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.
Tel Aviv, IsraelBoris Stroujko/Shutterstock
Dubbed the “new Dubai for avid travelers,” 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 1930’s Bauhaus buildings and famed museums, like Eretz Israel Museum and Beit Hatfutsot. (Planning your itinerary? You won’t want to miss these amazing spots in Israel that are definitely not in your guidebook.) After an action-packed day and night, rest your head at The Rothschild 71 or Cucu Hotel.