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Things to do in Tunis

Barter for a bargain in Tunis Medina

The UNESCO-listed Tunis Medina is a warren of ancient alleyways, fountains and mosques. If shopping is your thing, the souks are great if you're prepared to barter. Visit from August to mid-September and you're likely to find the best bargains, as this post-Eid period is when stall owners offer the best discounts.

Enjoy the Ramadan celebrations in the Medina

During Ramadan, the whole of Tunis comes alive in celebration. Head to the ancient part of the city, where the Festival of the Medina offers dance, poetry and storytelling at historic buildings like Kheïreddine Palace. Tunis Municipal Theatre also showcases international films and musical concerts and holds religious processions.

Swim away from the Carthage crowds

Just 20 minutes from Tunis, the Carthage Ruins make for a fascinating day trip. For those who decide to visit, bring swimming stuff too as white sandy beaches with warm waters are nearby. Aim for La Marsa as it is quieter and great for sunbathing and swimming.

Test your swing on Tunisia's oldest golf course

If you're looking for some fresh air away from the bustle of Tunis then head for the 18 holes at Tunisia's oldest course, Golf de Carthage (www.golfcarthage.com). Only a short drive from the capital, this charming, challenging course was designed in the 1920s and is peppered with Arabic architectural flourishes that still sparkle today.

Unwind in a traditional hammam

A Tunis fixture, hammams - or Turkish baths - are part of the country's cultural heritage. Go prepared; medina vendors will sell olive-green soap to clean your body and a scrubbing mitt to hand to a masseuse. Note: woman bathe in the afternoon, men the evening, and no one does so naked.

Featured Hotels

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Grand Hôtel de France

This old-fashioned French colonial hotel in Tunis has immaculate and comfortable rooms oozing character and period detail. Rooms at the back are quieter and overlook a pleasant courtyard.

Hotel Africa

This recently refurbished business-oriented hotel is one of the city's landmarks right in the middle of avenue Habib Bourguiba. The rooms are spacious, well-furnished and command great views over Tunis. The location is superb and there is a well-equipped business centre.

Villa Didon Carthage

This futuristic designer hotel on Byrsa Hill offers 10 ultra-spacious rooms immaculately furnished by Ron Arad and Philippe Starck. The rooms with large windows and balconies have plunging views over ancient Carthage, the Med and the city of Tunis, and the service is excellent. There's a great spa, bar and restaurant to round out the experience.

Dar Fatma

Overlooking the whole of Sidi Bou Said, Dar Fatma is a small and welcoming traditional house in Tunis, scrubbed clean and decorated with great style and care, with modern furniture against bare walls and Tunisian woodwork. Glorious yet intimate.

Dar Said

In a quiet back street, in the heart of the picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said, is this charming hotel set around four patios filled with bougainvillea. Whitewashed walls and blue window frames give everything a clean air. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, furnished in local style, and there is a small pool in the garden. The service is excellent, and there are some good restaurants within a minute's walk from the front door.

Hotel Salammbo

Simple, uncluttered rooms with high-shuttered windows and a good location near Avenue Habib Bourguiba make this a decent budget option in Tunis.