An ancient city on the Mediterranean coast, Beirut is a charming blend of the east and west. This is most noticeable in urban architecture in which both European and oriental elements interweave, and give the city a distinctive character. Thousands of people pass through the streets of the capital of Lebanon, and the crowds and hustle and bustle create a typical Middle East atmosphere. Beirut is a true gastronomic centre. Numerous restaurants offer a variety of local specialties which are a unique blend of European, Mediterranean and Middle East cuisines.