Jbail Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by zuyao
  • Jbail
    by Delia_Madalina
  • Restaurants
    by Delia_Madalina

Jbail Things to Do

  • The Harbour

    Unwind yourself and shift down a lower gear as you enjoy the calm sea view at the harbour area of Byblos. There is a good selection of restaurants facing the harbour which makes a good selection for a cup of coffee or a seafood spread depending on the time of the day.The harbour might be small but used to be a major trading port for cedar wood. The...

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  • Byblos Fishing Club

    This is one of the most famous restaurants in Lebanon. It overlooks picturesque Byblos harbour. It is here that, in the 1960s, celebrities, like Jacques Chirac, David Niven, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Brigitte Bardot used to come to eat. It was closed when I was there, so I had to eat next door at Bab el-Mina, which is a similar harbourside...

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  • The Great Temple of Resheph

    Dedicated to the Egyptian god Resheph, the Great Temple of Byblos dates from around 2600 BC. It is nicknamed the L-Shaped Temple because of its shape. The temple was destroyed during the Amorite occupation, but was later (around 1900 BC) rebuilt as the Temple of the Obelisks. The ruins of the latter were moved further east to allow archaeologists...

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  • Temple of the Obelisks

    Thought to have been built in the 19th century BC, the Temple of the Obelisks is an unusual temple. It speaks volumes about the strong connection that Byblos had with Ancient Egypt, to which the city state exported cedar-wood and other valuable products. The temple contained a cella (inner sanctuary) in which stood a large monumental obelisk...

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  • Neolithic & Chalcolithic Ruins

    The area surrounding the Ottoman House and the Bronze Age Palace contains the ruins of Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlements, from around 5000 BC and 3500 BC, respectively. Little more than the foundations of these settlements can be seen and would not excite anyone other than the keenest archaeologists among us. The very knowledge of their...

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  • Ottoman-Period House

    Prior to the excavation, the entire archaeological site was covered with beautiful 19th century red tiled houses. These houses were demolished one by one to allow for the excavation of the site. Only one house was preserved to provide perspective to the visitor. Though decaying, the house is a beautiful example of Lebanese architecture in the...

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  • Early Bronze Age Palace

    The ruins of a palace and other residences from the Early Bronze Age (2900 - 2300 BC) can be found just below the Ottoman House. The base of the walls of the palace is rather intact, but otherwise, much is left to the imagination (see photos).

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  • The Roman Theatre

    Only a third of the once grand Roman Theatre of Byblos has survived to this day. It was built in 218 AD and its floor once contained a mosaic of the god Bacchus, now at the National Museum of Beirut. The reconstructed remains of the theatre are currently placed near the shore, an excellent spot from which to watch the sunset and the Mediterranean...

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  • Roman Colonnade (intra muros)

    Within the archaeological site are the remains of another Roman colonnade from the 3rd century AD. Only six Corinthian columns are upright with part of the original frieze connecting two of them. This colonnade was part of a ceremonial passage that led to the Temple of Baalat-Gebal (the Lady of Byblos, a Semitic goddess equated with Hathor and...

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  • Royal Necropolis

    Discovered by accident in 1922 in the area between the Castle and the sea, the Royal Necropolis contains tombs that date from 2nd millennium BC. This was the late Amorite period into the Ancient Egyptian occupation in Byblos. With a local guide, it is possible to descend into a tunnel that lead to the bottom of the shafts used to bury the...

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  • Phoenician Ramparts

    Thought to date from around 2800 BC, these fortified walls were built by the Phoenicians to protect their city, Gebal (as it was known then). At the time, the city had two entrances, one facing the sea and another facing inland. The surviving thick stone wall is located within the archaeological site, right below the Crusader Castle, and curves...

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  • Roman Nymphaeum

    Only the base and foundation of the Roman Nymphaeum of Byblos have survived. Much of the stones and columns were probably used to construct the Crusader Castle in the 12th century. The nymphaeum is located just north of the castle, left of the entrance to the archaeological site. During the Roman era, the colonnade on Rue Jbail (outside the...

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  • Crusader Castle of Byblos

    The most dominant and best preserved structure in the archaeological site is the Crusader Castle. It was built in 1108 by the Crusaders, specifically the Lords of Gibelet (i Signori di Gibelletto), the Genoese Embraico family which ruled the fiefdom of Gibelet (i.e, the Crusader name for Jbail/Byblos). To construct the castle, they recycled...

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  • Mosque of Sultan Abdel Majid

    This Ottoman-era mosque is thought to have been built on the site of an older mosque. The structure dates from 1648 and was renovated in 1783 by Emir Youssef Chéhab, yet it carries the name of the 19th century Ottoman Sultan Abdel Majid (Abdülmecid in Turkish). The small mosque has a large blue cupola and an octagonal minaret (the cupola had been...

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  • Eglise Saint Jean-Marc

    A beautiful Romanesque church, Eglise Saint Jean-Marc is the cathedral church of Jbail (Byblos), a town with a majority 80% Christian population. The church is dedicated to Saint John Mark, the patron saint of the town, who is said to have founded the first Christian community of Byblos. The church itself was built in 1115 AD by the Crusaders,...

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  • Roman Colonnade (extra muros)

    The remains of a once-magnificent Roman colonnade are visible along Rue Jbail, outside the mediaeval city walls. Many of these columns with their Corinthian capitals are still intact and stand upright. The colonnade was once part of a grand avenue that led directly to the heart of the ancient city of Byblos. Nowadays, Rue Jbail traces the same path...

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  • The Souk

    The beautifully restored souk (bazaar) of Byblos is located in the pedestrianised streets around the mediaeval wall, near the archaeological site. Unlike the souks in Sidon or Tripoli, this one caters exclusively to tourists, yet it does sell intriguing Lebanese arts and crafts that make excellent gifts or souvenirs to bring back home.

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  • Byblos - The Town

    One of the few towns in Lebanon to have conserved its traditional character, Jbail (Byblos) is a beauty. The walled old city consists of charming narrow streets lined with mediaeval stone architecture, red-tiled roofs and Roman columns. These roads descend to the ancient harbour and its numerous outdoor cafés and seafood restaurants. A visit to the...

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  • Byblos Archaeological Site

    Few places in the world, if any, display as many civilisations in one location as does Byblos. The city claims to be the longest continuously inhabited settlement in the world (as do Damascus, Aleppo and Jericho) and the archaeological site is the living proof, where each passing civilisation constructed over the ruins of its predecessor. The site...

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  • The Port

    The most picturesque part of town, the tranquil harbour of Jbail (Byblos) is nowadays mainly a fishing port. These lazy wooden boats rest by the calm quays that were once the ancient world's most vibrant entrepôt, where not only valuable merchandise was exchanged, but also knowledge and ideas. It is from this harbour that a Phoenician invention,...

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  • The Wax Museum

    Housed in a beautiful building with fortress-like architecture is the Wax Museum, the Madame Tussauds of Byblos. The Lonely Planet guidebook called it "kitsch" so I chose to skip it, but it could be an interesting museum to visit for those with more time. My visits to Byblos have always been rather rushed, so I had little time to spare. Perhaps...

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  • Bronze Age Residential Quarter

    The area between the Crusader Castle and the Roman Colonnade was a residential quarter during the Bronze Age (around the 3rd millennium BC). The base of the walls of these small dwellings has survived and is best views from the Castle's terrace.

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  • The Temple of Baalat-Gebal

    Once the largest and most important temple in Byblos, the Temple of Baalat-Gebal was built around 2800 BC. Its site is thought to have been used for worship since the 4th millennium BC. The temple was dedicated to the Phoenician goddess Baalat-Gebal (the Lady of Byblos), who was later equated with the Egyptian goddess Hathor (and Isis). The Temple...

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  • The King's Well

    Known as Bir al-Malek (King's Well), this well is in fact a natural water spring. Prior to the arrival of the Romans, it had been the main water source for Byblos. When the Romans arrived they created a water pipe network to bring water to Byblos from nearby mountains and the well was instead used solely for religious rituals. According to...

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  • Eglise Orthodoxe Saydet el-Najat

    Dedicated to Our Lady of Deliverance (Saydet el-Najat in Arabic), this ancient church serves the Greek Orthodox community of Jbail (Byblos). The current structure is thought to have likely been built in the 12th century on the site of a Byzantine-period church. Recycled Roman and Byzantine materials were used in its construction.

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  • Mosaics of a Romano-Byzantine Church

    In the early 1970s, excavations next to Eglise Saint Jean-Marc uncovered floor mosaics of an ancient church dating from the Second Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Shown in the attached photos, these beautiful mosaics have been left in their actual place, exposed for passers-by to see.

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  • Mediaeval Ramparts

    The historic quarter of Byblos is encircled by a well-preserved mediaeval wall. It was originally built by the Crusaders in the early 12th century, but rebuilt or restored thereafter by the Mamlukes and Ottomans.

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  • Roman Theatre

    The first Roman theatre was built here in 218 AD. It has since been rebuilt to one third of its original size.

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  • The Ruins

    Byblos contends with Aleppo and Damascus for the title of oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. But, there are remains of almost every stage of its long history in the ruins, which surround the Crusader castle. The sign has informative signs and maps in English.

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  • Church of St. John the Baptist

    This church was built in Romanesque style, during the Crusader occupation, in 1115. When I visited, there was a concert for peace being broadcast live on Lebanese TV, which I sat down and watched.

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Jbail Hotels

Jbail Restaurants

  • Personal favourite in Lebanon

    I can't imagine a better afternoon then spending a few hours drinking good wine, eating seafood and tabouleh, admiring the sun setting from the comfy seat in a sea-facing restaurant in the old port of one of the oldest cities in the world... can you?The staff is very friendly and the fish always fresh. In my three visits there, I've never tasted...

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  • Best Steak In Lebanon

    Went here on the recommendation of friends who live/work in Beirut. They said it was the best steakhouse in Lebanon and a lunch there comfirmed their opinion. Had the fillet which came with potatoes with a good mushroom sauce and salad and good bread. The portions were very generous. My order was cooked the way I requested. Our waitress was very...

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  • harbour restaurant

    Bab el-Mina means harbour gate, and the restaurant has a superb viev over the harbour. It serves excellent seafood and it is a nice place to sit drinking beer, whilst watching the boats in the harbour.

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Jbail Transportation

  • Taxi to Byblos from Beirut

    The 1st time I went to Byblos, I had a Taxi pick me up from my hotel in Beirut and take me to my hotel in Byblos. It was approx $32 USD. It took approx 2 hours as it was in prime traffic. Traffic out of Beirut can be very difficult in the afternoons during the summer/sunny months. Thank goodness i had a map and precise directions of where I wanted...

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  • Boat trip

    In the harbour in Jbail (Byblos) there are a few boats for sightseeing.When I was there my second time I think the waves were to high for the boats to go on a tour, but a group with school children came and probably they had been looking forward to the tour. The boats with the school children went back and forth through the harbour opening, jumping...

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  • Don't miss the stop

    I went to Jbail (Byblos) twice. The first time was on my second day in Lebanon. I had the name Jbail written on a paper in Arabic and said to the driver where I wanted to go.There are a lot of buildings along the coast north of Beirut and difficult to see where one town ends and the other starts. I never saw a sign saying Jbail. After some time I...

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Explore Deeper into Jbail
Crusader Castle
Things to Do
Ottoman House
Things to Do
Prehistoric Quarter
Things to Do
Well the Ruins at Byblos, duhhh
Things to Do
Byblos International Festival
Things to Do
Walk the Port and Town at night.
Things to Do
The Souks in Byblos
Things to Do
Mexican food in LEBANON!
Restaurants
Byblos Fishing Club (Pepe's)
Restaurants
View from the castle
Things to Do
The Crusader Castle
Things to Do
The archaeological site
Things to Do
The harbour
Things to Do
New and old
Things to Do
Go swimming
Things to Do
Beirut - Byblos
Transportation
Medieval Town
Things to Do
Map of Jbail

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