Mina is a coastal city in Lebanon. It occupies the old Phoenician city of Tripoli. It is on the Mediterranean and it is one of the most lively cities in Lebanon. Mina means " Harbour" and it was called "Askala" until 1978.
Many people get confused between Tripoli and Mina thinking that Mina is just one neighbourhood of Tripoli. But this is not correct; Mina is a city with a long and rich history and a municipality that dates back to the 19th century. The Greeks first inhabited the city and then the Turkish and of course the Syrians.
The people of Mina (Minawiyeh) have their own accent which is totally different than other accents in other areas and regions in Lebanon. French and English are widely spoken in Mina although the average English knowledge is very low.
- By road: Mina has good road networks that connect it to its neighbouring city Tripoli and to Beirut. You can reach Mina from Syria by taking the Northern Highway.
- By boat: There are ferries that connect Mina to Ayia Napa in Cyprus and Mersin in Turkey. These ferries are not scheduled on regular basis so it is recommended to check before you plan your visit.
- By plane: The closest airport is Beirut International Airport which is located 89 km to the south of Mina (around 90 minutes).
Warning: Traffic in Mina is nuts. It is the place where the social order breaks down and it is every man for himself (the traffic lights don't exist and if they do, they are usually ignored). You will find cars double and triple parked. Cars going the wrong way down one way streets. Before attempting to cross the street, observe the locals. The idea is to spot a gap in the traffic and start across and hopefully people will stop. If this fails look for a pretty girl or a mother with young kids and let them cross before you. Good luck!
There is only one way to see Mina, walking. Mina is a small city and you can walk around the city in almost one hour. added to that, side walks are everywhere.
In order to visit Tripoli, you may need a taxi, which is not expensive, one dollar will be enough to take you to Tripoli city centre. You may find it easy to reach Tripoli walking, especially if the weather helps.
There are too many things to see in Mina; The islands, the old towers, the sea side Corniche and the scaffolds.
- Sheikh Affan Sscaffold. It was established upon the request of orange and lemons merchants in 1871.
- Hammams (traditional bathhouses). It is known by the old bathhouse. It was built around 1740 by the Tripoli governor Asaad Pasha Al-Azem who built also the bathhouse known as the new one in internal region of the Tripoli. It is under the Big High Mosque.
- The Reserve of Palms Islands. The second largest island, it is a national fish preservation.
- St. Georges (Jorjios) Cathedral. In 1732, Mgr. Makarios built a new church in El-Mina; he took the permission from Ottoman authorities represented by the minister Suleiman Pasha (known as "Ibn Al-‘az̨m") who tried to get this decision from Constantinople. On May 8, 1732, El-Mina citizens placed the corner stone and achieved the construction in August 1732.
- Deguise Mosque (Omar Ben Al-Khattab). This mosque was built by one of Al-Dakiz family living in El-Mina since long time (circa 1800). At the beginning, it was built without a minaret, which means that it was rather a school than a mosque.
- Mino-Labban street. A pedestrian street with more than 40 bars and restaurants. the street became a main spot in Mina and a must visit place especially by young tourists.
- Mina Old Town. Inhabited since the 14th century BC, El Mina was ruled sequentially by Persians, Alexander the Great's successors, the Romans, Mamluke Muslims, Turkish Ottomans, and the French. As a result, the old town is filled with history, including mosques and churches, a Caravan Serail, a Mamluk Fortress, and souk (traditional marketplaces).
- [dead link] Beit AL-Fann (House of arts), ☏ . 15:00-20:00. Build on the remains of an old church, Beit Alfan has become a center for cultural activities in North Lebanon.
- Corniche. The Corniche is the city's most visited site. A long sidewalk along the coast of the city, approximately 4.5 km long, where people come for a walk, sports and leisure activities such as fishing and sailing. A large number of cafes along the corniche is an attractive site for tourists and locals alike.
- The Lion Tower (Burj El Sibaa). El-Mina traditionally was a walled city, with five outpost towers to protect the city from external invasion. Lions or Barsabay (Bourj Al-Siba'a) which is the only tower still standing today.
- Zambo parade. Each year on the weekend preceding Clean Monday (usually between March and April), hundreds of locals organize and participate in lively musical parades wearing Pagan outfits and masks. The origin of this old tradition is unknown but some people link it to local Greek families (Greek Mardi Gras). What ever the origin is, El Mina is surely the only place in Lebanon where you enjoy such an exotic experience.
The best thing to buy from Mina is furniture, but come on! who is going to visit Mina and leave with a sofa or a bedroom? (you are allowed 30 kg maximum baggage on board of most airlines, except for Sudan Air and Yemeni Airlines.
You can buy fish...but why the hassle if we can just go to any restaurant in Mina and eat fish.
You can buy clothes that are 100% produced in Turkey. But if you are planning to visit Turkey after Lebanon, do the shopping there.
- 46, Corniche Road, ☏ . Continental, Steak night, Romantic dinners. US$20.
- Abu Fadi, Sheikh Affan. 10:00-23:00. Seafood and grilled fish US$5.
- Abu Said. 06:00-16:00. Hommos (chick peas) and Fool (black peas). US$1-5.
- Falafel, Everywhere. Mina people used to claim that falafel is their traditional dish until they found out that most falafel cafeterias in Mina (and most probably around the world) are owned by Palestinians! Yet, they still believe that falafel comes from from Mina.
- Cava Mino, Mino Street. Poetry nights, jazz nights, etc. US$3-5.
- Hollywood. until late. Bar and grill. US$6.
- Rouge. 16:00-01:00. Snack bar. US$10.
- Savanna. Bar. US$5.
- Al lounge, Mino Street. 16:00-23:00. Restaurant and bar. US$6.
- Gosha, Mino Street. until late. Restaurant and bar. US$12-20.
- [dead link] Quality Inn, Tripoli International Exhibition center, ☏ . Located in El Mina (Beirut Highway), this hotel has 112 rooms and suites. There are 4 restaurants, roof top restaurant, garden barbecue grill, piano bar, and coffee shop, featuring a wide selection of continental and authentic cuisines. The hotel also has a leisure club, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and a health club with jaccuzi, sauna, Turkish baths and massage.
- [dead link] House of arts Lodging, Mina- Bi'a, ☏ . There are lodging facilities in Beit Alfan for artists and foreign students. Check with Beit Alfan for room availability and prices.
- Saint Francis Monastery, Antouniyyeh street, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Lodging facilities for monks and foreigners visiting North Lebanon. There are 6 spacious rooms that can accommodate up to 12 guests with a possibility of adding extra beds. All rooms include an en-suite bathroom and telephone. Saint Francis Monastery in El-Mina also has a kitchenette, a multipurpose lounge with a satellite TV, internet access and cafeteria.
- El Mina Tourism Information centre.  [formerly dead link]:Telephone: +961 6 600459
- El Mina Municipality. click here: Telephone: +961 6 600458
- El Mina Police Station. Telephone: +961 6 211631. for emergencies call 112.
- El Mina Post Office. click here: Telephone: +961 601181
- Red Cross Mina office. telephone: +961 6 602510
- general information: info [dead link]
- Lebanese Ministry of Tourism click here