This may come as a surprise, but it’s also plenty of people’s dream to see the “Paris of the Middle East,” as Beirut is nicknamed. By the way, do you know what your best travel destination says about you? “Cognizant of today’s geopolitical climate, Americans are shifting the conversation from apprehension to understanding and are openly exploring destinations in the Middle East,” says Jamee Lubkemann, vice president of American Express Travel. Beirut—one of the world’s oldest settlements—is a confluence of history and culture. Admire colonial French architecture and feast on a diversity of culinary delights. Wondering where to stay? Sofitel Beirut Le Gabriel and The Smallville Hotel are top picks.
Check out our top 50 natural wonders to see before you die.
Photo: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock
Tel Aviv, Israel
Dubbed the “new Dubai for avid travellers,” Tel Aviv is the place to be right now. This cosmopolitan city has so much to offer! Take advantage of its seaside locale with a surf lesson. Foodies will love sampling hummus and falafel at local eateries. Craving some culture? Check out the 1930s Bauhaus buildings and famed museums, like Eretz Israel Museum and Beit Hatfutsot. After an action-packed day and night, rest your head at The Rothschild 71 or Cucu Hotel.
Photo: Ruslan Kalnitsky/Shutterstock
Morocco is trending…and Casablanca is no certainly no exception. From the bustling markets and Moorish architecture to the relaxing hammams (traditional bathhouses) and aromatic cuisine, this vibrant port city is a feast for the senses. Contemporary accommodations, like Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca and Gray Boutique Hotel & Spa Casablanca, as well as new construction projects, such as Parc de la Ligue Arabe and Grande Theatre de Casablanca, are piquing the interest of modern travellers. If you have time to see more of this magical country, Chefchaouen (aka the “blue city”) should be a stop on your trip.
Chefchaouen also made a spot on our list of the world’s most enchanting cities.