Destination Highlight - Tunis
A modern metropolis in full growth and major historic city, Tunis is always full of surprises. On the side of the medina, numerous ancient buildings open their doors, some transformed into museums or cultural centres, others into restaurants and tea rooms. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the medina conceals treasures. From its gates extend picturesque quarters with beautiful façades from the 1900s, whilst on the peripheries, chic restaurants and entertainment venues rub shoulders in the modern quarters.
The ancient quarter of Tunis, the medina, is exceptionally well preserved. The souks, covered with arches let in a dim light, teeming and bustling and overflowing with all sorts of merchandise: fabrics of a thousand colours, perfumes or precious jewels. The contrast with the peaceful neighbouring alleys is striking. White walls and blue ironwork, vaulted passageways, domes with green tiles, yellow doors framed with delicate patterns in carved stone… Knowing how to meander is important to fully appreciate the diversity of the medina.
On the modern side, the neighbourhoods surrounding Bourguiba avenue have their own special charm. At the foot of the buildings in the Art Nouveau or Art Deco style, a lively crowd squeezes into popular cafes, fashion boutiques, tramways and the rows of palm and fig trees. Visit the Central Market overflowing with groceries. Drink a soda on a terrace admiring the carved façade of the Municipal Theatre, inaugurated in 1902, and the statue of Ibn Khaldoun, the great thinker born in Tunis in the 14th century.
The light railway (tramway) serves the whole capital, but the taxi remains the most practical and inexpensive way to get around. The coastal resorts of southern Tunis (Ezzahra, Borj Cedria) are connected by train from the Central Station, and its northern suburbs, via the TGM train connecting Tunis-Marine station with La Goulette and La Marsa.