It’s summer in Lebanon. If you’re not here, chances are you wish you were. The thing that makes it so exciting is also what makes it a little overwhelming too—there’s no shortage of things to do during any given summer here, and 2017 is no different. Luckily, we’ve put together a selection of some highlights this season.
1. Check out a local gig
Chances are you know veterans like Radio Beirut and AR_KA, a space right above Smoking Bun in Mar Mkhayel which hosts regular Living Room Sessions, among other music events.
For a more mysterious affair, sign up to Sofar Sounds to find out about secret gigs around Beirut every few weeks. They’ll email you the location a few hours before the show, where you’ll find an intimate setup with twinkle lights and great music. Past shows include local artists like Chyno, Postcards, Alko B, and Charlie Rayne.
Why not take this downtime to learn something new? Take advantage of the many workshops offered this summer, as Beirut’s local art scene is brimming with talent. Sick of a lack of aesthetically pleasing Arabic fonts online? Why not learn how to “Liberate Arabic” at this talk at Dar El-Nimer? Or perhaps you just want to figure out a simple sketch. If so, put some perspective and depth into your drawings at T-Marbouta this month.
And how about something practical for your creative ventures? Learn how to brand your work, whether you’re just starting out or want to attract more freelance jobs.
Why not try some paint therapy for a good cause? Art Therapy for Mental Illness is hosting a session to raise awareness about mental illness at Beirut Souks this summer.
Or, head to a storytelling event this summer to hear some tales or even tell your own. You can make it out to Sursock Museum for a night of storytelling about the role of stories in our lives (a little meta, but still cool) or even this
4. Hungry? Thirsty? Indulge!
Look no further. This year, Souk el Akel is hopping around Lebanon to mix great food with scenery, including Broumana, Faraya, Anfeh, and even camping in Tannourine (among other areas). Feeling like a drink? Whether it’s beer you like, or a fancy cocktail, there’s a festival for you. Check out Ehden beer festival or Jounieh’s cocktail festival.
5. Embrace the outdoors
Is there anything better than sitting on a hammock? Maybe. But why not head to Hammocks ’N Chill in Beit Meri for a relaxing weekend outdoors anyway. If you’re feeling like something a little more purposeful, try the Chouf Yoga Festival in Beit El Qamar at the end of the month.
Also, if you feel like an action-packed day in the nature, take a hike up to the Baakline showers, enjoy a relaxing day in the lake, and then end the day at Campobar, where you can enjoy a drink and camp out under the stars. Want to take it up a notch? Ehden Mountain Activities offers the coolest activities from zip-lining to sky-walking, and various other different extreme sports recreations for a crazy adrenaline rush.
6. Water activities!
Instead of spending a normal day at any pool, head on down to the sea for a scuba session and explore the unknown! Get all the details of scuba stations available around the country here. You can also round up your group of friends and enjoy Lebanon by sea in one of these boat offers.
7. Watch a film
Clear summer weather also means you’ll want to be outside. The outdoor movie cycle “Backstroke” by Metropolis Cinema and The Garten will scratch that itch this season. The next film playing is “A Bigger Splash,” directed by Luca Guadagnino, and follows the story of a famous rockstar and filmmaker who experience disruptions during a vacation. If you’d like to have your dog join you, there’s also an outdoor screening taking place at sunset at the Beach House in Okaibe where the film “Hotel for Dogs” will be screened.
8. Explore art
A city full of artists means exhibitions and installations galore. This July 25 exhibition at Space27 uses image-based experimentation as a way to discuss gender, while this Beirut Art Center exhibition questions the role of photography in power relations. You can also head to the Sole Insight Summer Exhibition on the Vendome stairs in Achrafieh to see the latest installment of the open art gallery running all summer.
9. Update your wardrobe
Why not take this time to revamp your style for the summer? Apart from the larger chains everyone is already going to, you can head to Depot-vente to find some vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces. For a more hands-on approach to your style, you can check in with Creative Space to see what kinds of workshops they’re offering these next couple of months. Also if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, head down to Pink Henna for the coolest vintage items for unbelievably great prices!
What better time to dance than summertime in Beirut? You know the usual suspects, like the Garten, BO-18, and the quintessential summer spot, Decks on the Beach at Sporting.
Then there are the lower-key spots, places like Beirut Groove Collective which have their weekly All-Nighter editions and new kid on the block, Pool D’etat, which is hosting pool parties this summer, complete with BBQs and an open invitation to wear your flashiest speedos.