Beirut Nightlife: Winter Edition

If you ever come across a Lebanese expat and strike up a conversation with them about their homeland, they are likely to boast about the vibrant nightlife scene particularly in the capital Beirut. Despite the country’s occasional instability there’s no doubt the Lebanese know how to party, so much so that many famous Lebanese clubs and lounges have recently opened in Dubai.  Having experienced a fair number of nightlife scenes around the world, I am yet to find anywhere that compares to Beirut – in terms of variety, cost, and ambience. Dubbed the party capital of the Middle East, Beirut has something for everyone no matter what day of the week it is. Most, if not all, clubs/lounges/bars open late daily which is one of the many reasons I love Beirut. Here are my top picks for going out in Beirut during winter:

Music Hall

Looking for good music, live performances and great food? This place is for you. Serving a slightly older crowd in a theatre-like setting, this is one spot guaranteed to keep you entertained all night. Avoid if on a budget. Reservation is a must.

Indie

This lavish lounge is the winter brainchild of the team behind White, one of Beirut’s hottest summer rooftop nightclubs. I love the interior décor of this place, not to mention the excellent cocktails. You can catch a live band playing here frequently. Reservation is a must for large groups.

Bistro Bar

This bar is one of the pioneers behind the revival of the iconic alleyway in the Hamra district. For a chilled out night Fridays here are best, but for a pumping night be sure to go on a Saturday as the music is more upbeat.

Caprice

Bazaar night happening here every Friday is one of the hottest tickets in town. Dance the night away at this funky lounge/bar with a fusion of English, French, & Arabic tunes. If you prefer R&B music be sure to head over on a Thursday for URBN night. Reservation is a must.

Uruguay Street

Looking for a last minute drinking destination and not sure where to go? This alleyway in the heart of downtown Beirut is home to an endless streak of pubs and bars. Good for pub hopping with friends.

B018

EDM music lovers, you won’t want to skip this underground nightclub famous for its open and closeable ceiling. Be sure to check out its legendary 80’s night every Thursday. Reservation is a must for large groups.

The Hub

The latest nightclub to hit the Beirut party scene, this place hosts superb R&B nights every Saturday and funky Pop Tart nights every Friday. Reservation is a must.

Under Construction

Enjoy deep house beats all night long in one of the coolest lounges in Mar Mikhael. The interior is super dandy with pipes along the ceiling and large bolts on the walls, hence the name ‘under construction’.

Coop D’etat

Located on an enclosed rooftop in Saifi, this bar is a favorite among foreigners due to the cheap drinks and casual atmosphere. Go early to get a good spot because they don’t take reservations. Good for those on a budget.

The Grand Factory

This place hosts the “C U NXT SAT” party every Saturday. If you’re seeking somewhere to let loose and rave to EDM music all night, you’re in for a real treat here.

The O1ne

The winter equivalent of Skybar, this club has only been open a year and is already booming. If you’re looking to have a wild night this is the place to go. Avoid if on a budget. Reservation is a must.

SUD lounge

For those looking for a more relaxing vibe, head to SUD Lounge right above SUD restaurant in Mar Mikhael. Great for both dinner and drinks.

P.s: Be sure to ask about the age restriction as a lot of these places are 21+

Have you ever experienced Beirut’s nightlife scene? If not, which is your favourite party city?

Advertisements

Carpe diem (n.)

I always get asked, “What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?” and I always respond with a different answer, depending on who’s asking. But this story is too good not to be shared.

Considering I was the good girl growing up, most people are shocked to find out that I crashed a wedding one summer with my best friends. We had planned to do something crazy during the summer so when the opportunity presented itself, we took it.

We were staying at a beach resort up north for the weekend and had gone out for dinner only to come back and find an entire wedding party set up on the beach. As we watched the guests mingling from the balcony, one of my friends suggested we dress up, do our hair, and go to the wedding. At first we all thought she was crazy but eventually we warmed up to the idea (although I needed the most convincing). The only garments we had on us that seemed decent enough for a wedding were long Maxi beach dresses. After complementing the outfit with some accessories and makeup we were ready to go.

To my surprise, there was no security at the entrance of the reception so we gracefully walked across the pool and onto the beach. At that time the bride and groom had just cut the cake so we made ourselves comfortable at an empty table and waited to be served a piece. While I was eating the cake I was constantly looking around to see if anyone would notice us. But then it struck me that if we were unrecognizable to anyone they would assume we were from the other side of the family, and that’s the excuse we used when anyone would talk to us.

Having finished the cake it was time to hit the dancefloor. The DJ was playing the latest hits and we danced the night away with a bunch of random people. I’d never felt so rebellious in my life. The photographer even took a group photo of us! We made it on this couple’s wedding album and they will spend the rest of their life trying to figure out who we are and what we were doing at their wedding. All was good and well up until one of my friends saw someone she knew; at the same time the bride and groom had come back to the dance floor. We took that as our que to leave.

We spent the rest of the night laughing and drinking from a half-empty bottle of champagne that my friend took on our way out.

Till this day I cannot believe how we managed to pull it off, but I have no regrets. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.