Best of the city in one day
Doing justice to the historic city in one day is impossible! However, in this one day if you explore most of the Medina, the most historic and bustling district of Tunis, you are bound to get a flavor of Tunisian life, culture, history, religion and tradition.
Start your day with a refreshing breakfast at your hotel so that you are able to last an entire fun filled and adventurous morning. Make sure you energize yourselves, for all through the Medina we will be on foot since passage of vehicles is impossible through the maze of streets and alley ways in this part of town. The medina is host to a number of activities; extensive shopping, historical sites, mosques, souvenir shops and a dozen eateries that offer authentic Tunisian delights which are a must have!
As you start walking through alleys and streets, take in the scent of spices, herbs and traditional fragrances which are part of the Tunisian delicacy. With the help of your walking guide (if you choose to have one) you will be able to track down the biggest mosque in Tunisia: Zaitouna Mosque, with its huge minarets and solid walls. This mosque is worth a look inside because of its interesting architectural designs and a library with a wide collection of books on history and religion.
Our next stop will be the Dar Bach Hamba, a palace turned museum depicting paintings and cultural displays from various Mediterranean countries. Take a look here and head deeper into the Medina to discover the Tourbet Aziza Ottoman, a tomb of the ottoman princess who was known for her extensive charitable works. The place has a striking combination of architecture, colors and various ceramic decorations.
In the early afternoon stop over for a scrumptious lunch at Mahdaoui, a Tunisian restaurant that occupies two lanes of the Medina. Another choice, if you wish to get away from the hustle bustle and with the same local cuisine, can be the Essaraya with indoor setting and Tunisian food cooked to excellence.
After tasting the spicy local dishes, charge yourself up for some more sightseeing as we head forward to the Dar Bin Adbullah, an Arts and Customs museum with larger than life displays of the 19th century Tunisia. The museum has some interesting displays of various civilizations and the way of life of humans in different stages of life. Two mosques here are worth noticing, the Sidi Mehrez and the Sidi Youseef, both built in the time of the Ottoman rule, the first named after a pious saint while the latter after the ruler in the day.
The Medina is lined on both sides with shops featuring handicrafts, souvenirs, rugs, carpets, fragrances, post cards and Tunisian clothes and jewelry. Take your pick from these shops that give room for bargaining even for the most authentic of handicrafts.
With a final look at the contemporary paintings hung in the Dar Bouderbala, the tour ends on the other side of the Medina. Take a deep breath to relax yourself and head to a cozy restaurant; we recommend the Dar Hamouda Pacha for its impeccable service and delicious Middle Eastern food. After a hefty meal, enjoy a cup of Turkish tea and head off to your hotel for a well deserved sleep!