Tunisia Capital City, About Tunis Tourism and Travel

(Tunisia, TN, North Africa)

Tunisia's capital is a fascinating mix of North African, French and Middle Eastern influences. These are the result of legacies left by occupying forces throughout the city's long history.

Such influences are abundantly clear when you first step foot in Tunis. The city's architecture encompasses winding narrow alleys and concealed courtyards, as well as broad tree-lined streets.

Tunis is an ideal place to visit for a short break. It also makes for a good starting-off point for a longer exploration of Tunisia. Things to see and do include visits to the city's many museums, markets and green spaces. In particular, it is worth heading to a high vantage point to enjoy stunning views over the city and the sea.

Tourism and General Information

Tunis is thought to have been founded around 2000 BC by settlers from nearby Libya. Berbers gained control in the 4th century BC, but only for a brief period. There is evidence of Phoenician settlers living here in 900 BC. The Phoenicians were already established in the nearby city of Carthage and soon took control of Tunis. Then, in the 2nd century AD, both Carthage and Tunis were attacked by the Romans.

Although a great deal of damage was inflicted, the city was rebuilt. The decline of the Roman era saw the rise of the Arab Muslims in the area. From the 7th century AD, Tunis enjoyed a period of relative prosperity. Indeed, many of the city's buildings date from between the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 19th century, the French took control of Tunisia and its capital city. During World War Two, Tunis was at the centre of military conflict. After the war, it became the base of the Arab League.

Roughly a fifth of Tunisia's population live in Tunis. The city comprises two halves - in the western part of the city is its ancient medina. To the north is a much newer Ville Nouvelle.

The Tunis medina and its souks offer crowds and local colour in abundance. The Ville Nouvelle, on the other hand, is the product of French occupation during the 19th century. It is a neighbourhood that is very much characterised by boulevards and distinctive French-style architecture that dates back to the 'belle époque'. It is well worth heading to a good vantage point to get a panoramic view of the whole city for yourself.

There is plenty to see and do in Tunis, including, of course, a stroll through the medina. The Bardo Museum is perhaps the most often-visited tourist attraction in Tunisia's capital city. Also worth a visit are the Zitouna Mosque, the St. Vincent de Paul Cathedral and Belvedere Park.