There are plenty of great places to eat here but check the prices first. We did not see a menu at one place and even though they had some local customers it was not a cheap lunch.....travel 101 (I know....)
Unique Suggestions: Check the menus and prices and stick to the places that are packed to the gills as there are plenty
Fun Alternatives: Try the cafe's off the Ave as there are some great deals where you can have a cheap meal for two for under 10 USD
Well, it's the Old Town Center, pretty much. In all fairness, it's incredibly colorful, with a range of souvenirs not to be found anywhere else, but it's just so BUSY! Upon first sight it looks like any other Medina you might've been to, but once you enter the narrow alleyways and streets you realize that there's just not enough space for everybody.
Unique Suggestions: Try heading into the back alleys - although this might now seem like the safest option, if you're in a group you'll still be safe enough, and there's less chance of something disappearing from your bag/pocket. It's in the back alleys that we came across our guide too, and he was brilliant.
Fun Alternatives: Well, there's not really anything else like the Medina in Tunis, now is there?
I had once to wait more than eight hours in the airport and I thought that it would be a good idea to take a look around. I have asked about some tourist arrangements but was nothing available around the airport.
The only recommendation from the information office was to take a taxi. I have been down to the Taxi station and after the negotiation I was told that a trip at Carthage, Sidi Bou Said and back to the Airport would cost me 15 Euros. I have accepted even if it was a little bit strange why the guy was happy with the price without comment.
I have put my luggage in the taxi, we left the airport and when I was in the middle of nowhere the taxi driver has told me that this price is available for only one way…if I want :(
The price was not so big but all my good mood has just disappeared and I felt like sitting near a thief… I was afraid to visit the Carthage and to spend more time in Sidi Bou Said. It was the last time when I will negotiate prices with the taxi drivers. From now I will always ask them to start the counter.
Unique Suggestions: Ask them to start the counter...
Fun Alternatives: To rent a car perhaps?!
This is huge labyrinth with lot of shops looking the same.
Unique Suggestions: Our guide said that she dont allow as to enter this labyrinth alone because it´seasy to get lost in Tunis Old Town. Everything looks the same in shopping streets.
Our advice: use GPS. We tried and it helps to get back to where You want to exit the labyrinth.
Costs are not so low at Tunis old town shops than in Sousse or Hammamet.
Fun Alternatives: For shopping, visit some Hammamet or Sousse old town markets.
The Great Mosque (or Zitouna Mosque) is open to non-Muslim visitors from 8 a.m. to noon everyday except Fridays and Islamic holidays, but don't waste your time (or money; entry is 2 dinars per person) going inside. We were restricted to a gallery at the entrance of the courtyard and basically saw nothing that we hadn't already seen from either outside or nearby rooftops.
Fun Alternatives: The best way to see the Great Mosque's courtyard is to go on one of the rooftops in the neighbourhood. Many locals will offer to take you to such rooftops in exchange for money or a stop at their shop.
I wish I could recommend the last rooftop we went to, as it had the best view of the Great Mosque (and the rest of Tunis), but I could not tell you where it is exactly in the medina's maze of streets!
If you are on a package tour to Tunisia you will probabaly at some point run into the "rep", Although many can be helpful and fine, a few will try to scare you off going on your own in order to seel their tours. Beware their scaremongering. Tunisia isn't Sierra Leone! You will get killed, mugged, raped, shot or forced into white slavery the minute you set foot out of your hotel or tour bus. The most common tricks are to get you away from travelling independently (and thereby sedning your dollars away form the rep to others). THe most common refrain is...
"The buses are unsafe" - Only in as much as the transit system is confusing. Public buses in Tunisia are safe during the daytime, and intercity buses are fine too. Just follow the usual common sense precautions, keep your bag safe etc. Learn a bit of french so you can ask people at hte stations what's going where and when. Youll figure it out in no time.
"THere are no trains" - Yes there are. They do still run too.
"Dont buy drinks outside the hotel" - Because we dont get the money for then.
"Dont go round the Souks on your own" - This is double edged sword. The reps like to take you round, as obviously htey have deals with certain shops./factories etc. However the chances of getting shafted by other people is pretty high too. Best thing is go to the souk all you want, just only take enough money for drinks, snacks etc. so you dont get tempted into the "deal fo the centuary" (for them, not you!). If you havn't got it on you, no one can part you from it, can they?
Unique Suggestions: Just treat what you hear with a healthy skepticism. If things really were as difficult as the reps tell you, ask yourself why so many people bother to come? And ask around... Learn a bit of french, and youll soon find getting around and travelling to things by yourself is both 1) easy 2) interesting and 3) cheaper.
Beware of taxi drivers! They will attempt to take you where they want to take you and not where you want to go! Beware of shopping at Medina, you may be cornered into a rug sales demonstration against your will! A vendor became very aggressive when I did not want to make a purchase at his shop.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the beach or take a guided tour to get the most out of this shore excursion if you are taking a cruise into this port city.
As I menthioned on my shopping tip, to shop in the Medina, could be consider a tourist trap, as some stuff they are offering are very low in quality, and moreover, the prices they are asking for, are somehitng crazy!
So, if you wanna take home some stuff remember to bargain and check the quality first!
My first day in Tunis, I visited the souks, and I saw many cool things I wanted to buy, Unfortunately, the fact that I looked obviously like a tourist made me a target for some scams. Three times, different men came up to me trying to take me to a "Berber Festival" The first told me" It is the last day, you don't want to miss it, it ends at noon, in just one hour! I will take you there!"It seemed kind of fishy, and I was not going to follow some strange man anywhere ,so of course I didn't go. He was very persistant, but finally gave up! This happened 2 more times that day, but it seemed the longer I was in the souks, the later the festival ended, 1:00pm, then 2:30 PM .Hmmmmm! Also , be careful when walking through the souks because you can easliy get lost.
Also some ( not all) people will tell you stories...for example that a pendant is "real" gold or a carpet is "Handmade" when it is obviously not.
I know people have to make a living and being a foriegn tourist, I expect to pay more,this is not what bothered me.. Most of the people at the souks were not like this and were quite polite. What bothered me were the few people I came across that tried telling me stories.
Unique Suggestions: Go ahead and go to the souks! Really! As I said, many people are nice, of course they want you to pay as much as they can get you to. But even the highest price they want you to pay, really is not that high. JUST BE VERY CAREFUL!!!! I just got very intimidated and wanted to get out of there when a few "not so" honest people wouldn't leave me alone.
Fun Alternatives: If you don't wish to go to the souks, you can always go to the stores, or museum gift shops. The Bardo gift shop was quite reasonable I thought. There are also government regulated stores with fixed prices. There are also people selling things on the streets in little stands and some of the things they had for sale were quite nice and some even have written prices. One of my favorite things I bought was from a man selling brand new cassettes of Arabic music for only 1TD ( about 70 cents US ) I bought a few of them and they were really great!
There are many shops in the Casbah and the merchants expect you to bargain ruthlessly. Be prepared to walk away from a deal, don't buy the rugs unless you're loaded, and don't act interested in something unless you are.
you are welcome to my beautiful cuntry TUNISIA,I have the honour to know you and if you need any help I am desponible.
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The Great Mosque with its large round towers.
It was built by the Emir Aghlabide Abou Il Abbés Mohamed in 850. ,