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Libya country information

Libya map
Socialist People's Libyan Arab Great Jamahiriya
Area: 1,759,541 sq km
Population: 6,173,579
Population density: 3.2 per sq km
Capital: Tripoli
Passport & Visa
Passport Required?
British Yes
Australian Yes
Canadian Yes
USA Yes/1
Other EU Yes
Visa Required?
British Yes
Australian Yes
Canadian Yes
USA Yes
Other EU Yes

VISA NOTE: applying for a transit visa for Libya in Tunis (last update November 28, 2010).

Ok, we've just received our 14 day transit visa for Libya in Tunis! Here's how it went:

The first time we went to the Libyan consulate in Tunis (note, not the embassy!) on 74 Avenue Mohamed V, was on Tuesday, the 2nd of November. The entrance to the consulate is on the left of the building, first door. We asked what we would need to apply for a transit visa. We were told copies of our Dutch passport, translations of the main passport page in Arabic and 45 Tunisian Dinar per visa application. We were also told (by two different people) that the application would take 15 days...

So we took our passports and a letter we wrote, to explain why we want a transit visa for the country, to a translator: Maître Abdallah Hafaiedh on 98 Rue de Yougoslavie, second floor (tel. 71347803). He will translate above from English into Arabic. (10 dinar per passport page, ready in one-and-a-half days, 15 dinar for the letter)
If you need translations from French into Arabic, we would suggest you go and see:
Maître Ben Halima Salah on 45 Avenue Habib Bourguiba (the building is called the Colisée), 5th floor, room 508 (tel. 334170).

We took everything to the consulate on November 4, and they accepted all the paperwork, took everything to the back, including our passports and, after returning our passports, told us to come back in ten days. Please note that the guy at reception only speaks Arabic, so most of your conversations will be redirected via phone to a lady that speaks French, somewhere in the building. If you don't speak either, let them know, because there are English speakers there ! At this stage we didn't pay anything!

When we returned after 11 days (on Monday the 15th), the consulate was closed...
Due to Eid (Islamic holiday) on Tuesday and Wednesday, they took an extra day off, being Monday. When we returned on Thursday the 18th, the visa approval was not there. So we returned again on Monday the 22nd. We were greeted by an official, who spoke fluent English (!), who asked us how many days we thought we'd need to cycle through the country.
Would 20 be enough? 20 ??? That would be very nice. He said, "I'll give you 20 days"... We were very pleases indeed! So we filled in the green visa form, with all our details, profession, where we wanted to go in Libya, religion and all that stuff and handed it back together with two passport size photos each and 31 Tunisian Dinar per person (where did 45 come from?). He said, come back in an hour and we'll have it all sorted... So we went to a café and had a few coffees, still unable to believe our luck. I mean 20 days would be awesome and enough for us to cycle the whole country. When we returned, I spoke on the phone with the English speaker and he told me there was a mix-up and that our approval hadn't come in yet !@@##%$

That was a bummer, but at least he told us we could get 20 days if the approval was there. So we left them with our telephone number, so they could call us when they received the approval. We went back anyway on Wednesday, but the visa was not there. The English speaker told us he had send a reminder to Tripoli and that he would be in touch as soon as he heard anything. And on Friday we got a phone call! I never thought they would ring and we were about to embark on another trip to the consulate, when we got the news the approval was there.

So we jumped in a taxi, and we got a 14 days transit visa! Why 14 days I don't know, but anyway, a lot better than 7 days what most travellers get. I think it pays to say that you are on a bicycle and that you need some more days, because the country is quite big...

The visa is in Arabic, and we couldn't decipher how long the visa was for, so we asked to talk to the English speaker again. He told us it was for 14 days and that we had to be in the country within 15 days, otherwise the visa won't be valid. We had somebody at the hotel have a look at it as well, just to be sure.

Well, I think that's it, if there are any more questions, let us know.


Passports

Passport valid for a minimum of six months required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Passport Note

(a) Holders of passports containing a valid or expired visa for Israel will be refused entry or transit.
(b) All visitors entering Libya must be in possession of a minimum of foreign currency equivalent to US$1,000 on arrival except: nationals who are joining a Libyan resident provided that the resident undertakes to bear the cost of the visitor's stay and medical treatment; nationals who are travelling in a tourist group arranged by a tour operator or travel agency where expenses have been covered before arrival and nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the USA. Failure to comply with this will result in instant deportation and a fine to the airline.
(c) Passengers require an Arabic transcript of passport's details page. This is true even if a valid visa is held. This translation must be completed by an agency authorized by the embassy or it is not considered valid.

Visas

Required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except:
(a) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft within 24 hours provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Visa Note

Visitors must register with the immigration office within one week of arrival. Those visiting with an organised tour will usually have this done for them; some hotels also provide this service.

Visa Restrictions:
The government of Lybia refuses admission and transit to nationals of Israel; and might not accept other passports containing Israeli stamps or visas.

Types of Visa and Cost

Tourist/Business: 100.

Validity

Three months from date of entry. Entry must be within 45 days of receipt of visa.

Applications to:

Any of Libya's diplomatic representatives in the relevant country or abroad (such as the Libyan People's Bureau in London. Nationals of Germany applying whilst out of their country must obtain their visas in Bonn/Berlin. Nationals of Canada in the UK at time of application must obtain their visas in Brussels, Belgium. US nationals who are green card holders must obtain their visas from the Libyan Embassy in their original country, unless specifically instructed otherwise by Libyan Immigration Authorities. Libyan consulates will not stamp visas in a US Government issued 'white passport' or Travel Document issued to a green card holder.

Working Days Required

24 hours.
Getting there

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Libyan Arab Airlines (LN) ( www.libyanarabairline.com ).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Tripoli is 4 hours.

Main Airports

Tripoli International (TIP) is 25km (15.5 miles) south of the city. To/from the airport: Taxi services are available to the city (journey time - 40 minutes). Facilities: Chemist, post office, light refreshments, duty-free shops, banks, restaurants and shops.

Benghazi International (BEN)
is 19km (12 miles) east of Benghazi city centre.
Departure Tax
None.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Es-Sider, Benghazi, Darna, Mersa Brega, Misurata and Tripoli

Cruise lines call at Libya.

Getting There by Rail

There are currently no international rail links, although work on a network has started.

Getting There by Road

Main routes to Libya are from Egypt or Tunisia. Several buses and taxis operate on these routes.
The border with Tunisia is at Ras Ajdir (Ras Jedire). There are many money changers in Rash Jedir (Tunisian side).
The Egyptian border is 3 km east of Musaad (or Amsaad). Change money in one of the small shops in town or try and find money changers on the Egyptian side hanging outside the immigration office. When entering Egypt without a visa, you have to buy a visa at the bank first (US$ 15 per person) and head back to immigration with the sticker. Border formalities will take around two hours in total !
Cycling & Maps
Cost of living
Libya: all prices in Libyan Dinars (LD)
drinks and snacks food: local markets; restaurants; and stores
water
water
juice
juice
almond drink (can)
soft drink (bottle)
soft drink (bottle)
soft drink (bottle)
1.5 litre
7 litre
200ml
1 litre
240ml
1 litre
1.5 litre
2.0 litre
0.500
0.750 - 1.000
0.750 - 1.000
2.250
0.750 - 1.000
1.000
1.250
1.500

baguette - large
baguette - hot dog rolls
wholemeal bread cake - small
flat bread - small
individual cakes / slices
swiss roll cake
muffins - teacakes

per 5 sticks
per 10 pieces
per 4 pieces
per 6 pieces
35g
200g
55g

0.250
0.250
0.250
0.500
0.250
1.500 - 2.000
0.250

omelette in bread
pizza
instant noodles

per serve
small-medium
75g

1.000
3.500-5.000
0.500
beer- non alcoholic (can)
ginger beer - non alcoholic

330ml
330ml
0.500 - 1.000
1.000 - 1.250
tea
coffee (cafe / bar)
cappuccino
Nescafe instant
coffee - ground
25 bags
per cup
per cup
50g
200g
1.250
0.500
0.500
2.250
2.000

rice (white)
pasta
eggs
tomato extract
tomato extract
kg
400g
per 7
400 g
200g
0.500 - 1.000
0.750
1.000
1.000
0.750

milk
yoghurt / curd
cheese - gouda
cheese - feta
cheese - cream
cheese - slices
olives
mayonaise

Magnum icecream

1 litre
90g
150g
250g
8 portions
125g
250g
300g

each
0.750 - 1.000
0.250
2.250
0.750
1.000
1.500
2.250
2.000

n/a

potatoes
onions
tomatoes
peas
courgette
paprika - capsicum
cabbage or cauliflower
coriander or rucula
chickpeas
corn kernels
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
small bunch
400g tin
410g tin
0.500
1.500
1.000
2.000
2.000
3.000
2.000
0.250
0.750 - 1.000
1.000 - 1.500
chips
fresh peanuts
smoked almonds
dates
sultanas
113g pack
kg
kg
kg
250g

1.000
2.500
12.000
1.000 - 2.000
1.000

apples
oranges
bananas
mandarins
quinces
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
3.000
2.000
1.500
1.500 - 2.000
3.000
cornflakes
chocolate

lamington cookies
biscuits - plain
biscuits- deluxe
200g pack
100g block

tray of 12
150g pack
132g
2.250
1.000

1.000 -1.500
0.500
1.000

pineapple (can)
oil (olive)
567g can
250ml
1.000
1.500
peanut paste
jam
chocolate spread
honey
350g
454g jar
350g
125g
2.000 - 2.500
1.000 - 1.500
1.750
2.250
* Prices obtained from local shops and fresh food markets while travelling through Libya.
accommodation personal
budget city hostel
budget city hostel
budget hotel
7.000 per dorm bed
14.000 - 20.000 double + share bathroom
50.000 - 60.000 double + bathroom
deodorant - roll-on
soap
shampoo
toothbrush
toothpaste

disposable razor
toilet paper
50ml
85g bar
200ml
each
25ml

each
2 pack

1.500 - 3.000
0.500
2.000
0.500 - 1.000
0.500

0.500
0.750

camping
wild camping

5.000 per person
possible, but sometimes difficult to find a secluded or hidden spot
internet 1.000 per hour

* tba = price to be announced
* December 2010: at time of writing 1.00 USD = 1.22 LD
all prices have been taken from internet resources such as wikitravel, hostel world, leading supermarket chains, travel blogs, forums and of course our own travel experiences and purchases of everyday products in food markets, bazaars and local shopping facilities. They are only an indication and designed to give you a general impression of the cost of living in Libya. Items are geared towards the budget conscious traveller with an occasional craving for a bit of luxury.
Accommodation
Food & drink
Bike shops
There are hardly any bike shops in Libya... everybody drives a car!
In Tripoli there is a small shop * on Av. Omar Mukhtar; if you walk from Martyrs Square it is on the left side of Omar Mukhtar St., second block if I'm correct. When we were there, it only opened up its doors in the afternoon. You'll find some very basic parts here.
Climate
climate chart Benina climate chart Tripoli Lybia
Road distances
Libya road distance chart

 

Detailed distance chart from our trip through Libya - December 2010 (km/alti)      
   
accomm.:
km
altimetres
  H= hotel . C= camping . YH= Youth hostel (altitude in brackets; where applicable)
         
Tunisian border @ Ras Jedire (Ras Ajdir) Zaltan (or Zelten/Zulton)
39
62
Zaltan (or Zelten/Zulton) Zuara (Zawara)
21
5
Zuara (Zawara) Sabratha
H/YH
44
57
Sabratha Surman
11
45
Surman Zawiyah
H
17
26
Zawiyah Tripoli
H/YH
50
147
   
Tripoli turn-off Tripoli by-pass
23
50
turn-off Tripoli by-pass El Garabulli
40
99
El Garabulli El Khoms
H
55
277
El Khoms Leptis Magna
H/C
5
9
Leptis Magna Zliten
34
39
Zliten Misrata
H/YH
56
74
   
Misrata - Benghazi by bus (approx. 820 km)
H/YH
   
Benghazi turn-off Aggouria
66
68
turn-off Aggouria Tukrah (or Tocra) (40)
7
10
Tukrah (or Tocra) top climb (291)
4
268
top climb Al Marj (325)
H
18
94
Al Marj top climb (489)
30
221
top climb Al Bayyadah (400)
15
70
Al Bayyadah Qasr Libya (411)
17
177
Qasr Libya Wadi al-Kuf bridge (419)
22
280
Wadi al-Kuf bridge Massah (499)
10
121
Massah Al Bayda (602)
H
11
151
   
Al Bayda Shahhat (671)
H/YH
12
75
Shahhat Al Bayda airport (676)
8
89
Al Bayda airport turn-off Susah (44)
61
263
turn-off Susah Darnah (or Dernah) (28)
H
9
19
Darnah top climb (249)
7
246
top climb turn-off Matrubah (229)
18
40
turn-off Matrubah Umm Ar Rizam (80)
26
18
Umm Ar Rizam Al Tamimi (10)
25
68
Al Tamimi Ayn Al Ulaymah (61)
40
121
Ayn Al Ulaymah El Garbada (29)
11
13
El Garbada turn-off Knightsbridge Cemetery (115)
23
106
turn-off Knightsbridge Cemetery Tobruk (or Tubruq) (5)
H
25
31
Tobruk (or Tubruq) Tobruk War Cemetery (112)
6
111
Tobruk War Cemetery French War Cemetery / turn-off Adam (160)
3
59
French War Cemetery / turn-off Adam Kambut (139)
50
53
Kambut Bi'r Al Ashab (153)
18
32
Bi'r Al Ashab Qasr Al Jady (133)
14
26
Qasr Al Jady turn-off Al Burdi (131)
27
57
turn-off Al Burdi Musaad (or Amsaad) (196)
20
96
Musaad (or Amsaad) border Egypt (203)
5
11
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