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Travelling to Benghazi / Libya as Solo Traveller.

Exploring the Enchanting Streets of Benghazi: A Solo Female Traveler’s Guide

Hello fellow wanderers! Welcome to my travel blog, where I share my exciting journeys and experiences. In this edition, I will take you on a thrilling trip to Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, while highlighting essential details and advice specifically crafted for solo female travelers. Join me as we unravel the hidden gems of this enchanting destination.

1. Embracing the Historical Richness of Benghazi

Benghazi is a city with a fascinating history that stretches back centuries, making it an ideal playground for history buffs. Begin your adventure by visiting the ancient Ruins of Cyrene, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved Greek and Roman architecture. Don’t forget to explore the impressive Benghazi Archeological Museum, offering an immersive experience through its extensive collection of relics.

1.1 Navigating Benghazi with Confidence

While exploring Benghazi, ensure you are well-prepared and confident in your navigation skills. Familiarize yourself with local transport options such as taxis and buses, and always carry a map or use mobile applications for directions. Be vigilant, especially when venturing out alone during late hours, and trust your instincts to stay safe.

1.2 Dressing Appropriately

Libya is a conservative country, and it’s essential to respect local customs and traditions, particularly as a solo female traveler. When visiting Benghazi, dress modestly, covering your shoulders and legs. This not only demonstrates cultural sensitivity but also ensures a more comfortable and respectful experience throughout your journey.

2. Immersing in Benghazi’s Vibrant Culture

Benghazi is a city brimming with diverse cultural experiences, waiting to be discovered. Unleash your inner foodie at Souq Al Jareed, a bustling market where the tantalizing aromas of traditional Libyan cuisine fill the air. Engage with friendly locals, sample mouthwatering delicacies such as bazeen and tharid, and savor the sweet Libyan tea.

2.1 Blending In with the Locals

When traveling solo, connecting with locals is an excellent way to enhance your experience. Libyans are known for their hospitality, so don’t hesitate to strike up conversations and embrace their warm welcome. Engage in cultural activities, attend traditional music performances, or participate in a cooking class to fully immerse in the local way of life.

2.2 Stay Connected and Share Your Experiences

As a solo traveler, it’s crucial to stay connected with your loved ones and fellow wanderers. Utilize the city’s Wi-Fi hotspots, available in many cafes and public areas, to update your blog or social media accounts, sharing your extraordinary experiences with the world. Inspire other women to embark on their own adventures!

3. Exploring Benghazi’s Picturesque Surroundings

Benghazi is not only a charming city but also acts as a gateway to breathtaking natural wonders. Venture beyond the city’s limits and explore the stunning beauty of the region’s countryside and coastline. Make sure to include a visit to Tobruk, renowned for its dazzling sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters – a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

3.1 Prioritize Safety During Your Outdoor Excursions

As a woman traveling solo, your safety is of utmost importance. When exploring Benghazi’s surroundings, opt for reputable tour operators who offer guided excursions to ensure a secure and delightful experience. Avoid venturing alone into remote areas or hiking trails, and always inform your accommodation or a trusted contact about your plans.

3.2 Capturing Memories Through Photography

Benghazi’s natural beauty presents countless opportunities for breathtaking photography. Capture the magnificent landscapes, vibrant markets, and captivating architectural masterpieces with your camera. However, always ensure you respect local customs while taking photos, especially in more conservative areas.

So, my fellow travel enthusiasts, pack your bags, put on your adventurous spirit, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the mesmerizing streets of Benghazi. Immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning surroundings while embracing the spirit of exploration. Remember, solo female travel is empowering, and Benghazi welcomes you with open arms. Safe travels!

Possible Accommodation Options in Benghazi for Women Solo Travelers

1. Grand Hotel

Located in the city center, Grand Hotel offers comfortable and secure accommodations for women solo travelers. It provides a range of amenities including WiFi, a fitness center, and 24-hour front desk service.

2. Tibesti Hotel

Situated in a convenient location, Tibesti Hotel offers a safe and welcoming environment for solo female travelers. The hotel features spacious rooms, an on-site restaurant, and friendly staff.

3. Mediterranean Hotel

With its central location, Mediterranean Hotel is a suitable option for women traveling alone. The hotel offers clean and cozy rooms, room service, and a rooftop terrace with views of the city.

4. Radisson Blu Hotel

The Radisson Blu Hotel in Benghazi provides a secure and comfortable stay for solo female travelers. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, and on-site dining options.

5. Twin Towers Hotel

Twin Towers Hotel is a reputable choice for women seeking accommodation in Benghazi. The hotel offers well-appointed rooms, a restaurant serving international cuisine, and a friendly atmosphere.

Must-See Places in Benghazi

1. Old Town (Medina)

The Old Town of Benghazi boasts narrow streets, historic architecture, and a vibrant atmosphere. Visitors can explore traditional shops, cafes, and experience the local culture.

2. Red Castle (Al-Fouhoud)

The Red Castle is a prominent historical site that offers panoramic views of the city. This ancient fortress showcases ancient Roman and Ottoman architecture, as well as a museum featuring artifacts from different eras.

3. Benghazi National Museum

The Benghazi National Museum houses a diverse collection of archaeological artifacts, including ancient Greek, Roman, and Islamic pieces. It provides insight into the region’s rich history and cultural heritage.

4. Freedom Square (Maydan Al-Hurriya)

Located in the heart of Benghazi, Freedom Square is a bustling public space surrounded by shops, cafes, and government buildings. It serves as a vibrant meeting point and a hub of social activity.

5. Italian Cemetery

The Italian Cemetery is a serene and beautifully landscaped burial ground that holds historical significance. It pays tribute to Italian soldiers who lost their lives during World War II.

6. Benghazi Zoo

Benghazi Zoo offers a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts. It houses a variety of animal species, providing a unique opportunity to observe wildlife in a pleasant setting.

7. Gurgi Mosque

Gurgi Mosque is a splendid architectural masterpiece located in Benghazi. Its intricate design, beautiful mosaics, and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit place for those interested in Islamic art and culture.

Please note that when visiting any destination, it’s essential to check the latest travel advisories and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Favorite Foods to Eat in Benghazi

1. Bazeen

Bazeen is a traditional Libyan dish that is commonly enjoyed in Benghazi. It is made from a mixture of barley flour, water, and salt, cooked until it forms a thick, dough-like consistency. Bazeen is often served with a tomato-based meat stew called “merguez” or with fresh vegetables. The texture of Bazeen is soft and slightly sticky, and it has a distinctive flavor that pairs perfectly with the accompanying dishes.

2. Grilled Seafood

Benghazi is known for its fresh and delicious seafood, and grilling is a popular cooking method. The city’s coastal location ensures that you can enjoy a wide variety of grilled seafood options, including fish, shrimp, calamari, and lobster. The seafood is usually marinated with herbs, spices, and lemon juice, then grilled to perfection. The smoky flavors and juicy tenderness make this a must-try culinary experience in Benghazi.

3. Bazin Tarka

Bazin Tarka is a traditional Libyan dish that originated in Benghazi. It consists of a thick cornmeal-based dough, similar to Bazeen, but with the addition of butter or ghee. The dough is then shaped into small balls and cooked in a tomato-based sauce with meat, usually lamb or beef. Bazin Tarka is hearty and full of flavors, combining the rich taste of meat with the buttery cornmeal dough.

4. Queshta

Queshta is a mouthwatering dessert that is popular in Benghazi. It is a sweet pastry filled with a creamy and aromatic mixture of ricotta cheese, sugar, and rosewater. Queshta is often topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a drizzle of honey. The pastry has a delicate texture, and the sweet filling creates a perfect balance of flavors. It is a delightful treat to indulge in after a savory Libyan meal.

Daily Costs in Benghazi for Solo Travellers

Food

– Average cost for a meal at a budget restaurant: $5-8
– Street food/snacks: $1-3 per item
– Groceries (per day): $10-15

Stay

– Budget hotel/hostel: $20-40 per night
– Mid-range hotel: $40-80 per night
– Airbnb/shared accommodation: $15-40 per night

Transportation

– Public transportation (bus or shared taxi): $0.25-0.50 per ride
– Private taxi (within the city): $2-5 per ride
– Rental car (per day): $30-50, depending on the vehicle type and rental duration

Safety for Woman Solo Travellers in Benghazi

General Safety

– Benghazi has experienced security concerns in recent years, with occasional conflicts and political instability. It is recommended to stay informed about the current situation before planning a trip.
– Exercise caution, avoid demonstrations, and follow the advice of local authorities and your country’s embassy or consulate.

Dress Code and Behavior

– Observing local customs and dressing modestly is highly recommended for female travelers in Benghazi.
– Wearing loose-fitting clothes that cover the shoulders, arms, and legs is advisable.
– Respecting local traditions and avoiding excessive public displays of affection is also important.

Accommodation and Transportation

– Choosing reputable hotels or accommodations with good reviews can enhance safety.
– Opting for private transportation, such as hiring a trusted taxi or arranging transport through reliable sources, can provide more security during travel.

Solo Exploration

– It is advisable for solo female travelers to avoid traveling alone at night and in isolated areas.
– Consider joining group tours or hiring a local guide when exploring the city.
– Informing someone trustworthy about your plans and keeping emergency numbers handy is recommended.