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Mini guide to Tunis
Tunisia’s capital boasts both the convenience of a small city and many of the amenities and excitements of cities much larger. Its two most toured areas, the old Medina area and the French built Ville Nouvelle, offer an interesting contrast between the old North African and the newer French colonial world.
Built with 200 columns from the ruins of Roman Carthage, the Zitouna Mosque is one of the most compelling sights in Tunis. Although non-Muslims are not allowed into all areas, this beautiful Mosque dates from the 7th century and is worth a close look.
In the older Medina area of town you can find the Souq el-Attarine, which has shops selling perfumes and colognes. Nearby are the Tourbet el-Bey mausoleum and the Dar Ben Abdallah Museum, which contain the Center for Popular Arts and Traditions. In the Ville Nouvelle, built by the French at the turn of the 20th century, you will find French colonial style architecture and a European feel.
For entertainment, dining and accommodation, both the Medina area and the Ville Nouvelle will provide for all your needs. The Medina area has more of an open market feel, while the Ville Nouvelle has a number of sidewalk coffee shops, emulating France.
Not far from Tunis are the ruins of the famous archenemy of Rome, Carthage. Although there is little left of old Carthage, there is still some interesting ruins left by the Romans who destroyed the city. Also near Tunis is Sidi Bou Said, a well-kept village with cobbled streets, cafes, an old lighthouse and a relaxed beach.
Tunisia is increasingly becoming a popular Mediterranean getaway, with its plentiful sunshine, lovely beaches and good tourist infrastructure.
Tunis International Airport offers direct flights to many cities in Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East.