"Benghazi" Top 5 Page for this destination Libya Things to Do Tip by iwys

Libya Things to Do: 206 reviews and 690 photos

Usually, when you ask people about Benghazi the first words they say are "dirty" and "smelly". But, I was pleasantly surprised when I spent a few days here to find that it was actually a very nice city and a great base for exploring the ancient ruins of Cyrenaica. It was renamed Bani Ghazi meaning sons or clan of Ghazi, after a local holy man, Sidi Ghazi, who died here in 1450. Following the Italian occupation in 1911, it became their colonial administrative centre and at one time the city had more than 20,000 Italian residents. Many of Benghazi's most impressive buildings, like the Old Town Hall and former Cathedral, were built during this period, in Italianate style.

Benghazi is Libya's second city with a population of just under one million. It was founded by the Ancient Greeks and you can still see the ruins of their city of Berenice next to the Old Lighthouse. The most interesting area is the old city or Medina. Here you can see my favourite part of the city, by walking along the elegant, arched pedestrian precinct at the end of Sharia Omar al-Mukhtar, across Freedom Square, into Souq al-Jareed. The most beautiful house in Benghazi is also here: the restored Ottoman Beit Medina Takafi, which is now the museum of local history.

In my opinion, Benghazi is the best city for food in Libya and if you like Turkish food, you can eat at one of the friendly Turkish restaurants along Sharia Gamal Abdul Nasser.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 14, 2007
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