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Café Culture And Sweet Dishes In Tripoli

Posted on November 19, 2009 | Fascinating CitiesNo Comment

Tripoli comes as a good entertainment package when it is about food and activities like shopping.  Libya is a strict Arabic country and drinking in public or otherwise is banned here.


Pub, bar and nightclub culture is not very popular in The North African country of Libya. There are bars in few hotels, but they aren’t very good either.

Night out in Tripoli means dining, entertainment though theatres, cinemas’ and a café culture. Some of the good theatres of Tripoli are the al-Rabitah al Thakafiyyah and the Dar al Fann. City complex and Las Salinas to the south  of the city and other places like al-Opera, Rivoli, Colorado etc are some of the cinemas you could go to catch a movie.

tripoli sweetsThe city has few cafes that serve you mint tea, juices and sheeshas or nargilah. Most of these cafes are at the Green Square. Café Salim and the café in the park around the Ottoman Clock Tower are among the popular cafes of the city of Tripoli.

Evenings are time to go for a stroll around the Green Square or on the seafront or have sort-of picnic in the city’s parks.

Tripoli is known for its deserts and sweets. Some popular sweet dishes of this city are the Shamine sweets, Falatel, Mezze, Hariseh, Fool Moudammas, Tabbouleh, Kebbeh, Mafroukeh and stuffed grape leaves. Leaving the city without tasting these sweet dishes would mean you are missing out on the most essential flavor of the city.


Souks or the markets of Tripoli deserve a visit to complete your tour of Tripoli. The Souk el-Aattareen, Souk el Bazerkan, Souk al-Haraj, which is the oldest souk here dating back to the 14th century, Souk el- Nahhasen and Souk Al- Souk el-AattareenSayyagheen, known for  goldsmiths and silversmiths, are major centers of shopping in Tripoli.

Souk al-Attara in Medina is a popular market with a small carpet bazaar, traditional jewellery shops and general souvenirs. Libyan pottery, Tuareg silver and local rugs too can be found here.  For clothing and fabrics as well as gold jewellery, Souk al-Turk is the place you should head to.

For up market malls, Gargaresh quarter is the place to be in.

Restaurants and Hotels

There are some really good options for staying at Tripoli. The Zumit Hotel in the Medina is a cheap place with Ottoman style décor and a good seafood restaurant. A pricey place, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is the Corinthia Bab Africa. Funduq as-Safwa is also a luxury hotel in the city.

Zumit Hotel

Among the cheaper options are Funduq al-Kebir, within walking distance from Tripoli’s monuments and Funduq al-Mehari, a government hotel at Sharia al Fath.

Eating out too is viable option in Tripoli with a wide range of restaurants around the city. One of the best fish restaurant though very expensive one is the Al Mujran. Check out the Libyan couscous or stews here. To suit the pockets of petty travelers are the Al Makulaat al Lubnaniya that serves Lebanese cuisine which includes a good selection of mezze, salads and mixed grills. Ash-Shraq is a popular eaterie at Souk al-Attara that serves authentic dishes like rishda, a home made pasta with onions and chickpeas and osba, sheep’s stomach stuffed with meat, herbs and rice.

Another pocket-friendly restaurant is the As Soraya restaurant at Green Square that serves Libyan as well as international cuisines and adorns a contemporary décor.

While the nightlife is not all that good here, the cafes, the sweet dishes and the souks pretty much make for the loss and give you ample of things to enjoy.

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