Welcome to Tunis, Tunisia!
Located off the Mediterranean coast, Tunis is a relatively small, compact city, and is full of wonder and excitement. The city enjoys a warm and welcoming breeze from the ocean, and the old city gives the area a certain charm and mystery that has carried on for centuries.
Tunis is not as commonly sought after among tourists, but to a worldwide local that doesn’t matter because the city has all the makings of a great place to explore. You’ll enjoy delicious local food, old historic places, and a natural landscape that’s beautiful. This guide will show you how to make the best out of your time in Tunis.
Worldwide Local Tip: The languages most commonly spoken in Tunis are Arabic and French, with signs around town in both languages. So, it helps to know a little bit of either one. English is not commonly spoken, so if you’re approached by someone who speaks to you in English, the rule of thumb is that they may try to con you out of something.
Where to Begin
Once you’ve landed at Tunis Airport, you might be at a loss for where to begin. Although not exactly something that won’t be found in your average guide book, the Old Medina is where you should start your adventure in Tunis. To get into the area, head to the Tunis Port de France and walk past the gates. Even if you have no real business in the old town, the area is a bustling area full of shops, cafes, winding streets, and old alleyways, that will make you feel like you just stepped back in time, a couple of hundred years. Built in 698 A.D., the houses here were some of the first ones built in the country making them a must-see. Stumble into the chaos of the souks, or explore the lavish palaces on Sidi Brahim.
Worldwide Local Tip: If the never-ending sensory overload, of the old Medina, is a little too much to handle, head to the nearby El Ali Cafe. Cafe culture in Tunis is big, and El Ali has a beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the Zitouna Mosque, in the heart of the medina. Inside there is a library with sofas, as well as live music performances, and of course, delicious drinks and Tunisian food.
Don’t Miss the Bardo Museum
When you’re traveling, a worldwide local knows that getting a glimpse of the culture and history is paramount to understanding this new city you find yourself in. The Bardo Museum is the place to go to learn about the history and the people of Tunis. The museum is stunning, and one of the best in North Africa. Located in an opulent palace, the Bardo Museum is room after room of treasures, priceless mosaics, and art from Tunisia’s ancient times. Remnants of the past truly show how Tunisia got to its present, here at the Bardo Museum.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Bardo Museum is great to get a look at the country’s culture and history, but to get a feel for the locals, head to the La Goulette neighborhood. Located between the ocean and the lake of Tunis, it’s a great place to spend some time by the water, hanging out with the locals and the fishermen, and maybe even take a little cruise out onto the water. Enjoy the warm sandy beaches, or explore the old Spanish fort and Ottoman Citadel.
Explore the Area around Tunis
Tunis is a small and compact city. With everything so densely packed together, the Tunis city center can start to feel a little overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s important to want to escape, and in Tunis, that place is Belvedere Park. Belvedere has the most amount of greenery in the city, with the backdrop of the city nearby, it is also a beautiful picturesque place. Locals come here to hang out, and the abundance of olive and fig trees on the nearby hills, provide a lot of shade, in the hot North African sun.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re still looking to get out of the city completely, there are a lot of options. The old Carthage Ruins are nearby and there are many tours offered to the nearby landmarks. You can take a bike tour to the coast, or tour out into the desert where you can explore the original set from the first Star Wars movie.
Have an Amazing Time in Tunis, Now that You’re a Worldwide Local!
Tunis is an old city that’s jam-packed, both metaphorically and literally. The city is a mix of all types of sounds, smells, and things to see and explore. Tunis is a worldwide local’s ideal place to see many unique and interesting things. Enjoy the sights and sounds at your own pace to get the most out of visiting Tunis.