beirut is tolerant of those of other faiths.Strolling along its narrow cobbled streets, visiting its various ruins or popping into Lebanese restaurants for fattoush, kibbeh and chicken kebabs, is a delightful way to spend a day. Beirut is all about new beginnings and there is a youthful exuberance to the city that is both captivating and contagious.So it is no surprise that when it comes to having fun, they know what they’re doing.Speak to your hotel or hostel and they should point you in the direction of a trustworthy agency.But be vigilant and confident and hopefully your journeys will be reasonably inexpensive. : Lebanon and Beirut are perfectly safe places to visit and enjoy yourself.I went at night, which made Beirut look all the more magical.