Founded in the 7th century, Tripoli is an ancient city that captivates visitors with its magnificent architecture, cavernous souqs and lashings of Middle Eastern culture. The vibrant Lebanese city is known as “Trablous” by locals and commands a picturesque setting on the Mediterranean Sea. Local cuisine is a highlight in Tripoli, with menus featuring freshly caught seafood.
Things to do in Tripoli
Strolling around the Old City, you’ll be charmed by beautifully preserved medieval architecture built by the Mamluks and Crusaders. The city also boasts some of the finest Ottoman-era architecture in North Africa.
Colourful spices, perfumes and gleaming gold jewellery are just some of the treasures on show in the souqs of Tripoli. Once a Crusader hospital, today Khan Al Khayyatin is lined with artisan shops selling brightly-coloured dresses and scarves. Merchants in Khan Al Misriyyin sell luxuriously rich olive oil soap, while Souq Al Attarin is brimming with fragrant spices and perfumes.
For nightlife, head three kilometres north-west to the portside neighbourhood of Al Mina. The enclave is laced with narrow streets lined with trendy coffeehouses and bars, while fashion-forward boutiques make Al Mina a fantastic shopping destination. At sunset, join locals for a stroll along the promenade.
You won’t go hungry in Tripoli, with locals keen to show off specialties such as crunchy “kibbeh” croquettes filled with spiced meat and toasted pine nuts, creamy hummus with char-grilled flatbread and “kafta” meatballs seasoned with onion, parsley and spices. For dessert, indulge in a slice of Halawet El-Jeben made with cheese and clotted cream dough and topped with rose petal jam, pistachios and orange blossom syrup.
Getting around Tripoli
Tripoli is a pedestrian-friendly city, with both the Old City and Al Mina neighbourhood easy to get around on foot. Taxis are a fast and affordable way to get around. Buses run between Tripoli and Beirut in two hours.