A new skyline is being forged in modern Tripoli, change literally apparent in the air of Libya’s capital. But it’s the glorious, suspended past that captivates in this, the Arabian Havana. The medina is by turns a quiet refuge of deserted streets, and a dense sea of activity. A walk along a sandy lane – plaster crumbling from walls, a fig tree sprouting up from the ground nearby – only to turn a corner and into a heaving mass of raucous traders and stalls, coffeehouses and spices. Be sure to try out some of the food in the medina – deliciously fresh seafood with the best Levantine flavours of citrus and paprika, alongside a yoghurt dip flavoured with cumin. Perfect.