Tripoli Libya is the country’s capital and largest city, and a trip to this North African nation wouldn’t be complete without a stop here. Located in the northwestern part of Libya on the Mediterranean Sea, Tripoli is the main sea harbor and largest commercial center of Libya. Tripoli is also home to more than 1.6 million people and boasts some of the best travel resources in the country.
One of the biggest draws of Tripoli tourism is its rich cultural history. The rule of Tripoli has changed hands many times, and each culture left its impression on the city. Tripoli Libya was first established as Oea by the Phoenicians in the year 7 BC. Since then, it has been ruled by many conquering parties, including the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Muslims, the Egyptians, the Spanish, the Ottomans, and even the British.
Such a colorful history has given Tripoli impressive archaeological significance. The Roman influence is especially prominent in the city and surrounding areas. The Romans used to call the area Regio Tripolitana, meaning "region of three cities," which refers to Tripoli and the nearby ruined Roman cities of Sabratha and Leptis Magna. The Roman period is also responsible for the original street plans and walls of Tripoli's medina. The beautifully preserved Arch of Marcus Aurelius, however, is the only surviving Roman monument within Tripoli's city limits.
If you are considering travel to Tripoli, carefully review all visa requirements for your home country. Libya has strict rules and guidelines to follow to visit their country. Once entrance has been secured, ways to travel to Tripoli include by air, by road, or by boat. Many international carriers serve Tripoli International Airport, located 21 miles south of the city. Driving from the Tunisian border to Tripoli is only advised during daylight hours, as the night's darkness can conceal many sheep and cows on the unlit road. Another option for travel to Tripoli is a ferry from Malta or Sfax, Tunisia. For many years, this was the preferred method of travel before the UN lifted air travel sanctions in 2003.
In addition to the sights, sounds and smells of the city's medina, Tripoli tourism offers several unique attractions. Perhaps the most popular is the Assaraya al-Hamra, or Red Castle. This immense palace and its courtyards proudly display sculptures and fountains from the Ottoman period. It is also the location of the renowned Jamahiriya Museum, displaying many Roman and Greek artifacts from those periods. Admirers of intricate tilework will be amazed by the Gurgi and Karamanli mosques. Green Square offers some of the city's best shopping. A walk around the city walls provides some of the best city views. Sun seekers can also choose to lie out on the Mediterranean beaches of Tripoli Libya.
Hotels in Tripoli are known as the some of the best in the country. The Corinthia's Bab Africa, frequently referred to as simply The Corinthia, is the largest hotel in Libya. It offers several restaurants, a gym, an indoor pool, and a sauna. Another of the most popular hotels in Tripoli is the Hotel al Kabir, conveniently located within walking distance of all Tripoli's sites. One of the only boutique hotels in Tripoli is called the Zumit Hotel, located opposite the Aurelian Arch on a traffic-free square right in the heart of the medina.
A major component of Tripoli tourism are the Roman ruins. There are two remarkably preserved sites of within driving distance of the city: Sabratha to the west and Leptis Magna to the east. Both have been named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Combined with the other three UNESCO sites in the country, these help make Libya an excellent destination for travelers interested in ancient history and archaeology.