To move, or not to move. That is the question.

Before you get all worried..No.  I’m not moving back home just yet.  You can’t get rid of me so easily!

That being said, I’m seriously considering moving out of Hamra and into either Monot, Gemmayze, or Achrafieh.   Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE Hamra – so much so in fact, that I hardly ever leave.  But, therein lies the problem!  I think I have become a little too comfortable, and am ready to step out of my comfort zone once again, and explore some unfamiliar territory. …meet new people, try new restaurants and pubs, peek into all of the charming boutiques and mom-and-pop shops, and simply meandering the winding streets and seeing where I end up, who I meet, and what I discover along the way.

Yes, I’ve gone out in Monot, Gemmayze, and Achrafieh maybe a handful of times..but I really want to get to know these ares of Beirut better.  I won’t be in Lebanon forever (well, never say never I guess), and it would be a shame to leave without to getting to really know these parts of the city.

My landlady has done her part in making this decision easy for me.  As of July, she is raising the rent $100, and that just ain’t cool.  But I have to say, I do live on a pretty prime piece of land (right off of Bliss, near AUB, and 5-10 minutes walk from everything Hamra has to offer).  So, I guess I can understand where she is coming from.  But stillll!

What do you say??  What would you do if you were me?  Stay in Hamra, or move to either Monot, Gemmayze, or Achrafieh..and why?  And here comes the all important question.  Does anyone know of an apartment in those areas available for rent?  I know I have to get a move on it, as finding an apartment here literally means going door to door and talking to the “natour” of every building, and with the Summer season coming up, I need to start on this like YESTERDAY so that the prices don’t go through the roof..  Speaking of “talking to the natour,” any one of you fluent Arabic speakers want to help me bargain??  I’m sure your well aware that only speaking English does not help me in these situations. 😀

And finally, is anyone interested in a spacious AND furnished two bedroom apartment which includes a washing machine and dryer?  HOLLER back..and I will personally give you a tour of my pimp pad that many would say I’m crazy to give up.  $600 per tenant/$1200 total, not including  utilities.

Help me make my decision!  Stay in Hamra, or move to Monot, Gemmayze, or Achrafieh???!!


Hamra Street

The lively Hamra Main Street. A mere one minute walk from my current apartment..

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Bread Republic Hamra

One of my favorite neighborhood hangouts..and the best breakfast place in Hamra..Bread Republic.

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Monot Beirut Lebanon

Beautiful wall in Monot..

Monot Street

Monot Street has it's fair share of awesome pubs and restaurants..

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Gemmayze Stairs

The beautiful St. Nicolas Stairs in Gemmayze..brutal after a long night out pub hopping

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Gemmayze Lebanon

Gemmayze..just beautiful!

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Achrafieh Lebanon

Charming, Old Achrafieh

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Mosaic Achrafieh

Ashrafieh as seen by Krikor's lense

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Filed under life in Lebanon

30 responses to “To move, or not to move. That is the question.

  1. D , I say MOVE MOVE ..I find Mar Mekhail and Gemmayze like super cool area to live as well okay you can’t compare to HAMRA but again don’t forget the price range there and I am with you exploring other places then HAMRA 😀 Good luck

    • I forgot about Mark Mikhael! I have to look into that area as well. Will it be hard to find a decent place in those areas for $600 a month? Thanks for offering to help! yay!

      • Mark

        I’ve lived in both Monot and Gemmayze and now I’ve settled in a quieter area of Achrafieh. Fact is, Monot and Gemmayze can both get pretty hectic at times, although I found the nightlife to be amazing. However, you need to understand that the rent isn’t much cheaper here, I think it’s actually even more expensive if you want to live on your own. I can definitely help you look as now I know most of the real estate advisors in the area. Do hit me up if you need any help…

  2. I think Achrafieh is not much different than Hamra. Monot and Gemayzeh are cool for night life, maybe noisy at night, but I think they might be boring motionless at day time.
    I”ll vote for Achrafieh..
    I haven’t live in any, so just pure analyzing :).

    I wish you can stay at Hamra though.. it’ the best area in Lebanon.

    • Hmmm..motionless during the day huh? You sure about that? Gemmayze is pretty active on weekends during the afternoons. Especially around lunch time! Hmm..still thinking about Hamra though, I can’t lie..I do love it! 😀

  3. well well well…let’s see here…
    Well my cousin used to rent a place with a couple of people in Achrafiyeh…The thing is, it got too expensive so he literally packed & moved back home with his parents…I believe flat prices in Achrafiyeh have been going up incredibly fast I think they have become more expensive than Hamra (again, I think). As for Gemmayzeh and Monot I believe they have always been quite expensive areas to start with…
    I work in that circle in Achrafiyeh so I’ll be glad to help out with the Arabic thing if you want 🙂

  4. Baiz!
    I wouldn’t go for Mar Mikhael or Gemmayze. You’ll hate your life in no time. The constant honking, the impossibility of walking on the sidewalk from 5pm onwards etc. Valets reclining aimless on every wall of every building. Not really fun on a daily basis.

    I was lucky enough to find something in Achrafieh that’s very central AND quiet. I’m still not sure how it happened, it was through a friend of a friend of a friend and I still can’t believe my luck.

    Just make sure you’re not to far from a main street where you can find a serveece in any direction, and you’re all set!

  5. Caroline

    I vote to stay in Hamra but that is completely bias and selfish since I live there and want you to remain my neighbor 🙂

    My friend found a nice place in Achrafieh within your budget, but obviously much smaller than your place. So I don’t think prices are higher than Hamra’s. I’ll ask around for you though.

  6. Lipanantsi

    I think you should move to Bourj Hammoud, ARAX or MARASH Street #justsayin

  7. Asquared

    Although I would LOVE IT if you move out of Hamra so that you get out of your HAMRA bubble But I don’t recommend moving because finding a cheap place in ashrafieh is not easy, at all. ( And I don’t recommend gemayze). Plus, Hamra is a safe place to live in and we all know that u never know what to expect in lebanon in terms of political instabilities.. So as weird as it sounds , I vote stay in Hamra!

    • You say stay in Hammmmmmraaa??? Where is the Hamra-hating Asquared I know? lol..If you say STAY..then I better stay! lol

      • Asquared

        Yea well I still HATE Hamra and its pubs and everything that has to do with it BUT it’s the best option for you.. Living in Hamra is good. Hanging out in Hamra is another thing Lol

  8. Finally! I hate Hamra!
    Monot sucks too!
    Either Gemmayzeh or Ash, my first choice would of course be Gemmayzeh, considering I used to live there and loved it

  9. I say Move…you’ll get to know another area as u said!!
    But as everyone told, the prices are really High!!
    I can help you with the Arabic whenever you need!!
    Good Luck!!

  10. What beautiful photos. As an American I still have war-torn images of Beirut in my head. Thanks for posting these wonderful images! I need to visit!

  11. Sietske

    Yeah Caroline, way to go girl!! I vote for stay in Hamra too , yes, my reasons are completely bias and selfish as well. I get your point of exploring other neighborhoods, but my experience is that once you’ve tried Hamra, all other places pale in comparison, even though they’re good to live as well. You shouldn’t have started in Hamra, now you spoiled it all. I made the same mistake, and look at me, 20 years later? Still in Hamra!

  12. Lara

    Depends what you are looking for 🙂
    I lived in both Hamra and Ashrafieh (but now moved out of both) and my all time favorite is still Hamra! I Love it! It’s the only place in Beirut where you can walk around at any time, it’s alive, you have everything you need nearby! You feel that you’re not the only one there who is living alone! Ashrafieh is nice and different but more expensive, lots of traffic and you don’t feel it’s as alive and young as Hamra!
    Ashrafieh is deserted at night except for Gemayze and Monot obviously ,yet you wouldn’t really like the car honks and the crowd at night!

    I know it’s a tough decision so good luck 🙂

  13. ramikay

    Don’t mean to cut your tour short, but stay in hamra! Ashrafieh & Gemmayzeh are all about fancy venues and places, which is cool… Hamra on the other hand is all about the people, and that remains unmatched

  14. joseph

    Move to Gemmayze. That way you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday at Le Chef

  15. Okay, I am a creature of habit so I would advise you to stay in Hamra. Not only that, but also Hamra is THE BEST. I think you can get to explore the rest of Beirut/Lebanon all you want, but at the end of the day, you would want to come back home and I think you’d want this home to be in Hamra. But that’s just me.

  16. Dar El Akhdar

    Dani… WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! Stick to Ras Beirut girl! You won’t find another location in the Greater Beirut area that is lively, convenient and beautiful all at the same time – Hamra “w bass” 🙂

  17. Alf

    Tu dois apprendre alors le Francais 🙂

  18. You’re so inspiring!! Moving out cause u wanna step out of ur comfort zone? That’s very cool! 😉

    Monot and Gemmayze are both gr8 to live in. But I suggest Gemmayze.

    Here are two links. Check’em out!

  19. annie

    Move ,Ashrafieh is so much more exciting ,Gemayzeh isn’t far and all the cool pubs are there ,the pubs in Hamra are a little bit monotone and if it comes down to the rent ,heyyy borj Hamoud is right next to Ashrafiyehhh hehehehe loool,but seriously there are lots of cool and affordable places in Borj Hamoud but not to live there

  20. Don’t move!!!
    I did for a while. I moved back to the family house because Hamra is unique. It is a melting pot. I really like Achrafieh but Hamra is more lively, day and night.
    Just pay the 100 difference, if you can afford it. It seems u have a lovely place who knows what you find….
    I vote Hamra all the way!!!

  21. Pingback: The foreigners’ guide to moving to Beirut, part 2 | This is Beirut

  22. if you decide to move, our little pretty website can help you find an apartment.. take a look :
    i wish i can add a link on your blog 🙂

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