Tripoli, Lebanon

Tripoli, Lebanon

According to wholevehicles, Tripoli is the northern capital of Lebanon, the second largest city in the country, completely different from Beirut – modern and reconfigured. The historical part of Tripoli has preserved the ancient atmosphere of an Arab city with its oriental bazaars, hammams, soap factories, mosques, madrasahs and caravanserais. A powerful fortress rises on a high hill of Tripoli, and a muddy river divides the city into parts. In ancient times, there was a center here, consisting of 3 cities – Tyre, Sidon and Arvad, hence the name Tripoli, which is translated from Greek as “triple city”.

Whoever conquered the city in its entire centuries-old history: Persians, Romans, Arabs, crusaders, Mamluks and Turks, and of course, everyone tried to leave a mark on the architecture of the city, full of a variety of styles, and in its culture. So here you can find a mosque rebuilt from a church, a chapel donated by the Mamluks, and many more of these incredibly strange sights. It is worth noting that Tripoli, among other things, is a city framed by orange groves, filling it with a wonderful fragrance of flowers and fruits – especially from May to July.

Tripoli is also a city framed by orange groves that fill it with the wonderful aroma of flowers and fruits, especially from May to July.

How to call

+961-6-phone number when calling from a mobile and 8-10-961-9-subscriber’s number when calling from a landline. And do not forget that the time in Lebanon is 1 hour behind Moscow.

How to get there

For all residents of Russia, there is only one point of departure to Lebanon by air – the beloved capital. Flights from Moscow to Beirut fly every day, the flight usually lasts 4 hours, and the ticket costs from 36,700 RUB.

From Beirut, you can get to Tripoli using public transport or by car, which you can rent. Beirut Tripoli buses leave every 15-20 minutes from 7 am to 8 pm from the Charles Helue bus station. Ticket price is about 2000 LYD one way. In 1.5 hours you will reach Tripoli by express, in 2 hours by a regular bus, making stops in Jounieh, Byblos and Batroun.

Entertainment and attractions

You must go to Tripoli if you want to fully experience the taste of oriental life, feel the aroma of homemade Arabic food, taste the famous Lebanese sweets right on the street, stroll through the noisy day and mysteriously deserted bazaar at night, drink delicious orange juice.

Sweets in the “capital of oriental sweets”, as they called Tripoli, are 2-3 times cheaper than in Beirut, so buy yourself and your friends for gifts.

Of course, the main attraction of Tripoli is the atmosphere of a real oriental city. Everything here is bright and unusual: women dressed in headscarves and hijabs are walking, men are playing cards in the courtyards, smoking hookah and drinking coffee, children are running in the labyrinths of streets, from the depths of which Arabic music is heard. There is no such thing as a downtown in Tripoli, so the city has two centers – a new one and an old one.

There is no such thing as a downtown in Tripoli, so the city has two centers – a new one and an old one.

Ancient fortresses, mosques, madrasahs and hammams organically fit into the modern surroundings, and next to the old buildings, modern high-rise buildings coexist. Here you seem to come into contact with another world, you are transported to an oriental fairy tale that you once heard in childhood.

Citadel Saint-Gilles

Built on the banks of the Nahr-Abu-Ali River on a rock in the very center of the old part of the city in the 12th century. In the 19th century, it was restored and to this day this fortress looks amazingly well-groomed and updated.

To see the entire citadel, you will have to climb the hill on the other side of the river.

The powerful walls of this majestic fortress keep memories of the era of the Crusades and the valiant French knight Raymond Saint Gilles Count of Toulouse, the era of Egyptian campaigns and conquests and the times of the formidable Mamluks, the wars with the Ottoman Empire.

Walking along the walls of the fortress, here you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the whole city and take pictures, look out of small windows with cannons and enjoy the sunset, sitting on endless stairs with high steps.

By the way, the entrance to the citadel will cost 7500 LYD (3 USD) for an adult and 3750 LYD for a student upon presentation of an ISIC card, the fortress is open from 8 am to 6 pm.

Great Mosque of Al Jamma Al Kabir

The mosque was built on the site of the church of St. Mary, destroyed by the Mamluks. This cathedral was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century. You can get into the mosque completely free of charge, however, women will need to dress in closed clothes – not far from the main entrance you can get hooded raincoats provided for this purpose. Tourists may not be allowed inside during prayer, after all, you are in a rather conservative city. This mosque is famous and attractive for its external and internal decoration using multi-colored marble.

In addition to the Grand Mosque, about 40 other historical architectural monuments have been preserved in the old part of the city: churches, El-Mina District, Palm Islands, Sahat-at-Tel (Hill Square), Koranic schools, madrasahs, hammams, the most famous of which are Hammam Al-Nouri, Hammam Al-Abd and Hammam Izz Ad-Din, the Clock Tower at Tall Square and the oldest Al-Mashchiye Park and numerous fountains.

East market

A trip to Tripoli cannot be considered a success if you have bypassed the obligatory attribute of a fabulous oriental city – a huge oriental bazaar, the souk market, as it is called here. Most of the market is occupied by sweet rows, golden rows and rows with national clothes, fabrics, dishes, leather, copper and bronze products, oriental spices.

In Tripoli, jewelry can be purchased at the lowest prices in the Middle East.

Your scent, catching a wonderful floral aroma, will certainly bring you to the soap factories. Soap has been brewed here for centuries, passing the secret of the craft from generation to generation only to family members. You can find soap for all ailments – old recipes with medicinal herbs and aroma oils really have healing properties.

Despite decent prices – 10-30 USD per piece – local soap is very popular all over the world. By the way, you can try it right there in the nearby hammam.

Shawarma is sold throughout the market, bread and meat with spices are fried in tandoors, and the boys offer freshly squeezed tangerine and orange juice. So you will leave here not only with full bags, but also with full bellies.

Final chord

In the evening, after visiting the market, take a stroll along the Al Mina promenade. Here you can book a boat trip to one of the nearest islands. On the largest of them, Palm Island, there is a national reserve densely populated with green turtles and exotic birds.

It is best to end a wonderful day spent in an oriental fairy tale in one of the small oriental cafes, slowly drinking the famous Arabic coffee, fairly flavored with cardamom, and enjoying the traditional local desserts baklava and makhlout.

10.10 USD is enough to not deny yourself anything in a local cafe.

We bet that this vacation or a wonderful dream will come to life in your memories more than once on long winter evenings, and the fairy-tale city will wait and beckon you again.

Tripoli, Lebanon

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