I have recently been to the island of Djerba in Tunisia, but now we had the possibility to visit the capital of the country: Tunis. An invitation by Tunisair, the national carrier of Tunisia has made that possible. The airline received their first long-haul aircraft and invited international guests from all over the world to celebrate this and it gave us the chance to see another part of the country this time.
We started our trip with a flight from Frankfurt to Tunis on Tunisair for sure and had a really good flight. We were picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel. We didn’t know which hotel we would be accommodated in before, but we found the “The Residence” Hotel to be our home for the two nights. It was a real pleasure to stay there, it was one of the best hotels we’ve ever been too and one of Tunisia’s top addresses (Tripadvisor).
After arrival, a gala dinner was taking place in the evening where we had some good food, drinks and good and interesting conversations with our fellow travelers from Germany. Beside that the program of the event contained some really good singers and bands that made the evening really enjoyable.
The second day was meant to show us the city of Tunis. After a really good breakfast we were picked up at the hotel (unfortunately we tend to be on time, a German habit that is not that common most Mediterranean countries, what made us wait about 30 minutes until we really left the hotel, together with other guests, that party had the same fate as us but partly seemed to know the local timing rules) and brought to the Bardo Museum. The museum is well known for its great collection of historical art, which means a lot of mosaics, statues and so on. Unfortunately the museum was the place of an attack in March this year but it is still open, only a memorial plaque and one room where they didn’t remove the showcases with bullet holes remember of that. Anyways this museum is really interesting and gives you a nice insight into the Tunisian art during different historical times and changing emperors. It is also not a bad idea to take a guide as not everything is labelled with a big description, so a guide can give you much information if you are interested in the exhibited pieces of art. Our guide was really friendly and had some good knowledge on the most interesting samples.
Afterwards the tour took us to the UNESCO World Heritage sight of the ruins of Carthage. The Museum is located on top of a hill with a great view onto the city of Tunis and the bay and it does not only show the ruins that have been discovered by archaeologists but also gives an insight into the history of Carthage and the life of its citizens. Unfortunately there was no time to visit the ancient thermal baths, but this sight is definitely worth a visit!
As it was already afternoon now and the sun was burning down on us, our next stop was the town of Sidi Bou Said, where we planned to have some lunch. The town is famous for its Mediterranean style with blue and white houses and narrow alleys, beside that is has a great view onto the sea. We walked through the streets passing the vendors selling souvenirs and stuff along the streets (they were not as aggressive as on Djerba, where they literally want to pull you into their shops while you pass by) and finally arrived at the restaurant “Au Bon Vieux Temps” which was terrific. We had the choice of one seafood menu and a menu with lamb. We both chose the lamb menu with a chicken terrine as starter and had some really good and authentic Tunisian food served to us. We enjoyed the food and drinks here and had a great view.
After this good lunch we were brought back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the afternoon. We used this time to chill out at the pool, had a drink there and a late snack at the Asian restaurant in the hotel.
Unfortunately we already left again at the hotel. After another really good breakfast at the hotel we were brought to the airport and had a calm flight back home with a really friendly Tunisair crew that even allowed us to visit the cockpit for a few minutes.
We had a great time during that trip and enjoyed the sun in Tunis. It’s an interesting city with a lot of history and many sights to visit so that we might return one day, as we only saw some few spots here.
How to get to Tunis?
Tunis has an international airport (TUN) which you can access from all over the world. The national carrier Tunisair connects Tunis with a lot of destinations in Africa, Europe and the Gulf States (United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia). Other big carriers are also taking you to Tunis, from North and South America you can fly on Air France (through Paris), Alitalia (through Rome) or Lufthansa (through Frankfurt or Munich), from Asia best connections are possible on Emirates (through Dubai), Qatar Airways (through Doha), Saudia (through Jeddah), Royal Jordanian (through Ammam) or Turkish Airlines (through Istanbul).
From Europe you can also take a ferry to Tunis.
Where to stay?
Tunis offers a great variety of hotels, from cheap city hotels to expensive resorts. Easiest way to find a good place to stay by checking meta searchers like http://www.trivago.com, http://www.discavo.de or http://www.kayak.com, or you just consult a travel agency.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some interesting insight into our short trip 🙂
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Hendrik & Jardena