Libya Basics

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The Basics


Time: Local time is GMT +2.

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are used. Power outages are common.

Money: The Libyan Dinar (LYD), divided into 1,000 dirhams.

Currency Exchange Rates

LYD1.00 = USD 0.72GBP 0.56CAD 0.95AUD 1.06ZAR 10.56EUR 0.65NZD 1.14
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: The official language of Libya is Arabic (used for all official business), though some Italian and English is spoken, especially in the cities.

Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Libya. A visa is required.

Passport/Visa Note: Most foreign passengers require a visa to enter Libya. Tourist visas must be organised in advance, but can sometimes be issued on arrival; provided that travellers are holding a copy of a letter issued by the Libyan immigration authorities, confirming that a visa will be granted to them upon their arrival at the airport. This copy must be sent to the office of the transporting carrier in Libya at least 24 hours in advance. Visitors travelling to Libya for touristic purposes are also required to convert USD 1,000 (or equivalent) in freely convertible cash, or to debit the amount from a valid credit card upon their arrival at the airport. Failure to do so will result in the traveller being refused entry to Libya. Note that admission and transit will be refused to holders of (i) documents containing a valid or expired visa for Israel, or (ii) tickets showing an Israeli destination. All visitors must also hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in Libya, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate (if arriving within six days or leaving or transiting through an infected area). Please note that the volatile political situation in Libya means that visa/entry requirements often change abruptly, and as such, travellers should make sure they are in possession of up-to-date information BEFORE leaving home. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: There are no major health risks associated with travel to Libya. Visitors travelling from infected areas require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Travellers are encouraged to get vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid. Healthcare facilities in Libya are basic and travellers are advised to have full health insurance. In remote areas there may be no health facilities at all, therefore travellers are advised to carry their own basic medications. Tap water in Libya is chlorinated, but it is advised that visitors drink only bottled or boiled water.

Tipping: Not common, may be offensive. However, tipping tour guides is appreciated.

Safety Information: Libya remains unstable and unpredictable in the wake of civil war, with various extremist groups and political factions warring for control. Ports and airports have been targeted by terrorist groups. Terrorism is a real threat and travellers should be particularly alert to the kidnapping threat as foreigners have previously been targeted. The political instability has reportedly also led to an increase in crime levels. Safety in Libya is far from certain and most government agencies advise against all travel to the country at this time.

Local Customs: Libya is an Islamic country and visitors should be respectful in terms of following Arabic customs, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public is forbidden. Swimwear should be restricted to beaches, and women should dress modestly, and avoid Arab gatherings where women are not permitted. Homosexuality is illegal and extramarital sexual relationships are forbidden. Criticism of the Libyan Government, Islam and the country itself is not tolerated. Permission must always be sought prior to photographing people, and it is not recommended that a camera be used or carried near any official or military buildings. Libya is one of the strictest countries in terms of a ban on alcohol and drugs, and neither should be brought into the country, though smoking is very common.

Duty Free: Travellers may enter the country with 200 cigarettes or 250 cigars or 250g tobacco, and 250ml of perfume. All alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited, as well as almost all foodstuffs. There is also an extensive list of banned items, including any articles manufactured or produced in Israel, and it is best to consult a Libyan Embassy for more information before travel.