As a true daughter of Lebanon, Nour’s heart beats to the rhythm of the vibrant Lebanon. For Kahmsa’s latest travel guide, Lebanese-born and Paris-based creative Nour Mady invites us on an enchanting journey – from the sizzling food scene to the lively nightlife and the eclectic shopping culture. With her unparalleled knowledge of Lebanon, Nour has curated a cosy and intimate guide that will make you feel right at home. A special touch that sets this travel guide apart comes from Nour’s love of delicate things. From quaint cafes to independent boutiques, her guide celebrates Lebanon’s delights.

Take a whirlwind tour of Lebanon’s authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences with Nour. We wouldn’t be surprised if you booked your tickets by the end of it.

Top must-visit food spots in Lebanon?

The first place that comes to mind is Al Soussi. It’s a traditional breakfast place I have been going to with my family for at least 20 years. It’s the best!!!

Kissproof in Badaro. Classic and delicious. I love spending afternoons there that turn into a drink at night. 

One of my old-time favourites is Mezyan. They have great food, and the ambience is always warm.

I love shawarma: Jabbour or Joseph or Barbar. Part of being in Lebanon requires eating shawarma on the street because you don’t want to mess up the car interior. 

Another place I really enjoy is Makan; it is a mix of Indian cuisine in a beautiful setting. It is run by an Indian family that had a restaurant called Sienna in the 90s that my parents went to a lot. My family has been eating and following this Indian family’s food for ages!

Sporting. A Sunday spent watching the sea, and eating delicious fried cauliflower and fish, is a big Beirut classic for me. 

Oyster Bar in Batroun; it’s run by a family of fishermen. It never disappoints, and I love the location right by the sea. 

As for the best coffee: It’s from any small coffee kiosque on the corniche early in the morning, watching the fishermen in Ain el Mreisseh. 

Best places for shopping?

The one and only: Depot Vente 

I have found some of my staple pieces there. Nawal, the owner, is an icon in Beirut. 

We have many small brands in Lebanon that do great things and have lovely stores:

  • Emergency Room
  • CSB
  • Vanina
  • Nouvelle Vague
  • Salim Azzam

Must-visit cultural spots?

To be honest, the culture in Beirut today is music since it’s a form of escapism. The nightlife in Beirut has always been the heart of culture despite passing wars and political unrest. 

  • The Grand Factory
  • Torino Express

Best boutique hotels to stay in?

Lebanon is a country you visit in zones, not just Beirut. Some of the best boutique hotel experiences are in the villages. Some of my favourites are:

  • Beit Trad
  • Beyt el Jabal
  • Bkerzay

What should you avoid?

Downtown Beirut (if you ask me!)

Must-pack items?

Sunscreen!!! And party shoes cause you never know in this city. 

Any tips and tricks to tackle Lebanon?

I avoid being on the road in rush hour. Also, carpool!

Rand Al-Hadethi is an art, culture, and fashion writer who approaches all her creative endeavours with a penchant for storytelling. She explores the intersection of fashion, culture, and society and sheds light on talent and cultural movements across the Middle East and the world. Rand also publishes a bi-monthly themed substack newsletter called WebWeaver™. To reach Rand, email her at rand@khamsa5.com or follow her on social media @rundoozz.
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