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Hanging out

A day in Tripoli

Lebanon Travel Guide - July 17, 2014, 14h39
Par Youmna Chagoury
 Tripoli

You already know Beirut like the back of your hand, and would like to spend a day outside the capital? Why don’t you head towards Tripoli (North Lebanon)? Located an hour away from Beirut and accessible by the highway, Tripoli will charm you by both the richness of its history and its nightlife, expanding for some time now. Imagine a “tourist” busy day from breakfast to evening cocktails...

10am - Arrival in Tripoli
First stop in the city of Tripoli: Abdul Rahman al Hallab, THE Eastern pastry reference. Take your time and sit on the terrace and enjoy a good sweet and sour breakfast, composed of one or two "lahm bajen" and a share of Knafeh. That ought to give you enough strength for the rest of the day.

11am - Visit of the Khan el Khayyâtine
Khan al Khayyâtine - or " tailors’ caravansary " - was built in the early 14th century. It is a long covered walkway with arches and lined with shops where traditional tailors work and sell their products. It is the ideal place to buy yourself a beautiful traditional Aabaya.
Khan el Khayyâtine Tripoli12:30pm - Picnic on the Araneb Island (Rabbits Island)
This is the largest of the chain of islands spreads abroad the city. Recognized natural marine reserve and protected by UNESCO since 1992, this island, 35 minutes from the shore, welcomes sea turtles and rare migratory birds. You can bring your picnic, swim if the weather is good, and visit historical vestiges like an old saltcellar or a drinking water well dating from the Crusades.

Tripoli’s Citadel and Mansuri Great Mosque

2 pm - Visit of Tripoli’s Citadel
This is a monument which, by itself, summarizes the history of the city. The Citadel sees several centuries superimposed, reflected in the architecture of the monument. A construction of the Fatimid era (11th century) is transformed into a church at the time of the Crusades, to which are added architectural Mamluk features (14th century) and later, Ottoman details (16th).

4 pm - Visit of the Mansuri Great Mosque
The mosque dates from the early 14th century and combines Eastern and Western architectural elements, like pure Mamlouk decoration and a minaret. You don’t need a guide for this monument, as inscribed plaques embedded in the walls tell you the story of the mosque, and a description of the life led by the Mamluks.
Tripoli’s Citadel
A walk in the Park

5:30pm - Walk in the Menshiyyeh Park
Right next to the Tripoli Al Tell Clock Tower, the park offers a respite. Remember that Tripoli is a city in constant motion, and a bench under the shade of a tree can only do you good. Consider buying a glass of Kharnoob, a traditional beverage consumed mainly during the fast of Ramadan, from one of many hawkers around the park.

7pm - Dinner and cocktails at Mino
In any self-respected large city, there is a street only consisting of restaurants and bars. In Tripoli, it’s the Mino street. If the name reminds you of a Beirut street, it’s not a mere coincidence. The real name of the street Mino is the street El-Mechty, in El-Mina, a predominantly Christian neighborhood, which allows restaurants that have settled to offer alcohol to their customers. Wander along the pedestrian street, and choose where you feel like spending your evening before returning home.

Tags
#Destination, #TouristicSite
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