Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 20, 2017

Tunis, Tunisia


Traveling in North Africa our armchair travels have taken us to Tunisia. This country borders the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. We are going to take a look at the sprawling capital Tunis. The city sits along Lake Tunis, just inland from the Gulf of Tunis in the Mediterranean Sea.

tunis Café-Culturel-El-Ali-tunis

Cafe Culturel El Ali is one of the amazing restaurants in Tunis where the atmosphere and the restaurant itself is worth a closer look. This restaurant has wood-beamed ceiling, a library, sofas and a rooftop terrace that overlooks the Zaytouna Mosque. The restaurant serves traditional meat dishes.

tunis zaytouna mosque

Zaytouna Mosque is a beautiful mosque sitting right in the heart of the medina. Its name means “olive tree” and legend has it that the founder of the mosque Hassan Ibn Noonan taught lessons under a tree here.

tunis zaytouna mosque 2

The open spaces of the mosque are very tranquil and you can enter the courtyard to have a look around. The building shows influences from Aghlabids, Romans, Europeans and Byzantines. The exterior is impressive with a red and white dome and marble floors. Non-Muslims can only admire the mosque from the outside and roam the courtyard.

tunis tourbet

The Tourbet el-Bey Mosque has green fish-scale like domes. Inside is an amazing combination of tiles and intricate stucco. This mosque was built during the reign of Ali Pahsa II. The male tombs are topped with  unusual marble renditions of their favorite headgear whether it was a turban or chechia (small, red felt hat) and the number of tassels show their importance.


The Ville Nouvelle offers fine examples of colonial architecture. There is much to be admired in the New Town.

tunis cathedral-of-st-vincent

This is where you’ll find the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul.

tunis vincent cathedral

This is a custard-colored cathedral dating from 1883 combining Gothic, Byzantine and Moorish elements. Regular masses are held here in French and Italian.

tunis ibn statue

The statue opposite the cathedral is that of Ibn Khaldun who was the great Tunis-born Islamic teacher and philosopher.

tunis bardo

The Bardo National Museum is the country’s top museum with a great collection that lets visitors see ancient North African life. The museum has found a home in a glorious, Husseinite palace and has now been given a contemporary addition. Some of the highlights here are a huge stash of well-preserved Roman mosaics, rare Phoenician artifacts and early Islamic ceramics. Particularly impressive are the exhibits in the Sousse Room, Odysseus Room and Dougga Room.

tunis medersa

Medersa Mouradia – Medersas are schools for the study of the Quran. There are some fine examples of these schools close to the Zaytouna Mosque. Medersa Mouradia dates from 1673. It has an ornately studded door. It’s used to train apprentices in traditional crafts.

tunis Dar_Ben_Abdallah

Dating back to 1796, one of the medina’s finest former palaces is now home to the Dar Ben Abdallah Museum. The museum gives visitors a look at how the wealthy used to live n the medina. At one time it belonged to a high-ranking officer. It has a 19th century makeover in Italianate style. In four of the rooms scenes have been created to show the life of 19th century bourgeois, including tea drinking and wedding preparations. Opposite the museum is a cafe.

tunis dar bell

Dar Bel Hadj is a grand traditional restaurant housed in a 17th century mansion. It is ever a surprise when walking the narrow streets of the medina.

tunis government

The restaurant has a golf buggy that will pick you up and drop you off from Place de Government in the evenings.

tunis association

Das Lasram is a magnificent mansion dating from the 18th century. Today it is home to the Association de Sauvegarde de la Medina, overseeing the conservation of the medina. The interior has impressive tiled rooms, medina maps, plans and photos. Outside are courtyards.

tunis le malof

Le Malouf a great Italian restaurant if you prefer pasta. It has impressive art work in the interior and courtyard tables outside. There is guitar music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

tunis happy land

For something completely different head for Dah Dah Happy Land Park. This is an amusement park with plenty of rides.

tunis Berges-du-Lac-II

It is part of the ever developing, trendy district of Berges de Lac. You can take a stroll up and down the interesting corniche or coastal road.

tunis theater

Theatre de l’Etoile de Nord is a fringe theater that has found a home in an ex-garage. They offer regular plays in French and Arabic and concerts from reggae to heavy metal.

tunis parc-belvedere-tunis1

Parc du Belvédère and the Museum of Modern Art the park is a great place to get off of the city streets and rest for awhile. The hillside is planted with Aleppo pine, carob-trees, olive trees, fig trees and palms. Taking the short hike to the top will give you some fantastic views all around.

On the east side of the park you’ll find the Museum of Modern Art. It offers a collection of the country’s top art work by Tunisian artists.

 tunis zoo

The park is also home to the Tunis Zoo. This is a child-friendly zoo in a shady, peaceful setting. Among the animals you can view are monkeys and colorful parrots.

tunis sidi bou said 2

Take the time to visit the beautiful Andalusian-style seaside neighborhood of Sidi Bou Said. This place became popular when three young painters lived here – Paul Klee, August Macke and Louis Moilliet in 1914. They captured the beauty of this area on canvas. Today it remains a sort of bohemian artists’ quarter. Visitors delight in the white-and-blue streets, cliff side cafes and lovely shoreline.

tunis triposos


Brasserie les 2 Avenues is a great street to stroll for some people watching.

tunis marche centrale

Visit the Marche Centrale a covered market which sells fresh produce, olives, harissa and cheese.

tunis bathhouse

To really experience the city visit one of the bathhouses like Sahib Hammam Bathhouse. This is the oldest and most atmospheric hammams or public bathhouses. It can be recognized by its candy-striped red and green doorways and domes.

tunis carthage place

Carthage is a Punic and Roman site that lies northeast of the city. Here you can see remnants of ancient Carthage, once the wealthy, seafaring city of the Phoenicians on the Bay of Tunis.

tunis carthage place 2

You can see tumbled columns and many different kinds of ruins. It offers a lovely seaside setting. You can see fantastic views from the top of Byrsa Hill.


Carthage Museum this museum shows the former glories of the site like monumental statuary, mosaics and other amazing things. On the grounds of the museum you’ll also find The Byrsa Quarter, an excavated quarter of the Punic City.

tunis sidi mahrez

The Mosque of Sidi Mahrez is one of the finest in the city. It was built in 1692 and named after Tunis’ patron saint. His tomb lies opposite the entrance. The mosque is a great example of Ottoman architecture. Its cluster of white domes is impressive.

tunis medina

Tunis Medina or Old Town is an adventure itself with ancient streets and alleyways. Here you can find cave-like souqs that sell everything from shoes to shisha pipes. There are lovely tiled cafes, back streets full of artisans at work and residential areas with brightly painted doorways. There are also a number of ancient bath houses.

tunis medina gate

The main entrance gate here marking the end of the new city and the beginning of the old is known as Bab el Bahr or Sea Gate. It was built in 1848 and was known as Porte de France during the colonial period.

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  1. Good journey enjoyed it satisfied after watch pic. I hope your vacation gone very good.

    • I didn’t travel. I am writing this as an armchair travel blog. I was very impressed with what I did discover and how lovely it all was.

      • Ok

  2. Another great post. Liked the picture of the Bear.

    • That too was one of my favorite photos. It surely is amazing how beautiful it all is. Sure hope things turn around one day and people can travel safely.

  3. Nice trip!

    • Doing this armchair travel blog I am discovering so many lovely places. I love to share it all with everyone.

  4. I was captivated by the architecture more than anything else. Beautiful buildings!

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour. It is a lovely city.

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