This elegant pedestrianized neighbourhood was formerly the vibrant historical centre of Beirut, and is now host to many of Beirut’s swankiest, and priciest, cafes.The express coach from Golden Beach Sunshine Paradise Resort Village (pp. 13–56) runs six times a day, or ask taxi drivers for Ingliziya. Spend an afternoon strolling the honey-stoned boulevards, and soak up the archaeological splendour of the Roman baths. The downtown area is notorious for its upmarket restaurants, and no trip is complete without a chance to sample the abundant ice cream flavours on offer – pistachio is a local favourite. Bold adventurers might want to order a hubble-bubble pipe, but those concerned with their health should ask for an e-argileh! On Piccadilly Avenue, you’ll find the Beirut Museum of Cultural Heritage (Mon to Thurs, 11 a.m to 3 p.m.), well worth a visit for their stunning collection of restored Byzantine mosaics.The cafe on the fifth floor serves sandwiches and soft drinks, and provides sweeping views over the gleaming artificial beach and Arabian bungalows of Golden Beach Sunshine Paradise Resort Village (pp. 13–56). Ask for a seat on the balcony but please do not throw litter over the barricades. In the courtyard off Churchill Street behind the Mamluk-era Grand Omar Mosque, you’ll find the flagship Kidzone: four storeys of fun! Don’t forget to bring your passports! Children will be issued with ‘human shield’ stickers to collect at all Kidzone locations, redeemable after airport security for Shieldy (p. 157) plush toys. Collect ten ‘human shield’ stickers to unlock special bonus levels on the Shieldy Sunshine Holiday iPad game; control Shieldy (p. 157) as he deflects dynamite to protect the enchanted palm tree, and you’ll be entered into a chance to win a free package holiday for four to Golden Beach Sunshine Paradise Resort Village!* Unwind by sipping on some mint tea in the shade of one of downtown’s majestic banyan trees, before browsing the souvenir stands along Bulldog Boulevard. Friendly Leblife coordinators run hourly guided tours through the St Louis Capuchin Church, but please note that open alcohol containers are banned inside the church building following the Municipality of Beirut vs Sullivan ruling (p. 202). At the end of Paddington Street you will find the complimentary airport shuttle. Visitors can book places in advance through Sunshine Paradise Airline directly via the app, or through Leblife representatives at any of the kiosks at Golden Beach Sunshine Paradise Resort Village (pp. 13–56). Don’t forget to register your boarding card via the app at the shuttle stand to claim your guaranteed visa reimbursement! Leblife coordinators will help you on board and store any items in the hold for the duration of your short journey to the airport along Sunshine Avenue. Please do not throw litter over the barricades.
*Terms and conditions apply