Heading to Tripoli, keep in mind that this is one of the most conservative areas of Lebanon, so I guess dress accordingly.
Nothing is left from the old Phoenician history of this city. When you get there, you will directly feel that you are in a totally different world than Beirut and the coastal cities. To me it somehow felt gloomier, although very lively. Either way, it definitely is not one of my favourate cities.
After getting off the bus at the Abdul Hamid Karami square, head to the clocktower, from where you will get into the bazaar area, which is full of hammams, mosques and Madrassas (these last are mostly closed to public). Visit or see from outside – Al Mansouri mosque, Al-Qarathawi, hamam Alnouri, AlTowashiyyah Madrassa, AlSaboun Caravanserai – a place, where people come to buy local soap, mostly olive soap, Al-Abd Hammam, Izzeddeen Hammam, AlKhayyateen Caravanserai, AlBourtasi Mosque.
After that head up to the Crusader citadel. Technically, it should be open every day, but you never know, when will they close it. We didn’t manage to get in, we were told that it’s closed for the day. A tank was standing in front of it and it was heavily guarded by the military.
Anyway, the views from up there over the colorful buildings across the small river are nice.
After this, you can try some local sweets at the Abdul Rahman Hallab & Sons 1881.
If you still have time and want to explore more of the city, see the Taynal mosque and head to the International Fair area, where different activities take place.
After Tripoli, get on the bus and head to Batroun. On the way, if you are ok to walk a lot from the main road, or if you are driving, you can stop at the Anfeh beach and/or also see Our Lady of Noorieh Monastery. Keep a lookout, you will drive next to Mseilha fort.
In Batroun, you can explore the Phoenician wall and Our Lady of the Sea Church. Walk around the seaside and then head to old souq area before heading back to Beirut.