Shopping in Libya

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RocApply dedicates this guide to students whose itch for shopping needs a tame. Libya has something perfect meant to satisfy the crave! The old souks and winding lanes of the country with its traditional mosques and inns have particular streets given to spices, gold, silverware, and animal skins. There're beautiful jewelry and perfume shops, filled with racks of blended oils and fragrances and old warehouses devoted to copper creations.

Remember to always keep an eye out for the bridal shops, selling everything the modern Libyan woman needs to tie the knot. There, you can even buy hen night hampers containing hairdryers, henna, and underwear. Other local crafts specialties include the famous embroidered Ghadames slippers, pottery from Gharian, trays, and baskets built from palm leaves, and leather bags and belts. Be prepared to haggle a little, although not too hard.

Between the shops and market, malls are traditional hammams each one has separate opening times for people and places to grab a fruit smoothie, a bite to eat, or a cup of sweet mint tea. It is worth noting that most women in Libya go to the souks in the morning; female travelers visiting alone might prefer to join them, rather than brace themselves for multitudes of curious men.

Amongst the best places to visit here in Tripoli and Benghazi, each has central shopping corners, where one can find clothing, groceries, books, magazines, and souvenirs. Many shops are stocked with Italian imports; fine Italian shirts can be a good buy, as can shoes. Bookstores here are largely limited to Arabic-language items, although you may as well get a bit lucky and find a few books in English or Italian try the children's and students' sections.

Nowhere does late night shopping better than in the Arabic-speaking world, and Tripoli and Benghazi are no exception. Shops are usually open until 11 pm most nights. Friday night shopping is the best family activity for many Libyans. Outside of the main cities, shopping is generally limited to basic commodities...

Shopping in Libya is as unique as the country's other offerings, with most handicrafts linked to the Berber tribes comprising of traditional flat-weave, kilim, rugs, carpets, cushions as well as distinctive Tuareg jewelry, carved boxes, and knives with beautiful silver-inlaid handles and scabbards. The country's tourist industry is still underdeveloped, meaning that all the crafts on display are genuinely made traditionally rather than targeted at indiscriminate souvenir-hunters.

Other favorites, good value reminders of your vacation are antiques and gold jewelry, with gold trading by the weight and cost far less than in the United States and Europe. Decorated leather boots, shoes, or sandals are a great buy although expensive, and the lovely Berber wall-hangings are uncommon home decor items. The museum shops are good for carefully-crafted copies of ancient artifacts, while Libya’s upscale hotels have souvenir shops selling quality crafts at higher prices.

"I enjoy shopping and I found it affordable but some of the clothes are definitely not of the highest quality." - Hassan from Turkey

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