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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Tunisia > Tunis

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Things to see in Tunis

Tourist Offices

Office de Tourisme de Tunis

Address: , 1 avenue Mohammed V, Tunis,
Telephone: +216 71 341 077
Opening times:

Mon-Sun: 0830-2030

Website: https://www.discovertunisia.com/en/

Attractions

Dar Ben Abdallah Museum

One of the best-preserved medina palaces in Tunis, the impressive late 18th-century house of Dar Ben Abdallah has a rich collection of furniture, textiles and crafts, giving a fascinating glimpse into what 19th-century life was like in the medina for the wealthy. Housing the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, it's a great place to see the finest examples of traditional arts and crafts – you can still see much of the same handiwork being produced in the medina.

Address: , 6 Impasse Ben Abdallah, off Rue Sidi Kacem, Medina, Tunis, 1006
Telephone: +216 71 256 195
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1000-1600.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes (extra charge for cameras)

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Al-Zaytouna Mosque

The medina grew around Tunis's largest mosque, Al-Zaytuna Mosque (Mosque of the Olive Tree), covering over 5,000 sq m (53,820 sq ft) and the only one open to non-Muslims – although only as far as the central courtyard. One of the oldest mosques in Africa, it was built in AD732, often using stones from nearby Roman Carthage, but it flourished from the 13th century onwards as an important Islamic university.

Address: , 30 Rue Jemaa ez-Zeytouna, Medina, Tunis,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1130 (for non-Muslims).

Website: http://www.patrimoinedetunisie.com.tn/arabe/monuments/ezzitouna.php
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Tunis Medina

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the medina, or old quarter, of Tunis was built during the seventh century AD. From the 12th to the 16th centuries, Tunis was considered to be one of the greatest and wealthiest cities of the Islamic world and its medina is testimony to its former grandeur. Today, visitors can step back in time through the maze of narrow, winding streets, and barter for souvenirs with the locals; goods on sale include colourful hand-made carpets, hand-crafted jewellery, copper and brassware, pottery and exotic spices. The endlessly twisting streets can be disorientating, but it's as much fun to give yourself over to random exploration and the happy accidents of discovering traditional craftsmen, food markets and ancient monuments. Among the more frequented attractions found within the walls of the medina are the ninth-century Al-Zaytuna Mosque (Mosque of the Olive Tree), the perfume makers' Souk el Attarine and Tunis's first Ottoman-style mosque, Sidi Yousef, built in the 17th century.

Address: , Medina, Tunis, Tunis,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Avenue Habib Bourguiba

Tunis's main thoroughfare is the elegant and wide tree-lined avenue Habib Bourguiba, which runs from the TGM train station to the main entrance to the medina. Lined with banks, shops, restaurants and café terraces where Tunisians converge in the late afternoon, it also boasts the grand art nouveau Municipal Theatre and the 19th-century Cathédrale de St Vincent de Paul. A statue of the great medieval Arab (and Tunisian) scholar Ibn Khaldun stands opposite the cathedral, while modern Tunisia is represented by the huge clock tower built to commemorate the presidency of Ben Ali.

Address: , Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis, Tunis,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Musée National du Bardo

Built in the 13th century, and recently extensively renovated and reorganised, this splendid palace is now not only an outstanding example of Arab-Muslim architecture, but it also houses Tunisia's national museum. The main reason to come here is to see the astounding array of Roman mosaics, the largest and finest single collection in the world, dating from the second century BCE to the seventh century AD. The Greek and Islamic holdings are also excellent. Arrive either early or later in the day to miss the massed tour groups.

Address: Quartier Le Bardo, Route de Bizerte, Tunis, 2079
Telephone: +216 71 513 650
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0900-1700 (Jun-Sep); Tue-Sun 0930-1630 (Sep-May).

Website: http://www.bardomuseum.tn
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Tourbet el-Bey

This splendid 18th-century Ottoman mausoleum, the largest in Tunis, is where more than 160 Husaynid princes, ministers and their families are buried. The sumptuous interior is decorated with tiles, marble and carved plasterwork. The motif of the eight-pointed star represents the doors of paradise.

Address: , 60 Rue Tourbet el-Bey, Medina, Tunis, 1008
Telephone:
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0900-1700.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes (extra charge for cameras)

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Belvedere Park

Laid out by the French, this once exclusive park with a lake, a small zoo, an elegant 18th-century pavilion and a café terrace is now a popular place for Tunisians to escape the summer heat and noise of the city.

Address: , Avenue Taieb M'Hiri, New Town, Tunis,
Telephone: +216 71 571 198
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Featured Hotels

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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.

Hotel Maison Dorée

A modest yet pleasantly welcoming hotel in Tunis, well located for both the medina and the train station. Rooms are quaint, although some have nice wrought-iron balconies to add to the charm. Clean, and great value for the price.

Dar el-Medina

This small luxury boutique hotel, the first in the medina, is located in the grand Belouahane family mansion, and still run by the family. It blends traditional architecture with contemporary tastes and amenities, with individually styled rooms to make you feel like you're in a jewel box, plus a lovely courtyard and roof terrace for relaxing.

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.