Lebanon's third-largest city, Sidon (or Saida, in Arabaic) - a
city full of interesting cultural sights and fantastic shopping
opportunities - makes for a worthwhile excursion from Beirut.
Located just 25 miles (40km) south of Lebanon's capital city, Sidon
is primarily a destination for day-trippers from Beirut. By far the
main attraction of the city is its legendary stretch of covered
market-places (souqs), where tourists eager to find some Lebanese
souvenirs can shop to their heart's content. A bustling,
atmospheric place, shopping in Sidon's Old Souq makes for a
wonderful cultural experience. Other notable sights in Sidon
include the Sea Castle (a fortress built by the Crusaders in the
13th Century), the Sidon Soap Museum, and - pick of the bunch - the
Temple of Eshmun, a Phoenician structure erected in honour of the
god of healing, and dating back to the 7th Century BC.