Best Things to Do in Tunis, Tunisia

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The day we arrived in Tunisa for our road trip, it had been raining. However, the clouds had parted over Tunis, and the sun shone warmly on the city. We decided right then that we loved it. We found so many wonderful things to do in Tunis, places to go, great restaurants, that we were glad we had a few days to explore.

Things to do in Tunis and Nearby

  • The Bardo National Museum
  • The Medina and Souk
  • North Africa American Cemetery
  • Ruins of Carthage
  • Sidi bou Said

The Bardo National Museum

The Medina and Souk

Ruins of Carthage

Sidi Bou Said

The contrast of the striking white buildings with the deep azure blue window dressings and ornately decorated doors is mesmerizing. It is hard to take the eyes away from the scene, and equally hard to not take an amazing photo in almost any direction you point. One has the feeling that the city is a mixture of Greek Island, what I imagine Santorini must look like, with an Ottoman twist to the architecture–beautifully simple and elegant at the same time. But walking through the pedestrian zone is as bad as any major tourist site in the world.

We were accosted by hawkers pushing everything from dinner on their terrace restaurant, to a chance to hold a hunting falcon your arm. I’m pretty good at avoiding pushy trinket dealers so they weren’t a big problem, but the couple with the falcon were extremely obnoxious, following us the length of the road and disrupting our explorations.  We finally found a restaurant with a bustling terrace overlooking the ocean and no pushy waiters out front so we escaped the “hawker” for the cushy confines of the sun-soaked terrace.

A tip for travelers–if there is a waiter out front trying to entice people into the restaurant, don’t go in. There’s usually a reason why no one is going in of their own accord. We enjoyed some delicious food and some even better views and angles of the city of blue and white. By the time we left the falcon was nowhere to be seen. We were able to peak down alleyways, into perfectly sculptured courtyard gardens, and of course, photograph the equally famous doors of Sidi Bou Said.

We hadn’t had to make reservations for accommodations anywhere along the route so we were surprised to discover there were no rooms at the inn, or the hotel, or the guest house, or the hostel, or even the manger. So we cut short our stay in this scenic but crowded little town and drove on up the coast. I hear if you stay in the town, the tourist drain out by nightfall and you’ll have the place to yourself. That sounds like the way to go!

 

 

8 thoughts on “Best Things to Do in Tunis, Tunisia

  1. budget jan says:

    I am very interested in Tunisia but don’t know much about it. Although I knew it wasn’t a Turkey Flag, I couldn’t really see what was on the flag (no wind), so I just googled it. The tuna sounds interesting. I love fish. I am interested in more Tunisia posts.

    • Corinne Vail says:

      Jan, If you are planning a trip, let me know and I can certainly help out. I do have some more to put on the blog…oh where is the time?

  2. Marisol@TravelingSolemates says:

    Hi Corinne, no I haven’t been to Tunisia. A travel photographer friend f mine traveled there several years ago and I loved all the images she showed me and they piqued my interest. However, I was a bit put off by the stories about persistent touts she encountered everywhere she went. You were lucky not to have that experience. I’ll keep your timing in mind. I love olives and tuna, so it sounds like the food is to my liking as well.

    • Corinne Vail says:

      Marisol, I have to admit, I was happily shocked not to run into any touts like the rest of northern Africa…maybe it was the timing! I hope you make it there. It truly was an amazing country to visit!

    • Corinne Vail says:

      Alex, Soooo delicious! I really didn’t know that Tunisia was such big eaters of both of these, but I found a few different ways to eat them.

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