Tunis Travel Guide

The capital city of Tunisia, Tunis is one of the Mediterranean’s larger cities which has not lost its charm over the centuries. From the Kasbah of the inner city to the lofty Big Mosque and palace which dominate the hilltop, there is a wealth of untapped antiquity waiting for any visitor intrepid enough to travel to this north African country.

Introduction

As one of the oldest cities on the Mediterranean, you’d rightly expect Tunis to be chock-a-block with historical sites reaching back to the days of the Greeks and Romans. Fortunately, Tunis has managed to evolve as a city by incorporating the old with the new. Start in the old souk called the Medina, where the narrow winding streets meander their way upwards to the hill which dominates the skyline. This is the heart of Old Tunis, and if you can deal with the invitations of relentless shopkeepers you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

The modern face of Tunis can be found in the French part of the city, which has a decidedly contemporary Mediterranean feel. Tree-lined streets and outdoor caf├ęs make this a relaxing place to hang out. At the top of the hill, visitors can explore the ancient palace of the Bey of Tunis and the overwhelming Big Mosque. The views up here aren’t shabby either. If time allows, explore the truly ancient site of Carthage.

Highlights

Carthage ruins: founded in the 9th century BC, this historically important and powerful city dominated trade in the Mediterranean and was home to a legendary civilization.

Dar Ben Abdallah Museum: showcasing the traditions, culture and art of Tunis, this useful museum located in the heart of the Medina is housed in a lovely 18th century palace.

National Museum of Bardo: archaeology is the theme in this fascinating museum which traces the long history of Tunis, Carthage and those who stamped a presence on the area.

The Medina: this very lively section of downtown Tunis is the central souk, or Kasbah, where most of the interesting shops can be found, along with lots of friendly, chatty locals.

Tourbet el-Bey: the burial place of the rulers of the Husseinite Dynasty has incredible tiled walls surrounding the white marble tombs of the interred royalty.

Zitouna Mosque: built in the 9th century, the square minaret of this impressive mosque in the Medina is a distinguishing feature of Tunis’ main landmark.