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Oct 21

Top things to do in Tunis

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The North African country of Tunisia may be small in comparison to its neighbors, but it has loads of history, ruins, markets and culture to be explored. For anyone touring North Africa or moving around the European Mediterranean Tunis, the Tunisian capital is well connected and perfectly satisfactory as a tourist destination. 

Tunis is best described in three parts, a large suburban district in which many larger corporations, hotels and Embassies are located. This area encompasses the airport as well as coastal towns connected by local buses and trains. The second area is the more modern section of the city known as ville nouvelle. Big boulevards with colonial hotels and storefronts make for shopping and dining venues. Finally the covered market or traditional North African Medina is at the city’s center, mostly a pedestrian area that is well worth exploring on foot.

 

The Medina

This is the central tourist gem of the city. Anyone who has had the essential experience of a North African central Market say in Egypt or Morocco knows there is bargaining, hassling and all kinds of cross cultural influences going on. The Tunis Media is by far the calmest, you won’t be hassled here too much walking around. The best place to enter is at Place de la Victoire and the Port de France (also called Bar al Bab) It is an unmistakable archway gate at the entrance of the Medina. Shopkeepers sell everything from electronics, to gold, to handcrafts and all sorts of gems, clothing and food. Keep to the rules of haggling, argue down from the proposed price, but don’t make any insulting offers and  don’t show interest in an item unless you are quite sure you want it.

 

The Bardo Museum

This is one of the best museums to see in the city due to its upkeep and array of various pieces. There are arrangements from ancient empires to modern in the form of Carthage, Mahdia, Sousse, Roman and Arabia. The gate itself is unmarked, but asking someone around the Bardo Metro stop should get you pointed in the right direction. Entry costs 10 Tunisian Dinhars and service facilities attendants expect tips. The museum is closed on Mondays. Overall it is situated in a 13th century Ottoman palace which makes it quite a unique building and the collection of Roman Mosaics is one of the best anywhere.

 

Belvedere Park

This 270 acre expanse was planned by the gardener in chief of Paris and as such has a beautiful design and layout. It is the center for preservation of local flora and fauna as well as a grand social space from races to horse riding and lake activities. It is a lush and green space with panoramic views that allows one to easily escape city life in just a few steps.

 

 

Zitouna Mosque

This is one of the biggest attractions of the Medina. The mosque is the largest in the country and has been in continuous development and expansion since the 8th century. The columns are restored pieces from the ruins of ancient Carthage. The mosque has been a center for learning for centuries and it is open for visits from Sunday to Thursday from 8am-11am only. 

 

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