Sidon, Lebanon

The city considered as the ‘seat’ of the Phoenician Civilization

Located on the Mediterranean Coast, Sidon (also called Saida) is Lebanon’s third-largest city and arguably its most historic. With evidence that suggests Sidon dates to 4000 B.C., the city is believed to be partially responsible for creating the great commercial empire that operated off the country’s coast. Sidon, which means “fishery” in Greek, is also claimed to be one of the oldest Canaanite or Phoenician cities.

Due to the city still being occupied, archeological research of Sidon is difficult to execute, therefore a large part of its history is pieced together from records and digs that are carried out during construction or rebuilding projects.

Insights From Our Locals

What to Expect in Sidon

As a port city, Sidon, Lebanon, boasts beautiful views of the Mediterranean and is home to around 200,000 residents. Despite it being a bustling commercial center, Sidon has a conservative and pleasant environment, like one of a small town.

During the Persian Empire, Sidon was known as the city of gardens, and present-day is still surrounded by banana plantations and citrus.

It is not unusual for governments to issue travel warnings for Sidon due to safety concerns. However, many travelers have reported feeling perfectly safe during their time in Sidon, therefore it is important to use discretion when considering a trip and highly advised to not visit any refugee camps in the area.

Popular Attractions in Sidon

There is something for everyone to experience and enjoy in Sidon, Lebanon. Sun seekers will want to spend time laying on the beach or taking a boat tour around the coast. The city’s most popular attraction, the Sidon Sea Castle is a 13th-century fortress that was built by the Crusaders and makes for a great site to explore.

The Sidon Souks (marketplace) are also worth visiting and offer an authentic local experience. Sidon is a city that has the perfect combination of natural beauty and historically significant sites

When to Visit Sidon

The best time to visit Sidon, Lebanon, is between April and November. The springtime offers warm and comfortable weather with minimal rain.

The summer months can be very hot, however, it is the ideal time to visit if you are interested in swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. January experiences the most rainfall and is also the coldest month of the year.

How to Get There

Sidon, Lebanon, can be reached by air or by one of many land borders. The closest international airport to Sidon is in Beirut, the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport. It is located approximately 19 miles from Sidon.

A visa is required to enter Lebanon and can be obtained at the airport or a land border upon entry. The visa is valid for 30 days from the date of issue and is free of charge for most travelers.


Discovering the Cultural Delights of Sidon’s Cuisine


Like Beirut, Sidon, a coastal city in Lebanon, is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, and this is also reflected in its cuisine. The city’s cuisine is a mix of traditional Lebanese dishes with a touch of Mediterranean influence.

Fresh seafood is abundant in Sidon, with grilled or fried fish being popular choices. One of the most famous dishes in Sidon is the Sayadiyeh, a rice and fish dish seasoned with spices, onions, and tahini. But with the right local guide in Lebanon, you can pay a visit to best restaurants with authentic experiences of the Middle East.

Another must-try dish is the Fattoush salad, made with fresh vegetables and crispy pita bread. Sidon is also known for its sweets, with traditional Lebanese pastries like baklava and knafeh being popular choices. A visit to Sidon is not complete without trying the famous Arabic coffee or mint tea, which are staples in the Lebanese culture.

The city’s bustling streets and markets are also a great place to sample street food, such as falafel, shawarma, and hummus, and experience the local culture firsthand.


Visit Sidon with Simsem’s Community


Looking to experience Sidon like a local guide in Lebanon, while ensuring your safety? Download the Simsem App today and join the revolution in sustainable and community-supported travel.

With our verified local guides in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, you can discover hidden gems, try authentic Lebanese cuisine, and experience the city’s rich culture while being guided in the safest way possible.

Temple of Eshmun in Sidon Lebanon
El Zireh island in Sidon Lebanon
Mosque in Sidon Lebanon
sidon lebanon tyre ancient city

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