For a fantastic weekend getaway, look no further than Lebanon’s own second city, Tripoli.
From the crumbling clock tower in the heart of the old town to the twisting alleyways of its ancient souk, Tripoli is a pulsing Ottoman medina with a rich and colorful character. A steady sea breeze keeps the city a few degrees cooler than Beirut – a godsend in the baking heat of summer.
Beit el Nessim
Over the last eight years, owner Nabil Najjar has painstakingly restored a grand house in the heart of Al Mina’s labyrinth of streets and turned it into a spectacular guesthouse. Traditional character is etched into the centuries-old building while Najjar’s eye for detail gives each bedroom its own identity.
Sit on a terrace under tented awnings at Baytna Restaurant, an ideal spot to enjoy a warm summer’s night. The restaurant hosts live music, dervish performances and other traditional dancing. Be sure to book ahead.
Mira’s Guided Tours
For a culture vulture on the prowl, Tripoli is a pantheon of historical delights. Not yet an expert on Mamluk architecture? Call up Mira, a native Tripolitan. Running a number of guided walking tours around the city, she shows off the best of its complex urban sprawl.