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Register for our tour!
This is not just a great place to visit for a drink or delicious food – we can also organize a tour!
Tawlet Saida can organize packages including a full city visit and boat tour (weather permitting), including breakfast and lunch, for $37 USD/person (for minimum groups of two people). The city tour is a two-hour guided visit through the historical center of Saida. The tour starts from Hammam Al-Ward, and continues to Omari Mosque, Hammam El-Sheikh, Kikhia Mosque, Bab el Saray, the Soap Museum, Hammam Al Jadeed, Saint Nicholas Church, Debbane Palace, the Old Souk, Khan el Frony, and the Sea Castle, ending with a boat tour on the sea. This is a terrific and affordable way to take the ease off planning your own travel while visiting and learning about highlights of the area.
What the Image Includes
The Old Souk
The old covered souks are the highlight of the city. In the alleyways, artisans, and shopkeepers ply their trades in workshops, as they have done for centuries. Wood handicrafts are the specialty in Saida, and visitors can find tuners, engravers, and in-layers, particularly in the Zikak el Kilani neighbourhood. Taste the local pastries such as Sanioura, and the orange blossom water.
What the Tour Includes
A well-preserved 18th-century Hammam from the Ottomans. There is a central domed ornamental pool, and several adjoined rooms for bathing.
Said to be one of the finest examples of Islamic religious architecture of the 13th century, it was built on what was originally a fortress built by the Crusaders.
El Kikhia Mosque
El Kikhia Mosque was constructed by Moustapha el Katakhda in 1623. The prayer room is topped with six impressive domes, columns in different patterns, and the top of the minaret overlooks the old city.
Bab El-Saray Mosque
Built in 1201, this Mosque is the oldest in Saida, and was built when Europeans occupied the city.
Added to the 13th century Khan al-Saboun between the 17th and 19th centuries, the area of the current Soap Museum used to be a soap factory. The Soap Museum takes visitors on a journey through the history and process of soap manufacturing, including a video screening. The museum has a hammam shop and a cafeteria with a selection of books about Lebanon. Who knew soap could be so fascinating!?
Hammam Al Jadeed
Hammam Al Jadeed is one of the largest and most significant bathhouses in Lebanon. Built in 1720, it was put out of order in 1949, reopening in May 2019 as a heritage and cultural venue by Sharqy Foundation for Cultural Development and Innovation. This hammam has remarkable ornaments and consists of a large hallway and small rooms used for bathing. Ottoman structural design is evident in the details, especially in the multi-bathroom domes and their small stained-glass windows.
Saint Nicholas Church
A Greek Orthodox Church built in 1896 in a very grandiose style. Painted ceilings represent episodes from the Old and New Testament.
The Debbane Palace
Built in 1791, and hidden inside the Souks, this former Ottoman aristocrat’s house contains intricate Mamluk decoration, including stunning tile work and delicately carved cedar wood ceilings. It was built as a traditional Arab private residence in 1721 and remained a family home until 1978. During the Civil War, the palace served as a refugee shelter for five years
The Khan Al-Franj
The Khan Al-Franj (Inn of the Foreigners) is a highlight of the seafront. Meticulously restored by the Hariri Foundation, it is considered to be the most beautiful, and best preserved of all the limestone khans built by Fakhreddine in the 17th century. It received its name from his originally-built purpose, which was to serve as a marketplace and a place for visiting merchants to rest.
The Sea Castle
The Sea Castle was erected by the Crusaders in 1228, during their journey to Jerusalem. Built on top of a Phoenician temple, and sitting on a small island connected to the mainland by a fortified stone causeway, it was partially destroyed by Mamluks in 1291, but visitors can still admire parts of the original infrastructure.