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.
A view of the old port, below the medieval city
Byblos is a true microcosm of the civilizations that have populated Lebanon over the centuries. Arguably believed to be 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.
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.
To go to the harbour, you can follow the modern streets, or venturing into the old city...
Jbeil aka Byblos is a small city so getting around should not be a problem for tourists.
There is a free shuttle service between the old souk and the port using electric cars, and they run whenever you get in (you can even stop them if they pass by while you're walking, and they will usually stop as long as they're not full).
You can find many taxis and buses in Byblos and you can contact the Byblos taxi company at +961 9 949494 24h/24h 7 days a week.
Byblos city is beautiful all year round but the best time to visit is during its international festival which usually takes place between the end of June till the end of July. Despite the increasing heat, the city is in blossom. You can go for a swim in the afternoon at the sandy beach, and then head in the evening to one of the shows of Byblos International Festival (www.byblosfestival.org) which takes place on a beautiful stage rebuilt every year above the water specially for this occasion with a spectacular scenery overlooking the castle and the old town.
If you're in Byblos in March, you can go to the "fête des fleurs" or "flowers festival" in the weekend surrounding the start of spring season (March 21st) which coincides with Mother's day in Lebanon, and buy beautiful flowers and plants at different price ranges starting 1$.
- The Crusader Castle. 12th century castle and enviros. A must-see in Byblos 6000 LL.
- Kings Tomb.
- Tower Temple.
- NE Gate.
- St John Church.
- The old souk Churches.
- Museum of wax.
- Byblos old souk and port.
- Edde sands sea resort.
- Jbeil Ottoman mosque, near Jbeil souk towards old port.
- Boat trips, At the old port. Go on a trip in one of the many converted fishing boats. There will be drinks, loud music and swimming from the boat
The old city of Byblos shelters a souk (market in Arabic) extremely popular for its souvenirs and antiques.
Jbeil 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 McDonalds. 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, Chez Pépé, Byblos Old Port. Sea food restaurant + bar . This restaurant is located on the Mediterranean Sea, one of the oldest restaurants in Lebanon. 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. </eat>
- Bab El Mina, Byblos Old Port. Sea food restaurant + bar 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. </eat>
- El Molino, Byblos Old Port. Mexican food Great location, great food, one of the oldest restaurants in Byblos, if you're a fan of mexican food this place is highly recommended for you </eat>
- é café, Main Old Souk Street (Old Souk), ☎ +961 9 54 22 24, . 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. 25-40USD/pers. (34.120645°,35.647068°)
- Crepaway, jbeil's crossroads voie 13, ☎ 09/944-977. International cuisine + bar
- Locanda a la granda, Old Souk, Pepe Abed Street (Facing Castle Main Gate), ☎ +961 9 944 333, . 12pm-1am. 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. (34.120758,35.645828)
- Feniqia, Old Souk, Pepe Abed Street (Facing Castle Main Gate), ☎ +961 9 540 444, . 12pm-1am. An authentic Lebanese restaurant, very original, delicious food, affordable prices, with an amazing view of the city's historical ramparts and is located right at the end of the famous Old Souk. 15-25USD/pers. (34.120758,35.645828)
Jbeil has plenty of open air bars and clubs, which are usually open starting mid May or as soon as the weather starts to get warm. These pubs and bars provide music (mostly English music), drinks and a great atmosphere in a wonderful surrounding, they are mainly located in the Old Souk. Prices mainly range from 10$ to 30$ (around 5 USD for a beer). 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.
- Hotel Canari de Byblos, Voie 13, Highway Exit, Byblos, Lebanon (Facing Al-Amir), ☎ +961 9 550 550, . 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. (34.124195,35.653392)
- 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.), ☎ 009619540213. checkin: 1pm; checkout: 12pm. 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. Call or check out the facebook page for more info. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Byblos-Fishing-Club-Pepe-Abed/30215353645# $60-$100.
- Hotel Ahiram, . One of the oldest hotels in town, excellent location, great value, very nice views right beside the sea
- Hotel Aleph, Kordahi-Matta Center, . Nice and newly built hotel, affordable prices, very good value for money
- Byblos Sur Mer, Sea Road (right at the old port), ☎ 961-9/54 80 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Boutique hotel right at the old port. Close to the cruisaders castle and the old souk. They advertise access to a private beach, but it is really just some concrete steps down into the water. There is a decent public beach just 80 meters or so further North of the hotel. All rooms have a balcony with amazing view over the sea. Free WiFi. USD 260.
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 (Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport) and book your tickets there.
Byblos city Guide