CNNGo in Beirut: Energetic, historic, charismatic

Alisha Haridasani, CNNUpdated 15th May 2015
Editor's Note — This story, and several others on Beirut, complement the CNNGo TV series. See more of the show here: www.cnn.com/gotravel.
(CNN) — CNNGo explores Beirut, a city once dubbed the "Paris of the Middle East."
Twenty-five years after the end of Lebanon's civil war, many of Beirut's buildings still bear pockmarks and scars from the conflict.
The city is rebuilding itself and its resilient residents are more determined than ever to look to the future.
We begin in the heart of downtown Beirut's revitalized souk, which hosts a bustling farmer's market every weekend.
We explore the city's up-and-coming art and music scenes.
As the sun sets, we end our journey on a high note, sharing a drink with one of the region's most well-known indie-pop bands.
Here are some of the top places we visited:

Mar Mikhael

Mar Mikhael: A sleepy residential district-turned-creative neighborhood.
Mar Mikhael: A sleepy residential district-turned-creative neighborhood.
CNN
What used to be an industrial and residential neighborhood is now one of Beirut's most dynamic districts with new restaurants, art galleries, cafes and creative workshops opening up.

American University of Beirut

The American University of Beirut is a pocket of calm in the capital city.
The American University of Beirut is a pocket of calm in the capital city.
CNN
Founded in 1866, the university's philosophy and standards are based on the liberal model of education in the U.S.
It's an oasis of calm in an otherwise chaotic city with large green spaces and panoramic views of the coast.
It's also conveniently located near Hamra Street, one of the best places in Beirut to go shopping or grab a cup of coffee.

Kissproof, Badero District

Beerpong isn't the de facto bar game here -- chess is.
Beerpong isn't the de facto bar game here -- chess is.
CNN
This small bar is one of the many new additions to Beirut's nightlife.
It's located in the Badero district, once a sleepy residential area and now a buzzing favorite among those in the know with a wave of new openings.
Not only a place for a cocktail but also a chess battleground among locals.
Kissproof, Main Street, Badaro, Beirut

Ghazar Bakery, Bourj Hammoud District

Ghazar Bakery serves traditional Armenian breads.
Ghazar Bakery serves traditional Armenian breads.
CNN
Beirut is multicultural and the Bourj Hammoud district is a clear reflection of that.
The vibrant neighborhood is home to many of Beirut's Armenian residents with eateries, like Ghazar Bakery, serving up traditional Armenian fare.
Ghazar Bakery, Sekkeh Street, Bourj Hammoud District, Beirut

Place Des Martyrs

In the heart of Beirut city lies the historic reminder of the country's war-torn past.
In the heart of Beirut city lies the historic reminder of the country's war-torn past.
CNN
Right in the middle of central Beirut city is a poignant reminder of the country's past conflict.
It's been the centerpiece for historically significant milestones in Lebanon's history.
Today, the statues still bear bullet holes and other scars from the civil war.
The Place des Martyrs is also close to the recently renovated downtown district.

Guests:

Kamal Mouzawak, "food activist"
Rosalynn Ghubril, urban explorer
Galal Mahmoud, architect
Mashrou' Leila, musicians

Music:

"Into the Void"
"Atchkert"
"Der Voghormia"
"The Gobble Wobble"
"House of Forbidden Colours"
"Summertime"
"Where The Wild Ones"
"Farmers' Dining Tables"
"Pressure Vent"
"Don't Be Afraid"
"3 Minutes"
"'Al Hajez"