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Is travel to Libya safe for EU Nationals?

edited October 2010 in - North Africa
I'm an EU national interested in visiting Libya, is it safe? Are there any terrorists in Libya, should I rather go to a more touristy country like Egypt?


  • edited 10:36PM
    The FCO will make it out that Libya is incredibly dangerous - but you will be fine in most areas. See their advice on Basically it is relatively safe in Tripoli and touristy areas and you would normally have a guide with you. The authorities in Libya would probably restrict your access to the more dangerous places anyway - such as travel to areas bordering Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria
    Visit for destination advice
  • edited 10:36PM
    Thanks for the response Mathieu.
    I had a look at that website and it was helpful. I think I'll leave Egypt for another time and take the risk to go to Libya - the guide on this website makes it look like a very beautiful place.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Footloose - Libya is a very safe country, foreigners and tourists are looked after very well security wise. Just know that you have to be accompanied at all times by a guide/driver and you should organise this through a travel agent in Libya who will also organise your visa.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Great, thanks so much for all the advice.
  • edited 10:36PM
    I think that all this infomation has been very helpful to me personally. i am going to Libya in April to visit friends of mine who live there. They tell me I have nothing to worry about, but they are Libians and so don't really understand my worries. Will I need visas and where would I get them from?
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi there McGoo - your friends are right! You have nothing to worry about especially as your friends are Libyans they will look after you very well. What worries do you have? As for your visa, yes you will definitely need one, I don't know where you are located but your first call should be to the Libyan embassy in your area. You may need a letter of invitation from your friends but the embassy will be able to advise you.

    I am sure you will have a wonderful time - enjoy Libya it is truly beautiful
  • edited January 2011
    I personally avoid visiting countries ruled by uncivilized governments which have no respect for human rights and treat criminals and murderers as heroes. It is under my dignity to visit the rat hole of clowns like Ghadafi who needs urgent psychiatric treatment.

    Regarding your question about safety and terrorism. Well, I thought that the Brits are more informed but OK, I will reveal you some facts.
    Libyan terrorists blew up a Pan Am airplane over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 which led to 270 victims. In 2009 the British released one of these terrorist freaks responsible for the Lockerbie tragedy and allowed him to go back to Libya because British petrol interests are more important than human rights and the punishment of mass murderers, no surprise here. He was met in Libya as a hero. The Libyan government also kept in prison for 8 years between 1998 to 2006 5 Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor on fake unrpoven charges. These people were tortured and raped by Libyan policemen numerous times. The EU diplomats barely managed to get them out of this barbaric dump called Libya.

    Will I recommend tourism to Libya? Absolutely not! I would not support such a barbaric regime even with one penny of my travel budget!
  • edited 10:36PM
    Osceola - I appreciate your personal convictions and rarely do I enter into politically charged statements, however, one only has to look at Guantamo and the torture methods there to understand perhaps that terrorism is not the domain of any one people or country
  • edited 10:36PM
    @Osceola - there is a big difference between the actions of a country's government and the beliefs and actions of its people. The real question for you is who does your tourist dollar benefit - the government (your visa fee, yes) or ordinary peaceful citizens like guest house owners, tour guides, taxi drivers, cafe owners etc etc.

    Think of Myanmar which is ruled by an oppressive regime that few people actualy support - by visiting there you are supporting the ordinary people not the government.

    What do you think?
  • edited 10:36PM
    David - I think I agree with you!
  • edited 10:36PM
    Thanks to everyone that has offered their advice and opinions.
    It's nice to know that people feel so strongly (either positively or negatively) about Libya.

    @ Osceola - have you ever personally visited Libya? I agree that there are atrocities being committed there and I remember the news images that were released when the Lockerbie bomber was returned to Libya.

    But as far as tourism is concerned I agree with Lesley and Dave. Lesley seems to have great knowledge of the region and more than that, a great passion for encouraging travellers to set foot off the beaten tourist trail.
    Yes, it is all very good and well to say that people should boycott certain countries because of political issues, and human rights issues. But, personally I believe that going to a country and supporting the individual people in a country is far more positive and effective than boycotting. By going to a country you learn learn about that place and many of the people in your social circle will also learn more about that place AND the people in the country learn about you and your country. By boycotting a country surely you are giving governments more ammunition...and proving to them that foreigners (and oftentimes westerners) can be stereotyped and boxed.
    I think Dave's example of Burma is an apt one and I'd like to add an example. A few years ago I travelled to Zimbabwe. The government is pillaging that country left, right and centre. Yet when I travelled there the people were wonderful and so so grateful that tourists were considering coming to a country that is in some ways experiencing a low-key civil war between rival political factions.
    Or what about Israel/Palestine...some friend's of mine from the United States recently visited both and said that many Palestinians they spoke to said that the presence of tourists and foreigners greatly helped their (Palestinian's) everyday lives as they were treated better at the 'border stations' etc...

    These examples may not be very erudite, but I really believe that traveling to a country should be based on getting to know the real people of that country and about connecting with them rather than with the country's reputation or human rights record.

    Again I really appreciate everyone's comments and advice regarding my forum post and I think that the debating and confronting of issues can only have a positive impact on future readers of this discussion.
  • edited 10:36PM
    To all those thinking to come to Libya, I am a libyan citizen, I broad to belong to this country I have lived in Europe for about 12 years doing my PhD and work, I feed up with the EU cloudy weather and cold and mist, I came back since 3 years and I live every day new day of my life like been seen Libya for the first time , I have not yet visited the tourist places but I do love sahara, in the south you will lost your mind and feel like you live in ohter plannet that Earth, Libyan people are so kind and helpfull, dont based your ideas about what has been said in the media and the west, we dont have enemy we share the technology with all the people , the young libyans are about 60 percent Libyans , they like to talk to others and exchanges ideas and thoughts, Libya is the most peaceful arabic and african country, we are of the same origion and the same habits, PLease come and see what you are up to, in the airport you will stay max 10 mints if you have a good and official stamped visa, dont worry about money and people can inviting you to be as a guest to their homes, this is Libya , heritage of thousands of history , come over , petrol is cheap, water is sweet and the huge sea and the larger Sahara sea in the south will make you forget all your past painfully experiences, discover Libya by your won, no body will ask what you doing here in the middle of no where,
    yours Dr Omar Rbeida
    prof of Pharmacy , From Zentan, Libyan Jamaheria
  • edited 10:36PM
    Yes it's very safe in Lybia at the moment apart from some war zones, i suggest taking a tour of tripoli but it's best to keep a side arm ready with full body armor
  • edited 10:36PM
    I am a UK art and design post grad and am doing research relating to the current changes occuring in N africa and beyond. I would like to travel across Libya ( with affordable guide if necessary?) from Tunisian border to Egyptian border.

    Does anyone know if I can obtain a student visa?
  • edited 10:36PM
    Zaynab - you have to be kidding!!!!! Please do not travel through Libya right now. Not only will it be a problem for you but for the Libyans - I'm sure they don't want you there now!! I am not sure whether you will be able to get a visa but I live next door to Libya in Tunisia and we have thousands of Libyans fleeing their own country and coming to ours. If they are leaving why would anyone in their right mind want to enter??? Wait for a while until it's safe in our region
  • edited 10:36PM
    How is it to travel to libya now? Tripoli to be exact...
  • edited 10:36PM
    Zz - it is not safe to travel to any part of Libya, including Tripoli at the moment
  • edited 10:36PM
    is libiya safe now a days????????????
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