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Destination Guide: Tunis

A maze-like medina and classy beach suburbs
At Tunis' heart nestles the old medina, a network of alleyways lined with mosques and heady souks. Venture to the suburbs to explore ancient remains in Catharge and wander streets of gleaming white and blue buildings in Sidi Bou Saïd.

Food and Drink

Tunisian flavours and French fare. Feast on multi-course banquets of savoury brik à l'oeuf stuffed pancakes and lamb with fiery harissa and couscous in palatial medina restaurants like Dar Bel Hadj. Fish specialists line La Goulette port and French fusion restaurants dot the well-heeled coastal suburbs of La Marsa and Carthage. Sidi Bou Saïd's terrace restaurants are best for romance.

Sightseeing and relaxation

Medina bustle and ancient history. The medina's labyrinthine streets lead past souks, cafés and the ancient Zitouna Mosque. See intricate Roman mosaics at the Bardo Museum, then take the light railway across the Lake of Tunis to roam the Phoenician ruins of Carthage. Unwind in a medina hammam steam bath or at a mellow café in pretty Sidi Bou Saïd.

Shopping

Souk haggling and designer shopping. Go souk-exploring around the medina. Glittering jewellery lines the goldsmith's souk, traditional scarlet Tunisian hats pile high in the Souk des Chechias, and bolts of colourful fabrics fill the Souk Étoffes. Chic designer boutiques cluster in the suburb of La Marsa. For a quirky souvenir, buy an elaborate birdcage from Sidi Bou Saïd.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Traditional dance and glamorous beach bars. Sip mint tea with pine nuts or smoke a chicha on a café terrace as the sun sets over Sidi Bou Saïd. Bedouin dancing entertains audiences at Café M'Rabat in the medina's Souk el-Trouk. Night owls party until dawn at cosmopolitan clubs in affluent seaside suburb La Marsa.