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.
You will feel the weight of history in the ruins of Carthage, but only if you love it. If not, what will call your attention is the havoc and extreme carelessness that have developed over time in a place that should be of importance. With the passage of time, some looting can be understood. What is extremely disappointing is to find that this UNESCO World Heritage Site (1979) has been ignored to the point of obvious decline. The ruins are scattered, often at the side of the road and, more often still, buried under the Tunisian "jet". The Presidential Palace itself, which must have had fabulous views of Carthage and the sea, was built on the tanks that fed the baths of Carthage. Unfortunately disappointing.
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.
The truth is that with an organized excursion you do not have much time for anything, and in my case I had a few hours less to visit the city. It is a pity that the baths have not been better preserved because in their time they must have been impressive, for this reason they were the second highest in importance throughout the Roman Empire.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Continuing the tour around the Tunisian coastal town of Sidi Bou Said, I discovered another of its good viewpoints is the one right next to Ras Qatarjamah Lighthouse, which is called the lookout. The views are breathtaking and I'd personally recommend it to anyone who wants to get the best views of the bay of Sidi Bou Said with the Mediterranean Sea in the background. The place is not paved because it has only recently started to receive tourists. The guide took us to precisely this viewpoint because it was one of his favorites and receives the least number of people.
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).
The Blue Jays called Room is input Bardo Palace . It received its name because it was completely covered in tiles, of which only fragments have been recovered. In this room are, apart from some mosaics, some prehistoric pieces from Tunisia as Hermaïon of The Guettar (one of the oldest spiritual monuments of the world, more than 40,000 years old), or a sarcophagus in a Punic necropolis of the ancient city of Carthage.
I could not swim because the weather wasn´t a great temperature but it should be during the summer. There are several bars with tents that are open in the summer too. The sand is white and super fine. It was a little dirty but we were told that they clean it well for the summer season.