Tourism in Tunisia is an industry that generates around 7 million arrivals per year, which makes the country among the ones that attract the most tourists in Africa. Tunisia has been an attractive destination for tourists since the beginning of the 1960s.
Among Tunisia’s tourist attractions are its cosmopolitan capital city of Tunis, the ancient ruins of Carthage, the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Jerba, and coastal resorts outside Monastir. According to The New York Times, Tunisia is “known for its golden beaches, sunny weather and affordable luxuries.”
Often seen as simply a beach destination, Tunisia has a bucketful of surprising tourist attractions and things to do for those that venture off the sandy shores.
This is North Africa wrapped up into one bite-sized package, with vast Sahara dunes, mammoth ancient ruins, and exotic cities that are home to a sprawling tangle of souks.
Tunisia was Rome’s breadbasket, and the cultural riches the Romans left behind are more than enough reason to visit. But the history of Arab Empires has also bestowed the country with some of the region’s most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture.
When you’ve craned your neck at Kairouan’s minarets and played gladiator at El Djem, it’s time to head into the Sahara to sample the raw, empty beauty of the desert.
The sun-soaked beaches of the Mediterranean coastline, fringed by palms and lapped by gentle waves, will still be waiting for you when you get back.
Top Tourist Attractions in Tunisia
El Djem Amphitheater
The walls of the mighty Roman amphitheater of El Djem dwarf the surrounding modern town. This incredibly well preserved Roman relic is Tunisia’s big sightseeing highlight and one of the best examples of amphitheater architecture left standing in the world, reminding of Rome’s once grand grip across North Africa.
You can still walk the corridors under the arena, just like the gladiators did. Or, climb up to the top seating tiers and sit staring across the arena, imagining the battles that took place.
If you’re looking for the picture-perfect beach escape, then the island of Djerba checks all the right boxes. The island town of Houmt Souk is the main point of interest off the beach, with an old town district that is a muddle of whitewashed houses.
Houmt Souk’s shopping is an attraction in itself, with plenty of handicraft vendors for browsing and haggling opportunities off the beach.
But it’s those sandy strips of shoreline out of town that are the island’s most popular highlight. Pristine and trimmed by date palms, the beaches are relaxing, get-away-from-it-all settings where summer daydreams are made.
Once Rome’s major rival, Carthage was the city of the seafaring Phoenicians forever memorialized in the Punic Wars. The atmospheric ruins of this ancient town now sit beside the sea amid the suburbs of Tunis, a warning that even the greatest cities can be reduced to rubble.
The ruins are extensive but spread out, and if you’ve been lucky enough to visit ancient city sites such as Ephesus in Turkey or Volubilis in Morocco, which are well-preserved, Carthage can seem quite underwhelming at first.
But these UNESCO World-Heritage-listed remnants are hugely important historically, and any tourist interested in North Africa’s ancient past shouldn’t miss a visit here.
The National Bardo Museum
Even non-museum fans can’t fail to be impressed at the massive haul of beautiful mosaics exhibited inside the Bardo. This is one of North Africa’s top museums, and it houses one of the world’s most important mosaic collections, all curated beautifully.
It’s a showcase of the dazzling, intricate artistry of the Roman and Byzantine eras, with pieces cherry-picked from every major archaeological site in Tunisia. If you only have one day in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, this museum should be high up on your to-do list.
Sidi Bou Said
Impossibly cute, and amazingly photogenic, Sidi Bou Said is a cliff top village of petite dimensions that seem to have fallen off an artist’s canvas. Unsurprisingly, artists have feted this little hamlet for decades.
The whitewashed alleyways, wrought-iron window frames, and colorful blue doors are Tunisian village architecture at their finest, while the Mediterranean backdrop is the cherry on top.
This is a place to while away a lazy afternoon, simply soaking up the laid-back atmosphere and maybe indulging in a spot of shopping at one of the many local artisan and handicraft stalls.
Grand Erg Oriental
Tunisia’s vast Sahara covers much of the country’s interior, and the most beautiful corner of the desert is the field of sand dunes known as the Grand Erg Oriental.
These poetically beautiful dunes are a surreal and gorgeous landscape of huge waves, shaped by the ever-shifting desert sands.
For many visitors, this is an adventure playground for riding dune buggies and camel treks, but nothing tops the simple pleasure of sitting atop one of these mammoth sand mountains and watching the sun set over the Sahara.
Tunisia has no shortage of Roman ruins, but Bulla Regia near Tabarka is the country’s most interesting and intriguing site. Here, the Roman inhabitants coped with the harsh summer climate by ingeniously building their villas underground, which has left the city houses incredibly well preserved today.
For history lovers, this is a unique opportunity to walk through actual Roman houses, with their walls still intact. It’s a glimpse of the residential life of the ancient world that you often don’t see.
With mosques, madrassas, and tombs aplenty, Kairouan has more than its fair share of monuments as the fourth most important city for those of the Muslim faith. The Arabic architecture here is truly inspiring, and the skyline is full of skinny minarets and bulky domes.
But it’s probably the back alleys of the city’s medina that steal the show. With narrow, maze-like lanes lined with crumbling colorful houses, Kairouan’s old town has an enchanting, lost-in-time atmosphere that is a true highlight of a visit here.
Overlooked by the mighty fortifications of the Ribat and Kasbah, the medina in Sousse just begs to be explored. This lovely old town district is a warren of looping lanes, rimmed by whitewashed houses, and a shopping paradise with a tempting selection of ceramics, leather work, and metalwork on display.
Away from the stalls along the bustling souk streets, the quiet and rambling back alleys, dusted in white and blue, are a charming place to dive in and sample local life.
Chott el Djerid
The moonscape surroundings of the Chott el Djerid are a storybook panorama brought to life; filled with shimmering mirages on the horizon and jigsaw puzzle pieces of blindingly white cracked land under foot.
This sprawling salt pan is a desolate and otherworldly scene that wows all who visit with its stark and brutal beauty. A sightseeing trip here proves that nature produces much weirder landscapes than you could ever imagine.
Hammamet is all about the beach. This is Tunisia’s top sun-and-sea resort; a dreamy place dotted with pristine white buildings set beside a bright blue sea.
The relaxing charms of this town woo all who come to sunbathe on the soft, white sand, with off-the-beach pursuits usually being nothing more strenuous than gentle strolls and a spot of shopping in the restored old town souks. It’s a no stress kind of place that sums up the pleasures of Tunisia in one pretty package.
One of Tunisia’s most photographed buildings and a film star to boot, the Ribat in Monastir is a bulky walled and exceptionally well-preserved fort.
Looming over the harbor, the Ribat was originally part of a string of forts that protected the coastline, but today is one of the few still standing.
Its defensive purposes may have long since faded, but this golden-stoned relic is now one of Tunisia’s most recognizable landmarks (thanks to it featuring in a few famous movies), and today, tourists scramble up into its bastion tower, rather than soldiers.
Where to Stay in Tunisia
Hasdrubal Prestige Djerba
This property is 4 minutes’ walk from the beach. Situated on the Sidi Mahrez beach in Djerba, The Hasdrubal Prestige Thalassa & Spa Djerba offers luxurious 5-star accommodation, a spa and free Wi-Fi.
Rooms at the Hasdrubal Prestige are air-conditioned and have flat-screen TV. They also include a bedroom and a lounge that opens out onto a terrace or balcony.
The 11 000m² spa includes covered swimming pools, hot tubs, therapy areas, massages and a fitness centre. Guests also have access to a hammam and sauna. The 3200m² outdoor lagoon has seawater, freshwater pool and spa pools. The hotel’s bars and restaurants offer a wide choice of local and international cuisine. There are 4 restaurants, a pool bar and a lobby bar.
Additional services at the Hasdrubal Prestige Thalassa & Spa Djerba include 2 tennis courts, meeting rooms, airport shuttle and free private parking. Hasdrubal Prestige is located across from the Casino and just 18 km from Djerba Zarzis International Airport.
Auberge de Tamezret
This features a garden, a terrace and a shared lounge. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Free Wi-Fi is provided. At the guest house, the rooms are equipped with a wardrobe.
The private bathroom is equipped with a shower, free toiletries and a hair dryer. Guests at Auberge de Tamezret can enjoy an American breakfast. Hiking is among the activities that guests can enjoy near the accommodation.
This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Tamezret! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
Resa Dar Sema Djerba
This features accommodation with a flat-screen TV. Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided. All units come with a terrace, a kitchenette with a toaster, and a private bathroom. A fridge is also featured, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.
A à la carte breakfast is available daily at the aparthotel. Resa Dar Sema Djerba offers a year-round outdoor pool. The accommodation provides a barbecue. Erriadh is 7 km from Resa Dar Sema Djerba.
This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Houmt Souk! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
The Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa Yasmine Hammamet
This offers air-conditioned suites with free internet access and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. This property is 4 minutes’ walk from the beach. The Hasdrubal is located on the beach in the Yasmine Hammamet seaside resort.
This 5-star hotel has a free access to an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by 6 hot tubs and an indoor heated seawater pool. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property. The Hasdrubal has 4 restaurants, including L’Olivier which serves Tunisia cuisine and an authentic Italian restaurant, Il Delfino.
Guests can enjoy a full breakfast buffet at La Topaze Restaurant. Guests of the Hasdrubal have access to the hammam, sauna and fitness centre with 2 tennis courts.
Free private parking is available on site and the Hasdrubal organises a free daily shuttle service to Hammamet town centre, situated 12 km away.
This property is 6 minutes’ walk from the beach. Situated in Bizerte, Dar Salama features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and garden. 27 km from Ichkeul Lake & Park and 6 km from Bizerte Markets, the property features a terrace and a shared lounge. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a concierge service and free WiFi.
All guest rooms in the bed and breakfast are fitted with a kettle. All rooms include a private bathroom with a shower, while selected rooms are equipped with sea views. The rooms at Dar Salama have air conditioning and a wardrobe.
The accommodation offers a continental or à la carte breakfast. Shipwreck is 11 km from Dar Salama. The nearest airport is Tunis Airport, 62 km from the property.
Featuring free bikes, barbecue facilities and a garden, is situated in Tunis, 6 km from Dar Ben Abdallah Museum and 6 km from Tourbet El Bey. It offers free WiFi and a terrace.
The apartment is fitted with 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a fully equipped kitchen that provides guests with an oven, a microwave, a washing machine and a fridge. There is a bathroom with free toiletries.
Breakfast is available each morning, and includes continental and Italian options. The apartment offers a children’s playground. Cycling can be enjoyed nearby. Dar Bach Hamba is 7 km from Appartement Propre, while Habib Bourguiba Avenue is 7 km away. The nearest airport is Tunis Airport, 12 km from the property.
La Badira – Adult Only
This is located in Hammamet. Free WiFi access is available. Offering 3 outdoor pools and a private beach access. Each room here will provide you with a TV, satellite channels, air conditioning and a terrace.
They include a minibar and a safety deposit box. Private bathroom also comes with bathrobes. You can enjoy sea view and pool view from the room from the balcony.
A buffet breakfast is served each morning at Zahilah restaurant. Guests can enjoy local cuisine at the Adra restaurant. Other facilities offered at the property include Spa and wellness center using Themae products, meeting facilities, an indoor pool, a yoga and fitness centre, a tour desk and luggage storage.
An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including golfing. The property offers a tennis court and free parking with valet service.
The hotel is 10.6 km from Yasmine Hammamet, 3.4 km from Medina and 12 km from Citrus Golf. Tunis-Carthage International Airport is 73 km away. Airport shuttle can be provided upon request.
This property is 12 minutes’ walk from the beach. Situated in La Marsa, Dar Ennassim features an outdoor pool located in the 2nd floor on the terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
All units in this bed and breakfast offer air-conditioning and flat-screen TV. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom, a minibar and a safety deposit box. Tunis Airport is 13.5 km away.
This property also has one of the best-rated locations in La Marsa! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
This provides accommodation with free WiFi and a garden. Some accommodation includes a terrace and a satellite flat-screen TV, as well as air conditioning. A continental breakfast is available each morning at the apartment. Tunis is 9 km from OMAR Apartments, while Gammarth is 7 km from the property.
The nearest airport is Tunis Airport, 5 km from the accommodation. Les Berges du Lac is a great choice for travellers interested in food, local food and warm weather. Couples particularly like the location — they rated it 8.7 for a two-person trip.
This property is also rated for the best value in Berges Du Lac! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
Hotel Belvedere Fourati
This features free WiFi access and free private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units feature a seating area for your convenience. You will find a kettle in the room.
The rooms have a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes, free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. The hotel also offers car hire.
Habib Bourguiba Avenue is 1.8 km from Hotel Belvedere Fourati; the zoological park is 50 metres’ while Medina is 2.1 km from the property. Tunis Airport is 5 km away.
This property is also rated for the best value in Tunis! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
This property is 5 minutes’ walk from the beach. Situated in Sousse, a 3-minute walk from Sousse Great Grand Mosque, Dar Antonia provides accommodation with a private beach area and a terrace.
This property is located a short distance from attractions such as Ribat, Museum Dar Essid, and Sousse Archaeological Museum. Free WiFi and an ATM are provided.
All units come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a coffee machine, a shower, free toiletries and a wardrobe. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom, while selected rooms also feature a kitchenette with a dishwasher.
At the bed and breakfast each room is fitted with a seating area. A continental breakfast is available every morning at the property. Dar Am Taieb is 900 m from Dar Antonia.
The nearest airport is Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport, 12 km from the accommodation. Medina de Sousse is a great choice for travellers interested in museums, Old Town exploring and culture.
Appartement Berges Du Lac 2
This features a balcony. The unit is 10 km from Tunis. There is a seating area and a kitchen complete with an oven, a microwave and a fridge. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is featured.
There is a private bathroom with a bath. Gammarth is 7 km from Appartement Berges Du Lac 2, while La Marsa is 6 km away. The nearest airport is Tunis Airport, 5 km from Appartement Berges Du Lac 2.