What to see in Tunis, attractions and places to visit in the capital of Tunisia, between different cultures and traditions, Carthage, Sidi Bou Said and the most beautiful beaches.
Travel Guide Tunis
Tunis, capital of Tunisia, is a city who looks to the traditions of the Mediterranean, makes no secret of its Arab and African roots. All this is clearly visible in the architecture characterized by the contrast between the old town, the medina, where the buildings are in Arabic style, and the new town, the Ville Nouvelle, in French colonial style. The Medina is the vital center of Tunis and spiritual, characterized by a maze of alleyways that seem to bring everyone to the Mosque of Zeytouna 732.
On the streets you can see old men in traditional clothes, and young people simply in jeans and shirt.
In the suburb there are the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage, picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said, inspiration to many artists, and the beautiful beaches of La Marsa, very appreciated for white sand.
Things to see in Tunis
Mosque of the Olive
The Medina has developed around the major mosque in Tunis, Al-Zaytuna Mosque, which occupies an area of over 5000 square meters and is the only one in which it is allowed access to those who do not profess the Muslim religion, but limited to the central courtyard.
One of the oldest mosques in Africa, it was built in 732, using stones from nearby Roman Carthage, but reached its zenith only since the 13th century, when it became an important Islamic university. It’s also known as the Mosque of the Olive, as tradition has it that the building is built on the same spot where there was an ancient place of prayer with a central olive tree.
Avenue Habib Bourguiba
The main street of Tunis is elegant and wide tree-lined avenue Habib Bourguiba, which leads from the main railway station to the medina. Along it are banks, shops, restaurants, outdoor cafes, the Municipal Theatre and the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul. Opposite the religious building is a statue of the scholar Ibn Khaldun and near the magnificent clock tower, erected in honor of the presidency of Ben Ali.
Museum Dar Ben Abdallah
This museum is housed within the impressive house of Dar Ben Abdallah, dating from the late 18th century, which is one of the best preserved buildings of the Medina of Tunis. And it presents a rich collection of furniture, fabrics and crafts that gives a good idea of how it was the lifestyle of the local bourgeoisie in the 19th century. Also it is very interesting to see the section devoted to the arts and popular traditions, showing a selection of the best examples of traditional crafts.
National Museum of Bardo
Built in the 13th century and was completely renovated and revamped recently, this splendid palace is now not only an outstanding example of Arab-Muslim architecture, but also houses the National Museum of Tunisia. The main attraction is the vast collection of Roman mosaics.
In this 18th century Ottoman mausoleum, the largest in Tunis, are buried 160 Husaynidi principles, together with the ministers and their families, a dynasty originally from Crete who reigned in Tunisia. The sumptuous interior is decorated with tiles, marble and carved plaster. The reason for the eight-pointed star represents the doors of paradise.
Medina of Tunis
The construction of the Medina, old town of Tunis, dates from the seventh century AD. Today, visitors can step back in time through the maze of narrow, winding streets that, at first glance, may seem confusing, but quickly turn out funny, because they allow you to discover and eccentric shops selling souvenirs, carpets, jewelry, copper objects, pottery and exotic spices. No shortage of grocery markets and ancient monuments including Mosque of Al-Zaytuna and Sidi Yousef, the first Ottoman-style mosque in Tunis, built in the 17th century.