Tripoli (Lebanon)

Travel Guide Middle East Lebanon Tripoli

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Introduction

Tripoli is the second largest city of Lebanon and is located in along the northern coastline of the country.

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Sights and Activities

The Old City is mainly a Mamluk city. The urban form of Mamluk Tripoli was dictated mainly by climate, site configuration, defense, and urban aesthetics. The layout of major thoroughfares was set according to prevailing winds and topography. The city had no fortifications, but heavy building construction characterized by compact urban forms, narrow and winding streets for difficult city penetration. Residential areas were bridged over streets at strategic points for surveillance and defense. The city also included many loopholes and narrow slits at street junctions. There are old souqs (markets) and khans (caravanserai), hammams (Turkish baths), citadels, great Mamluk mosques and madrassas. A vibrant area of the city, visitors will find an agglomeration of jewelers, perfumers, tanners, soap-makers and tailors within the narrow streets. The city is known for its production of soap,copper and brass trays, engraved wooden boxes, furniture, and oriental sweets.

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Getting There

From Beirut's Charles Helou station, you can either take a bus (all destinations are written in Arabic. Ask around for the "Trablos Express"), share a taxi with others or hire your own taxi (you'll pay for 4 people). It is also possible to take a minibus from Beirut's Cola station.

Tripoli has Lebanon's only scheduled passenger ferry, run by Akgunler Denizcilik. It makes the journey from Tasucu, just outside Mersin in Turkey twice a week. The Port of Tripoli is mainly for freight and not very friendly for passengers.

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Getting Around

As other cities in Lebanon, Tripoli has an abundance of shared "service" taxis, which is basically every car with a red numberplate. You may share one with others in the direction you are heading. Any trip within central Tripoli will cost 1,000 LL. If going a bit further you might be asked to pay "double service" which is 2,000 LL. If asking for a "Taxi" and not "service" the driver will think you want the car for yourself and will charge you the price of four passengers

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Eat

Tripoli is famous all over Lebanon for its sticky oriental sweets. Many Beiruties visit Tripoli en group on Sunday mornings to have breakfast at "Hallab". Confusingly to tourists, many sweet houses in Tripoli carry the name "Hallab" in one way or another. This is either because they are legitimate descendants of the famous nineteenth century sweets maker of the same name, or simple free riders trying to profit from the name's reputation. Two however stand out: Rafaat Hallab 1881, and Abdel Rahman Al Hallab. A visit to either will satisfy the most demanding of sweet teeth.

In the beautiful, wide and trees-planted ElMina Road, you can find many cafes and restaurants to satisfy your hunger.

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Drink

Tripoli Has the best coffee shops street in all of Lebanon (Mina Road). With more than 100 coffee shops and restaurants on both sidewalks. For bars and pubs, Mina neighborhood would be the best place for a glass of wine or a pint of beer with smooth Jazz music.

  • Cava Mino: the first pub in Mina and the only place for Jazz and good music in the area. The pub has a great ambiance (a nice outdoor space during summer). A poetry night is hosted once a month. The owners and staff are very friendly, and it has been a very popular place for locals as well as tourists. The menu offers a tasty collection of appetizers.
  • Gosha: A pub and restaurant specialized in cocktails
  • ASkale restaurant (Snack-bar): A leading restaurant offering delicious meals, friendly staff and cozy environment, located in the heart of El Mina old town, the newly renovated Laban street.

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Sleep

  • Quality Inn Tripoli Hotel (Next to the International fair), ☏ +961 6 211 255.
  • Via Mina Pension
  • Al Koura Hotel, Al Tall Street (off Tall St, 2 blocks South-East of the Clock Tower), ☏ +961 3 371 041, fax: +961 6 425 451. A family-owned pension in the center of Tripoli. The friendly owners speak French. Clean and modern. Breakfast, Wi-Fi included. Dorm LL30 000, private from L50 000.
  • Pension Haddad (Near Hotel Al Koura). Located in a historical building near the main square. Dorm $10, single $15.

Hotel Al Ahram (From clock tower walk around the flags to the other side). Dorm $7.50.

  • Miramar Beach Resort (Along Old Beirut Road), ☏ +961 6 400 704. Resort hotel along the coast, a few kilometers south of the city.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Lebanon offers fairly good internet services throughout the country, with internet cafés and (free) wifi quite common in Beirut and some of the larger cities and popular tourist places.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international telephone code is 961.

MTC Touch Mobile phone operator offers a GSM card for $15 including a $10 credit (The START plan). Internet access starts at $10 for up to 100 MByte in a month. Alfa is another mobile phone operator which offers several prepaid plans ranging from $10 to $68. Like MTC Touch, internet access starts at $10 for a 500 MByte bundle per month.

Post

Libanpost offers postal services in the country. Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:30pm. Kiosks at shopping centers keep longer hours and are open every day. They offer track and trace services and sending a postcard or letter is fairly cheap and reliable. For sending a pacakge, you might use international companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx, as they are fast and not much more expensive.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 7:50 on Jul 10, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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