Kairouan Travel Guide

  • Kairouan
    by littlebush
  • KAIROUAN
    KAIROUAN
    by alyf1961
  • Kairouan
    by katalin

Kairouan Things to Do

  • THE PRAYER HALL

    The prayer hall has 17 aisles which are seperated from each other by rows of columns. The floor of the prayer hall is covered with hand made rugs. These rugs are usually made by women and can take up to 1 year to make each rug.

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  • THE ARCADES

    The arcades surround the courtyard, they form long aisles to protect people from the sun. If the Mosque is full people will pray in the courtyard and the aisles.The pillars of the arcades were taken from carthage where the Roman baths stood.

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  • THE CISTERN

    The Cistern is in the centre of the courtyard which slopes slightly to allow water to filter into it. Water is important before prayers to cleanse the prayer. There are also cleansing facilities outside the courtyard.

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Kairouan Hotels

See all 3 Hotels in Kairouan
  • Hotel La Kasbah

    I must admit I am not used to stay in 5 star hotels. But as we wanted a bit of luxury and to pamper...

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  • Continental Kairouan

    Avenue De La Republique, Kairouan, 3100, Tunisia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • Amina Hotel

    Route De Tunis GP 2, Kairouan, 3100, Tunisia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

Kairouan Restaurants

  • the best restaurant in kairouan

    Restaurant BAROUTA is one of the oldest restaurants in Kairouan more then 80 years of service (since 1925)It's situate in the middle of the city in the SOUK behind BIR BAROUTA (on Ave 7 November ) the historical place The menu is a typical lunchtime one with couscous, salads, soup, grilled meats, spaghetti, omelette, etc and a dessert for set price...

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  • Tunisian patisserie

    This patisserie is located on the main Ave 7 Novembre streets within the Medina and specialises in selling sweets, biscuits and cakes including makhroud, a date-filled semolina cake soaked in honey. Pop in and sample some of the delights on offer.

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  • Restaurant at Hotel Splendid

    The restaurant at the Hotel Splendid serves food from a set menu in the evening for TD7,500 which you can order in advance to save yourself TD2,500. There are only 3 choices for starter, main or desert. I had a soup, good turkey cous cous and a few Makhroud (a date-filled semolina cake soaked in honey). There ain't that many good looking...

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Kairouan Nightlife

  • Restaurant Karawan

    After our dinner at Hotel Splendid we walked around the streets near our hotel before calling into Restaurant Karawan for a mint tea. In true Tunisian style he sat us down and our drinks came from another place down the street. The mint tea was great though, while the terrace at Karawan was a nice place to sit and watch the world go by. The cafe...

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  • chai and nargileh

    The turkish cafè at the hotel La kasbah. There's generally not much nightlife in Tunisian towns and cities - so the most you can find is inside tourist hotels. At café maure you can sip delicious mint tea or turkish coffee, eat sweeter than sweet Tunisian pastries, and happily smoke nargileh. Formal or informal, no one really cares. But there's no...

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  • Kairouan Hotels

    3 Hotels in Kairouan

    2 Reviews

Kairouan Transportation

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo

    by Elisabcn Updated Apr 18, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kairouan is one of the main cities in Tunisia and it has good connections with all the main cities and towns. Its louage station is always very busy and you won’t have to wait a lot to have your louage complete and leave. There is also a small deposit inside where you can leave your luggage safe for few dinars. The louage station is a lilttle far from the medina so if you don’t have a lot of time to visit the city, take a taxi until one of the city gates.
    If you arrive to Kairouan by car, go directly to the medina, there is a big car park outside the walls, just next to the Grande Mosquée.

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Kairouan Shopping

  • Bird Cages.

    I saw very beautifu Bird Cages in the market and is one of Tunis traditional craftsmanship, even if you don´t want to put a poor bird inside it´s a beautiful decoration item.

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  • Spices.

    Maybe Gabes has a better Spice Market, but Kairouan is a good place to enjoy the color and the aroma of the Tunisian spices.

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  • Carpets.

    If they take you to a carpet store and you don´t want to buy is a typical tourist trap, but if you´re really interested in them there are beautiful carpets all over the market. I liked the way they show them hanging over the walls and roofs.

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Kairouan Local Customs

  • lambs, lambs and more lambs . . .

    Eheh, this is not a typical thing about Kairouan but we visited the city the day before la Fête du Mouton so there were lambs everywhere. La Fête du Mouton is celebrated at the end of the Second Aid or Aid Kbir. During this day Muslims commemorate the sacrifice of Abraham (Abraham's lamb) and each family sacrifices a lamb. The sacrifice is done...

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  • Circumcision ritual.

    We saw this ritual when we visited the Mausoleum of Sidi Abid El Ghariani. Is a ritual practiced in all arab countries and was closely related to the ritual dedicated to God and Godesses of fertility. It marked the passage from childhood into adulthood. It´s not mentioned in the Koran, but is a tradition of the prophet and has become obligatory....

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  • Dress Code.

    As in other mosques around the world, there´s a specific dress code if you want to visit the Mosque; no sleeveless shirts for men and women, no mini skirts and the shorts must cover the knee. There are tunics for the visitors that need them. All of the girls of our group had to borrowed some of these clothes.

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Kairouan Warnings and Dangers

  • Don’t climb on ruins

    Some of the ruins and antiquities one can visit are over 2000 years old and are not in the best of conditions anymore, since neither Phoenicians nor Romans can come back to fix them anymore. Hence it is a silly idea to climb onto the ruins and destroy them for others to see, or to get injured in the course of it.

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  • Welcome to Kairoaun

    We arrived in Kairouan shortly after 7. This was the biggest city we had been in since Tunis and we struggled to find our way around in the car. The hotel we planned to stay in, Hotel Sabra, was right by the medina but we were struggling to work out where we were. The streets had no names or on the odd occasion they did have a name it was in...

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Kairouan Tourist Traps

  • Carpet Sale.

    As in most of the Arab countries a visit to a carpet store is expected, some tea and a show of carpets is offered, at the beginning everybody is so friendly, later all change (specially when there is no sale), they even get rude. At least you will see beautiful carpets (an also lost a lot of time if you´re not interested in buying).

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  • Don't go to the sacred well with the...

    In Kairouan they use a camel to walk around and pump water out of the sacred well, this is so sad! Don't go there, don't give money, the camel walks in a small place, unbelievable how he got there, we only took the picture to show how sad it is!

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  • Bir Barouta

    We bought a global ticket at the Grand Mosque which covered entry to the mosque, a number of medersas, marabouts and Bir Babouta, a bizzare sight in the middle of the medina. Bir Barouta is supposedly the spot where the chalice associated with the foundation of Kairouan was found. As the story goes the chalice fell to the ground and water sprung...

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Kairouan What to Pack

  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    by aliante1981 Written Jan 9, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: Travels to places like Tunisia involves a lot of fighting the heat, especially if you, like me (I am still surprised as to why I did that), go there right in the middle of the summer. Here’s a list of useful items to take:

    - Hats and other covering: Large brimmed hats that provide head covering and some shade. For women, they are also a proof of modesty, welcomed when visiting old churches and mosques. Scarves and the like covering shoulders and arms can keep the sun off during treks. A cloth hat or scarf can be soaked to help keep the head cool.

    - "Squeeze Breeze": this is a water bottle with a sprayer and a battery-operated fan attached. The beach toy to take with you!

    - Sun block: While sun blocks may be purchased in Tunisia, people tend to prefer sticking with their own favourite brand (the skin, too, ‘gets used’ to it), and there’s not guarantee you’ll find it on the spot. So take your own, if you have preferences!

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Kairouan Off The Beaten Path

  • Zawiiya of Sidi Amor Abbada

    This is a very strange place; or at least its owner was a strange character. This “sidi” was a kind of crazy inventor who created the strangest tools. All of them are basically made of wood, oversized and with lots of inscriptions explaining their purpose. Some examples that you can still see inside this zawiyya- museum are the sword that can...

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  • Hidden palaces

    I found these palaces by chance, wandering around the narrow streets of the medina. These are some examples of some good standing families’ houses. Nowadays they are used as cultural centers or carpet shops. You still can find the original furniture so it is easy to imagine how these families lived two centuries ago. Even if you don’t want to buy...

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  • Bassins des Aghlabides

    On the pictures of the tourist brochures they look more beautiful (ah! the wonders of photoshop!) but they are just two-three pools that were used some centuries ago as water reservoirs. They were built during the IXth century by the Aghlabids and water was transported from the mountains until there through an aqueduct. You can see them from the...

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Kairouan Sports & Outdoors

  • dedeckerm.'s Profile Photo

    by dedeckerm. Updated Apr 2, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can sport most of the year in southern resort areas.
    Sports such as golf, tennis, diving, hunting, riding, surfing, sailing, hiking and discovering the numerous sites, cities and museums.
    Most hotels have tennis courts.

    Sailing

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Kairouan Favorites

  • Money Matters

    The local currency is the Dinar. American Express, Visa and travellers cheques are widely accepted, and the US dollar is a good currency to carry them in. ATMs are found in almost every town large enough to support a bank and certainly in all the tourist areas. Credit cards are accepted in souvenir shops and upmarket hotels and restaurants.

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  • Syndicat d'Initiative

    The Syndicat d'Initiative is located to the north of the town beside the Aghlabid Basins and is where you can obtain a single ticket which allows you admission into the main tourist attractions in Kairouan. The ticket, which costs TD7 plus TD1 for camera charge, includes entry into the Great Mosque, Aghlabid Basins, Zaouia of Sidi Sahab, Zaouia of...

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  • Photo Fee

    All ancient sites, mosques, museums and antiquities charge a photographic fee. The ticket for this has to be purchased when one buys the entrance ticket. For each camera a separate fee has to be paid. During my visit the fee was 1 Dinar.

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