Tripoli is quite unique in Lebanon in that it’s both a major city but also one that has retained a great deal of its history. The city boasts nearly 40 historical sites that date back to the 14th century, and many of them much earlier than that. From the famous citadel and the continuously operating old souks, replete with traditional craftsmanship, to the plethora of mosques and hammams, Tripoli is a history lover’s delight.
Beyond historical attractions, Tripoli is quite a fascinating city to wander through, full of narrow side streets dense with old apartment buildings. The corniche makes for an attractive stroll leading to the Tower of the Lions and past the harbor where you can easily find boats for hire that will take you to the Palm Island Nature Reserve.
The city also has a wonderful old bone yard from the days when steam trains operated across the country. A few old engines sit rusting away in an abandoned shed and can be seen from the street, along with some rolling stock and a few other outbuildings from the days when the yard was busy sorting cargo and passengers.
And if you’re a scuba diver, you’ll be interested to know that the wreckage of a WW II-era anti-submarine ship lurks 60 meters below the surface of the water off of Tripoli, its rigging and other features still in surprisingly good shape.
Quite simple, really: take the highway north – the city is about 85 kilometers (53 miles) away. You can’t miss it.