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Captivating Tripoli (Trablous in Arabic), Lebanon’s second-largest city, is famous for its medieval Mamluk architecture, including a bustling and labyrinthine souq that is the best in the country and full of atmosphere. The city is also blessed with handsome examples of Crusader- and Ottoman-era architecture.


Must-see attractions.

Al-mina port in Tripoli.

An enticing blend of tradition and modernity, the web of narrow streets of Tripoli's port quarter makes for wonderful strolling. The Phoenician city stood…

Khan Al Khayyatin

Khan Al Khayyatin

One of the most beautiful buildings in the old city, this semi-open vaulted-roofed khan was formerly a Crusader hospital and is today a beautifully…

Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles

Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles

Towering above Tripoli and the river, this Crusader fortress was originally built during the period from 1103 to 1104. Burned down in 1297, it was partly…

Hammam Al Jadid

Hammam Al Jadid

While certainly not new – Hammam Al Jadid was built around 1740 – it was in use until the 1970s and is very well preserved. It was donated as a gift to…

Madrasa Al Qartawiyya

Madrasa Al Qartawiyya

Attached to the east side of the Great Mosque is Madrasa Al Qartawiyya, which was built by a Mamluk governor of the same name in the early 1300s, over the…

Khan Al Misriyyin

Khan Al Misriyyin

Believed to date from the 14th century when it was used by Egyptian merchants, this dilapidated khan is home to several friendly soapmakers, including,…

Taynal Mosque

Taynal Mosque

Standing on its own to the south of the souqs on the outskirts of the Old City, but well worth the walk, is this restored green-domed mosque by the…

Hammam Ezzedine

Hammam Ezzedine

Used from the 13th-century right up until 1975, this historic hammam is an extensive complex that is undergoing an elegant restoration. There's a…

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10 Things to do in Tripoli

1. stay overnight, hotel koura.

This family-run-establishment is one of the best budget hotels in the area. The rooms are comfortable and the lounge serves as a dining area. Breakfast is included in the price and the owner, Pierre Jabour, can organize day trips upon request.

Contact: +961 3 371 041 / +961 6 425 451

Chateau des Oliviers (Villa Nadia)

This hotel is set in a mansion on a hill just south of the city. It boats the unique taste of Nadia Dibo, its owner, consisting of 15 rooms, 4 suites, and one royal suite. Those with balconies have extraordinary views overlooking Tripoli, the mountains and the sea.

Contact: +961 6 411 170 / +961 3 151 512


2. The Old Souks and Khans

Khan al saboun (soap market).

Traditionally made with olive oil, honey and other natural ingredients, the soaps supplied to the hammams in Tripoli make them an essential part of the city’s economy. Make sure to visit Sharkasi Soap Factory above the Souk and Badr Hassoun’s shop to discover the soap production process and sample over 400 kinds of soaps on offer. Do not miss the huge soap carved into the shape of an open volume of the Quran. The Khan Al Saboun was originally a military barrack during the Ottoman period and was eventually transformed into a market for olive and olive oil based products in the 18th century.

Contact: +961 6 874 483

Khan Al Saboun – Organic, Natural and ecofriendly beauty Products


Khan Al Khayatine (Tailor’s Market)

The Khan Al Khayatine souk in Tripoli was built in the first half of the 14th century and renovated in 1974. It is the oldest souk of the city and has narrow winding alleys featuring tailor shops where you will find beautiful traditional clothing. Beautiful colors, unique textures and special designs are in display. The costumes for Lebanon’s most renowned dance troupes are made here.


The Pottery Workshop

In Al Mina, Abu George the potter still turns his hand-made pottery on a traditional wheel.  You wonder how much longer such skilled artisans will ply their trade as you watch the balanced symmetry of an elongated pot emerge from a rough lump of clay. None of his children are interested in learning the trade and he fears he will be one of the last to handcraft these increasingly rare artifacts.

Contact: +961 6 600 290 / +961 3 517 267

Al Azm Cultural Center

This center is a haven for all artists. Established in 1994, it is the first and most active cultural center in Tripoli, where creative people meet to share and discuss their work. The center organizes concerts, seminars and workshops to enhance the cultural life of the city. Make sure to check it out to uncover the local artist scene.

Contact: +961 6 444 448

جمعية العزم والسعادة الإجتماعية – الموقع الرسمي (

3. Architecture

The taynal mosque.

The green-domed mosque, built ca.1336 by Governor Saif el-Din Taynal has a spectacular feature: the towering portal, tallest in the city, built inside the large vaulted vestibule that precedes the main prayer room. A relatively small door, within this huge portal, opens onto a large main prayer hall, also arched and vaulted with an elegantly carved wooden minbar (pulpit) dating from 1336. The Taynal Mosque lies south of the Old City. Built on the site of a ruined Crusader Carmelite church, some of its material was incorporated into the mosque, notably two rows of Egyptian granite Roman columns capped with Corinthian capitals.


Al Madrassa Qartawiyya

Built by a Mamluk governor of the same name in the early 13th century, over the baptistery of an old cathedral, the Madrassa is well known for its fine workmanship evident in its elegant black and white façade topped by a honey-combed patterned half dome above the portal. Its back wall, also black and white, is adorned with beautiful Arabic calligraphy. The Madrassa is also known for having the only oval dome in Tripoli, which tops the prayer room.

Burj Es Sabaa (Lion Tower) 

This miniature fortress at the far-eastern end of the Tripoli harbor (called Al Mina) is named after the lions decorations that decorated it once upon a time. It is an exceptional example of Mamluk military architecture with a striking black and white portico and older Roman columns used to reinforce the walls horizontally. If you do get there before 4 pm, ask the guardian of the place to take you to the top of the tower where you can catch a wonderful view of the abandoned Tripoli train station.

4. Shopping

Souk harraj.

This is the only covered souk in Tripoli. Granite columns, thought to be of Roman or Crusader origin, support the high vaulted ceiling of this 14th century edifice. Harraj, is the Arabic word for negotiate and at this souk you are encouraged to negotiate the price for items on offer such as mattresses, pillows and other bedding materials.

Saeh Library 

One of the best-kept secrets of Tripoli, the Saeh library is a treasure island for book lovers. Dive into the shelves and dusty boxes to find infinite treasures of early edition books by Balzac and Hemingway, as well as many out of print magazines.

5. Religion

The great mosque.

The construction of the Great Mosque began in 1294, on the site of the destroyed St Mary of the Tower church. It was completed in 1315, and probable traces of the 700-year structure can still be seen in its distinctive square minaret thought to have been the church’s bell tower. To enter, women are expected to wear one of the gowns provided and cover their heads. To the left the late 13th C Shamsiyah Madrasa, among the oldest in Tripoli, has above it the home of its founder, Judge Shamseddin al Iskandari. A typical wooden manzala (closed balcony) decorates its façade. The minaret of the Great Mosque is in fact the square Lombard bell tower of St. Mary’s church that once stood on the site.

Al Muallaq Mosque

This is a small simple yet unique mosque due to its unusual position over a vaulted passage. Located upstairs on the second floor of the building, it was built in the 16th century. It has a plain interior and leads down to a delightful courtyard garden where you can visit the tomb of its creator Mahmood Lutfi al Zaim.

Church Street

There are few churches remaining in Tripoli, as most were destroyed in 1279 when the Mamluk Sultan conquered the Crusader city. A few remain in the Church Street, hence the name. As you walk around, you will find Saint Nicolas that was originally a soap factory. The oldest Maronite church in Tripoli, St Micheal which was built in 1889, is located a little further. However, the oldest church of Tripoli is Saydet al Hara in Tabbaneh, which dates back to the 13th century. It was recently restored after the damages it sustained during the Lebanese civil war.

The Cathedral of St George (Al Mina)

Built in 1735 during the Ottoman period, this large and impressive building is patterned on a Crusader style basilica church. Below the church is a very old grotto, whose exact purpose and its origins are not known.


Palm Island Reserve

The Palm Island Reserve consists of three islands and covers a rough area of 5km2 of land and sea. Declared a protected site by UNESCO in 1992 and dedicated as a nature reserve in 1993, the island is populated with endangered species of rabbits, monk seals and turtles. It is also a stop for over 300 species of migratory birds. The largest island, Nakheel, features around 2,500 palm trees with paths laid out for visitors. After your stroll, you can take a swim or enjoy a picnic. The islands are open to the public from July to September. Negotiate your boat trip at the Mina, pack some food and float away to the preserved nature islands.

Contact: +961 6 204 525 / +961 6 600 673


The history of the Al Mina port goes back way before the medieval times; however, few traces of this history remains. The port is today a promenade for natives and tourists alike, to rest after a long day of walking around the old city and enjoy local dishes and desserts.


7. Modern structures

Tripoli international fair.

Tripoli is full of history but also has a special place for modern architecture. Commissioned in 1963, and designed by world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Tripoli International Fair, also known as the Rachid Karame Fair, was abandoned mid-construction at the outbreak of the civil war. Today the fair ground hosts many big events.


Hammam Al Abd 

Built in the17th C, Hammam el Abed is today’s only operational bathhouse in Tripoli. Open from 8am to 10 pm, it is unfortunately only open for men, unless you reserve ahead of time for a group of women. The hammam was built in the 17th century and has the typical pierced domes of the Mamluk an Ottoman era public bath. The interior with its cushions and central fountain is a vision by itself. Traditionally bathhouses were open to both sexes (different hours) and here prospective mothers-in-laws could view and select brides-to-be.

Contact: +961 3 724 556

Hammam Al Jadid 

By far the largest hammam of the city, Hammam Al Jadid was built in 1740 and has not been operational since the early 1970s.  However, it is the city’s best-preserved establishment. A gift to the city by Asaad Pasha al Azem, governor of Damascus, no expense was spared in its construction. A huge glass pierced dome dominates the main chamber and brings a dim light to a pool and fountain below.

Contact: +961 3 684 930 


Ottoman Clock Tower

Walking through Al Tell square to view the renovated Ottoman Clock Tower, gifted to the people of Tripoli in 1901/2 by Sultan Abdel Hamid to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his Sultanate, we stop to admire some of the beautifully restored Ottoman buildings that surround the square.

Citadel St Gilles

The citadel St Gilles dominated the city of Tripoli and is one of its greatest landmarks. In 1102 AD, Raymond de St Gilles occupied the hill and decided to built a fortress on the beautiful location. The original castle was burnt down in 1289. Emir Essendir Kurgi rebuilt it with some additions in the 19th century. Today, the foundations are the only original remains. Explore alone or hire a guide, it is well worth a visit.


Madrassa Al Tawahiyat

This law school with its attached mausoleum dates back to 1471. Located on the main street of the gold souk, it is built of sandstone in alternating black and white patterns and has an unusual, finely decorated portal that towers above the building’s ornate façade.

Butrusiya Mosque and Madrassa 

Built by the Kurdish prince, Sharafeddin Issa ben Omar al Butrasi, the construction is distinguished by the mosaic in its half dome, its square minaret, its black and white stonework and the intricately decorated and inlaid mihrab.

For a unique vegetarian moghrabiyeh sandwich

Tel: +961 6 447 668

For ice cream made the traditional way in many flavors  (near Al Mina)

For a delicious foul fatteh and hommos

Tel: +961 6 433 987

Silver Shore

For an unforgettable samke harra

Tel: +961 6 601 384

Tripoli tourism information office : +961 6 433 590

Read more: Mini Guide to Tripoli

Article edited on November 15, 2021

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  • 1 Understand
  • 3 Get around
  • 4.1 Old City
  • 4.2 Palm Islands Nature Reserve
  • 4.3 Other attractions
  • 11 Stay safe

tripoli lebanon travel

Tripoli ( Arabic : طرابلس, Trablus ) is a city in northern Lebanon .

Understand [ edit ]

Get in [ edit ].

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 or Daoura station.

The 34.451858 35.828516 1 Port of Tripoli is mainly for freight and not very friendly for passengers, but has Lebanon's only scheduled passenger ferry, run by Med Star.

Get around [ edit ]


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.

See [ edit ]

Old city [ edit ].

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 sweets.

Palm Islands Nature Reserve [ edit ]

Located about a 30 minute boat ride off the coast of Tripoli, the Palm Islands Reserve is composed of three small islands. Established as a national nature reserve in 1992, the site is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. It is also an important egg-laying site for endangered sea turtles.

Other attractions [ edit ]

tripoli lebanon travel

  • 34.438 35.8238 11 Rachid Karami International Fair . Partially finished fairgrounds, designed by Oscar Niemeyer (architect of Brasilia ). They were built for a World's Fair, but the civil war stopped the construction work in 1975. In 2023 the place was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List . ( updated Sep 2023 )

Do [ edit ]

Every Sunday afternoon families will gather to the shoreline of Tripoli where the road meets the ocean and they walk on the sidewalk provided while the sun goes down. They'll be vendors with food, and bike rentals for those who want to ride. Its a peaceful and relaxing time, where some will sit at the cafe's smoke hookah and watch the sunset. Its a must for a sweet finish at the end of your day.

For outdoor activities, go to the beaches of Tripoli like: Miramar, Al Naoura, Palma Touristic Center and Las Perlas.

  • El Mina old town: Inhabited since the 14th century B.C., El Mina was ruled sequentially by Persians, Alexander the Great's successors, the Romans, Mamluke Muslims, Turkish Ottomans, and the French. As a result, the old town is filled with history, including mosques and churches, a Caravan Serail, a Mamluk Fortress, and souk (traditional marketplaces).
  • Palm island reserves: If you are enchanted by marine ecology, be sure to spend some time in the Palm Islands Reserve, comprising three uninhabited islands located approximately 5km northwest of El Mina. This Mediterranean marine ecosystem provides a perfect breeding ground for the endangered Green and Loggerhead Turtles, a nesting place for over 300 species of migratory birds (including many rare and endangered species), and a home for the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal.
  • Zambo carnival: Each year on the weekend preceding Clean Monday (usually between March and April), hundreds of locals organize and participate in lively musical parades wearing outfits and masks. The origin of this old tradition is unknown but some people link it to local Greek families (Greek Mardi Gras). More information: El Mina tourism center [dead link]

Learn [ edit ]

Buy [ edit ].

  • The Souks The most incredible items can be found in the souk, from books to imitation shoes (Adidas, Nike). There are stalls upon stalls of pure kitsch and others of real taste and quality. One street have shops specializing in Islamic clothing, chador-like dresses and other traditional non-western clothing can be found. In contrast, just around the corner you may find shops selling sexy lingerie. Suddenly you find yourself in Souk el Sayagheen, the gold and silver market. It's quite magical to look down this dark little street where the shops cast enough light for the jewellery hanging outside in curtains of gold and silver to glitter softly. or maybe "Khan Essaboun! The soap market, where you can buy aromatic & therapeutic, as well as decorated soaps.

Eat [ edit ]

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.

  • Seafood Sandwich Shop , El Mina foreshore ( It has little dolphins jumping on either side of the name - that is in Arabic ). Don't miss the seafood sandwiches in El Mina; there's spicy-fish, crab and crayfish, among other dishes. Next to a corner-shop with Pepsi signage. There are a few shwarma restaurants in a row by the waterfront next to the port. Try the one that is packed with people waiting - there's a reason for that. There are a few casual seafood restaurants further along.  
  • Homos & Foul (Homs and beans) . One of the famous breakfast dishes in Tripoli is Homs and beans, you will find many old and new style restaurant, on the main streets and inside the old areas of the city.  

Drink [ edit ]

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.

Sleep [ edit ]

  • 34.441191 35.82203 1 Quality Inn Tripoli Hotel ( Next to the International fair ), ☏ +961 6 211 255 . ( updated Aug 2017 )
  • Via Mina Pension
  • 34.436099 35.839926 2 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 . ( updated Aug 2017 )
  • 34.436511 35.839573 3 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 . ( updated Aug 2017 )
  • 34.395495 35.797069 4 Miramar Beach Resort ( Along Old Beirut Road ), ☏ +961 6 400 704 . Resort hotel along the coast, a few kilometers south of the city. ( updated Aug 2017 )

Stay safe [ edit ]

Due to the spillover of the civil war in Syria , the situation in Lebanon, including Tripoli, has deteriorated. Most of governments around the world have issued travel warnings to Lebanon. While the situation has improved since then, it is suggested to plan carefully and visit with a local guide. Some turbulent neighborhoods, including the Jabal Mohsen and Bab-al-Tabbaneh neighborhoods, are not safe.

Go next [ edit ]

  • Ehden is beautiful town at the top of the northern mountains of Lebanon some 30 km away from Tripoli. Popular during summer and a main destination to sample Lebanese cuisine.
  • Batroun is home to lots of historic churches, both Catholic and Greek Orthodox. The town is also a major beach resort with a vibrant nightlife. About 22 km from Tripoli.

tripoli lebanon travel

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  • Miramar Hotel Resort & Spa
  • Lamunia Hotel & Wellness Spa
  • Palma Beach Resort
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  • Beit El Nessim
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Things to See and Do in Tripoli, Lebanon

Clock Tower, Al Tal

Freelance Writer

Tripoli is a small yet major city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It was the center of ancient trading, Ottoman rule, and Islamic communities. Today, the city, like most of Lebanon , bears the scars of war and strife; however, this does not affect its old-world beauty or historical significance. Here is a list of must-visit places in Tripoli . Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips , compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips .

Visit the citadel of raymond de saint-gilles.

The Citadel, Tripoli

First established in 636 CE by Arab commanders, the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles in Tripoli is one of the biggest fortresses in Lebanon. Later, the Crusaders, Mamelukes, and Ottomans all utilized the structure. The citadel overlooks the Abou Ali River and is known for having abandoned underground pathways used by leaders to escape. While these pathways have long since been closed off or flooded by water, their existence adds to the mystery of this famous fortress.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9:00AM–5:00 PM

Visit the old souks

Jump all the way back to Medieval times with a visit to Tripoli’s old souks . There is a total of nine old souks for you to explore, with the most notable being the Attareen (Fragrance Makers), Nahasseen (Copper Welders), Soap Khan, and Khayateen (Seamstresses). These were divided according to ancient guilds as Tripoli was known for its olive oil-based soaps and beautiful merchandise. You never know what you might find in these architectural wonders, so strap on your backpack and start exploring.

tripoli lebanon travel

Visit the mosques

Historical mosque in Tripoli

Tripoli is brimming with beautiful mosques that you can visit. From ancient buildings to modern structures, the mosques are a significant part of Tripoli’s Islamic society. While you’ll find them located throughout the city, the most notable mosques would be the Mansouri Great Mosque, built in 1294 CE, and the Bourtasi Mosque in the Hadid district, constructed in 1310 CE. Keep in mind that people still use these mosques for prayer and that they will be open most of the day.

Mansouri Great Mosque, Tripoli, Lebanon

Walk around Tal

A building in Al Tal

Tal is the old center of Tripoli, where most cosmopolitan activities happened in the 20th century. It is home to the city’s famous clock tower and old hotels. Walk through this busy street and marvel at all the hustle and bustle that takes place in the area. Grab some street food and wander through the alleys; you won’t see buildings like these anywhere else.

Tal, Tripoli, Lebanon

Relax by the sea in Mina

Corniche, Mina

A great place to relax in the afternoon would be the Corniche in Mina. Walk along the coastline of Tripoli or sit at a table set up by the many drink and snack kiosks littering the sidewalk. Try some street food from a wagon, and watch the sun set behind the horizon. It’s definitely a good place to people-watch and to get a sense of the local environment.

Corniche El Mina, Tripoli, Lebanon

Wander through Mina

An alleyway in Mina

Mina is a large part of Tripoli, filled with incredible buildings to see. Stray from the Corniche (sea-walk) and walk around the alleyways in Mina. There are several historic hotels and homes scattered throughout the district. Move from bustling streets to peaceful neighborhoods in this coastal wonder.

Mina, Tripoli, Lebanon

Try the street food

Ka’ak stand in Tripoli

Almost every street and corner in Tripoli has a place to eat traditional street food. There are Ka’ak (sesame-covered pastry) wagons all over and man’ouch shops in every neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to eat from all the different shawarma and falafel delis in Mina and Tal – even locals eat at those places. The food you’ll try in Tripoli is exceptional, and it’ll be difficult to find the same anywhere outside of the city.

Try the incredible Akra

Akra Dishes

If you ask any local where to have an authentic Tripolitan breakfast, they will say Akra. Located both near the citadel and in Tal, this restaurant serves delicious ful – and hummus-based dishes like “Hummus bi Tahine” and “Fatteh.” Keep in mind that the food is cheap – you don’t want to be overcharged.

Sit in new cafés on Dam w Farez Street

Rassif on Dam w Farez

Tripoli is an ancient city that combines the old and the new. One can clearly see a progression in time with the architecture shifting gradually from the center and out toward the newer areas. The city is not just about the history but the lifestyle. There are many cafés and restaurants on Dam w Farez Street that serve local fare and international cuisine.

Dam w Farez Street, Tripoli, Lebanon

Visit the Rachid Karami International Fair Center

Arch, Rachid Karami Center

The Rachid Karami International Fair Center is a modern architectural marvel. The glass-walled building features an expanse of gardens around its perimeter, all waiting for you to explore. There are various buildings strewn across the greenery, from a curiously fashioned hollow dome that works like an amphitheater to an arch that opens to a concert stage. All you need to do is walk in and begin wandering.

Rachid Karami International Fair Center, Tripoli, Lebanon , +961 6 600 427

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Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

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Tripoli, Lebanon: A City With Rich History, Amazing Facts, and Things to Do

  •  Al-Mina Aquarium
  •  Al-Mina Beach
  •  Al-Mina Castle
  •  Al-Mina Citadel
  •  Al-Mina Clock Tower
  •  Al-Mina Corniche
  •  Al-Mina Mosque
  •  Al-Mina Museum
  •  Al-Mina Old City
  •  Al-Mina Old Souk
  •  Al-Mina Park
  •  Al-Mina Sea Castle
  •  Al-Mina Souk
  •  Al-Mina Zoo
  •  Al-Nour Mosque
  •  Al-Nour Souk
  •  Al-Nour Square
  •  Tripoli Castle
  •  Tripoli Grand Mosque
  •  Tripoli Souk

Amazing Facts

Things to do.

  •  Aammiq Wetland Nature Reserve
  •  Anjar National Park
  •  Beiteddine Palace and Museum
  •  Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve
  •  Jeita Grotto National Park
  •  Jezzine Waterfall Nature Reserve
  •  Qadisha Valley National Park
  •  Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve
  •  Tyre Coast Nature Reserve
  •  Baalbek
  •  Batroun
  •  Bcharre
  •  Beirut
  •  Deir el Qamar
  •  Faqra
  •  Habboûch
  •  Jbail
  •  Jezzine
  •  Jounieh
  •  Kaslik
  •  Kfarhbab
  •  Kfarshima
  •  Kfarzebian
  •  Nabatieh
  •  Sidon
  •  Tripoli
  •  Zahle
  •  Aammiq Wetland
  •  Anjar
  •  Beit ed-Dine
  •  Beiteddine Palace
  •  Byblos
  •  Cedars of God
  •  Harissa
  •  Jeita Grotto
  •  Mzaar Kfardebian
  •  Qadisha Valley
  •  The Chouf Cedar Reserve
  •  The National Museum of Beirut
  •  The Roman Ruins of Baalbek

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tripoli lebanon travel

How to Visit Tripoli and Byblos on a Day Trip From Beirut

Some countries are all about nature. Others house outstanding cultural sites.  Lebanon is one of the latter. The tiny country of some 4000 square miles (10 000 km2) is so densely populated, that it seems a giant metropolis covers the entire coast.

Most tourists visiting Lebanon stay in  Beirut  and go on day trips to its historic cities and ancient sites. We kind of did the same thing! One day we visited  Baalbek , and another one we went to  Sidon and Tyre .

However, perhaps our most authentic experience was our visit to  Tripoli and Byblos  on a 2 day trip from Beirut. Though the two places are quite different, both are equally fascinating.

Day Trip From Beirut to Tripoli

We were a bit hesitant about visiting Tripoli. Not because we didn’t find it attractive enough, but rather for safety issues. The British foreign ministry advises against traveling there, so we researched a bit, and decided it was safe enough!

The only route in Lebanon used by comfortable buses on a fixed schedule is the one that goes from  Beirut to Tripoli . Buses are new and depart mostly on time. Buses leave from Beirut’s  Charles Helou Station , tucked under a large motorway.

Take note that finding the station can be tricky. Thus, we suggest taking a taxi or an Uber to get there. Though the two cities are only 50 miles (80 kilometers) apart, the journey can take between 1,5 and 3 hours (traffic jams are quite common in Lebanon).

Day Trip From Beirut to Tripoli

Tripoli City – Tarabulus, Lebanon

Most cities in Lebanon have two very different names, one in English and one in Arabic. Take note that some locals know only the Arabic names, so it’s useful to learn them beforehand.

Tripoli  is called  Tarabulus  in Arabic, a common name for several cities in different countries. With a population of roughly 300 000, Tripoli is the second-largest city in Lebanon and the economic center of the north. Unlike Beirut, in Tripoli, there is not much tourism.

It seemed to us somewhat neglected, with not much a construction boom. On a positive note, the city is 100% authentic and has several interesting attractions. Besides, we felt privileged to be two of the few tourists in town.

Tripoli City Lebanon

Things to Do in Tripoli, Lebanon

Old tripoli souk.

The heart of old Tripoli is its large  medieval souk . Getting lost in souks is one of our favorite things to do, be it in Tripoli (Lebanon), Fez , or Damascus . What makes it special, is that it’s a real medieval souk still in use today.

You can smell the scent of past centuries while interacting with the local community. Each of the 9 different souks that make up the souk is for a different product, including food, leather, gold, furniture, soap, and perfumes.

These are Attareen, Bazerkan, Haddadin, Haraj, Kameh, Koundarjiyeh, Nahhasin, Samak, and Sayyaghin. Additionally, bathhouses and caravanserais populate old Tripoli. The city’s oldest mosque,  Al Mansouri  is here too.

Tripoli Souk Lebanon

Tripoli Castle (Citadel)

Another place you should not miss on your trip to Tripoli is its Castle, also known as the  Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles . The biggest historical site in Tripoli is also one of the largest and oldest military fortresses in Lebanon.

Though many people believe the crusader and count Raymond de Saint Gilles built it, the fortress is much older. The Arab commander Sufyan Ben Mujib built it in 636. During Ottoman rule, medieval walls were destroyed to reconstruct the fortress extensively.

Today, it belongs to the Lebanese army, so you will see soldiers passing by. We spent some time wandering about, admiring the uninterrupted views of the whole area.

Tripoli Castle

Tripoli Beach

Tripoli, like other cities in northern Lebanon, doesn’t have much of a beach. To the north of the city, there are is an industrial and agricultural area. A large boulevard with a seaside promenade surrounds the peninsula where el Mina is.

Though the sea is there, it is dirty, and there are no beach facilities. To get a glimpse of what a real beach looks like, you should head to some of the private resorts south of the city. Most of them work only through their website, but we had a bad experience with that.

Hence, we recommend booking through well-known hotel sites like Booking. There is only one option, quite nice, the  Miramar Hotel Resort and Spa . The closest public beach is in the town of  Chekka , but there are two large factories nearby.

Tripoli beach

El Mina, Tripoli’s Seaside Neighborhood

One of the things we loved about Tripoli is that it doesn’t have one but two old towns! Besides Tripoli’s ancient city center, there is another one in the coastal neighborhood of El Mina . Though administratively an independent town, it is part of the city.

Historically, El Mina was home to the ancient city of Tripoli, but when the city moved inland, it became its port. The atmosphere here is quite different, laid back, and relaxed. You can easily forget you are in a bustling metropolis.

Again, there are some interesting old buildings, charming cobbled streets, and great coffee shops. The  Al Tamathili Caravanserai  is its most distinguished historic building.

El Mina souk, Tripoli

What Else to Do in Tripoli

As you can imagine, there are plenty of other things to do in Tripoli, Lebanon’s northern metropolis. The city boasts several nice fountains for you to discover.

Tripoli’s prettiest fountain is inside the  Al Manchieh Park,  in downtown Tripoli. The famous  Tripoli Clock Tower  is there too. The Ottomans built it in 1906 as a gift to Tripoli.

Another interesting, but unusual sight, is the  Tripoli International Fair . The brilliant Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed it, but the Lebanese civil war broke, so it was never finished. Nevertheless, it is well worth visiting this outstanding modern architecture.

Tripoli city center

Hotels in Tripoli, Lebanon

As mentioned above, we booked a hotel room in downtown Tripoli, but when we arrived they didn’t have available rooms. Slightly disturbed by the experience and the lack of hotels in Tripoli, we decided to check other cities in Lebanon and finally booked a place in Byblos.

If you do decide to spend a night or two in Tripoli, there is only one place downtown that you can book online: the  SEED Guesthouse .

In El Mina, there are two nice options, but quite pricey. Both the  Via Mina Hotel  and the  Azur Suites Hotel & Apartments   are beautiful old houses with even nicer gardens.  

Hotel in Tripoli

Day Trip From Beirut to Byblos

Unlike Tripoli, Byblos is quite touristy and safe. To get from Beirut or Tripoli to Byblos, you can take a  regular bus . In Beirut, they leave from  Charles Helou Bus Station.  On the other hand, in Tripoli, they leave from the Bus station on  Abdul Hamid Karami Square .

However, most tourists visiting Byblos on a day trip take a  minivan at Beirut’s Cola Junction . Minivans are the cheapest and most frequent means of transportation.

There are constant traffic jams, especially near Beirut, so travel times vary greatly. Both buses and minibuses stop at the national motorway 51. From there, it’s a 5-minute walk to downtown Byblos.

You can also visit Byblos on a day tour .

Day Trip From Beirut to Byblos

Byblos City – Jbeil, Lebanon

As mentioned above, most Lebanese cities have different local names.  Byblos  is called  Jbeil  in Arabic, a name commonly used throughout Lebanon. Unlike Tripoli, Byblos is a small city of some 40 000 people.

Its proximity to Beirut and large tourist offer, make it an ideal holiday destination. Byblos hosts a very nice old town, several sandy beaches, ancient ruins, and lively nights.

Bear in mind that Byblos is Lebanon’s prime tourist destination, so it can get pretty crowded, especially during the day and weekends. Therefore, it’s best to spend a night on a weekday in this lovely city!

Byblos City Lebanon

Things to Do in Byblos, Lebanon

Byblos souk.

Byblos epicenter is the old town with its  ancient souk . Large medieval city walls, remnants of the time of Crusaders, surround old Byblos. The souk is quite different from the one in Tripoli. It is small, thoroughly reconstructed, perfectly clean, and quite touristy.

While you can buy original handicrafts in Tripoli, in Byblos’ market you can buy souvenirs and other popular items. The best place for shopping is the lively  Ottoman Street , the souk’s main thoroughfare.

What we loved the most about this souk is the colorful cafes and restaurants set in beautiful gardens.  Everything changes at night  when shops turn their colorful lamps on, and the music starts.

Byblos Souk Lebanon

Byblos Castle (Ancient Byblos)

One of the best things to do in Byblos is to visit its ancient site. Byblos has been continuously inhabited since the 5 th Century BC, making it one of the longest inhabited places in the world.

Ancient Byblos is a large archeological site that includes the Phoenician Temple of Baalat Gebal and the Temple of the Obelisks. However, crusaders built the castle in Byblos in the 12 th Century on top of the Roman ruins.

There are remains of several Egyptian temples and a Roman amphitheater next to Byblos Castle . Today the whole area belongs to the Byblos Site Museum.

Byblos Castle

Byblos Beach

Byblos is a popular beach destination with several long sandy beaches on both sides of the city. North of the old town, you’ll find  Bahsa Beach.  The so-called  Byblos Public Beach  is to the south. Both are nice sandy beaches with deck chairs, umbrellas, bars, and hotels.

The atmosphere is quite authentic, but the beaches are dirty. Though we tried to dip in the sea, we couldn’t get over the amount of trash. Thus, this is not the right place to swim. Maybe you are lucky somewhere else.

However, that’s no excuse not to have a good time. Order a drink at a beach bar and enjoy the sunset. Partygoers will be happy to know that the famous C Flow Beach Resort is south of Byblos.

Byblos Beach

What Else to Do in Byblos

If you are wondering what else to do in Byblos, wonder no more. Byblos was an important city during Phoenician, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times. Fortunately, you can still see heritage from those periods.

Once done with the souk and the ancient site, visit its interesting churches and mosques. The city’s nicest church,  St John the Baptist  is from the 12 th Century. Used as a stable after the Muslims conquered the area, the Maronite community got it back in the 17 th Century.

The old Sultan Abdul Majid Mosque  is from the 17 th Century.   It bears the name of Sultan Abdul Majid, who renovated it. Another interesting place to visit is the lively  Byblos Port  (Harbor). Many Lebanese believe it’s the oldest port in the world. If you are into museums, don’t miss the  Byblos Wax Museum .

St John the Baptist Church, Byblos

Hotels in Byblos, Lebanon

In our opinion, most hotels outside Beirut are poor value for money. Either we are talking about old hotels in bad shape or nice overpriced ones. That’s why the majority of tourists stay in Beirut for their entire visit. Luckily, hotels in Byblos are amongst the best in Lebanon. There is a wide variety of accommodation in all categories, and you can book most of them online.

We stayed at the lovely  Aleph Boutique Hotel , a step away from the old town and the beach.   Our tastefully decorated room was comfortable and had fantastic views of the temple and sea. The hotel’s roof terrace offered probably the nicest views in Byblos.

If you are looking for luxury, stay at the  Byblos Sur Mer , the best hotel in town. If you prefer to stay directly on the beach, the  Ocean Blue Beach Resort Jbeil is your best option.

Hotel in Byblos

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tripoli lebanon travel

Stuart Forster

I’ve read many positive articles and blog posts about the Lebanon and Beirut recently. It’s on my radar as a place to visit.

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Hi Stuart, Lebanon is a great country and somewhat off the beaten track. I warmly recommend you visit soon (in spite of all the protests going on). Cheers, M

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GoNOMAD Travel

Inspiration and links to plan your trip.

Tripoli, Lebanon: A Neglected Second City’s Unpolished Allure

A view of the city from the top of the Crusader castle. Church domes and mosque minarets can be seen in abundance below. Michal Kranz photos.

Tripoli is the capital of the North of Lebanon

By Michal Kranz

boys in the city e1557506355660

“A really big village” — that’s how a Lebanese politician with roots in Tripoli described his home city to me.

It’s a phrase that has been used to describe so many places around the world that it has become a cliché, but after arriving in Tripoli, which serves as the urban epicenter of Lebanon’s north, I’m confident that it rings truer here than perhaps anywhere else.

When the city finally came into view as my bus rounded a bend along Lebanon’s coastal highway, Tripoli’s uniform beige high-rises looked like a low, flat-topped mesa, wedged between the foothills of the mountains of Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea.

Not in Libya Frequently confused with the capital city of Libya which shares its name, this is a tight-knit place of dense and concentrated urban activity, something that became abundantly clear once I got out at Al-Nour Square only a few minutes within the city limits.

Here buses, taxis, and throngs of shoppers and boisterous youths crowd the roundabout, which is ringed by banks and department stores of all kinds.

In the center of the square stands a white sculpture of the Arabic word for God, Allah, and beneath it a triumphant inscription that reads: “Tripoli, the stronghold of Muslims, welcomes you.”

I continued into the city on foot. Soon enough, I found myself lost amid a tangle of streets and alleyways, flanked by a fascinating mix of high-rises from the 70s and beautiful 19th-century buildings on whose balconies women were hanging clothes to dry.


Beautifully Baked Facades

Numerous French and Ottoman facades, beautifully baked by the sun and at times pockmarked by bullet holes from the Lebanese Civil War, crowned the sky above me and played host to cramped shops of all kinds. Cats darted every which way between nooks and crannies adorned with graffiti and sprawling plant-life.

Al Tal Tripoli

As I approached a larger road, the honking, and whirring of cars mixed with the sound of coffee peddlers clinking porcelain cups together to advertise their product, which they were carrying in large copper kettles at their sides.

Scooters rattled past a half-dozen stereos that shopkeepers had put out onto the street ahead of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice. All of them were playing the same celebratory Islamic chants.

This is al-Tal , the bustling heart of Tripoli, and it wasn’t long before I saw its centerpiece — a magnificent stone clock tower that had been donated to the city in 1902 by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

It seemed as though the entire city was rotating around it in a gloriously disorienting fashion, and from the minute I arrived here I could tell that even though I was less than two hours from Beirut , I was truly in a different world.

Just as Beirut epitomizes some of the most westernized aspects of the modern Levant, the old downtown of Tripoli showcases the other end of the spectrum — the region’s decidedly un-western splendor.

The Burden of History

Fruit sellers near Al-Tal square.

The religious message that greeted me here is no exaggeration — no other city in Lebanon has an identity so strongly tied to the history of Islam as Tripoli.

Although its exact origins millennia ago remain murky, the city became one of the jewels of expanding Islamic empires along the Eastern Mediterranean, rivaled in importance only by Alexandria.

For centuries it outshone Beirut, served as the primary port for Damascus, and bore the marks of every successive power that occupied it, from the Umayyad Caliphate to the Ottoman Empire.

Tripoli has the most visible collection of architecture from the Mamluk Sultanate outside of Cairo, and an impressive Crusader castle towers over it all.

But over the last two centuries, Tripoli’s glory has become faded. After Beirut replaced it as the center of local politics and Lebanese independence spelled the end of its economic kinship with Syria, Tripoli fell on hard times, and today it remains Lebanon’s poorest major city.

A tunnel view of one of Tripoli's ancient souks.

Neglected by Lebanon’s central government, it has become a place of inequality, and recent years have seen the destabilizing influx of refugees from Syria and on and off sectarian warfare between two of its neighborhoods —the mainly Shi’i Jabal Mohsen, and the majority Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh.

It doesn’t help that westerners and Lebanese people alike associate the city with conflict, making it difficult to encourage tourism here.

One Lebanese family I met in Beirut told me they have never gone and never want to, and I found myself wondering whether traveling here was safe after all.

I’m glad I was convinced otherwise.

So far, I have visited this city on three occasions. But when I came here for the first time a few weeks before, I arrived with friends who made sure Tripoli and I were properly introduced.

The minute after we stepped out of the cramped, smoke-filled van that got us to the city, my friend Nader, his cousin Muhammad, and I met Hadi, one of Nader’s friends from Tripoli.

jabel monsen

I had met Nader in Beirut on a free walking tour of the city he had given as part of tourism startup, Cedars Wanderers, and our Tripoli trip was the first excursion of many that he would take me on. It was after this momentous trip that we truly became close.

After arriving, we rushed off into al-Tal with little more than a moment to greet our local guide. Before I knew what hit me, I found myself at Akra, an old Tripolitan eatery fashioned out of sand-colored brick stone that has a modest entrance but a sprawling cave-like interior. I was told that if you want traditional food from Tripoli, this is as authentic as you’ll get.

Our group ordered some of the usual Lebanese fare — hummus with meat, foul , and fatteh — but we also got something that was exclusive to Tripoli — a dish called Malizia . Contrary to popular belief, most Lebanese food is not very spicy at all, but the malizia certainly was.

On top of its hummus and chickpea base was a generous helping of fried cashews and other nuts that I couldn’t identify, finished with olive oil and spices of all kinds. This is a hearty, earthy dish whose delightful spice creeps up on you after a couple of bites. Unsurprisingly, it also incredibly filling.

Into the Labyrinth

With a food coma setting in, we left Akra behind to journey onward. As hard as it was to believe at the time, Tripoli’s true allure hadn’t even begun. We walked eastward from al-Tal and away from the large thoroughfares that led to it, and before I knew it, we encountered Tripoli’s primary claim to fame — its dizzying maze of souks and khans.

These souks have grown organically since their foundation in the 7th, and hide innumerable treasures from the Umayyad and Mamluk periods among the thousands of shops and stands here. As we passed from alleyway to alleyway, I wondered how much these ancient streets must have seen.

The minaret of the 13th-century Great Mansouri Mosque peers out near one of the entrances of the souks of Tripoli.

We turned a corner and Nader pointed out an old entrance to a mystical Sufi lodge; we turned another and saw the ornate walls of an Islamic madrasa.

As we meandered through the hundreds of worlds captured by the endless souks, time seemed to pass us by. Various sights and smells greeted us at every turn, some enchanting, like a brilliant medieval gate, and some a tad off-putting, like a butcher selling a pair of lamb testicles in the food and spice market.

Nevertheless, we ventured on and eventually met up with Hadi’s colleague Douaa at a seemingly random juncture in the web-like tangle of streets.

Her energy was infectious and tided me over long enough to walk up with her and Hadi to the Crusader castle standing watch over the old city — the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles.

Built in 1103 by Frankish Crusaders, this imposing structure became occupied in 1289 by the Mamluks, who made their own additions to the fortress.

Because of its strategically important position in the city, the Lebanese army continues to use its vicinity as a military base, and it was hard to miss the columns of armored military vehicles lined up along the castle walls.

soap seller

We made our way back down towards the souks, and after visiting several hammams, the tailors’ khan, and an amazing soap workshop that has been continuously functioning for longer than Lebanon has been independent, we arrived at the coup de grace of Tripoli’s Mamluk heritage — the Great Mansouri Mosque.

It is one of several Mamluk mosques in Tripoli, and although its interior might just be outdone by the fabulous Taynal Mosque south of the old city, its grandiose design is still unbeatable.

Although we were wary that afternoon prayers would prevent us from entering its grounds, luckily, we arrived just as worshippers were making their way out.

Bittersweet Realities

At this point, I was so thoroughly exhausted that I missed Hadi’s unceremonious exit from our troupe. As Douaa led Nader, Muhammad, and I back through the souks to al-Tal, in a moment of clarity, I was struck by how much I had experienced in Tripoli in such a short period of time.

Despite everything this city has been through, or perhaps because of it, there is an incredible lust for life here, captured in the spice of the malizia and the coffee-fueled streetscape of the city center. Although the typical Lebanese cynicism about the future is understandably well-entrenched here, there is a growing sense among residents I have spoken with on my visits to Tripoli that the city’s worst days may be behind it.

The Lebanese government has finally promised desperately-needed investments to develop the city’s economy, and many are cautiously optimistic that maybe it might just work, so long as the right pieces fall into place. Nevertheless, distrust of politicians remains at an all-time high.

Enjoying a Knefeh

One of my final memories from that first trip to Tripoli is of eating one of the most classic Levantine desserts, a knefeh with pistachios, with Douaa, Nader, and Muhammad in a small pastry shop in al-Tal. Tripoli is famed throughout the region for its production of sweet delicacies, so much so that one of its homegrown shops, the Hallab Brothers, has grown into an internationally recognized brand.

But this particular shop, still only functioning in one location, was cheaper, better, and more cheerful than Hallab. It is a bittersweet place, where the available confections offer locals an escape from the city’s problems that, while slowly improving, are still an ever-present burden for Tripoli’s residents. Everything I had seen and felt in this city had been so undeniably positive, so wholesome, and so invigorating.

And yet I was sure that, while everyone here is fiercely proud of their city and its heritage, many people I had passed in the street that day have benefitted little from their city’s powerful heritage. Gripped by poverty and a lack of political responsiveness to their concerns, the people of this city remain stuck, unable to thrive and use the immense gifts their city holds to achieve their full potential.

For a place with such tenacity, Tripoli and its citizens deserve much better.

Michal Kranz

Michal Kranz is a freelance writer, photographer, and journalist currently working in Beirut, Lebanon. He’s written about travel in both Lebanon and Eastern Europe, covering food and off-the-beaten-path travel destinations all while reporting on the chaotic politics of the Middle East. In addition to GoNomad, his work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Al-Monitor, Middle East Eye, Vox, Business Insider, Culture Trip, and more.

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Update April 12, 2024

Information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Lebanon Travel Advisory

Travel advisory january 29, 2024, lebanon - level 3: reconsider travel.

Updated to reflect lowering the overall Travel Advisory to Level 3, information about southern Lebanon, the border with Syria, and refugee settlements in Lebanon, information on crime and political violence, kidnapping, unexploded landmines, civil unrest, and the “If you decide to travel” section.

Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to  crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, unexploded landmines, and armed conflict . Some areas, especially near the borders, have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • Southern Lebanon due to the  potential for armed conflict;
  • The border with Syria due to  terrorism and armed conflict;
  • Refugee settlements due to  the potential for armed clashes .

Country Summary : U.S. citizens in Lebanon should be aware of the risks of remaining in the country and review their personal security plans. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid travel to southern Lebanon, the Syrian border, and refugee settlements in Lebanon.

U.S. citizens in Lebanon should be aware that consular officers from the U.S. Embassy are not always able to travel to assist them. The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Lebanon. Terrorists may conduct attacks with little or no warning targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.

The Lebanese government cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens against sudden outbreaks of violence and armed conflict. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning.

Local security authorities have noted a rise in violent crimes, including political violence. Multiple unsolved killings in Lebanon may have been politically motivated.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, has occurred in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings may have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations.

Unexploded landmines and explosive remnants of war are a hazard along the border with Syria. Heed land mine warning signs. Do not venture off the road into areas marked off with red and white plastic tape. Avoid roadside ditches, shoulders, and unmarked trails. Never touch anything resembling unexploded munitions.

U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests as these have the potential to turn violent quickly and with little notice. Protesters have blocked major roads, including thoroughfares between downtown Beirut and the area where the U.S. Embassy is located, and between Beirut and Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Lebanon.

If you decide to travel to Lebanon:

  • Visit our website for information on   Travel to High-Risk Areas .
  • Appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with kidnappers/hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and members of Congress if you are kidnapped, or taken hostage.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Do not touch unknown metal objects and avoid traveling off well-used roads, tracks, and paths due to risk of unexploded ordnance.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Lebanon.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Southern Lebanon – Level 4: Do Not Travel (See map below)

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid southern Lebanon; that is, all parts south of the city of Saida, to include inland areas, as illustrated in the map below. Cross-border rocket, missile, and artillery fire continues to impact southern Lebanon on a daily basis and has caused a significant number of fatalities and injuries.

tripoli lebanon travel

Border with Syria – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanon-Syria border, which has seen clashes between Lebanese security forces and Syrian-based violent extremist groups. The U.S. Department of State also warns U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on flights that fly over Syria, which include some flights to and from Beirut.

Refugee Settlements – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to refugee settlements in Lebanon, which are prone to outbreaks of violence including shootings and explosions.

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for u.s. citizens, lebanon map, search for travel advisories, external link.

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tripoli lebanon travel

Samad Tours

Samad Tours is a Lebanese family business founded in 1979 in Tripoli - Lebanon. Known for our efficiency, quality and flexibility, our company has acquired an excellent positioning and a good market share through the quality of the products and services it provides to its customers. Through years of experience and credibility, we became able to develop a wide range of connections in Lebanon and the whole world. Our staff is not only well equipped and trained to guarantee Samad Tours guests' satisfaction and peace of mind, but they will also make sure to provide them with more than that, because we believe that "It's not the duty that makes the difference, the real difference is above the duty.” Our objective is to offer the best services, most exciting yet affordable packages that meet our customers' needs, both individual and corporate clients, and keep them delighted and satisfied. For that purpose, our team constantly works on improving the quality of our services and widening the choice of products through innovative research and management. We recognize the satisfaction of our client is essential to our company's success, therefore we make sure to deliver the best at all times.

Our newly expanded services have positioned us on top of the consolidation business throughout Lebanon since 2021, having excellent relationships with top airlines, we are able to offer the highest commissions and deals for our partner agencies.

Our Commitment: Our customers will always find a faithful friend in us. This relationship will be handled on mutual support, trust and cooperation. Our suppliers will be assured through continuous dialogue that we have strict adherence to the agreed terms and conditions. Our guests will be provided with such a trouble free and enjoyable holiday that they will become friends with our suppliers and luckily us. Our Team: An experienced, young, motivated travel specialist! We make sure to always provide our customers with the newest, wildest, most exciting ideas and stimulating packages. Our travel specialists are always there to offer the best-personalized services to fulfill your needs and expectations.

We are a diverse group of creative, self-motivated individuals with a passion for making travel easier, more affordable and more rewarding for our customers, with plenty of exciting twists, turns and opportunities along the way.

Our Mission: We aim to perform and deliver excellent quality service to our clients. Providing them with unforgettable travel, enjoyable adventures, and guaranteed services that exceed their expectations. The satisfaction of our customers and extraordinary service is the main aim, saving their time and money while providing the best value for their trip.

We intend to inspire people to go further and share more while encouraging them to reach higher, to broaden their lives and the lives of others, and to seek experiences worth sharing. 

Our Vision: We’ve always been pioneers, with a vision to shape the future of travel through cutting edge technology, to make it easier for everyone to enjoy amazing experiences wherever they go. We aim to integrate travel agencies to the next level in order to achieve the market share and target wider audience.

We also offer user-friendly systems to make it stress-free. Providing remarkable customer service is what we believe will make us unique in meeting the market’s changing requirements and keeping our customers loyal and satisfied.

Our Value: Our core values guide us in making travel simple and fun for all. These values can be seen in the projects that we undertake, and the way in which we solve problems for our customers. They are a representation of our being and our doing.

tripoli lebanon travel

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Latest update

We now advise:

Do not travel to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.


Lebanon (PDF 828.57 KB)

The Middle East (PDF 1.45 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies, advice levels.

Do not travel to Lebanon.

Do not travel  to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.

See Safety .

  • An increased threat of military and terrorist attacks against Israel and Israeli interests across the region and ongoing military action in the Occupied Palestinian Territories could lead to increased tensions in other locations in the Middle East. Demonstration and protest activity may occur, and localised security situations could deteriorate with little notice. Avoid all demonstrations and protests. 
  • Do not travel to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.  
  • This may also result in airspace closures, flight cancellations and diversions and other travel disruptions. 
  • There is a possibility of an increase in armed conflict that could affect wider areas of Lebanon. This could result in Beirut airport closing at short notice and you may not be able to leave for an extended period. Australians in Lebanon who wish to leave, should leave now while commercial flights remain available. 
  • If the security situation deteriorates and there is armed conflict, the Australian Government may not be able to assist you to leave in such circumstances. See our advice on ‘Armed conflict ’.
  • If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident in Lebanon you can register on  DFAT's crisis registration portal.  We’ll be contacting registered Australians directly with important updates.
  • Read our  Information for Australians in Lebanon , (also available in  Arabic ), for advice on what to do if you're currently there.
  • Ensure your travel documents are up to date. Ensure you have passports for children born in Lebanon and current passports for all family members travelling with you. 
  • Tensions are heightened due to recent events in Israel and Gaza.
  • On 2 January, an explosion occurred in Beirut's southern suburbs (Dahiyeh region). Daily military action is occurring in southern Lebanon, including rocket and missile fire, as well as airstrikes. The situation could escalate quickly or spread to other areas in Lebanon, including Beirut. This could affect your ability to move to safety. Avoid areas where military activity is ongoing.
  • Terrorist attacks could occur anytime and anywhere, including in Beirut. Suicide bombings and attacks involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs), air raids and kidnappings have occurred in Lebanon. Extremists may target foreigners. Take safety precautions. Always be alert to possible threats and avoid potential targets. 
  • Large protests happen and can turn violent. Tear gas, water cannons and live ammunition may be used. Avoid large public gatherings. Celebratory gunfire often occurs and has caused casualties. Stay inside during celebratory gunfire or if you're caught in civil unrest. Follow the advice of local authorities.
  • There's a high threat of armed conflict south of the city of Sidon. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has a peacekeeping presence there. Israeli forces occupy the southern border town of Ghajar. Tensions remain high in the surrounding region, including the Shebaa Farms, where daily military action is occurring. Avoid areas of military conflict.

Full travel advice: Safety

  • Shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies could occur without notice. Make sure you have enough medication with you, including if you need to depart Lebanon.
  • The public health care system is limited. Most reputable hospitals are private and expensive. You'll probably have to pay up front. 
  • Health risks include possible water contamination, waterborne illnesses and air pollution caused by burning waste and backup generators. Avoid uncollected waste. Drink only boiled or bottled water from bottles with sealed lids.

Full travel advice: Health

  • Religious law and civil law are treated equally. All family law matters are based on local religious laws. Stop-orders that prevent you from leaving Lebanon may arise from family disputes. If you're involved in divorce, custody or other family disputes, speak to a lawyer before you leave Australia.
  • Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties are severe and include jail terms.
  • Serious crimes like murder and treason may result in the death penalty. 
  • Lebanon recognises dual nationality. However, Lebanese authorities treat Lebanese dual nationals as Lebanese citizens. This may limit our ability to help you if you're arrested or detained.
  • Standards of dress and behaviour are modest in parts of Lebanon, particularly at religious sites.  Public displays of affection may cause offence.
  • Be careful when taking photos. Photographing military personnel or sites, government buildings and major civil infrastructure, such as power stations and other installations is illegal.

Full travel advice: Local laws

Information on applying for a visa to enter Australia is available on the Department of Home Affairs  Lebanon Visa Support  website (also available in  Arabic ).

  • You can get a tourist visa on arrival in Lebanon. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Lebanon for the latest details. 
  • Always carry ID. You'll need to show it at road checkpoints. Lebanese General Security (border control) will check your name against a database of people wanted for or convicted of an offence. If your name matches an entry, you may be detained. You'll have to prove that the record doesn't relate to you. Carry supporting documents, such as a copy of your birth certificate or other official documents.
  • Flights to and from Lebanon may fly over Syria, where ongoing conflict may increase risks to civil aviation. Civil aviation authorities in a number of countries do not allow airlines from those countries to fly in Syrian airspace.  Check with your airline or travel agent for updates and flight options. 

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • For consular assistance, contact the  Australian Embassy in Beirut . 
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Crisis registration.

If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident in Lebanon you can register on  DFAT's crisis registration portal.  We’ll be contacting registered Australians directly with important updates and registration will make it easier for DFAT to contact you if assistance is required.

More information on returning to Australia can be found at  Information for Australians in Lebanon .

Keep your registration details up to date so we can contact you. 

You should only register if you’re in Lebanon and are:

  • An Australian citizen, or
  • An Australian permanent resident or
  • an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER   on DFAT's crisis registration portal.

Applying for a visa to Australia

Security situation

We continue to advise Do Not Travel to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.

Daily military action is occurring in southern Lebanon, including rocket and missile fire, as well as airstrikes. On 2 January 2024, an explosion occurred in Beirut's southern suburbs (Dahiyeh region). The situation could escalate quickly. This could affect your ability to move to safety. Avoid areas where military activity is ongoing.

There is a possibility of an increase in armed conflict that could affect wider areas of Lebanon, including Beirut. If the security situation in Lebanon deteriorates, Beirut airport will likely close at short notice and you may not be able to leave for an extended period. Australians in Lebanon who wish to leave, should leave now while commercial flights remain available. If the security situation deteriorates and there is armed conflict, the Australian Government may not be able to assist you to leave in such circumstances. See our  advice on armed conflict .

To be well prepared to leave quickly, make sure you have:

  • up-to-date travel documentation
  • passports for children born in Lebanon
  • current passports for family members travelling with you
  • any medications you may need while travelling

If violence increases, roads and highways could become blocked. This includes routes to airports and borders.

Follow the advice of local authorities, including alerts to seek shelter. Monitor local media for updates. 

If you need emergency consular assistance, contact the Australian Government's Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 62613305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (in Australia).

Be extra cautious. The security situation is unpredictable and is affected by events including:

  • clashes across the Lebanese/Israeli border
  • conflict in neighbouring Syria
  • the threat of terrorist attacks
  • ongoing economic crisis, political and religious tensions

The ongoing crisis has reduced Lebanese law enforcement capacity. 

Civil unrest and political tension

The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.

Political changes in the region and international events may prompt large demonstrations or violence. Planned and on-the-spot demonstrations can take place.

Anti-government protests occur. Protests may target key institutions and sites, including banks. Some can be large and escalate into violent clashes between protesters and security forces.

Authorities use various measures to break up crowds, including:

  • water cannons
  • live ammunition

These measures have resulted in injuries.

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent, including the use of weapons. You could be caught in violence directed at others.

During civil unrest and times of heightened tensions:

  • avoid all crowds, protests and demonstrations
  • pay close attention to your personal security
  • monitor the media and other sources for news on planned and possible actions
  • avoid areas where violence has occurred or is likely to occur
  • plan your activities to avoid potential unrest on days of national significance
  • be prepared to change your travel plans in case of disruptions

If you're in an area affected by clashes:

  • stay indoors and away from windows and balconies
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Stay indoors during celebratory gunfire, which has caused casualties, and often happens during and after political speeches, weddings, funerals and religious and new year holidays. 

If transport disruptions affect your travel plans, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.

Leave Lebanon if you're concerned about your safety.

More information:

Demonstrations and civil unrest

In times of civil unrest, avoid areas of Beirut where protests are known to occur.

In Beirut, protests sometimes close main highways. Burning of tyres to block main roads is common. Groups protest against:

  • government policies
  • the situation in Syria
  • the security environment
  • the deteriorating social and economic situation

Civil unrest can affect the highways between central Beirut and the international airport.  Armed clashes have occurred in some areas of Beirut.

Southern suburbs (Dahiyeh region) of Beirut

Don't go to the Dahiyeh region, including:

  • the area south of the Camille Chamoun Sports Stadium to the airport (south from Adnon El Hakim Road to Abbas El Mousawi Road). This includes the suburbs of Chiyah, Ghobeire, Haret Hreik, Bir el Abed, Borj el Barajne, Mraije, Roueiss, Lailake, Hay el Sellom, Tahouitit el Ghadir and Bir Hassan
  • east of the airport highway
  • west of the airport highway to El Akhtal El Saghir Road and south of the Coral Beach Hotel.

This area does not include the main airport highway (Hafez El Assad).

Security in the area is still unstable. You may be caught up in violent attacks between armed groups. Terrorist attacks may occur.

Palestinian refugee camps

Don't visit Palestinian refugee camps in any part of Lebanon.

Extremist groups operate inside camps. The security situation is uncertain and could get worse without warning.

The Lebanese state has no formal security presence in the camps. Armed clashes between rival groups happen. Violent crime is common.

Also avoid the general vicinity around the camps when there's heightened tension or armed clashes. Stray ammunition has caused casualties.

Tripoli and northern Lebanon

Don't go to Tripoli's Jabal Mohsen and Bab-al-Tabbaneh neighbourhoods. Violent clashes in the early stages of the Syrian conflict killed more than 200 people. The risk of civil unrest remains high and can turn violent.

In 2019, a lone wolf terrorist attack in Tripoli killed 4 members of the security service.

Lebanese authorities say extremists have taken refuge in northern Lebanon, including throughout the Akkar district.

North-eastern Beka'a Valley

Don't go to the north-eastern Beka'a Valley region, extending east and north from Rayak. This includes:

  • Hermel-Baalbek region
  • the towns Arsal, El Qaa and Ras Baalbek

Clashes between Lebanese security forces and militants are possible.

Other parts of the Beka'a Valley

Take extra care in the Beka'a valley, south of Zahle and Rayak, where the security environment is uncertain.

In August 2016, a roadside bomb exploded in Zahle. It killed 2 people and injured many others.

Regions within 5km of the Syrian border

Don't travel within 5km of the border with Syria, including:

  • north of the Halba-Qoubaiyat Road, northern Akkar
  • Hermel Wadi Khaled
  • the Golan Heights
  • Shebaa Farms

The conflict in Syria has led to repeated violent incidents in these areas.

Southern Lebanon

Don't travel to areas south of the city of Sidon (Saida). 

Daily military action is occurring and could escalate quickly. This could affect your ability to move to safety. There's an uncertain security environment and there are also landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Avoid crowds and large gatherings. You could be caught up in violence directed at others.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) maintains peacekeeping activities south of the Litani River.

Israeli forces are in the southern border town of Ghajar. There are still tensions in the surrounding region, including the Shebaa Farms, where military activities have taken place. Shelling has been reported.

Although the Lebanese Armed Forces and United Nations peacekeeping forces are present in southern Lebanon, the situation could change quickly.

You could be caught up in violence directed at others.

Avoid areas where military activity is ongoing. Be ready to leave at short notice.

Be extra careful in the city of Sidon (Saida) where there's a history of violence between Lebanese armed forces and local militia.

Don't visit the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh. There are ongoing clashes between rival groups, including the use of heavy weapons and snipers. Many people have been killed or injured. Lebanese authorities have limited capacity to impose law and order.

Also avoid the general vicinity around the Ein El-Hilweh camp when there's heightened tension or armed clashes. Stray ammunition has caused casualties.

There's a threat of terrorism in Lebanon. Attacks could occur anytime and anywhere, including in Beirut. Tactics used by terrorists can include car bombing, suicide bombing and rocket fire. Foreigners may be targeted. 

Security services are on a high state of alert and continue to carry out operations to prevent attacks.

If you notice a security operation is underway, leave the area straight away.

Targets associated with the Lebanese Government include: 

  • government institutions, senior politicians, and officials
  • the Lebanese Armed Forces
  • infrastructure such as airports and public building

UNIFIL has also been targeted. 

Terrorists may also target areas frequented by foreigners, such as:

  • buildings associated with embassies, foreign companies, and international organisations
  • schools and places of worship
  • hotels, clubs, restaurants and bars
  • shopping centres, markets and grocery stores
  • public transport
  • promenades, cinemas, outdoor recreation events and other tourist areas

Extremists have increased attacks in the lead-up to and on days of national and religious significance.

Always be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.

Report any suspicious items or activities to police.

To reduce your risks:

  • take official warnings seriously
  • consider the likely level of security at known terrorist targets when planning your activities
  • monitor the media for threats
  • follow the instructions of local authorities.

If there's a terrorist attack:

  • leave the affected area immediately if it's safe
  • avoid the area afterwards in case of more attacks.

Don't gather in groups after an attack. This also applies if you're evacuated from a building for safety or security reasons.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Kidnapping occurs across the world with political, ideological, and criminal motives. Foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped overseas whilst travelling. Kidnaps can happen anywhere, anytime, including destinations that are typically at lower risk.    There is a risk of kidnapping along the border regions with Syria and Israel, where criminal gangs rely on ransom payments to make revenue.    To reduce the risk of kidnapping: 

  • always be alert to your personal security and surroundings 
  • get professional security advice for travel in locations with a heightened kidnap risk 
  • check your accommodation has appropriate security measures 
  • avoid isolated locations, particularly when travelling alone 
  • notify family or friends of planned travel and share your location  
  • avoid talking about your money or business affairs 
  • use ATMs in public places and during daylight hours 
  • avoid giving personal details to strangers online or over the phone 

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.    Ransom payments to kidnappers have funded further terrorist attacks and criminal activity. Paying a ransom to terrorist groups will likely break Australian counter-terrorism financing laws.    More information:  

  • Kidnapping  

Crime in Lebanon has increased due to the declining economic situation.

It could include:

  • vehicle crime
  • petty theft such as bag snatching (including by motorbike riders)
  • home break-ins and armed  robberies  (especially at banks)
  • physical and sexual assault

Always be aware of your surroundings.

  • Female travellers
  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

Climate and natural disasters

Lebanon experiences  natural disasters and  severe weather .

Lebanon is in an active earthquake zone.

Bush and forest fires occur in the summer months (July to September), especially in heavily forested areas. Avoid fire-affected areas. Monitor the media for updates.

Sand and dust storms are common. They may pose health risks, especially to people with breathing problems.

If a natural disaster or severe weather happens:

  • monitor the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

You'll probably need a specialised insurance policy that covers travel to high-risk destinations. 

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars upfront for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies can occur without notice. 

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or controlled substances, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Lebanon. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use

Health risks

Health risks include possible water contamination, waterborne illnesses and air pollution caused by burning waste and exhaust fumes from diesel generators. Drink only boiled or bottled water from bottles with sealed lids. Drink only boiled or bottled water from bottles with sealed lids.

Medical care

Medical facilities.

The standard of medical facilities and care in many of Lebanon's large private hospitals is generally as good as in Australia. However, the public health system doesn't work in the same way. Most reputable hospitals are private and expensive. 

The ability of some hospitals to provide medical care may be impacted by the economic situation, shortages of medical supplies and frequent power cuts.

Doctors usually accept upfront cash payment for services. Treatment can be expensive.

Before treating patients, hospitals usually require a guarantee of payment such as:

  • confirmed travel insurance with medical cover
  • an up-front deposit

The American University of Beirut Medical Center has a decompression chamber.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

Crimes under Lebanese laws may not be considered offences in Australia. Religious law has the same standing as civil law, which incorporates family law, marriage, divorce and custody.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

All family law matters are based on local religious laws. This includes child custody and divorce decisions.

If you're involved in custody or other family disputes, speak to a lawyer before you leave Australia. Ask for advice on how religious law may affect your family circumstances.

Lebanon has not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction . There is no quick method to return a child abducted by a parent to Lebanon back to Australia.

Lebanese nationals and non-nationals can stop family members from leaving Lebanon if there are pending family court matters. It won't matter if the family members are Australian citizens.

Authorities have stopped Australians and Australian-Lebanese dual nationals, including mothers with children, from leaving Lebanon. Relatives have legally placed border alerts ('stop orders') where there are pending family court matters. Stop orders are not difficult to arrange.  Overturning stop orders can be a time consuming and complicated process.

The Australian Government can't prevent or overturn a stop order on an Australian citizen.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include mandatory jail terms.

Carrying or using drugs

Serious crimes, such as murder and treason, may attract the death penalty.

Access to some areas of Lebanon is restricted.

Authorities may detain you and take your camera if you photograph or film:

  • military personnel or facilities
  • government buildings
  • major civilian infrastructure (such as power stations)

LGBTQIA+ information

Same-sex relations are illegal in Lebanon. Penalties include jail terms of up to one year. 

There's been an increase in anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric in the community. Some incidents of targeted harassment have occurred. 

Advice for LGBTQIA+ travellers

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

Australians may be charged under Australian law if they take part in conflict in other countries.

Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Lebanon recognises dual nationality. However, Lebanese citizenship takes precedence over the second nationality.

If you're a dual national, Lebanese authorities will treat you as a Lebanese citizen. This may limit the consular services we can provide if you're arrested or detained.

If you're a dual citizen re-entering Lebanon on your Lebanese passport or identity document, make sure:

  • your Lebanese documentation is up to date
  • you meet all entry requirements
  • Embassy or consulate of Lebanon
  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Standards of dress and behaviour are modest in parts of Lebanon, particularly at religious sites.

Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.

Public displays of affection may cause offence in conservative and religious areas.

Some hotels ask for proof of marriage before renting rooms to couples. Hotels may refuse you accommodation if you can't provide proof.

The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan is observed in Lebanon. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws during this time.

Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of people who are fasting.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

You can get a tourist visa on arrival.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Lebanese embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.

Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.

Border measures

For measures regarding travel between Syria and Lebanon, contact Lebanese and Syrian authorities. 

  • Lebanon - Ministry of Public Health
  • Medical assistance overseas

Other formalities

Travel to israel.

It's against Lebanese law to travel to Israel.

If you're an Australian dual national of Lebanon or another Arab nation and you've travelled to or intend to travel to Israel, authorities are likely to arrest and imprison you.

Authorities can hold anyone for questioning for several days and then deport them.

If there's evidence that you've travelled to Israel, or intend to, you will be refused entry to Lebanon or will be deported. Evidence includes:

  • Israeli exit or entry stamps in your passport
  • Egyptian or Jordanian stamps from border crossings with Israel
  • travel itineraries or tickets that include Israel as a destination
  • souvenirs from Israel
  • airline tags on your bags

Border alerts

Lebanese Border Control checks all traveller names on arrival and departure against a database of border alerts ('stop orders').

Border alerts are raised if there are pending court cases or warrants for people:

  • who are wanted for an offence in Lebanon
  • who have been convicted of an offence in Lebanon
  • with pending family court matters (see  Local laws )

If your name matches an entry in the database, authorities may detain you. You'll have to prove the record doesn't relate to you.

Carry supporting identity documents.

Travellers have been detained due to cases of mistaken identity.

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with X gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

The Lebanese Pound is the official currency of Lebanon. Both the USD and the Lebanese Pound (also known as the Lebanese Lira) are accepted throughout Lebanon. 

Currency exchange facilities and ATMs are widely available in Beirut and other large cities. Daily withdrawal limits may apply.

The Lebanese Pound has devalued sharply as a result of the ongoing economic crisis. This has led to high inflation and diminished the purchasing power of the Lebanese Pound. Make sure you have access to enough hard currency cash during your stay. Contact your bank and monitor media reports before you travel to Lebanon.

Local travel

Fuel and power shortages frequently occur, disrupting public water supply and telecommunication networks, including mobile and internet. 

Expect delays and closures at service stations during fuel shortages. Acts of violence and security incidents have occurred at fuel distribution and storage sites.

Public and private sector industrial strikes occur occasionally, which may affect essential services, including telecommunications and the banking sector. 

Shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies can occur without notice.

Monitor the media for updates on changes that may affect your safety and access to essential services.

Road travel

If you plan to drive in Lebanon, you should hold an International Drivers Permit.

Armed security is present throughout Lebanon, including at road checkpoints.

Always carry ID. Follow the advice of security personnel.

Driving can be dangerous due to:

  • poorly maintained roads and vehicles
  • snow and ice in winter
  • traffic conditions
  • poor local driving habits
  • lack of streetlights and functioning traffic lights

There are many unexploded weapons throughout Lebanon, including:

  • cluster bombs

Most are in the south, especially south of the Litani River.

Minefields aren't always clearly marked. Those that are marked can shift away from signed areas.

To protect yourself from landmines:

  • ask local residents for advice
  • stay on sealed roads
  • avoid walking or driving cross-country

Roads may be blocked during demonstrations and civil unrest. This includes routes to and from the airport and border crossings.

Driving or riding

Don't use service (shared) taxis or taxis hailed on the street, especially late at night.

Only use taxis from recognised companies. Australian Embassy staff in Beirut have been advised to use Allo Taxi.

Flights to and from Lebanon may fly over Syria, where ongoing conflict could increase risks to civil aviation. Civil aviation authorities in a number of countries do not allow airlines from those countries to fly in Syrian airspace.  For more information, refer to the  Smartraveller page on air travel and check with airlines before booking. Flight paths are subject to change. Check with your airline or travel agent for updates and flight options. 

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Adventure activities

Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes for adventure activities.

If you plan to do an adventure activity :

  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Call 140 or 81715076. 

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Beirut . 

Australian Embassy

Embassy Complex Serail Hill Downtown Beirut Lebanon

Phone: +961 1 960600 Email:  [email protected]      Website: Facebook:  Australian Embassy - Beirut, Lebanon X:  @SafirAustralia

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency outside of the Embassy’s business hours, or if you can’t contact the Embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) on:

  • +961 1 960600 from Lebanon (and press 7 to speak to a CEC operator)
  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


Travelling to Lebanon?

Sign up to get the latest travel advice updates..

Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.


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Is Tripoli Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Tripoli, Libya

Libya : Safety by City

Tripoli has many important titles: it is the capital, largest city, principal harbor and biggest commercial and manufacturing center of the North African country of Libya.

The city is located in the north-west of Libya and on the Mediterranean Sea.

Unfortunately, even though it’s gorgeous, with historical places in the Old City of Tripoli that make for good tourist attractions from the Roman empire to Crusader-era attractions, the city isn’t recommendable to tourists because it’s mostly unsafe.

Even though Tripoli has been marginalized, the people somehow are getting over their conflicts with residents that tend to accept each other regardless of their diversities and live in harmony.

  • Warnings & Dangers in Tripoli


Tripoli isn't safe and many governments are advising their citizens against traveling to Lybia's capital because of the current conflict following the bloody war to oust the Gadaffi dictatorship. Even though more stable now, visitors should be aware of all the risks posed by demonstrations and the remnants of armed militias.


The ongoing tumultuous situation makes it difficult to travel at night. Even though road conditions aren't too bad in Tripoli, driving standards are poor with factors that complicate traffic additionally, like the wind-blown sand that reduces visibility.


Pickpockets are active in Tripoli, and both petty and violent crime is rife. Avoid carrying too much cash and keep in mind that expensive watches, jewelry, and cameras will make you look like an easy target for pickpockets and opportunists.


There aren't many natural disasters that affect Tripoli, apart from occasional earthquakes.


Violent confrontations like muggings and robberies are on the rise lately, so it is recommended that you take extra care on the streets of Tripoli, avoid dark streets and deserted areas. Bear in mind that risks increase after dark.


Terrorists are very likely to try and carry out attacks in Tripoli. The biggest threat is coming from extremist groups including Daesh that are responsible for the majority of attacks.


There are many scams in Tripoli as well as scammers trying to take advantage of travelers. Be wary of people trying to distract you to steal from you and of taxi drivers overcharging you for a ride. We advise you to be extremely careful when handling money and around ATMs.


Tripoli is not safe for solo female travelers. They are advised, that, if they must, they go out accompanied by someone. Be sure to avoid remote streets, both during day and night, and do not flash your belongings or handle money in public.

  • So... How Safe Is Tripoli Really?

Tripoli, unfortunately, still isn’t a safe city to visit.

Libya isn’t like Dubai or Qatar and you’ll see at least five broken down cars on the first road you pass by but there are still beautiful places you can visit such as the Tripolitan beach or Roman sites filled with coliseums.

As for the bad neighborhoods in Tripoli, the most prominently mentioned one is Bab Alazizia – mainly Warshifana, it is criminal central in Tripoli.

Even people traveling to Tripoli from the south don’t like to pass through it so they don’t get robbed.

Any area surrounding Bab Alazizia, like Injila, is a risky place even though they have blocked off main roads connecting the two areas.

As for the good one, any neighborhoods near the city’s center are good, as long as they aren’t empty farmlands with a small number of people or housing.

Since Lebanon suffers from chronic power shortages, Tripoli can become very dark in the late hours of the night, and as we know, walking a dark street at night in the middle of the city isn’t the smart thing to do, so it’s far better to do your business in the morning.

  • How Does Tripoli Compare?
  • Useful Information

Most countries do need a visa to visit Libya. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months past the date of your staying in Libya. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Lybian embassy for further information.

Libyan dinar is the official currency in Tripoli. There are a limited number of ATMs in Tripoli and travelers are advised to bring cash with them.

Tripoli's climate is affected by both the Mediterranean Sea and the desert. The climate is characterized by cool winters with some rain and sub-freezing temperatures in the desert at night. As for summers, Sahara is extremely hot and dry during this season.

Tripoli International Airport is the main international airport serving the capital city of Libya. It is located in the area of Qasr bin Ghashir about 34 km from central Tripoli.

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Tripoli, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Tripoli Weather Averages (Temperatures)

  • Average High/Low Temperature

Libya - Safety by City

  • Where to Next?


6 Reviews on Tripoli

I went to Libya a while ago an it’s was got I got robbed 24 times don’t go here

What is your primary language? I don’t understand your post.

Not recommended

I would not recommend a trip to Tripoli for any reason at all. If you must, then take all the extra measures to stay safe while you are there. The government and foreign affairs department of your country has a strong reason why they discourage travel to Libya. Other than that, if you do find yourself there enjoy the coastal view and the architecture.

I was surrounded by men when I was travelling alone on the way to meet some friends. The men tried to take my money but luckily there were some other people who had heard me crying for help.

i almost got killed

yes i really almost died…

You referred to Lebanon instead of Libya when you mentioned electrical outages. What do they have to do with each other?

Share Your Experience Cancel reply

Your Review

Title of your review

Article Contents

  • Tripoli : Safety by City
  • Overall Risk
  • Transport & Taxis Risk
  • Pickpockets Risk
  • Natural Disasters Risk
  • Mugging Risk
  • Terrorism Risk
  • Women Travelers Risk
  • Weather Averages (Temperatures)
  • User Reviews
  • Share Your Experience

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tripoli lebanon travel

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Warnings and insurance

tripoli lebanon travel

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

 Areas where FCDO advises against travel

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support is also severely limited where FCDO advises against travel.

FCDO advises against all travel to Lebanon. If you are currently in Lebanon we encourage you to leave now while commercial options remain available.

For further information on why we advise against travel, see the ‘Conflict affecting Lebanon’ and Regional risks.

Military activity in the region

On 13 April 2024 Iran carried out military action against Israel.

On 19 April, there have been reports of explosions in Iran, and unconfirmed reports of explosions in Syria and Iraq.

Monitor this travel advice and other media as the situation is changing fast. Follow and contact  FCDO  travel on  Twitter ,  Facebook  and  Instagram . You can also  get email notifications  when this travel advice is updated. 

Read  FCDO  advice on how to deal with a crisis overseas.

Departure from Lebanon

Events in Lebanon are fast moving. The situation has potential to deteriorate quickly and with no warning.

Commercial routes out of Lebanon could be severely disrupted or cancelled at short notice and roads across the country could be closed.  If you are currently in Lebanon, we encourage you to leave now while commercial options remain available .

Travel within or out of Lebanon is at your own risk. The FCDO cannot tell you whether it is safe to travel to any departure point within Lebanon. However, see safety and security   for information on known security risks in Lebanon and advice on how to keep yourself safe.

Make sure you have correct and up-to-date travel documents, including a  passport  and  visa  if necessary, for yourself and anyone travelling with you, even if they are not British nationals.

Check our travel advice for any neighbouring country that you are planning to travel to or through.

In the event of deterioration in the political or security situation, the British embassy may be increasingly limited in the assistance that it can provide. Do not rely on  FCDO  being able to evacuate you in an emergency.

Read FCDO advice on what to do  if you’re affected by a crisis abroad and how to prepare.

If you cannot leave Lebanon

You should have a personal emergency plan that does not rely on the UK government and be prepared in case you need to leave quickly. However, if you cannot leave Lebanon, you should shelter in place if you judge it necessary and safe to do so.

See safety and security and regional risks for information on known security risks in Lebanon and advice on how to keep yourself safe. You should sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Conflict affecting Lebanon

FCDO  advises against all travel to Lebanon due to risks associated with the conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. There are ongoing mortar and artillery exchanges and airstrikes in Lebanon, primarily on the boundary with Israel but also elsewhere in the country. Online maps may provide a useful guide to recently affected areas. Tensions are high and events could escalate with little warning, which could affect or limit exit routes out of Lebanon.

There is also a risk of civil unrest. There have been large protests outside embassies, including outside the US and French embassies on 17 October. Further protests are expected. British nationals should exercise caution and avoid areas where demonstrations may be held.

The embassy is continuing with essential work including services to British nationals.

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Help and support in Lebanon

You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.

If you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +961 (0)1 960 800.

If you’re in Lebanon and you need advice which is not covered by reading our travel advice, you can contact FCDO online .

While 24-hour consular assistance is available by phone or online, in-person consular support is severely limited in parts of Lebanon where we advise against all travel and limited where we advise against all but essential travel.  

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission .

Travel insurance 

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

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