"The Lider Maximo and the city" Top 5 Page for this destination Tripoli by kokoryko

Tripoli Travel Guide: 276 reviews and 881 photos

Tarablus al-Gharb, West Tripoli.

Ah yes, I tell here about the Tripoli capital city of Libya, the western one, not the Lebanese one, the eastern one, I hope to visit one day too; the Libyan one is called the west one since the first century B.C., and it seems, despite the Greek name, it has its origins during the Roman Empire. Tripoli, in Greek means three cities; these were during the Roman Empire, Sabratha, Oea and Leptis Magna, main cities of the Tripolitania Roman colony.
Well, a visit of Leptis Magna would have enchanted me, walking in the old Roman city, dreaming in the streets, thinking of the architects and the actors in the theatre, trying to listen to the crowds watching the gladiators in the great stadium, but I stayed in Tripoli for one week on a business trip and had no time to get out of town.
Surprise! I was expecting to see a modern ugly north African city, and if it is also this, there is an old Medina, old streets, a colonial area in the town, and, most of all, wonderful people, such a peace, I did not meet long time ago: walking in the Tripoli streets, I felt at home, never (really never) felt unsafe whatever time day or night, where ever in the city, could stay and go everywhere, had chats here and there; felt at home also because people did not look at me like at a stranger, I was immersed, there was not the usual curiosity for the foreigner and in the same time, I was welcomed everywhere , like a ?normal? person, not a tourist.

History in small pieces

I will not make a long introduction about history, geography, economy of Libya or Tripoli, just share some feelings and thoughts which arose during my stay there.
Libya has been colonised by Italy at the beginning of the 20th century until the end of WWII and a beautiful Italian district gives a lot of charm to the city, with broad wide streets, bordered by interesting buildings and some nice places or squares where my eyes just went from one place to the other. To the North near the sea port is the Medina surrounded by its old walls, like a fortress; the Medina was built first by the Roman in the second century A.D. with a big wall surrounding it; a second wall was added in the 9th century and not a lot of changes happened in the general layout since the 11th century. New buildings have been added, some streets widened electricity, sewing system came recently but in general it remains as it was in the 11th century; very few roman ruins can be seen on the North-eastern side of the Medina and few Italian houses and buildings (churches) have been built in the Medina at the beginning of the 20th century. I did not see a lot from the modern city area.
During this business trip (stay would be more appropriate), I took time to visit early morning walking from the hotel to the office and in evenings or nights on the way back from the office. My eyes were caught all times walking in the big or small streets and I stopped here or there in evenings for a small dinner or a coffee.

The Lider Maximo

Ah, Libya is a ?dry? country (it seems, dry countries are among my favourite destinations these last times, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brunei. . . ), and if I would have liked a beer at a terrace, I was happy with a coffee, a bottle of water and sometimes a shisha. So, here you will find some pictures or tips about what I have seen in early morning or at evenings.
And, walking in the streets, I met every day , almost everywhere the Lider Maximo (should write Massimo, as it is an Italian influenced country), I mean the big ruler, who is on display everywhere, on big posters, like display ads watching his people, taking care. . . . . Well, no politics, (here in VT), or just a little bit; some cynical or sarcastic remarks may arise here or there, but remember Libya has been under embargo from 1988 to 1999 and its economy has suffered a lot during that time. Nowadays, in the streets, all western products can be found and it looks like people are trying to catch up from that time and they are discovering consumerism, and as usual in poor countries, the worst and the best coexist. Well, lets go now (with maps where I marked some of the places which I found interesting) and have a little walk in the Tripoli streets, look at people, buildings , have a shisha and I hope you enjoy.

I recently found one of my pictures somewhere on the web where it has nothing to do.
It arrived there without permission.
My pictures are far from being works of art, but be kind and ask if you want to use.
Unless otherwise marked, I am the author of the pictures.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A very good surprise for me
  • Cons:Dry
  • In a nutshell:I need to come back!
  • Last visit to Tripoli: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (42)

Comments (18)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    I was researching this historic city after reading some about it, and there you were. Thank you for the great pictures and comments to tour. The US got here to try and stop pirates and ransoms and it still does not work out

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Spellbinding! A complete travel guide - who needs to buy a book after reading your account? Thank you.

  • Aug 20, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    Hermann, your impressions & insight into Tripoli are original, refreshing, informative, & quite appreciated. Thanks to you I have become a little bit more familiar with Tripoli.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    Great page!

  • Apr 1, 2008 at 6:22 AM

    I have been only in Egypt from North Africa. I have to see and more! Nice page. volopolo

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Interesting info on Tripoli.

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2007 at 9:28 PM

    Thanks for wonderful Tripoli page

  • chauncenetta's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2007 at 4:42 AM

    Thank you for providing this glimpse of Tripoli. Very interesting!

  • Jun 25, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    Good job on Tripoli. I spent march '07 there on businss and I think you had started posting but didn't have everything up. You comments are a great help to visitors.

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Great info, thx for sharing


“Il me plait de courir sans but et sans raison . . . .”

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