There are some rug stores here with a wide variety of handmade rugs.
Rugs are available in myriad densities, typically ranging from up to 30 knots per inch (very coarse) to 290 knots per inch (very fine). Finely knotted or finely woven rugs are usually the most desirable.
Are not planig to buy a rug? Not a problem, you are still welcome there. Just enjoy oriental spirit of the store.
What to buy: If you will decide to buy a rug and you are inexperienced rug buyer- please read tips (link below).
Do not hesitate to bargain. You can haggle nearly everywhere. And you will be able to put price down at 1/2 at most places.
If price is daft just walk away, they will follow you as they know you will get a better price somewhere else... eventually you will win and get them down to about half price or a little more. All depend on how low they will go, or how much you really need it.
What to pay: Depend
If you feel like bartering with the Tunisians, tell them you have BROUGHT a bottle of quality whisky with you, you may bag yourself a bargain. All branded Scotch whisky is a crazy price. I think Chivas Regal in a supermarket was £170 a bottle.
What to buy: Carpets and leatherware are favourite buys for tourists. Make sure to bargain because the street sellers start their prices high. The street sellers are skillful cheaters, though they will never admit they are cheaters. To buy cheap and sell expensive is a profession.
If you're after souvenirs then you should head for the Medina, especially the narrow alleyways that run from the Ribat south towards the Kalat el-Koubba in the centre of the Medina. You can buy all sorts of stuff such as brass plates, clothes, shoes, porcelain plates and bowls, leather goods etc. Most of it is pretty tacky but there are some nice items. I have to say that the Medina in Sousse is better that the one in Tunis as it sells fruit and vegetables as well. As you're a tourist, you'll be easily spotted by the guys standing outside their shops or stalls who will call to you and offer you their best prices etc so this can be quite intimidating. Take care of yourself and remember to haggle hard!
If you go to Tunisia you have to go to the markets, they are called 'suuks'. The one I liked was that of Sousse, it is held every Sunday and it is very big. You will find lots of things, especailly bags, ok they are fake not originals but they are the same cute. But be careful if you want to buy do not give the vendor the price he asks, because they will rip you off. always haggle with them, you will get used to it. Some vendors want you to go to take a look at their shop, be careful because theyu will push you for sure to buy something.
Nicely prepared and sowed leather mantels and jackets.
Sami, beduine by origin, is one of the sellers on the leather section. He is plesant, but do not forget that he gives a really good price (high I mean) and bargain as this floor of the shopping center hasno fixed prices.
souvenirs are on the lower floor and are of the 'fixed price' kind
What to buy: Leather clothes
Within the walls of the medina you'll find a traditional Tunisian market with goods ranging rom spices to leather handbags or traditional clothing. As at all Tunisian markets haggling is a must, so if you feel uncomfortable about it I suggest you shop at a state shop with set prices. Otherwise, if you're in for a bit of fun remember that the shop keeper should say the price first and you're next step is to say one that's a third of the original. After a bit of haggling you'll come to a price suitable for both of you.
Visit the Soula shopping center (with fixed prices in a proper Western-style shopping center) in the Medina.
What to buy: Local crafts and gifts
What to pay: The prices are really value for money, and you wont need to haggle over the price.
Not all small shops in medina can bargain for price. If there is price tags, usually they don´t bargain. But You can ask - only once. If You try to bargain at fixed price shop, they get angry sometimes and go away. We met a shop owner who abandoned his shop if we asked for lower price and get alone in shop :)
usually You can gargain off two times the price. If some things cost 50 din, ask less than 25 and final price will be probably 25 din. Or less. If You are from UK, USA or other "high priced" country, You get higher price. People from Eastern Europe or Latin America get lower price. They usually ask, from where You are and according to that privovide a starting price. If You are dark brown skin, You get lower price (hint: say that You are inal days here and all money is spent).
What to buy: Handicraft is OK to buy. Quality is very varied but after bargaining, the price is just symbolic for European tourists.
What to pay: It depend on goods, but ask more than 2x lower price than first asked. it´s not quaranteed that You can buy at this price, but bargaining is an art there :)
What to buy:
If you go to Sousse, have a good time and end up wishing to purchase something before you leave - here's a bit of advice. Almost every shop sells the exact same thing. This perhaps exacerbates the already aggressive nature of shop owners to get you to go into your shop. You may find some variation here or there, but I almost guarantee that the same blue jewelry box will be in 10 different places, and at the airport gift shop.
If you want something memorable, then I suggest you find the time to do a little shopping at the Medina market, and if you are looking for rugs, make sure to examine it to make sure it is hand make - not machine made.
So much stuff you can buy iin the Souks - and believe me the sellers will do their best to get you in their shops. Bartering is necessary to get the best deal - have a tone of incredubility at the first price they suggest and stat to walk away - they will soon get you back! Go to a price at least half of what was first suggested and you won't be far wrong. You'll be happy and they will be happy. To get an idea of the price of things have a look around the fixed priced shops - in the shopping centres or even buy there if you don't want the hassle of bartering.
What to buy: Leather jacket, shoes, bag, ceramics, spices,perfumes, carpets, clothes galore ..the list is endless!
Alladin's Cave is about half way along Rue Souk el Caid in Sousse Medina. This was one of the few tourist shops were there was no hassling what so ever. The shop is a miriade of small cave-like rooms filled with pottery, clothes, glasswear, ornaments etc. It was a pleasure to find such a place and we ended up buying most of our presents there. Also lookout for a cafe a short distance down this alleyway which is full of 'tools' of yesturyear.
The shopping in Sousse is i think a little limited but there are a few good shops selling local crafts like copper, and leather goods but there is also a lot selling the normal tacky cheap gifts that we all bring back to those relatives we don't like very much, which is why i bought a stuffed camel for the mother in law hahahahaha.
Inside the old basar you can buy a good selection of spices as well as coton and wool fabrics made by local Berbers from Sahara.
What to buy: You can buy excelent leather products but be aware that they are not form Camel leather as merchats claims. But, bargain is a must!
Tunisian ceramics from the city of Kairuan are also very interesting.
What to pay: This you must learn from the very begining:every single price they tell you will be few times higher than expected. bargain is a must and its exhorting and boring, really
The medina of Sousse is fairly good for shopping.
What to buy: The choice is yours:
Handcarved olive wood: Salad bowls, kitchen articles, vases, lamps, bracelets...beautiful , solid wood….
What to pay: Start by cutting the offer in half, then work up to a compromise if you are really interested.