Tunis Mini Guide
Tell me About Tunis
Tunis is the capital city of Tunisia and the country's largest city. It is at the edge of Lake Tunis and the Mediterranean Sea. The city extends along the coast and out into the surrounding hillside.
How do I get There?
Most visitors going there will fly into Tunis-Carthage Airport and from there you can take a SNT or TUT bus into the city. Once there you can use the light metro or train service to get around town. To travel further afield, the TGM and SNCF train service takes you to major towns and cities in Tunisia.
What can I see in the City?
Take a walking tour in the Medina the historical heart of the city and see some of the ancient monuments such as Dar Den Abdallah Palace and Zitouna Mosque. Visit the main street Avenue Habib Bourguiba, with its hotels, shops and restaurants it is likened to the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Of course you should also try and get to Carthage and see the ancient city ruins.
What Should I do in the City?
You can visit the Bardo International Museum, a beautiful building with roman mosaics and bronze artefacts. For a little culture, go to the Theatre Municipal de Tunis and see an opera or ballet. Belvedere Park is the largest in the city and overlooks Lake Tunis - if you get bored of walking there, you can see the animals at Tunis Zoo or visit the Museum of Modern Art.
Tell me About the Food
For breakfast do as the locals do and have a coffee and a French pastry. Lunchtime calling? Head to one of the sandwich shops – try the local favourite, which is tinned tuna with harissa. To get a taste of real local food, go to L’Orient Restaurant in the port area and try local dishes of cous cous and Berber lamb. El Khalifa Restaurant on Rue d’Iran has delicious West African dishes for something a little spicy and is well known for its friendly atmosphere.
Should I Head for the Souks?
Shopaholics will love the variety of the souks and all their scents and colours. The Tunis souks are probably the most authentic in North Africa and you must remember to haggle for the best price! Carpets and textiles make nice souvenirs and leather goods can usually be a bargain. Look out for the tiny craft shops there too and see filigree and copperware being made.
Where Should I Stay?
In the city, try the 3 star Hotel Carlton it is just 500m from Medina. It is a small modern hotel and restaurant ideally located for exploring the city. Further out in the pretty village of Sidi Bou Said stay at the Dar Amilcar, a guest house decorated in true Tunisian style. They have a swimming pool and gardens for you to enjoy.
What can I see Outside of Tunis?
Visit the village of Sidi Bou Said, it’s a seaside village with pretty blue and white houses and nice cafes. If you love the beach, spend a day at Hammament
Are There any Festivals?
The largest festival is the Carthage International Festival held in July and August. It is held mostly at Carthage Ampitheatre and attracts film makers and performing artists from all over the world.
The city of Tunis is quite small compared to other capitals but it is getting bigger. Still the city retains its character in the old quarter called the Medina. There the streets seem to fall in on each other and amongst the shadowy alleys the sights, sounds and scents assail the senses.
If the city gets too much and the average beaches don’t appeal, hire a car and drive out to Tunis Lake on the landward side of the city. There, the noise and bustle of the city disappear amidst the tranquillity of the surroundings.