A trip to Saidon in Lebanon (also spelled Sidon and Saida) is an excursion into the country’s rich past. It is filled with archaeological sites. There are also many other landmarks in and around the city.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The city is at the Mediterranean coast 25 miles from Beirut. It is a 60 minute drive from the capital. The buses at Beirut leave from the Cola bus station. The OCFTC buses depart every 60 minutes from 6 am to 8 pm.
You can also take the minibuses at the Lebanese Transport Office. Taxis are also available everywhere. If you are in Sidon, use a taxi to get around the city.
What to See There
A trip to Saidon in Lebanon may include a visit to the Sidon Sea Castle. This 13th century fortress was crated by the Crusaders. It is close to the Sidon Port.
The Soap Museum showcases the history of soap making in the area and its importance. The 17th century Khan el Franj has a large courtyard with numerous galleries. Other attractions include the Debbane Palace, Old Souks town and St. Louis Castle.
The city has been inhabited since the Neolithic period (6000 – 4000 BC). It may be the oldest Phoenician city. According to Homer, the city produced great craftsmen. As the city prospered, its residents would go on and establish the city of Tyre. Even when the city fell to the Romans, it continued to prosper. In AD 636, the Arabs took over it.
The OCFTC bus fare is LL1000. The Zantout fare is LL1500. Non-aircon minibuses have the same price (LL1000 to LL1500). Service (shared) taxi fares are around LL2500. These prices assume you are coming from Beirut. The charges will differ if you are coming from other cities.
Saida possesses several shopping malls. Shopping is concentrated around the city center and East Blvd. Major international clothing brands are available. There are also places where you can buy different beverages and food. Majority of the food served are Italian and Lebanese cuisine. However, there are also western fast food chains in the city.
If your trip to Saidon in Lebanon is centered on the historical sites, go to the “old city”. This is between St. Louis Castle and the Sea Castle. It dates from the medieval times, but preserved very well. There are still people living in it.