Introduction

Captivating Tripoli (Trablous in Arabic), Lebanon’s second-largest city, is famous for its medieval Mamluk architecture, including a bustling and labyrinthine souq that is the best in the country and full of atmosphere. The city is also blessed with handsome examples of Crusader- and Ottoman-era architecture.

The largely Sunni population is known for its piety, so bar-hopping in the Old City isn't on offer; fortunately, the city's justly famous sweets provide compensation. It's a different story in Al Mina, where Phoenician Tripoli originally stood. Now a port district 3km from the centre, this is a charming neighbourhood whose substantial Christian population means there is a lively and up-and-coming bar scene.

In the recent past there have been sporadic clashes between rival groups in areas of the city, so be absolutely sure to check the current security situation before travelling here.