The medinas are the heart of the Arab cities. They sleep, eat, and socialize here. On this trip I visited Tunis's medina and also the capital of Sousse, further south. While it was the first place I wanted to visit, most of the tourists came here as well. The souks also sell lots of souvenirs and are very traditional.
The best part of Tunisia are the blue waters so clear and warm. It's a calm place that still isn't fully exploited by tourism. There's also a luck factor, since we were told there was a lot of seaweed on some other local beaches. Our only gripe was the two jellyfish which stung us, but the mosquitos were basically non-existent. The hotel staff gives you a cream which takes the sting away. You can also do jet-ski, be towed by boats, go sailing, etc. But afterwards, there's nothing better than laying down a comfortable chair with a comfortable mat on under a sun umbrella doing nothing more than listening to the surf and getting a tan.
They are still expanding and renovating some of the facilities. It's a huge, spacious place, with high ceilings, perfect for enjoying the stunning mosaics which are displayed there. They are located both on the walls and on the floor, therefore you have to wear a protective cloth on your feet. It is one of the biggest and best preserved collections of Roman mosaics in the world. The museum is a little out of town but it is still a must if you pass through Tunisia.
All the mosques in Tunisia pay homage to Ez-Zitouna, the city's main mosque. The building that we can see today is a fascinating fusion of buildings from different periods, with columns and capitals from ancient Carthage, an Ottoman minaret and Zirid domes. Non-Muslims are only permitted to access the central courtyard, from which you can make out the hypostyle hall. However, just from seeing this one, you get an idea of the grandeur of it. Although I personally prefer the smaller and more accessible mosques, it is also good to contemplate those more formal and monumental mosques. A recommended place if you go to the capital.
The puerta del mar, which is now called France's Door is what divides the fascinating Medina of Tunis with the modern part of the city. Its appearance is magestic, and is reminiscent of the old forts or Ribats that were found in that area. It's the perfect entry to the magical world of shopping and markets. I recommend that you take a moment to admire its beauty and majesty. It was as if we entered into a medieval fortress, when in fact we'd come to toil away our money!
While on vacation a few years ago, my partner and I were in the wonderful African country of Tunisia. Amongst the other places we visited, the bizarre in the capital has incredible bathrooms and a door leading out to the desert, a place where getting lost is an adventure and an authentic satisfaction.
The capital of Tunisia is a show of aromas and voices. It's the ideal place to find out about this market! Among the stalls there's meat, spices and couscous, and we also found black-kohl-dye you can line your eyes with, as well as henna and natural sponges. Of course, the most interesting thing to do was to go to the stalls of spices and seeds. Spices like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon and saffron, which are all used in Tunisian cuisine, are places in large felt sacks. Put your fingers in the seed bags, smell the scents of jasmine and musk, you won't be rushed.
I recommend this place to you when you go to Tunisia. You should try to arrive in good time and explore the Medina in the area where there are no tourists, the type of shops and the atmosphere are completely different from the other part. It is very interesting to see how they live and develop their life there, the area of the "jewels" is fantastic, it is not known if they are old and do not look very good, but it is worth taking a look.
Located in modern Tunisia, the capital's Catholic Cathedral seamlessly blends Gothic and Byzantine art. The most notable aspect of this building is the incredible contrast that this "Western" building has with its surroundings. It shows a mixture of cultures and artistic movements that came together in the capital. It's located on the main artery of the city, so you can't miss it.
Tunis-Carthague International Airport is located about 8km from both the Tunisian capital and the ancient city of Carthage. Although the country has several airports, this is undeniably the most popular and receives thousands of passengers each year. The international code is TUN, and companies that operate here include Tunisair, Air Europa, Alitalia, Air France, and Lufthansa, among others. There are duty free shops, cafes, bank, money exchange offices and rental car offices. If you fly in from Europe, you'll have to present your passport and fill out the little visa card. They will give you a receipt that you must be careful not to lose, as you'll have to give it back when you leave the country. To get to the downtown from the airport, you can take a taxi (between 4 and 7 DNT), orBus 35 which drops you off at the Avenue Habib Bourguiba (0.60 DNT, every half hour).
Zaytuna Zamaa Street, along with rue de la Kasbah , is one of the most important streets in the Medina. It's lined with souvenir shops, although you can find the same things but much cheaper in the back streets. The road rises steeply from the Place de la Victoire to the Great Zaitouna Mosque. The whole area is a very busy and crowded. You can find shops selling Nabeul pottery, handmade talismans from Fatima, cages, stuffed camels, and more. The vendors speak virtually any language (they say: "hello ... Spanish? ... Italian? .. as you walk by). At the top of the street, there are several typical pastry shopes and Café Ez- Zaytuna, where you can have a mint tea and smoke a hookah. At the end of the street, you can see the eastern gallery of the Great Mosque which is lit up at night. From here, turn right, and you'll find the carpet store " Au Palais d'orient ", which I'd suggest entering only to climb to the roof and enjoy the good view of the mosque courtyard and the rooftops and minarets of the medina.
Palais du Jasmin is another perfume shop that is a part of Souk el-Attarine, in the medina of Tunis. We had visited a similar shop the day before, so we knew how it worked. But this store did not seem as nice. Apart from buying all kinds of scents and perfumes of a thousand smells different, they also sell essential oils, soaps, and attractive glass jars for decoration. It is one of the few places where you are allowed to pay in euros, and the price is fixed (no haggling allowed).
Throughout the Medina, there are shops which, at the top, offer a spacious terrace with views overlooking the entire city. From there, you can see the mosques and the most important buildings in the capital.
Place du 14 Janvier is another good example of the modernization taking place in the Tunisian capital. It has a clock at the center, and an inverted pyramid as its main monument. Of course, it's not comparable to the old part of the Medina, but it's worth walking around this area and having a look at the modern side of the city.
The Avenue Habib Bourguiba, aside from being one of the longest streets in Tunis, is also one of the most popular. It's lined with cafes, stores, modern hotels, and colonial-style buildings, which is why it's popularly known as the Champs Elysees of Tunisia. Personally, I was really impressed by the colonial buildings, a striking contrast with the old Arab buildings.
At one end of Avenue Habib Bourguiba, you'll find the Place du 14 Janvier 2011 and the Clock Tower. It is an imitation (relatively speaking) of Big Ben and was built to commemorate the independence of Tunisia on November 7th. It is built in wrought iron and is surrounded by an ornamental fountain. This place has become a popular meeting point for young Tunisians, especially in light of the recent revolution.
The National Theatre is one of the city's most emblematic buildings and is almost opposite the Catholic Cathedral, in the the middle of Avenida Habib Bourguiba. It's a good example of art nouveau architecture of the colonial city, designed by French architect Ferdinand Resplandy JE and built in 1902. It has been declared a historic monument. The original building had capacity for 1,000 spectators, in 1912 it was enlarged to 1,200 but kept the original facade. It seems to be made of meringue that highlights its arched galleries (forming ground floor access, and on top forming a balcony) and is decorated with white floral plaster reliefs and fantastic figures by the sculptor M. Belloc. Masters of opera have performed here and it's still the main place for performances/cultural events in the country, with an extensive program of theater, music (classical music concerts and Arabic), screenings, lectures, etc.
Tunisian National Tourist Office is found in the Place du 14 Janvier 2011 on the corner of Avenue Mohammed V in Tunis. It's a small two-story building with a white facade that is easily missed as it is surrounded by much bigger buildings and large trees. You can stop here to pick up a map of the city and get some information about places to visit.
When making your list of stuff to do in Tunis, you should know that the city has plenty to see, but most of the attractions in Tunis are in the medina. The city is divided into two main parts: the medina and the new city. These two very different areas contrast with each other while forming a whole which is the essence of the city, so you can experience both the ancient Arab city and the more recent colonial past.
The skyscrapers and more modern Tunis attractions are all in the new town. A trip down Bourguiba Avenue is one of the most popular Tunis activities. Also known as the Tunisian Champs Elysees, it is full of shops and restaurants. And in front of this you'll find the buildings of the medina.
The medina is the old city, a labyrinth of narrow streets packed with things to see in Tunis. A trip here will take you to the cities of the Thousand and One Nights. Of all the places to visit in Tunis, the Great Zitouna Mosque is one of the oldest. The Bey Palace, Dar Ben Abdallah (an ancient palace that houses the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Tunisia), the palace of Dar Hussein and the Royal Mausoleum Tourbet El Bey should also be on your list of what to do in Tunis without leaving the medina. Look at minube users' experiences to find even more things to do in Tunis!