Leptis Magna, Libya

Tiers of seating hewn into the rock at Leptis Magna’s amphitheater
Tiers of seating hewn into the rock at Leptis Magna’s amphitheater


LOCATION The amphitheater is 1.6 miles (3 km) east of Leptis Magna, and 120 miles (193 km) east of Tripoli



Jan: 54°F (12°C); Apr: 64°F (18°C); Jul: 81°F (27°C); Oct: 73°F (23°C)

The site of Leptis Magna, on the coast of Libya, has some of the most impressive Roman remains in Africa (see p45). Two miles (3 km) east of the main site, by a beach where Greek and Roman columns lie stranded like driftwood, stands a magnificent amphitheater, its honey-colored stone blending into its sandy surrounds in sharp contrast to the blue of the sea beyond.

Created in the bowl of a former quarry that supplied much of the stone for the ancient city’s buildings, it lies below ground level, with tunnels and holding cells for animals carved out of the rock. Its surrounding colonnade is long gone, leaving a beautifully harmonious saucer of seats.

Practical Information

Getting There British Airways and Lufthansa are among the airlines that fly to Tripoli. Leptis Magna is 1.6 miles (3 km) from the town of Al-Khums. Domestic transfers must be arranged through a Libyan tour operator.

When to Go Between October and June, to avoid the summer heat. Watch for concerts staged in the Roman theater at Leptis Magna’s main site

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