How to Spend 1 Day in Tunis
From its medieval medina to the ruins of ancient Carthage, all enveloped by an expanding modern metropolis, Tunis serves as an intoxicating introduction to the history and culture of Tunisia. If you only have one day to spend in the capital city, here are some tips for how to make the most of your time.
Morning: City Sightseeing
Start your day in the Tunisian capital with a sightseeing tour around town. Opt for an air-conditioned van to beat the heat as you visit the medina UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tunis El Manar University, and the historic French district. Consider a private guide to go at your own pace and ensure you don’t miss anything you want to see. If you have some time to spare, stop into the Bardo National Museum, home of the largest collection of Roman mosaics outside Italy and one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean basin.
Afternoon: Ancient Ruins
No trip to Tunis would be complete without a stop at the UNESCO-listed ruins of Carthage at Byrsa Hill. Learn about Tunisian history as you visit the Punic ports and Antonine Baths. Stop at the Carthage National Museum to see the collection of statues, mosaics, and other artifacts excavated from this former capital of the Punic empire. Don’t forget your camera; the views from the top of Byrsa Hill extend out over the Gulf of Tunis.
Night: Sidi Bou Said
As the sun begins to dip, head to the cliffside village of Sidi Bou Said, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This area (included in many half-day trips to Carthage) is one of the prettiest in Tunisia and a popular spot to sip mint tea and smoke a narghile (water pipe) on the outdoor patio of a Moorish café. Alternatively, head back to central Tunis for dinner at a local restaurant, where you can sample typical North African cuisine, such as shakshuka (eggs poached in a tomato sauce with spices), brick a l’oeuf (a deep-fried savory pastry filled with egg), or couscous.