Lebanon is renowned for its social life, particularly its buzzing restaurants and clubbing scene, as well as its fashion world, which has always dubbed it the “Paris of the Middle East”.
With so many interesting spots that have emerged as shopping hubs, satisfying all savvy travelers needs, let us explore the country’s exciting and affordable fashion destinations as we list the most important and eclectic markets or ‘Souks’ as they’re called in Arabic.
1- Fern El Chebbak
Located in the Southern part of Beirut, after passing the French Embassy and Badaro street. The best place to catch all the good deals and shop for clothes on the cheap in Beirut is Fern El Chebbak. Start your shopping journey by visiting ABC and Benetton outlets (ABC is one of the biggest malls in the city) to get all you can from branded clothes to accessories, shoes, bags and much more. You can also drop by ‘Big Sale’ store for the best and cheapest basic cotton wear and household items there is in town. Finish your shopping spree in the neighborhood and treat yourself to a happy hour drink in Badaro Street.
Located in the neighborhood of the same name, Hamra. In addition to its numerous sidewalk cafes and theaters, Hamra is known to be the trendiest commercial district presenting promotional offers on fashionable items all year long.130 shops from which we can list international brands like America Eagle Outfitters, H & M. Vero Moda, packed next to mid market fashion shops offering lingerie, abayas, clothes, Italian leather shoes, bags and knock off items targeting teenagers, young adults and older women and men too. Kick start your day with a good breakfast at Hamra cafe and finish at the very end of Hamra street, in the best accessory shop named ‘Henry’s Handmade’ offering unisex accessories from beaded bracelets to engraved metal necklaces.
Located in the heart of Bourj Hammoud. After settling into camps around Beirut, Armenians gradually started to move to Bourj Hammoud to create a typical Armenian neighborhood. A fantastic combination of different fashion shops selling all you can get from clothes, shoes, bags and souvenirs, gathered in one place. Start your journey on Arax street by visiting the vintage jewelry shop at the first right corner, and make sure to enter the shoe workshop on the first crossroad to explore how Armenian craftsmanship brings stilettos and flats to life. If you’re into ethnic handmade beaded accessories, scarves and bags, make sure to drop by ‘Chillout accessories’ to add an extra tribal twist to your exciting day.
4- Jbeil (Byblos)
Located 30 km North, away from the capital Beirut. A place that is definitely worth the ‘not so long’ drive. The Southern side is where you can find the old market where tourists can shop for antiques, souvenirs, and many other authentic Lebanese artisan accessories personalized with the desired message or name. Clothes, shoes, small gifts and books sit beautifully and comfortably on paved narrow alley ways. Stroll along the Jbeil Alleysduring summer to experience the yearly International summer music festival.
Author: Jessica Bounni
Fashion stylist, editor and fashion blogger at jessicabounni.com