Tunisia Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Tunisia, TN, North Africa)

Tunisia has an abundance of lovely beaches, so it is not surprising that many tourists come here to simply enjoy basking in the Mediterranean sunshine. Others, however, are keen to explore the rich heritage left behind by Tunisia's former rulers.

Even if you are not a keen historian, many of the main tourist attractions in Tunisia are still bound to be of interest.

Few people can resist a glimpse inside an ancient medina quarter (Old City) or two, with their maze of narrow streets and fascinating souks, or a chance to marvel at the sheer scale of many of the country's mosques. If you are prepared to travel around the country, then there are plenty of attractions within relatively easy reach, with many choosing to spend time exploring the beaches of Tunisia.

Medina of Tunis

Address: Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
The medina in Tunis is one of the oldest attractions of its kind in the whole of North Africa, dating back to the 7th century AD. It gradually grew in size and importance and, from the 12th century, became very wealthy indeed. By the 19th century, many palaces and mosques had been built here. The medina is made up of an old town, with mostly 9th-century features, together with newer suburbs (dating from the 12th century). Visitors can explore its myriad of alleys, historic buildings (some 88 in total) and gates.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Medina of Sousse

Address: Sousse, Tunisia, Africa
The Medina of Sousse is listed as a World Heritage Site. It comprises a mix of fine archaeological monuments and winding narrow streets, all built to a rectangular plan and designed to be entered by a single gate. The oldest and most well-preserved building in the Sousse Medina is the Ribat, constructed in the 9th century AD as a fortress-monastery building. It was intended to defend this ancient Islamic city against Byzantine attack. Indeed, it was from here that Islamic soldiers embarked on their conquest of Sicily in 827 AD. Other interesting examples of Islamic architecture are the Grand Mosque, the Bou Ftata Mosque and the kasbah.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Great Mosque of Sidi Oqba

Address: Rue Sidi Abdel Kader, Kairouan, Al-Qayrawan, Tunisia, Africa
The Great Mosque in Kairouan is one of some 50 in the city. It is, however, by far the most important in the eyes of Tunisia's Muslim community. The original building dates to the 7th century, while the later version of the mosque that we can see today was built by Emir Abou Ibrahim Ahmad in the 9th century. The Great Mosque has long served as an important destination for pilgrims as an alternative to Mecca, which was a much more arduous and expensive trip.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Belvedere Park

Address: Avenue Taieb Mhiri, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
Established in 1892, Belvedere Park is situated on a hill that is covered in olive trees. It wasn't until 1910 that the park was opened up to public access, after which it became a popular place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Indeed, it is one of the few large green spaces in Tunis. The park's landscape maintains a distinctly French feel. A pavilion and zoo can be found within the park's boundaries, together with a lake and art gallery, making it a good place to bring the whole family.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Friguia Animal Park

Address: Route de Sousse, Entre Bouificha et Chgaenia, Hammamet, Tunisia, Africa
Tel: +216 73 252 723
The Friguia Animal Park is an ideal alternative for children, should they start to tire of Tunisia's historic attractions or fancy a day away from the beach. The park is home to several hundred animals, including cheetahs, meerkats and giraffes. Visitors are treated to regular displays of the zoo's dolphins at play, as well as traditional music and dancing entertainment. Rest stops, snack bars and shops are also among the facilities on offer.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday, April to October - 09:00 to 18:00; November to March - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Zitouna Mosque

Address: Rue Jamaa Ezzitouna, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
The Zitouna Mosque features among the top religious sites in Tunisia. Its name literally translates as 'olive tree', referring to a time when the mosque's founder used to teach followers seated under such a tree. Whilst it is not possible for non-Muslims to view the interior of the mosque, it is possible to visit its courtyard and view the impressive exterior. Indeed, the building and courtyard cover a vast area right in the heart of Tunis.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 08:00 to 15:00; November to March - 08:00 to 14:00 (some time restrictions on Friday visiting hours)
Admission: charge

Great Mosque of Hammamet

Address: Avenue Habib Thameur, Hammamet, Tunisia, Africa
One of two main mosques in Hammamet, the Great Mosque is thought to date from the 15th century. The mosque is easily recognised by its distinctive rectangular minaret. It was restored in the early 1970s and shows both Moorish and Turkish influences. Visitors will not always be able to gain access to the interior of the mosque. Nevertheless, a stroll around its walls gives a good idea of the sheer size of the place.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

St. Vincent de Paul Cathedral

Address: Avenue Menzel Bourguiba, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
Built in 1882, this Roman Catholic cathedral is a popular tourist attraction in Tunis, boasting an interesting mix of architecture, with traces of Gothic, Byzantine and Moorish influences all very much in evidence. Religious services are held regularly in the church, which was visited in 1996 by Pope John Paul II. Outside the cathedral is a statue of the famous Tunisian teacher and philosopher Ibn Khaldun.
Open hours: hours vary (Sunday mass celebrated in French - 11:00)
Admission: free

Chott el Djerid

Address: Blidet / Naftah / Tozeur, Tunisia, Africa
Located deep in the heart of western Tunisia and close to Rjim Maatoug, Chott el Djerid is the largest of the Sahara Desert's salt pans. This vast expanse of land looks solid enough, but tourists should be warned, in many places it is covered by what amounts to a perilously thin crust of salt. There are many oases in the area, including the Djerid-Upland Oases, which offers particularly splendid views over the salt lakes.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free