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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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The city of Tripoli in Libya is an interesting and unusual holiday destination that has been avoided because of some of the strife and sanctions set upon western travellers. Because of this, many of the sites that are available to visit are new to even the most seasoned traveller. But travelling to Tripoli is safe when the proper precautions are taken, and the many antiquities and varied scenery are well worth the trip.  

When packing for this trip, it is advisable that you bring appropriate clothing, as this is a conservative Muslim nation. As a guest there, you are expected to respect their customs in dress and behaviour. If you can do that then the city of Tripoli will be a wonderful place to visit. The city itself is serviced by most major European and Arab airlines and getting around the country is best done with car hire services, taxis, or by microbus. There are public transportation services between Tripoli and other cities and even though most everything else is expensive in the country, this is not.

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Why visit Tripoli ?

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The many historical places

The many antiquities and varied scenery are well worth the trip

Accommodation in Tripoli ranges from luxury hotels and private hotels to hostels. US dollars seem to be the most widely accepted currency outside of the country’s own. Alcohol is not available in the city or country unless it is obtained through the black market, and purchasing it that way is not advisable. Food is traditional Libyan fare, and there are many cafes and restaurants in Tripoli for you to enjoy.  

Known as the White Bride of the Mediterranean, the city’s medina – or old city – is walled in the medieval style. The houses are of Ottoman design and stand side by side with Italian colonial buildings from their time in the city. Assai al-Hamra, the Red Castle, is the most dominant feature of the city’s skyline. The Green Square, an area used for political rallies during World War II, is now the main hub for the city’s main shopping streets. Visitors are welcome to visit the souks and the many alleyways of the old city on foot to find the best shopping as well as the historic mosques, inns, houses, and hammams. Visitors should note that they may not be allowed to enter or tour the mosques if they are not of the Muslim faith.  

The National Jamahiriya Museum located on the Green Square is the home of classical art in North Africa. Currently it is using e-artcasting to research how to make the museums in the country visible online. Both of the hammams in the city welcome men and women and there are plenty of beaches on the western side of Tripoli for visitors to enjoy, complete with changing facilities and beachside cafes.  

Tripoli is not one of the readily thought of places to holiday and with the exception of the restrictions regarding dress and alcohol and entrance into and out of the city, there is no reason why a traveller cannot enjoy the many historical places and open air bazaars this city has to offer.

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