1. El Djem
For admirers of the ancients, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The legendary El Djem is marked by enormous arches and elliptical amphitheaters that may compete with the Colosseum in Rome.
The UNESCO-designated city is a contemporary one that is constructed directly over an ancient one, with the ruins of Roman houses and arcades sporadically appearing on the corners.
The neighboring Sahara’s raging dust storms have preserved many views, but the major draw is still the enormous Amphitheatre of Thysdrus due to the absence of extensive archaeology.
Explore the gladiator’s changing rooms or take a seat where the ancient governors once stood over the combat arenas.
2. Houmt Souk
The adobe domes of the Bordj el Kabir fort, which was built in the 1400s and 1500s to guard the harbor on the Gulf of Gabes below, are the undeniable crowning glory of Djerba island.
Everyone has lived at this strategic location on the edge of the Med over the years, including the Numidians, Arabs, Spaniards, and Ottomans.
As a result, history seeps from every dust-coated crevice.
The ancient fondouks quarters of medieval traders are still present in Old Town.
There are active markets offering olive oils and chickpea broths, whitewashed synagogues, Turkic mosques, and vibrant ceramic bazaars.
The beach city of Sousse is currently considerably less vocal about its attractions since it is still recovering from the horrible terror events of 2015.
The beauty are still there, though.
They prowl in the narrow lanes of the town’s medieval medina, ooze from the Aghlabite Great Mosque’s plain yet graceful rises, and call from the imposing bulwarks of the old Ribat castle located above the area.
Away from the bustling souks and scorching hammams of the town center, there are stunning beaches with turquoise water that are surrounded by opulent hotels and palm-lined walkways.
4. Sidi Bou Said
As you reach the colorful Sidi Bou Said town’s interior, located just 20 kilometers from busy Tunis, you may be forgiven for believing that you’ve made the short hop across the Med to the islands of the Greek Aegean.
Yes, the sky-blue and whitewashed architecture here is very evocative of Mykonos and Santorini.
However, the French musicologist Rodolphe d’Erlanger is truly responsible for this piece’s intriguing colors.
His opulent villa at the Ennejma Ezzahra is now a museum dedicated to his legacy. He originally painted the appealing tones on the stucco walls of his house in the 1920s.
The enormous Sahara desert, whose changing sands and arid escarpments begin here in earnest, should be included in any journey to Tunisia.
And Tozeur, a town made of adobe and mud, is the best place to have a taste of the dry life. This oasis community in the country’s far southwest is a genuine work of Berber art.
To begin with, it is surrounded by expanses of lush date palm flowers that emerge from the ochre-hued ground.
Then there is the medina city, which features carvings, filigrees, and brick artwork that are right out of the old arabesque era.
You may see both the French and the Maghreb aspects of this intriguing capital if you go under the large arches of the Bab el Bhar (the Port of France).
The remnants of Parisian domination are all too visible in the former, the so-called Ville Nouvelle.
There are broad, tree-lined streets.
Coffee shops are overflowing onto the sidewalks.
There are large cathedrals that include Gothic design.
And on the African side of town, things start to take an arabesque turn.
The multicolored textiles that fill the lively souks spread and slither over one another.
As shisha pipes and camel skin lanterns blend with the screams of hawkers hawking spices, tagines and mint teas fill the air.
Between the dusted desert hills in Kairouan, about 1,500 years of history converge.
A city renowned for its historical ties to Islam, it has served as a focal point for Sunni teachings at least since the 7th century.
The Great Mosque of Kairouan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that annually attracts thousands of pilgrims, is about to rise majestically into view.
After gazing at that incredible Aghlabid artifact, make sure to explore the ancient medina and its whitewashed cottages, indulge in some delectable Tunisian pastries at the local bakeries, and look for the intriguing Mosque of the Three Gates.
The large citadel fortification that carries Monastir’s name is what most people would associate the city with.
And it is true that the Monastir Ribat is undoubtedly the main draw in the area, topped with its crenulated parapets and red stone bulwarks.
(After all, it served as one of the backdrops for the blockbuster movie Monty Python’s The Life of Brian). There are also more sights and activities to enjoy here, such as exploring the Muslim influence at places like the Mausoleum of Bourguiba or gazing up at the enormous city mosque (which dates back to the 1000s, no less!).
The age-cracked temples and collapsing peristyles of Dougga stand out among several of North Africa’s other magnificent ancient structures thanks to their UNESCO World Heritage status.
The whole Roman city’s ruins are thought to be among the best preserved in the area.
Visitors stop over to marvel at the Dougga Theatre’s towering Doric columns, which tower over the Beja Governorate’s verdant meadows.
They travel here to stroll along the ancient, cobblestone Roman streets or to view the remains of Jupiter and Imperial Cult temples.
You can also find bathhouses, tall mausoleums, and working sewer systems.
The word Carthage alone conjures up beautiful legends of Greek sailors, heroic personalities like Aeneas and Dido, and epic wars fought on the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea.
All of this makes it simple to see why this vast ruined site just outside of Tunis is one of Tunisia’s most popular tourist destinations.
The ruins of Carthage are not as impressive as some of the other Roman delights found in the nation, though, as a result of years of Punic warfare and Muslim conquests.
Even just to stand where great generals like Hannibal previously did is worth the trip, though!
It’s impossible to escape Sfax’s grace.
It has all the characteristics of a city that has been traversed by Sicilian rulers, Spanish conquerors, Barbary pirates, and Ottoman imperialists. It is old and eclectic.
The historic Kasbah is dotted with Moorish characteristics that mix with Rococo and colonial components, and the massive city walls like something out of Aladdin.
The Sfax War Cemetery serves as a somber reminder of the tremendous battles that took place in North Africa between Allied and Axis troops during the 20th century, while the lovely Place de la Republique is plowed by horses and carts.
The expansive sand plains of the Jebil National Park, one of southern Tunisia’s greatest natural assets, are only a short distance from Douz.
So it’s not a coincidence that this remote village in the south is known as the Sahara’s entrance.
Purring camels and seasoned Berber tour guides who are willing to lead humpback trips into the scorching wilderness may be found there.
They should be followed since there are wonders like the Chott al-Jerid salt flats and the swaying Grand Erg to be found there.
Hammamet is located on the southern bends of the Cap Bon, where it may enjoy the Mediterranean Sea’s lapping waves and calming salty breezes.
Visitors are drawn to the town by its charming aspect, which is created by a peculiar blending of Spanish, Sicilian, and Castilian architecture, all of which are counterbalanced by the commonplace Maghreb medina town of whitewashed adobe dwellings and palm-sprouting streets.
The beaches in this area, though, truly steal the show.
Visit the sun-kissed Hammamet Sud, where sunbathers, jet skis, and SCUBA outfitters coexist with loungers.
The region of palm-dotted Zarzis (sometimes spelled Jarjis) is proud of the resorts and beaches that along its edge.
They are among the most well-liked vacation spots for travelers booking package trips looking for Tunisia’s combination of sun, sand, sea, and relentless desert heat. They are lined up all along the Mediterranean to the north and south of town.
The town’s current architecture conceals centuries of Roman and Arabic heritage beneath.
There are enormous mosques dominating the corners of the streets, sporadic olive oil vendors, and whitewashed homes encircled by oasis.
Matmata first came to the public’s attention in 1976 when it was used as the setting for one particular Luke Skywalker’s house in the Star Wars saga. The place is really one of several in a lengthy list of filming locations located all around Tunisia, although it could be the most well-known.
The unique troglodyte homes of the people here, which are dug directly into the arid dirt and painted white to reflect the sun, served as the backdrop for the renowned regions of Tatooine.
They are still there, along with several other amazing cave dwelling types, in the arid area of Gabes.