Visit the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles
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 10:00AM–6:00 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.
Visit the mosques
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.
Walk around 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.