The gorgeous city of Tunis is becoming a popular port, and cruise liners have been adding Tunis Port to their itineraries at an increasing rate for good reason. Tunis is located in the northwest part of Africa and is the capital of Tunsia. With over 2.5 million residents, Tunis has an interesting mix of old tradition and modern flair. Many tourists visit Tunis year round, but only select cruise liners from the U.S. have added this city to their Mediterranean itineraries. One of those U.S. cruise lines is Oceania; however, there are many European cruise lines that include this beautiful area of Africa on their itineraries.
Most cruise ships dock at La Goulette, which is only about 8 miles from downtown Tunis. Take a ride on an electric train or hail a taxi to get from the dock to downtown. Once you arrive downtown, be sure to visit the Tunis commercial center. A souk, or an outdoor market place, exists in the center of the Tunis. It consists of hundreds of merchants and their stalls of wares.
Some of the products you will find here include handcrafted items, jewelry and textiles. You will find something special for yourself or for someone back home. Just be sure to negotiate, as nothing is sold at its set price. Located on South Souk 11, is a family-owned antique stall, La Rachidia, which has been selling antiques as well as pieces of art for many years. You'll be sure to find a treasure here.
Things To Do
The Zitouna is the largest mosque on Tunsia and is worth a visit. Built around the 8th century, this beautiful structure makes an impression. Unless you are Muslim, you are only permitted in the courtyard, but you can still see the architecture of the mosque and its beautifully designed square minaret.
Belvedere Park is wonderful way to spend the afternoon in Tunis. The elaborate Museum of Modern Art is located here, as well as a local zoo. But the best part about seeing this area is that you will be able to take stunning scenic photos of Lake Tunis.
Located not far from the pier are the ruins of ancient Carthage. Taken over by the Romans in ancient times, this city was conquered and destroyed many times. Parts of this ancient city have been preserved. You may want to see the Acropolium Cultural Center, the Antonin Baths, Byrsa Hill and the Carthage Museum.
Restaurants and Bars
Since Tunis is blend of many cultures, including French and Arabic, you can be sure the city is filled with small coffee shops. They offer delicious baked treats to nibble on while sipping on your freshly brewed coffee.
El Khalifa located on Rue d'Iran is only open for lunch, but it offers many tasty West African entrées. Some even say this low-cost restaurant's cuisine beats out the local Tunisian cuisine.
For a fine dining experience, have a meal at the well known Dar El Jeld. This lovely eatery even has its own beautifully tiled courtyard. Not only does it look gorgeous inside, but their menu is also fantastic. An assortment of both hot and cold appetizers and seasonal fruit complement the menu which also includes couscous and fish specialties.
The port of Tunis is an interesting city and shows visitors there are unique traditions which can coexist with modern times.