With 500000 inhabitants Tripoli, also known as Trablous or طرابلس in Arabic, is the second largest city in Lebanon. it is located in northern Lebanon, 70 km northeast of Beirut and 25km south of the Syrian border. Tripoli has a harbour (the second largest in Lebanon), but no airport. The area has been settled at least since the 14th century BC. The Phoenicians arrived in the 9th century BC, followed by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottoman and the French. Tripoli has been spared from destruction during the Lebanese civil war and as a result has an intact historic core. It contains after Cairo the largest and most significant set of Mamluk architecture in the world. The old town contains a large and active souq, the best in Lebanon.
On a hill overlooking the old town there is the citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, a large fortress built by the crusaders in 1103 and later used by the muslims. The citadel was extensively restored by the Ottomans in the early 19th century.
How to get to Tripoli
Tripoli can be reached by car (80km, 1:20 hours), bus or shared taxi from Beirut. It has no own airport.
Accommodation in Tripoli bookable through international booking portals is somehow limited. Only a handful of hotels are listed, and these are either expensive or very basic. There are more options outside the city. Given that there is a dearth of restaurants catering to tourists, it make sense to stay in a city near Tripoli, for instance Batroun.
01 Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles 02 East Tripoli and river
03 Tripoli castle 04 Islamic cemetery 05 Main enrance to citadel 06 Citadel
07 Citadel 08 Panorama view of Tripoli
09 Citadel of Tripoli 10 Castle tower 11 Castle tower 12 Minaret of Al Mansouri mosque
13 Tripoli harbour 14 Citadel 15 Citadel ruins 16 Citadel ruins 17 Tripoli castle
18 Section of fortress wall 19 Section of fortress wall 20 Section of fortress wall 21 Embrasure 22 Souq 23 Tripoli souq
24 Souq passage 25 Shops in Tripoli souq 26 Souq 27 Pedestrian area with shops
28 Date stall 29 Dates 30 Dates for sale 31 Clock tower 32 Downtown cafe Daraj
33 Passageway in old town 34 Al Mansouri mosque 35 Old town 36 Mamluk gate 37 Old town 38 Old town
39 Passageway to caravanserai 40 Caravanserai 41 Cobblestone
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©Copyright Alfred Molon