Tripoli's center is very built up
When looking from the castle walls (see castle tip for picture) it gives you some idea how built up it is.
However this isn't always a bad thing... you can get yourself lost in the city very easily... yes ok that sounds like a bad thing but for me getting lost on holiday is good thing because you'll see many things that you don't usually see. Tripoli is a maze of tiny streets sometimes so built up you can't see the sky.
It has it's own certain charm though. People come to my country to see small villages and communities... and i guess in a way the charm of this is similar. it's like going back in time somewhat, unlike beirut which has a very modern feel to it.
The Lion Tower is the only archaelogical site to see in the New City area. Originally there were decorations of lions lining the facade, but they are no longer there. Built at the end of the 1400's, it's a fairly interesting structure to see, but is not really near anything at all. I had to walk down the road to see it. Normally I think it is open for viewing, but when I stopped by it was closed. I'm not sure if this is because of the season I came in or the time (4 pm).
The Hammam Al-Nouri is the real jewel of Tripoli: an unexpected jewel well hidden by shop fronts just opposite the Madrassah Al-Nouriyah. It was built around 1333 by the Mamluk governor Nur El-Din, and it houses a dressing room, a tepidarium, private bathing "rooms" (ma qsoura) and a huge hot water steam hall. What's great about this abandoned hammam are the materials used - multicolored marble - and the bright decorations of the walls and ceilings. When inside look up towards the vaulted roof, and see how the domes are perforated: you'll have the feeling of a million diamonds floating above your head.
In the restaurant of the Tower of Babel they eaxplained us, that all we saw, was the phantasy and creation of a Lebanese dentist. This dentist had the intention to bring peace after the war by connecting the different religions.
Everywhere around we saw a lot of mottos and proverbs about peace, environment and beauty, mostly in nice mosaic.
From Tripoli and Anfe we headed to the east for a visit to the Kadisha Valley. First we saw Roman graves in the rocky cliffs along the road and then something very peculiar, so we stopped for a visit.
It was called the "Tower of Babel". We saw a lot of follies, phantasy buildings, playing grounds, aquarium, fountain and a new phantasy restaurant.
When we visited in 1995 the restaurant was not finished yet, but will be within a year.
I think you will not have time to eat or will be very distracted, so many odd and peculiar things are everywhre around.
South east of Tripoli between Zgharta and Ehden you can make a detour of 10 KM to the hill, Ain Aakrine or Qasr Naous.
On the top of the hill are two Roman temples, known as Qasr Naous. The western one is still in a rather good state.
From this site, hardly visited, you have a splendid view to the north west to Tripoli and Zgharta and to the south to the area around Batroun.
They told us that this hill was a hiding place for Palestinians during the war.
Al-Mina, the port, is worth the effort of getting there. OK, so there isn't much to see, but it is a pleasant walk along the seafront, and there are a couple of rocky outcrops linked to the mainland by bridges...great places to write postcards while eating bizr. The promenade was a popular place for walking, jogging and even rollerblading, and there are several cafes on the seafront too.