Beirut’s Grand Serail
If a visit to Beirut only allows a trip to one museum, the Beirut National Museum is the biggest and most established.
Visitors can travel back in time as they start from the prehistoric age and are taken through to the Roman, Byzanthian and Mamluk periods. Visitors can expect to see ancient sculptures, jewellery and artefacts which have been lovingly preserved and curated.
For guests of the Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel in Beirut, the Beirut National Museum is only 200m away. They can choose to take a leisurely stroll, catch a taxi just outside the hotel or make use of the hotel’s underground car park if they are driving.
Lebanon’s rich history
There’s a daily documentary called Revival which screens on the hour from 9am to 4pm and tells the fascinating story of how the Beirut National Museum’s staff saved the collection from being ravaged by the 1975 Civil War and worked tirelessly to restore the museum for visitors. Their quick thinking saved hugely import pieces of Lebanese history which visitors can enjoy today.
Highlights include the Neolithic pebble idol from Babos which is thought to date back to 9,000 BC and is a unique glimpse into very early human history in Lebanon. Visitors should also look out for gleaming Byzantine era gold jewellery gilded bronze Phoenician statuettes from Byblos.
Visiting Beirut’s National Museum is entirely free and all the exhibits are helpfully labelled in English, French and Arabic so most nationalities will be able to appreciate them.
The Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut
Guests at the centrally located Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut will not have far to travel after exploring the museum’s exhibits or Beirut’s other attractions like Zaitunay Bay and Hamra Street. But with a swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre, restaurant and a bar all under the same roof, they will find it hard to tear themselves away from the hotel.