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Clock Tower, Al Tal | © Amani El Charif
Clock Tower, Al Tal | © Amani El Charif
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10 Things to See and Do in Tripoli, Lebanon

Picture of Amani Sharif
Freelance Writer
Updated: 11 March 2017
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.
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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

Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, Tripoli, Lebanon

The Citadel, Tripoli | © Shutterstock

The Citadel, Tripoli | © Shutterstock

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.

Old Souks, Tripoli
Old Souks, Tripoli | © Bertramz / WikiCommons
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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.

Mansouri Great Mosque, Tripoli, Lebanon

Historical Mosque in Tripoli | © Shutterstock

Historical mosque in Tripoli | © Shutterstock

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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.

Tal, Tripoli, Lebanon

Building, Al Tal |© Amani El Charif

A building in Al Tal | © Amani El Char