What to do in Hamra Street, Beirut: A Tour

Welcome to our tour of Hamra Street, one of the most famous streets in Lebanon, where you can find almost everything; Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, clothing stores, etc.


Hello, everyone! Tag along while I do a tour of Hamra Street in this video. First, I want to say thanks for all your comments. I’m sorry I’m not replying because I’m in the middle of my exams. I will reply soon.

A Tour in Hamra Street, Beirut

Let’s start our tour. First of all, I’m going to grab some food because I’m hungry. Let’s go together to a Lebanese restaurant where you can see the famous food. Let’s go!

Ordering Food

Deghreh” means straight, like we learned in the previous lesson. Now we arrived, and I’m going to ask for one Shawarma chicken, because there are two kinds of Shawarma, one Shawarma chicken, one Shawarma meat (beef).

“marHaba, fineh ekhoud weHdeh Shawarma 3mol ma3roof?… Djeij.” “Hello, can I have one shawarma, please?… Chicken.”

Shukran. Yummi, yummi! I’m still hungry, and I’m thinking about a falafel sandwich.

“addeh sandwich l Falefil?” “how much for a falafel sandwich?”

“euh, sandwich l Falefil alfein w sabe3 miyyeh w khamseen (2,750 LBP)” “A falafel sandwich is for 2,750”.

“marHaba. Baddeh Falefil, bas bas Falefil w tarator” “Hello, I want falafel. Just falafel and tarator (Tahini sauce)”

“ba’doonis” means Parsley “Parsley and radish… and pickles…” “tomatoes”

shukran: Thank you

ahla w sahla: Welcome

It’s starting to rain now, so it’s the perfect time for a happy hour. Let’s go so I show you the street full of pubs, join me.

Pub Street

Okay so in this street there are many, many pubs, and in the weekends, the street here will be crowded with people. You can chill and drink here, outside and inside. Cheers!

Cultural Places

I will tell you now that Hamra has always been a cultural place. So now we’re going to visit some theaters and art galleries. So this is one of the galleries. And now we’re going to the theater. To go to the theater, we should go to the right (3al yameen) 3al yameen!

We arrived now to the “Madina” Theater. And “Madina” means “City”, and “theater” in Arabic means “MassraH”. So we are now at “massraH l madina”. So tonight there’s a concert and it’s part of the International Festival for Experimental music in Lebanon. And I will tell you that in this theater, and in Hamra, there’s a lot of festivals that happen throughout the year.

Top 10 Things to Do in Hamra Street, Beirut

  1. Abou Elie Pub: A unique pub located in the heart of Hamra Street. This communist-themed bar is a tribute to the owner’s father, Elie, who was a communist himself. The pub is adorned with posters of Che Guevara, Karl Marx, and other famous figures from the communist world. The drinks are affordable, and the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. It’s a great place to meet locals and have deep conversations about politics, history, and life in general. The pub also hosts live music nights, featuring various genres from rock to oriental music.
  2. Captain’s Cabin: A dive bar with a rich history. Known for its grungy charm, this bar is reputed to be one of the few that stayed open throughout the civil war. The proprietor, Andre, is a well-known figure who curates the classic rock/blues soundtrack. The bar offers ample seating, a pool table, and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s an essential stop for those who appreciate low-key, authentic experiences.
  3. Metro Al-Madina: An independent theatre company that offers a unique blend of entertainment. Founded by Hisham Jaber and a group of theatre enthusiasts, Metro Al-Madina has produced a wide range of shows, from theatre performances and concerts to musicals, orchestras, and cabarets. The venue promotes a culture of diversity and openness, providing a stage for all kinds of scenic arts to flourish.
  4. T-marbouta: A popular restaurant in Hamra Street, known for its Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. It offers a variety of dishes that cater to different dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, halal, and gluten-free options. The restaurant is highly rated for its food, service, value, and atmosphere. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal in a comfortable and welcoming environment.
  5. Mezyan: A must-visit for anyone dining or going out in Hamra. It first opened in 2011 and quickly became a hit among Beirut’s young, hip, and intellectual crowd. The menu features a mix of Lebanese mezze and Spanish/North African inspired tapas. The venue is known for its live music, featuring genres from jazz to heavy metal to Arabic. It’s a popular spot for the hip intelligentsia, and it’s not uncommon to spot Ziad Al Rahbani, a famous Lebanese composer and playwright, popping in from time to time.
  6. Al Madina Theater: A cultural hub in Beirut that hosts a variety of performances, including plays, concerts, and film screenings. The theatre is committed to promoting freedom of expression and creating a space for artists to share their work. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the arts and culture scene in Beirut.
  7. Barzakh Bookshop & Café: A cultural space located in the Hamra district of Beirut. It houses a library of over 30,000 books, magazines, and publications in Arabic, English, and French. The space is divided between a bookshop and a library that hosts an archive of rare publications. In addition to being a place for book lovers, Barzakh also offers a coffee and drinks bar and hosts film screenings, poetry readings, talks, and concerts.
  8. Barbar Restaurant: Barbar is a popular fast-food restaurant in Beirut, known for its delicious Lebanese food. It’s a great place to try traditional dishes like shawarma, falafel, and hummus. Despite being a fast-food restaurant, Barbar has a reputation for providing high-quality food and has been ranked as one of the top restaurants in Beirut.
  9. Li Beirut: Li Beirut is a charming dive bar located on Makdisi street. It features a tiny veranda overlooking a busy Beirut street, candle-lit tables, and plentiful cheap whisky and Arak. The bar is usually full on weeknights due to their half-off happy hour that runs from 6-9pm. They also serve very reasonably priced Lebanese finger food and sandwiches, making it ideal for a late-night meal.
  10. Pool d’Etat: Pool d’Etat is a rooftop oasis in the heart of Beirut. It’s a beach during the day and a cocktail bar at night. The 15-meter pool is surrounded by the shade of more than 20 full-sized trees. The cocktail bar and kitchen are open from morning until late at night, and live music and DJs play weekly. It’s a perfect location for a sunset or a hot summer night’s drink.

Each of these places offers a unique experience that reflects the vibrant and diverse culture of Hamra Street. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, these are the top 10 things to do in Hamra Street, Beirut.

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