El Jem Travel Guide

  • THE AMPHITHEATRE, EL JEM
    THE AMPHITHEATRE, EL JEM
    by BarneyUK
  • El Jem
    by BarneyUK
  • EL JEM
    EL JEM
    by alyf1961

El Jem Things to Do

  • THE AMPHITHEATRE

    El Jem has the third largest colleseum in the world and the best preserved as it was made later and with more expertise than the previous amphitheatres.It was built in 230-238 and could hold 30,000 spectators.

    more
  • Go See the Colosseum

    The Colosseum in El Jem is an incredible sight. It is near the size of the one in Rome and is open to explore. You can climb to it's highest point, and go undernear to the old pits. Tourists are not nearly as plentiful during the low season, so there are times that you share this huge building with only a handful of people. We spent an hour walking...

    more
  • The Museum in El Jem

    The price for the museum is included in your ticket for the Colosseum and I would recommend going to see it. Our experience there rivalled the one we had at the Bardo. The museum here does not have near the collection the Bardo has, but the mosaics they do have, as well as other exhibits make it worth the 30 minutes or more you may spend in the...

    more
  • Amphitheatre

    El Djem is famous for its amphitheatre (often incorrectly called "a colosseum"), capable of seating 35,000 spectators. Only Rome's Colosseum (about 45,000 spectators) and the ruined theatre of Capua are larger. The amphitheatre at El Djem was built by the Romans under proconsul Gordian, who was acclaimed Emperor at Thysdrus, around 238 and was...

    more
  • Amphitheatre

    Until the 17th century it remained more or less whole. From then on its stones were used for building the nearby village of El Djem and transported to the Great Mosque in Kairouan, and at a tense moment during struggles with the Ottomans, the Turks used cannons to flush rebels out of the amphitheatre.The ruins of the amphitheatre were declared a...

    more
  • Visit the amphitheatre........

    ....obviously.You won't be alone.Read my El Jem page to help yourself deal with the other visitors. Crowded or not, this site is an unmissable 'must-see'......quite apart from its historical value and significance, you can rest happy in knowing you have trod where Russell Crowe trod (some of 'Gladiator' was filmed here). :-)You'll need to pay for a...

    more

El Jem Restaurants

  • Opposite entrance

    There are a few places to eat beside the Colosseum and this place is on the southern side right opposite the entrance so you have a great view. They do lunchtime food such kebabs cooked on a grill, pizza's, sandwiches, omlettes etc.

    more
  • Cafe with a View

    There's a nice cafe in El Jem (whose name I've forgotten unfortunately) with excellent views of the northside of the amphitheatre. This side of the amphitheatre is completely open so you get a fine view of the interior, even from a distance.

    more
  • Next the townhotel

    The restaurants in El Jem are serving simply food in town center.But it seems there are better restaurant next the town hotel

    more

El Jem Nightlife

  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 13, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I dunno if this cafe-bar is opened in the closing time of the site because I've left El Jem during the day.
    It is situated in the shadow of the arcades and looks very attractive. We stopped here shortly, just for a drink, and it offers superb atmosphere.

    Cafe-bar in the amphitheatre
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    more

El Jem Transportation

  • 'Louage' to El Jen

    In Sousse we researched the best way to get to El Jem for the day. The verdict - use the louage. The French word literally means ‘rental’ and refers to the shared-taxis that travel between towns and cities.We took a taxi to the louage station, and paid 3.45 Dirham each for the trip. In Sousse the tickets were issued by computer, and we were on our...

    more
  • foot

    To see spots of interest for us tourist and have coffe/meal, no transportation is needed. Feet will do quite fine even for elder people as:1.from train station to amphiteatre takes less than 5 minutes2.cofffe shops/restaurants are located along the amphitheatre3. archeological museum is some 15 min. remote if you take a slow walk, that is also a...

    more
  • 'frst' class :)

    If you are in Sousee, El Jem is easy reachable by local train. You will have exact time you need to sense the place and snoop around in the case you leave Sousse at 8am and check the return at noon. At the station you can get the schedule.The cost, 1st clas, to El Jem and backwards: 8.500 dinarsDuration of journey: 50 minutesOn the way you will see...

    more

El Jem Shopping

  • cazz38's Profile Photo

    by cazz38 Written Feb 3, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before you get to the Amphitheatre,there are lots and lots of stalls selling everything from postcards to clothes and very good prices as well.

    Outside the Amphitheatre
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

    more

El Jem Local Customs

  • Family coming back from the souq

    Along the road going from El-Jem to the holly city of Kairouan, 68 kilometers away, families come back from the souq (market). The road is lined with eucalyptus trees and prickly-pears. Two women walk while one is sitting on the donkey that caries the goods they have bought and three kids caper around. This is the kind of scene that you often get.

    more
  • Fixing a handle

    At first, I wondered what this man, sit on an empty sack was busy doing! On the second photo, I have made a close-up (you need anyway to enlarge it) that allows to see that he has a hand saw for fresh wood that he uses to fix a handle on a pickaxe. He has almost finished preparing a handle out of a rough trunk of some strong wood that I have not...

    more
  • Ask for 'un dinar'

    As you stroll through the stall holders that line the route fro the car park to the amphitheatre, you will hear the cry 'un dinar' many many times - so much so that it appears to be a local greeting...

    more

El Jem Warnings and Dangers

  • There will be stalls and hawkers......

    ......from the moment you step off the bus, or come near to the amphitheatre. These are people making their living in a country where living standards are much lower than many others.There are stalls all the way along the side-road which leads to the entrance....hats and scarves and carvings and models and jewellery and leather goods and anything...

    more
  • Don't climb the 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.

    more
  • Street vendors

    Watch out for the street vendors! They accost you as you walk to the entrance to the colosseum and tell you everything is half a dinar and try to put the item in your hands or on you somehow. Don't stop and look or you will never escape them! If you have children with you keep them close because they hold on to the kids and try and give them the...

    more

El Jem Tourist Traps

  • gajner's Profile Photo

    by gajner Updated Apr 2, 2007

    Don't throw away your ticket after visiting the arena. You can also enter to the magnificient museum with it that's about 10 minutes walking distance.

    Unique Suggestions: If you threw your ticket, find a FAT tourist that's coming out the arena, and ask his/her ticket that still valid for the museum.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

    more

El Jem What to Pack

  • small backpack is quite enough

    comfortable shoeslight clotheshead protection if you're there in the summer WATER sandwich or fruit in the case you figure out you wouldnot want to eat the local restaurant served;some toilette paper, as anywhere in Tunisia (weeeeeeeh, but yes!) the better equipment, the better memories later ;)

    more
  • Fighting the Heat - Part I

    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...

    more
  • El Jem Hotels

    0 Hotels in El Jem

El Jem Off The Beaten Path

  • In the amphitheatre........

    ....take the time to wander round its outside. Most people don't, so you'll get chance to explore awitout being distarcted...maybe help your imagination a bit.Look for the patches of 'opus signinum', the Roman mortar containing bits of tile. You'll see it on the walls, probably providing a surface on which to paint frescoes.Look for 'dumps' of...

    more
  • follow the 'museum' sign and.......**

    **...you will find yourself in African little town. Special atmosphere of Africa! I so much enjoyed this little walk! Walking around El Jem to visit the museum made it more possible to allow my being to memorise the impressions, really worthwile ones, from the Amphitheatre built by Roman empire and put them in connection to what was going on in El...

    more
  • Ventilation

    The ventilation system of the underground is in the shape of flowers. It can be barely noticed from the ground floor of the amphitheatre, in fact, I saw it only from the underground.

    more

El Jem Favorites

See all 11 Favorites in El Jem
  • 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.

    more
  • 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.

    more
  • Popular adventurer stop-over

    This place is a popular refuge for those desert adventurer types in their 4x4's and on their motorbikes. There were a couple of large parties pulled up near the colloseum entrance. The cafe/restaurant is littered with stickers from various exhibitions to Tunisia's desert south and beyond. Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman stopped off here as part...

    more

Instant Answers: El Jem

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

66 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into El Jem
Roman Amphitheatre
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. South area.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. Facade.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. Mosaic.
Things to Do
EL jem Mosque.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. Main entrance Plaza.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. View from the top.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. Arcades.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. Cells.
Things to Do
Roman Amphitheatre. The Arena.
Things to Do
Coliseum
Things to Do
El Jem Museum II
Things to Do
El Jem Museum
Things to Do
The Underground
Things to Do
The Arena
Things to Do
The Colosseum
Things to Do
Earlier amphitheatre
Things to Do
Archeological Museum - House of Africa
Things to Do
Archeological Museum - Statues
Things to Do
Archeological Museum - House of Dolphins
Things to Do
Archeological Museum - Ceramics
Things to Do
Archeological Museum - House of Silene A L'ane
Things to Do
Museum - House of La Procession Dionysiaque
Things to Do
Map of other ruins
Favorites
Archeological Museum - Mosaics
Things to Do
Archeological Museum
Things to Do
Colosseum - Underground passage
Things to Do
Colosseum - Views over town
Things to Do
Colosseum - Reconstructed seating
Things to Do
Colosseum - Arena floor
Things to Do
Colosseum - External decoration
Things to Do
Colosseum - General history
Things to Do
Visit the Colosseum
Things to Do
Amphitheatre
Things to Do
Views of Amphitheatre
Favorites
Inside the colonnades in El Jem
Favorites
El Jem - Amphitheatre
Favorites
Ploughing with a camel
Favorites
Olive groves, the wealth of El-Djem !
Favorites
Inside the amphitheater
Things to Do
Map of El Jem

View all El Jem hotels