Planning to visit Libya to see ancient Roman ruins, stunning architecture, sprawling deserts, and some of the best beaches in Africa? You just need to know the right time of year to plan your trip.
The best time to visit Libya depends on your goals for the trip. We share the overall best, cheapest, least busy, and worst time to visit Libya in this guide.
Why You Should Visit Libya
Libya is a North African country bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, and Tunisia. It’s one of the most interesting destinations on the continent.
History buffs and appreciators of architecture and art can’t miss a visit to Libya, which is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Some of the best-preserved ancient Roman ruins in the world stand in Leptis Magna on the coast. Frescoes and mosaics over 1,700 years old can be seen in this historic city.
The ruins of Cyrene, an Ancient Greek city, still stand near Shahhat and include an impressive temple dedicated to Zeus. Other ancient sites, like Villa Silene and Sabratha, are must-see places to visit while you’re here.
Cave paintings over 14,000 years old near Ghat are another World Heritage Site worth seeing here, though many have been destroyed by vandalism. Wildlife, plants, and daily life are depicted in the ancient paintings.
The beautiful beaches in Libya attract lots of visitors each year. With over 1,200 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, semi-arid coastal Libya is an unexpected hotspot for beach vacations.
Zuwarah, Bsees, Farwa Island, and Ras Alteen boast soft, white sand that puts you in a tropical state of mind. Golden and brown sands at Ras Al-Hammamah and Neqezzah are close to ruins and attractions for jam-packed days of fun.
The capital Tripoli is the safest and most popular destination for tourists, and it does not disappoint with lots to see and do around the city.
The Old City offers a peek into the past with monuments and architecture influenced by groups like the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks, Turkish, and Italians.
Tripoli also features impressive mosques and Islamic art dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The old Red Castle – now a museum – deserves a spot on your itinerary.
Almost 90% of Libya is covered by the Sahara Desert (referred to as the Libyan Desert), with the remaining 10% being welcome oases teeming with lush greenery.
One such oasis town, Ghadames, is called the “pearl of the desert” and lies in the middle of the Sahara, rising up like a mirage.
Delicious food with Arab and Mediterranean influence is another reason to visit Libya, with favorites like couscous, seafood, and tomato-based dishes to tantalize your palate.
There are lots of reasons to visit, but it’s worth considering the safety level of different regions of Libya before planning your trip. Tripoli is the safest place to go to in Libya, so concentrate your travels there.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Libya?
- Overall best time to visit: October-March
- Cheapest time to visit: November-December
- Least busy time to visit: April-May and July
- Worst time to visit: April and July-August
It’s clear that Libya can be an incredible place to visit – historic sites, beaches, varied climates and geography, and amazing food – but what is the best time to visit Libya?
Overall, the best time to go is between October and March, which offers moderate, cooler weather and a little rainfall to keep things feeling temperate and pleasant.
If you’re planning a trip on a budget, aim to visit in November or December. Both months feature drastic dips in hotel rates compared to the rest of the year as fewer people come to Libya in this part of winter.
To avoid big crowds of tourists, the best time to visit Libya is in April, May, and July. Tourist data shows that these are the slowest months for arrivals and you’ll find excellent hotel availability along with lower rates during this time of year.
April, July, and August may be the worst months to visit Libya, however. The risk of sandstorms peaks in April and the hottest temperatures occur in July and August with zero rainfall to cool things off.
That’s just an overview of the best time to visit Libya. Let’s take a closer look at each travel season to see which one will be ideal for your trip!
Overall Best Time to Visit Libya
October to March is the overall best time to visit Libya, with moderate, warm temperatures and just enough rain to keep things comfortable while fewer tourists are arriving.
Coastal Libya, where most tourists will be visiting to check out Tripoli and nearby beaches, is at its best during the October to March period.
Expect daily highs ranging from 65F (January) to 82F (March) during this time of year that encompasses part of fall, winter, and spring.
In terms of rainfall, the October to March period is “rainy” compared to the rest of the year in semi-arid coastal Libya. The rain makes the warm temperatures feel a bit cooler and helps the oases thrive.
Still, Libya receives relatively little rain overall with the wettest month being December with an average 3.3″ of rain (about 8 rainy days).
Since summer is the peak tourism season in Libya, you get the benefit of missing out on the huge crowds and will find better prices, hotel availability, and less wait time for attractions at this time of year.
Cheapest Time to Visit Libya
The cheapest time to visit Libya is during November and December, when hotel rates drop drastically as fewer tourists come to Libya during the rainy winter season.
The weather is a deterrent for many would-be Libyan tourists during this time of year. It’s cooler than the rest of the year and receives more rainfall than spring, summer, and fall.
That works to your advantage if you’re hoping to plan a more affordable visit to Libya! Since fewer people come to the country in November and December, hotel rates plummet in an effort to attract more visitors.
Google rates December as the absolute cheapest month of the year to visit Libya, with most hotels charging anywhere from $25 to $66/night this month.
Rates go up slightly in November, with hotels costing $70-$185/night throughout the month.
Compare that to the most expensive time of year to visit (up to $335/night), and you can get a great deal by visiting in November and December.
Least Busy Time to Visit Libya
The best time to visit Libya with fewer crowds is during April, May, and July. These are the slowest tourism months of the year but still boast great weather with moderate temperatures.
Fewer people visit Libya during the spring and July as the weather starts to warm up fast and lack of rainfall makes conditions a little less pleasant.
April in Libya is nice – we’re talking daily highs around 77F, 0.4″ of rain throughout the month, and 13 glorious hours of sunshine each day. Sandstorms during this time of year can be a concern.
May is a little warmer, with daily highs around 83F, even less rain (0.1″), and 14 daily hours of sunshine for long days touring the capital and spending time on the beach.
In July, things start to get really hot with daily highs reaching 90F and absolutely dry conditions with no rainfall. The sun shines for 14 hours, making the 90F temperatures and lack of rain a little more unpleasant.
Still, if you’re after a less-crowded trip that won’t be packed with tourists and higher prices of the peak season, April, May, and July – preferably April and May – can be a great time to go.
Worst Time to Visit Libya
The months of April, July, and August are the worst time to visit Libya. Sandstorms in April and hot temperatures with no rain to relieve the heat make a visit unpleasant at this time of year.
Sandstorms are most common in springtime, especially during the month of April. They can be intense, usually occurring after thunderstorms when high winds lift the top layer of sand 10-50 feet in the air and blow it around.
Sand finds its way into every crack, crevice, and cranny when these meteorological events happen. Sandstorms can be heavy enough to obscure the sun! Goggles and a scarf are needed to be outdoors during a sandstorm.
July and August have less risk of sandstorms in Libya, but they can be unpleasant in their own right. Daily highs from 90F-92F with absolutely no rainfall make temperatures feel even hotter.
July and August are the driest months of the year in Libya along the coast, making it feel more like the interior Sahara Desert than the beach oasis it is through the rest of the year.
That’s why April, July, and August are the worst months to visit Libya. But if you can handle the heat and know how to navigate an unexpected sandstorm, these months can be good for a less-crowded, cheaper visit.
Things to Consider
What else should you know about before you start planning a trip to Libya? From safety concerns to currency and more, here are some considerations and tips to keep in mind.
- Heed current travel advisories. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs currently has Libya under a Level 4 Travel Advisory – Do Not Travel. Concerns about kidnapping, terrorism, crime, civil unrest, and armed conflict make most areas of Libya unsafe to visit at this time.
- Understand Islamic customs in Libya. As an Islamic country with different customs than the Western world, women are expected to travel and do daily activities with an accompanying male and wear three-quarter length skirts and pants with long sleeves. Headscarves are not required. Bathing suits should be modest on tourist beaches, but local beaches may require Islamic-approved swimwear. Make sure you know the swimwear rules of the beach you’re visiting.
- Some people speak English. Standard Arabic is the main language spoken in Libya, but you’ll find that some people – especially the younger people in the country – speak English and French. There aren’t enough English speakers in Libya to rely on English as your sole language to communicate, so it’s a good idea to use translation apps or learn some key phrases in Arabic before you go.
- Exchange your currency. The only currency accepted in Libya is the official Libyan dinar. You won’t be able to use dollars, euros, or other currency while you’re here. This means you’ll need to exchange your own currency for dinar at the airport or banking institutions upon arrival.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have a few questions or concerns about the best time to visit Libya? Take a look at the most frequently asked questions to learn more about visiting this North African country.
Which month is best for Libya?
The best month to visit Libya may be October, with warm but pleasant temperatures around 82F and just enough rain to keep the air feeling cool.
It's also one of the off-season months for tourism, meaning you won't have to deal with big crowds or high prices.
What is the hottest month in Libya?
August is the hottest month in Libya, with temperatures around 92F along the Mediterranean coast and even hotter temperatures around 100F in the heart of the Sahara Desert.
August receives no rainfall on average, making the already-warm temperatures feel hotter than they really are.
Is it safe to go to Libya now?
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Libya stating "Do not travel." Concerns about crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, and kidnapping make Libya unsafe to visit right now.
What are the coldest months in Libya?
January and February are the coldest months in Libya, but they're more on the "cool" than "cold" side. Expect daily highs around 65F-66F and nighttime lows around 44F-45F during this part of winter.
What is special in Libya?
Libya's historic ruins and architecture are some of the most special things about this country. Ancient Roman, Greek, and Turkish buildings including temples, mosques, and entire cities make Libya extra special to visit.
The Mediterranean beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, vast desert and semi-arid landscapes, and thriving modern and old cities are also highlights of this country.
So, When Should You Visit Libya?
We’ve reviewed the reasons you should visit this country, the best time to visit Libya, safety and travel tips, and frequently asked questions. Let’s recap the best time to visit!
October to March is the best overall time to go, with ideal temperatures and a little rainfall combined with low tourist numbers and moderate prices on hotels.
November and December are the cheapest months to go, featuring the best hotel rates of the year with much smaller crowds than in the summer.
April, May, and July are when you’ll find the smallest crowds in Libya, making these months perfect for a laid-back, less-crowded visit.
April, July, and August may be the worst months to visit Libya with additional sandstorm risk and the hottest temperatures of the year with no rainfall to offer a reprieve from the heat.
Keep safety recommendations from your government in mind before you plan a visit to Libya. Generally, the capital of Tripoli is the safest place for tourists to visit.
With historic wonders and ruins, amazing food, beautiful beaches, and lots to see and do, Libya could be one of the most immersive destinations you’ve ever visited.