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The White Bride Of The Mediterranean

Posted on November 19, 2009 | Fascinating CitiesNo Comment

Tripoli or Tarabulus as the city is known in Arabic was once a part of Tripolitania – the province of three cities –Tripoli, Sabratha and Leptis Magna. After the Arab conquest in the 7th century, the city came to be known with what it is called today- Tripoli. The ‘White Bride of the Mediterranean’ as the nick named of the city goes is just apt. It is substantiated by the Arab, Ottoman and the Italian influence on the city’s architecture.


The capital city of Libya, Tripoli is in North Africa and stretches to about 1820 kilometers along the Mediterranean coastline.

The country, Libya shares its eastern border with Egypt. To the southeast of the city is Sudan. The cities of Chad and Niger are to the south of Tripoli and on its west and northwest are Algeria and Tunisia respectively.

Tripoli is in the extreme west of Libya, in proximity with the Tunisian border.

Tripoli Libya


Tripoli is a coastal lowland city with a Mediterranean climate. The desert in the south and the Mediterranean Sea to the city’s north has a great influence on the city’s climate. The city has erratic rainfall and the average of rainfall is less than 400 millimeters.

The summers here are warm with an average temperature of about 30 degree Celsius and the winters are mild with temperatures being 8 degree Celsius on an average.

The months of March, August and October are the best time to visit Tripoli.

Attractions for tourists

With mountains and beaches, historical sites like The Red Castle Fortress, The Jamahiriya museum and the mesmerizing medina and other attraction, Tripoli is a trip worth making.

A number of mosques adorn the city with their beautiful architecture. A couple of churches along with the presence of mosques speak of the people of the city, who come from different ethnic backgrounds. Consequently, the cultural expressions that the city reflects attract tourists in various ways.

tripoli mosqueAcross the city are architectural wonders that you can spend your entire day marveling at such as the Taynal mosque. The Arabic market or the souks here too deserve a visit.

Calm ambience of beaches comes after a good drive, which workers wonders as a stress buster. For history-enthusiasts, there are plenty of archaeological sites with finds like Roman sculptures and mosaics that you would want to explore.

The city’s central square, called the Green Square is that point of the city where you should start your walk to explore the city, with monuments belonging to the Ottoman period on one side and the Italian built streets, a small park and a harbour on the other.

A day’s tour is good enough to see the main sites of the city. What you can also do is make the city of Tripoli your base  explore the Roman sites of Sabratha and Leptis Magna that are close to the city, along with other areas.

The Tripoli International Airport is in Ben Ghasir, at a distance of about 34 kilometers to the South of the city centre.  A new airport too is coming up close to the old one. The city is well-connected to international as well as domestics destinations. The carriers servicing operating here include the British Airway, Lufthansa and Emirates among other well-known flights.

tripoli international airport
Libya doesn’t have a train network yet, though there are concrete plans for the same.  Driving to Tripoli by from Tunisia can be done within about three hours from the Tunisia border.

You could also sail to Tripoli on boat from Malta. In fact, this was the preferred method of reaching the capital city of Libya before the sanctions were lifted in 1999 and 2003.

The public use the buses here for commuting. For tourists though, unfamiliar with the city’s language, shared taxi is a good option which can be hailed down on the roads. Hiring a car is also not a viable option, though you can still do it at the airport and some of the posh hotels.

For information on the city and the country in context to travelling, you will have to satisfy yourselves with the brochures that the General People’s Committee for Tourism gives or the information you get from one of the local tour operators of the city. Tripoli has no official tourist office.

Though the city is gaining grounds as a tourist destination, there still is a long way to go as far as the facilities available (or the lack of it) for the tourists are concerned.

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