Located directly east of central Beirut, Zalka is a bustling commercial district in the Mount Lebanon Governorate. It centres around Zalka Souq, which is lined with fashion stores and eateries while being surrounded by old stone mansions and modern residential high-rises. Zalka offers a convenient base for discovering everything Beirut has to offer.
Things to do in Zalqa
For a retail fix, head to Souk Zalka, which is packed with small retailers selling clothing, jewellery and accessories. Portraits are available at Shades Production while the Sultan Spa specialises in massages and body treatments. Cafes and restaurants also cluster in the area, including Diwan Al Hashem, Sushi Star and Starbucks.
Zalka is a convenient base for discovering the sights of Beirut, including the Ottoman-influenced Mohammad Al Amin Mosque and Martyrs’ Square. Don’t miss the National Museum of Beirut, which showcases archaeological findings dating from prehistoric times to the Mamluk period. An outstanding collection of modern artwork is exhibited at the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum, which occupies an ornate villa combining Italianate and Ottoman architectural styles.
One of Beirut’s most happening districts is Zaitunay Bay, a purpose-built waterfront area home to an abundance of cafes and restaurants. You can begin the day with coffee and pastries at Paul or have lunch at Babel Bay while watching the luxury yachts coming and going. After your meal, stretch your legs on the Balcony Overlooking the Sea, a breezy promenade that fringes the Mediterranean Sea.
Getting around Zalqa
Zalka is a 10-minute drive from the centre of Beirut and 15 minutes from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular buses connect to Zalka and travel throughout the municipality. Taxis are readily available for getting around.