Sousse was founded in the 9th century BC by the Phoenicians, who gave it the name Hadrumet. It's one of the oldest ports of the Mediterranean and well worth a visit - especially in the quieter off season of spring when cooler weather means you can explore the medina and museums without flagging in the heat. Sousse is the capital of the Sahel area and the beginning of an olive grove covering more than 250,000 hectares. To get an overview of the city climb the Ribat tower near the Grand Mosque and get your bearings - seeing the working port, the medina within its walls and roootops of the housess within.
Sidi Bou Said
Sidi Bou Said is said to be a tourist trap, it’s not much to do here, but the blue and white town is very charming with a good view over the Golf of Tunis. Everything is well kept with whitewashed walls and blue doors, windows and intricate metalwork.
Many countries, including Tunisia, are predominantly Muslim, so the religious sites you are most likely to encounter, are, predictably, mosques. This is a brief tip of advice, written from the point of view of a non-Muslim, female traveler (yours truly!!!):
- Do dress modestly, covering arms, legs, shoulders and the like, no frivolous dressing will be allowed. Hire the modest dress if needed;
- Check whether you are allowed into the mosque at all, since most of them admit you only into the courtyard, and some do not admit non-Muslims at all. However, in several countries you may be able to visit the interiors of many mosques;
- Respect the boundaries laid and do not attempt to enter further (I saw such a thing once, and it did arouse ill-feeling);
- If possible try to avoid going even to the courtyard on Friday afternoon, since I remember this is the most important praying time of the week;
- If you are curious, feel free to ask questions (though not of people hurrying to pray) and most likely you will be answered: I’ve always found people proud of their culture and heritage and ready to explain it;
- Do not criticize things we in Europe and in the West might (such as separate praying space for men and women), for such are the customs of the land and mosques are the least appropriate places for such topics.
This advice is based only on common sense, but it allowed me to see something of the mosques and learn loads of interesting info on Muslim countries, their religion, and culture. Really helped me when we had a general education class on religions at University:))
Outside of town, where city meets desert is the Camel bazaar, where nomads and dealers meet to barter over camels, supplies and other wares. You won't really need to buy anything here unless you are embarking into the desert, but it is a really fun place to experience and watch what goes on.
The choice is yours.....
The medina of Sousse is fairly good for shopping. The choice is yours:
Handcarved olive wood: Salad bowls, kitchen articles, vases, lamps, bracelets...beautiful , solid wood…. Start by cutting the offer in half, then work up to a compromise if you are really interested.