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Tunisia holiday and tourism guide

With magnificent beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history, there is no mystery as to why Tunisia is one of the most visited countries in Africa. The country has so much to offer it makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what to do once there. That is why we wrote this article- to help you discover the best places to visit in Tunisia.

Modern-day Tunisia is sweltering with diverse cultures left behind from ancient civilization. This is evident from some of the structures still standing there today.

We didn’t just list the famous tourist attractions; we also added a few not-so-popular ones.

Top places to visit in Tunisia

Here are the most visited spots in Tunisia:

El Djem Amphitheater

El Djem Amphitheater
Photo: WorldAllDetails

Tunisia is famous for being littered with ancient ruins from the Roman Empire. A testament to this is the El Djem Amphitheater.

The incredible structure has remained well-preserved over the years and remains one of the greatest highlights of sightseeing in Tunisia today. It is regarded as one of the best architectural structures left standing in the world.

You don’t have to look at it when you get there. Visitors and tourists are allowed to walk the corridors under the arena- and feel just like the gladiators did. You can also sit in the theater and imagine the kind of battles that took place in this very spot.

Djerba

Djerba, Tunisia
Photo: Vincci Hotels

Djerba islands offer all its guests the perfect beach escape. Houmt Souk is the main attraction of the island. Like other parts of Tunisia, whitewashed houses are seen everywhere. The town also doubles as a famous shopping center where many handcrafts vendors showcase their wares

However, in a town like Houmt Souk, you want to be on the beach enjoying the sun on your skin or a cool drink under trimmed palm trees.

Carthage

Carthage, Tunisia
Photo: TourHQ

The city’s name stirs up images of famous Greek characters such as Dido and Hannibal and stories set on the Mediterranean sea.  These are just a few reasons why Carthage is one of the most visited sites in Tunisia. The city has suffered centuries of Muslim attacks and Punic wars, leaving it the deserted ruin we see today.

Grand Erg Oriental

Grand Erg Oriental, Tunisia
Photo: covoyageurs.com

It is effortless to forget this part of Tunisia exists. We are often shown the whitewashed shores of the country that make us long for a relaxing day on the beach. However, Tunisia has a desert that covers a significant portion of the country.

The most famous part of Tunisia’s desert is the Grand Erg Oriental- a collection of dunes. These dunes are so aesthetically pleasing they feel surreal. The chances of getting bored in a spot like this are very slim. The desert is considered a large recreational ground.

Riding dune buggies and camels is the order of the day. However, tourists have admitted that the best thing you can do is sit on one of these enormous dunes and watch the sunset.

The National Bardo Musuem

The National Bardo Musuem
Photo: Wikipedia.org

Not everyone has a museum at the top of their must-visit list when exploring a new country. The National Bardo Museum is an exception; very few remain unimpressed with the building’s display.

It is considered one of North Africa’s best museums as it houses some of the world’s most important mosaic collections. Not only are the mosaics displayed beautifully, but they also hold significant meaning.

For example, some of the items curated in the Museum were used in conducting ancient Roman rituals, some involving human sacrifice. You don’t get to see something like that every day.

Kairouan

Kairouan, Tunisia
Photo: World Pilgramage Guide

Kairouan city is located in Central Tunisia, and it is regarded as one of the holy cities in Islam. It is the fourth most important city after Mecca.

Minarets and domes fill the skies in these parts of Tunisia since the buildings here take their inspiration from Arabic architecture, some of them beautiful beyond imagination. Mosques, madrassas, and tombs form a majority of the monuments you will find here.

Unlike other parts of Tunisia, where the houses are primarily white, houses in Kairouan are colorful, and the environment seems to enchant whoever visits it.

Read more about Kairoun here.

Ksour Country

Ksour Country
Photo: Lonely Planet

When you look at Ksour, you may find it hard to imagine that people can comfortably live there. This could be one of the reasons why  Luke Skywalker’s home planet was named after the city. Not minding its current state, Ksour is home to centuries-old villages once inhabited by Berbers and Arabs.

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Photo: Viator

Tourists describe Sidi Bou Said as a cute village. The village sits on top of a cliff, and the view can be likened to a painting. The environment is astoundingly photogenic, so don’t forget to go there with your best camera.

Several artists have feted Sidi Bou Said, and we aren’t surprised why. The hamlet features Tunisia’s famous white walls, iron windows, and colorful doorways. Tunisian architecture at its peak.

We recommend this location for whiling away a lazy afternoon as you bask in the relaxed atmosphere. Not just that, you can also engage in abit of shopping. There are many artisans in the local markets, and you are bound to find something that catches your eye.

Bulla Regia

Bulla Regia, Tunisia
Photo: Wikipedia.org

Tunisia is famous for being a playground of Roman ruins. However, Bulla Regia takes the cake as the country’s most intriguing site.

Many wonder how the city’s houses could’ve remained so well-preserved over the decades. The secret behind this is how the people constructed them. Because of the harsh weather conditions, the Romans built their villas underground.

Historians and archeology nerds shouldn’t pass up the chance to walk through Roman houses that ancient Romans once inhabited.

Sousse Medina

Sousse Medina, Tunisia
Photo: Trekearth

There’s something about the Sousse Medina that beckons on you to explore it. One of such things could be the buildings that overlook the town.

Like most parts of Tunisia, the town is filled with white houses and radiates warmth all around. We would describe Sousse Medina as a shopping paradise. If you are a lover of crafts such as ceramics, leatherwork, and metalwork, this is the place to be.

Hammamet

Hammamet, Tunisia
Photo: Le Royal Hotels & Resorts

Beach lovers, get in here because we have a perfect spot for you. Hammamet is a laid-back town in Tunisia dedicated to giving you the best beach vacations.

The town itself is a sight to behold. White buildings flood the streets, and they look beautiful, set beside the bright sea. Hammamet’s Mediterranean charm woos all its visitors to frolic in the sand and sunbathe.

This is the perfect spot for people who want to get away from stress. Even when you’re not lazing on the beach, you’re strolling down the streets or shopping in local stores.

Dougga

Dougga, Tunisia
Photo: www.nachoua.com

Dougga is one of the most important sites in North Africa. You can get to Dougga quickly within a day’s trip from Tunis or Tabarka (A beach town).

The site is decorated with well-preserved monuments, and its environment radiates tranquility. It is no wonder travelers, and tourists love the location.

It may not look like it, but this region was once a thriving town dating far back to the 6th century BC. The historical remnants littered on its grounds should be a testament to this.

Best time to visit Tunisia

This greatly depends on what part of the country you visit. The northern part of the country is more prone to the Mediterranean climate.

The central part of the country has a more arid climate, while the southern part of the country mimics a desert-like environment.

On that note, the region you choose for your stay will determine the kind of weather you should expect. However, the best time to visit Tunisia is in the months of Spring (March-June) and later in the year during fall (September-October), when temperatures are more relaxed.

Tunisia fun facts

  • Sites in Tunisia have been featured on TV. Star Wars fans are a testament to this since they constantly storm the city to discover some of these sites.
  • Virtually everyone in Tunis is a Muslim. Islam is the dominant religion in the country. Tunisia also houses Kairouan – the fourth most important Muslim city after Mecca.
  • The main languages spoken in Tunisia are Arabic and French.
  • Part of the Sahara desert is in Tunisia. Not only that, its desert is home to an erg- a vast land of dunes known as The Grand Erg Oriental.
  • Stone-aged tools dating as far back as 200,000 years ago have been discovered in Tunisia.

Conclusion

Tunisia has something for everyone, from whitewashed alleys to go on walks, beaches to laze on, and historical sites to explore. We hope you found this article helpful in discovering what sites to visit when visiting Tunisia. 

Check out the following 13 famous buildings to visit in Africa.

Popular tourist destinations in east Africa

Africa is most known for its tourist attractions and natural expositions; wildlife, landforms, and other geographical as well as the continent’s historical sites and diverse cultures. South Africa is the most visited African country by tourists, which is best known for the wildlife conservation centres situated there alongside other attractions. Although, the South Africa tourist industry is one of the top beneficiaries from African tourism, other parts of the continents also still earn well from the industry as they have major tourist attractions.

The eastern part of Africa also plays roles in the development of the African tourism industry. Eastern Africa constitutes over 20 territories/ countries. It has many tourist centres and point of attractions. East African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda are all major contributors to the worth of the African tourism industry. Tourism contributes over 10 percent to Kenya’s GDP; Tourism is the nation’s second revenue source after agriculture. This depicts that they have attractive tourist centres while Tanzania is the biggest player in the industry earning over USD 2 billion a year. Rwanda and Uganda are not isolated too; Rwanda and Ugandan tourist centres are worth USD 317 million and USD 1.1 billion respectively.

After a completed survey in 2015, Uganda recorded the highest number of tourist visitors, 1,303,00, while Kenya followed with 1,114,100 tourists also and Tanzania and Rwanda with 1,104,00 and 987,000 respectively. These are impressive numbers, and some of these are yet to fully actualise their tourism industries probably because they have other major sources of revenue. What are these attractive sites that attract tourists to these parts of the continent? There are many points of interests in these countries, but the popular ones are the main perpetrators in attracting tourists.

Popular tourist destinations in East Africa:

The Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

This wildlife conservation centre is situated in Kenya and is recognised as one of Africa’s safari destination. The diversity in wildlife is a major pointer in this tourist centre. This reserve is one of the major contributors to the country’s GDP.

Tourist savour watching herds cross Mara river and the cultural exhibition of the Maasai resident is another major highlight of this reserve. The big five; the African lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and rhino, could be both seen in a day especially in the dry seasons when there is a major migration occurrence of the wild beasts.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Located within the Virunga Mountains, in the deep vegetation region of Rwanda lies the Volcanoes National Park. It is the oldest national park in Africa and is most famous because of the critically endangered mountain gorillas situated in the park. These gorillas are subspecies of wider ranges of Eastern gorillas; there still exist over 800 of these creatures.

Other creatures of rare species can also be found in the park as well as 29 different species of bird.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

This tourist centre which is located off coast region of Tanzania is most known for its beaches. It is surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. This was once a trade route for the island Arab rulers that trade spices.
Stone Town is also one of its biggest side attractions boasting ornate houses, mosques and ancient Sultan palaces. The white-sand beaches are ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Kibale National Park, Uganda

This is also another park, conserving evergreen rain forest. It is popularly known for the different primate species that live in the park; monkeys, chimpanzees’ etc. The Kibale forest has the highest abundance of primates.

With over 200 species of trees in the park, there are rainforest plants that thrive in the park that serve as food to these primates too. Trees including pollia condensata, Cordia millenii and so more. It’s a conservation centre for wildlife and plants.

Conclusion

East Africa still has a lot of tourist points of interests which are yet to get prominence and popularity as these, that’s because the tourism industry is still undergoing development. It is expected that some of these East-African countries would fully depend on their cultural and natural heritages as revenue soon.

Some selected readings

Mungai, E. (2017, June 1.) Lesson for East Africa: In tourism, the race is not to the swift. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from the Web

African Development Bank. (2016, January 1.) Africa Tourism Monitor 2015: Tourism in Africa is on the rise, but has not yet reached its full potential. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from the Web

Zijlma, A. (2017, July 17.) A Top Ten List of East Africa’s Best Travel Destinations. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

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