(Tunisia, TN, North Africa)
Among Tunisia's many tourist attractions are its museums and art galleries. Several of them, such as the museum at Carthage, are part of a larger archaeological complex.
These popular attractions usually house some of the more precious artefacts unearthed during site excavations that have taken place over the years. Others offer a glimpse into a particular area of Tunisian life and culture, such as the Postal Museum in Tunis.
It is worth taking time out to visit at least a few, if possible, before heading out to view Tunisia's major archaeological sites. If you only have time to visit one during your stay in Tunisia, however, it has to be the National Bardo Museum in Tunis.
National Bardo Museum
Address: Le Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa.
First opened in 1888, the Bardo offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich heritage of the country, with collections ranging from prehistoric finds to a particularly fine display of Roman mosaics. Situated within a historic palace in a wealthy residential district of Tunis, the museum comprises some 35 exhibition rooms devoted to several different specialist departments.
Open hours: daily, November to March - 09:30 to 16:30; April to October - 09:00 to 17:00
Carthage National Museum
Address: Colline de Byrsa, Carthage, Tunisia, Africa
Located within the Archaeological Site of Carthage
, this museum was set up to protect finds uncovered during archaeological excavations of Punic and Roman buildings. Among its exhibits are several significant sculptures, including the Head of Gaius Caesar, a bust of the grandson of Augustus Caesar, and the Colossal Head of Princess Antoine. Three libraries provide an archive of the ancient history of Carthage. The museum is located on Byrsa Hill, which offers a good vantage point over the city of Tunis.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00
Address: Rue Gamel Abdelnasser, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
Whilst a museum dedicated to Tunisia's postal history may not seem to be an obvious stopping off point to many visitors, those who have a penchant for philately will undoubtedly find this particular attraction a fascinating place to visit. As well as housing the nation's stamp collections, it also displays various pieces of transmission apparatus.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:30 to 12:30 and 14:30 to 17:30
Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions
Address: Impasse Ben Abdallah Medina, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
This museum is housed within the former palace of Dar Ben Abdallah. Visitors can glimpse into the life in the city of Tunis in former times, from its mosques to its markets. A visit to Dar Ben Abdallah also offers a chance to find out about what life was like for families who lived here, particularly the sort of family that might have lived in this former 17th-century palace. Subjects covered range from childhood to marriage. There is even a kitchen, which shows the sort of utensils used to create a family's daily fare.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 16:30
Museum of the Mareth Line
Address: Mareth, Gabès, Tunisia, Africa
The Mareth Line was built between 1936 and 1940 by French forces, in order to protect Tunisia from Italian attack via neighbouring Libya
. The defensive line extended some 45 km / 28 miles and was made up of a series of bunkers. Mareth is known in particular for the battle that took place here in March 1943, when Rommel sought to resist the Allied army's advance. The museum's exhibits extend over five rooms. They include plans of the battle, dioramas, uniforms and weaponry. Some of the trenches and bunkers can still be seen today. There is also a video room in which visitors can view a documentary about the tactics employed by the battle's main protagonists.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 16:00
Address: Ain Ksir, Jendouba, Tunisia, Africa
This archaeological museum boasts impressive facilities for tourists, including four vast rooms for exhibitions, as well as plenty of space for concerts and theatrical productions. Exhibits cover such areas of Tunisian history as its geology, the Roman era and funeral monuments.
Open hours: October to March, daily - 09:00 to 17:00; April to September, daily - 09:00 to 18:30
Sousse Archaeological Museum
Address: Avenue du Maréchal Tito Medina, Sousse, Tunisia, Africa
Housed within the city's former kasbah, this highly regarded museum is a treasure trove of archaeological finds. In particular, the Sousse Archaeological Museum is home to one of the finest collections of mosaics to be found in the whole of Tunisia. Some of the pieces depict Greek and Roman mythology. Others illustrate the lives of the Romans who lived here. To help bring the mosaics to life, visitors can even watch the resident artist as he works on creating his own mosaics. Other exhibits include statues, masks and ancient vases.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday, April to October - 09:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00; November to March - 08:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 19:00