Byblos (بيبلوس), also known by its Arabic name of Jbeil (جبَيل), is an ancient Phoenician city located about 35 kilometers (23 miles) north of the capital Beirut in modern day Lebanon. The city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a popular daytrip from the capital.
Byblos is a true microcosm of the civilizations that have populated Lebanon over the centuries. Arguably one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, the modern port city of Byblos is built upon multiple layers of ruins, dating back to as early as the Stone Age and extending to the more recent Ottoman days. A visit to Byblos is a chance to walk through the annals of Lebanese history and experience firsthand the diverse cultures that have made this area a mosaic of civilizations. Byblos is not simply a picturesque seaside town, but has a history that has been closely tied to the Mediterranean for millennia.
A major book (in French), Je m'appelle Byblos (My name is Byblos), by Jean-Pierre Thiollet, H & D, 2005. ISBN 2914266049
If you are coming from the north or from Beirut, you can easily take a taxi or bus to Byblos. Remember that Byblos is the historical name and many Lebanese refer to the city as Jbeil. Another option is to take a bus or minibus that goes to Tripoli, ask them to drop you off at the highway exit of Byblos. From there it is only a short walk to the historical centre.
Jbeil is a small city so getting around should not be a problem for tourists. You can find many taxis and buses in Jbeil and you can contact the Byblos taxi company at +961 9949494 24h/24h 7 days a week.
- 1 The Crusader Castle. 12th-century castle and enviros. A must-see in Byblos 8000 LL.
- 2 Kings Tomb.
- Tower Temple.
- NE Gate.
- 3 St John Church.
- The old souk Churches.
- 4 Museum of Wax.
- Byblos old souk and port.
- Edde sands sea resort.
The old city of Byblos shelters a souk (market in Arabic) extremely popular for its souvenirs and antiques.
- Tower Temple.
Jbeil (or Byblos) is also home to many supermarkets and stores and you can find everything from clothes to electronics to home appliances...
Byblos is has many restaurants and cafes, including Lebanese, Chinese food and fast food restaurants such as Pizza Hut and McDonald. Byblos Old port is also home to many restaurants that mainly serve sea food from which you can have a great-panoramic sea view. The old souk in jbeil also contains many great side-way cafes and restaurants with a great view and a romantic atmosphere.
Byblos Fishing Club. This restaurant is located on the Mediterranean Sea. It's the perfect place to have a great lunch or romantic dinner. Decorating the walls are pictures of many international personalities that have visited the restaurant, including Brigitte Bardot, Jaques Chirac, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Fraga Iribarne.
Eating here is one of the most memorable experiences you can have in Lebanon. The food is great, the atmosphere is wonderful-especially in Summer-and compared to many other restaurants in the area it is very affordable.
- e.. This restaurant is located in the old souk area. They have both a French and Italian Menu. They serve excellent Lebanese wines, and the Italian food is authentic and tasty.
- Flobby Diner, jbeil's crossroads voie 13, ☏ . International cuisine + bar
- 1 Locanda a la granda, Old Souk, Pepe Abed Street (Facing Castle Main Gate), ☏ . 12:00-1:00. An International fusion-cuisine restaurant, rated the "Best restaurant in Town" by the New York Times. It sports two outdoor terraces with an amazing view of the city's historical ramparts and is located right at the end of the famous Old Souk. 20-30USD/pers.
Jbeil has some open air bars and clubs. These pubs and bars provide music, drinks and great atmosphere, they are mainly located in the old souk. Prices mainly range from $10 to $30. And you can always go have a free walk among these side by side pubs.
To the North of Byblos Harbour, overlooking the beach there is a great hotel called Hotel Ahiram. Walking distance to everything. Plenty of hotels all over the city.
- 1 Hotel Canari de Byblos, Voie 13, Highway Exit (Facing Al-Amir), ☏ . A new boutique hotel in the heart of modern Byblos constructed in 2008, it has been featured in the New York Times as a "better option" to stay at in Byblos. Only 5 walking minutes away from the old city, it features rooms that overlook the whole city and the Mediterranean Sea. 100-300USD.
- Byblos Fishing Club Huts, Steps to St John's Church, near the old harbor (walk or taxi to the old harbor and look for Byblos Fishing Club restaurant.), ☏ . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional fisherman's huts for rent in the heart of old Byblos. Beautifully renovated rooms of different sizes. All come with a/c, tv and private sitting area. $60-100.
- 2 Victory Byblos Hotel & Spa, Byblos Coastal road (Follow the highway to the north (from Beirut to Tripoli), count 14 km after the Casino du Liban, take the first turn on your right facing the “Burger King” and “Zaatar w Zeit”, go under the highway and follow signs. The hotel will be visible on your right between the highway & the coastal road.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. This hotel provides well-equipped rooms and suites all with great views from private balconies. The rooms have LCD TVs with more than 93 satellite channels, mini bar, blackout curtains, A/C and Wi-Fi. Guests can work out in the gym or relax in the spa's jacuzzi for free. There is also a beauty center offering body and facial treatments with professional massage. Guests can enjoy a meal in the restaurant with its terrace and views of the Mediterranean Sea. For drinks there is a lounge bar. The hotel offers 50% discounts on beach entrance fees. $77.
If you want to travel to any other part of Lebanon, contact any taxi/bus driver and he'll know how to take you there. If you're travelling outside Lebanon, get a taxi to the airport in Beirut (Rafic Hariri International Airport) and book your tickets there.