Although it is the third largest city in Lebanon, but I’ve never went to Saida and made a tour in the city until a few weeks ago. It might not be the best place in Lebanon but WOW, I was impressed!
Call me an ignorant, but I really didn’t even know there was a gorgeous old city there with people living in it! The streets are so tight and cozy, at some places they’re barely 2 meters wide.
I was also surprised to know that the Audi family (yes those of Bank Audi) were involved in manufacturing soap bars in the old city of Saida, and they have actually established a soap museum in what used to be their soap factory.
The museum is maintained by “Fondation Audi“. If you get to visit it, you will be able to also the Audi’s palace since the museum is located on the ground floor of it, and they’re both open to the public.
Oh and not only the Audi’s are famous there, but also the Debbane family! They have a great palace in Saida, which is nearly 300 years old, and it is also open to the public. Check its entrance in the photo below.
It’s awesome from the inside but unfortunately I was not able to take good photos there. However, you can always refer to the Debbane Foundation’s website and preview the available photos there, although I believe they do NO justice to the palace.
I do recommend that you visit Saida in case you still have not done it yet, and make sure to go through the old souk. But, if you’re looking for luxurious places to have lunch and stuff, then Saida is SO NOT for you.