Tunisia’s capital city boasts large and animated boulevards lined with its friendly cafés, its modern buildings, its medieval Medina, its shops, its monuments and its proud palm trees. Tunis is full of character. With the Mediterranean Sea as an eternal companion, the city with its European look, a confluence of cultures, is full of activities for the whole family.
Tunis, a hedonist and cosmopolitan town, with North-African, Mediterranean and European influence has everything to offer for a laid -back and pleasant family trip. In this easy-going city, on which the sun ever shines, typical and charming tours are like a grand History course. Oh, and did I mention its sky-blue sea and gorgeous beaches?
Tunis could easily be called «laid-back », being as welcoming and relaxed as it is. When landing, the “new” town designed by the French in the 19th century will win you over. The palm trees are playing with the clouds, the open boulevards, such as the Habib Bourguiba Avenue, are lined up with white buildings decorated by wrought iron balconies and lively cafés. On the roof-tops, one can enjoy some pastries while gazing at the passers-by.
North of the town, take a break at the 13-hectare Belvedere Zoo, a children’s favorite, where you will enjoy a spectacular view of Tunis.
Different place, different mood? This is so true in Tunis. Leave the mathematically designed modern town and take a stroll in the typical Arab Medina via Bab Bhar. Dating back to the 7th century, this is the true heart of the city. A winding maze smelling of incense, amber and spices, the Medina is full of surprises. From craftsmen workshops to souks (traditional markets) organized according to the goods they sell, the Medina is as colorful as it is noisy. Just walk along the main street, Jemaa ez Zitouna and you will be convinced. The shop keepers speak a mix of Russian, English, French, Spanish or Italian to praise their products. Follow one of the stray cats and you will end up at the Zitouna Mosque because, here, all roads lead there.
After eating a couscous or a tajine, loved by the children, walk on the other side of the town. Leave Bab Bhar- also known as Porte De France- one of the 19 golden city gates in Tunis, behind you and you will be looking at Ibn Khaldoun holding the Muqaddima. Then, it is the Cathedral of Tunis. Keep walking and you will admire the National Theater built in 1902. While walking, take in the atmosphere of the town, passersby laughing, scenes from everyday life and idle strollers. Ride on the n°4 metro line and take a tour of the Bardo Museum to beautifully end this trip back in time. Its gorgeous Roman mosaics held in an opulent Ottoman Palace will awe you.
Stay in the mood, further away from the city center, in a well-off suburb, visit Carthage and its magnificent ancient ruins. You are now 3000 years back in History, where Phoenician, Roman and Christian are tangled. Take a tour of the Carthage Museum, at the Roman theater where an International music festival takes place, at the Antonine Bath or at the Acropolium.
The younger ones will love the “Carthage Land Les Berges du Lac” a monumental amusement park.
From there, go up the hill overlooking the sea and have a glass of Old Magon while enjoying some grilled fish. Take a stroll across the Sidi Bou Saïd Village whose white and blue houses inspired no less than Paul Klee, André Gide and August Macke themselves. Take a tour of the house of the Baron d’Erlanger. Do not forget your bathing suits and relax on the Amilcar beach.
Follow the scent of jasmine, walk the charming streets up the village and enjoy a cup of coffee at the Café des Nattes or at the Café des Délices where you can dream on looking at the panorama over the Bay of Tunisia.