The Perfect Day Trip From Tunis: Kairouan, El Jem and Sousse
As the capital of Tunisia, the city of Tunis boasts an incredible array of attractions, both historic and modern. But if you’re looking for an even richer experience, why not take a day trip to some of Tunisia’s other cities? Here we look at three cities from Tunis that make for great day trips – Kairouan, El Jem and Sousse – and present some ideas for what to do in each.
Kairouan is a must-see city in Tunisia. Named one of the holiest cities in the Islamic world, it is over 1,300 years old and is known for its grand mosques and ancient monuments. It is especially known for the Great Mosque of Sidi Uqba, dating back to the 8th century. It was also once an important religious and intellectual center of the world. UNESCO has named it a World Heritage Site. Whether you’re interested in Islamic culture, architecture or history, Kairouan has something for you.
What to Do in Kairouan
Start your day off with a visit to the Great Mosque of Sidi Uqba, an awe-inspiring site to behold. Take a tour with a knowledgeable guide to learn about the intricacies of the mosque and its history. From there, head to the medina, Kairouan’s old city. Spend some time wandering the winding streets lined with shops selling traditional Tunisian products. As you explore the medina, you can also take in some of the city’s most impressive ancient monuments and sites. Don’t forget to try some of the locally famous brik, delicious deep-fried pastries filled with tuna.
Your afternoon can be spent exploring some of Kairouan’s museums too. Take a trip to Karueein Archaeological Museum, located inside a 12th-century palace. Marvel at ancient artifacts, carvings and sculptures as you explore the permanent exhibits. The Caracalla Museum is also worth a visit. Located inside a fortress, the museum displays a collection of works from local folk, tribal and Islamic cultures. To get a better understanding of the region’s Islamic faith, head over to Bahri Tannery, where you can see traditional craftsmen produce leather products for local mosques and homes.
Finally, finish your day off with a meal or two at one of Kairouan’s charming restaurants as you reflect on your day’s adventures.
Next, hop on over to El Jem, one of Tunisia’s oldest cities. El Jem is home to one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in all of North Africa, an impressive architectural feat that dates back nearly 2000 years. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it manages to still stand intact today and is definitely worth a visit when in Tunisia. Beaten only by Rome’s grand Colosseum in terms of size, it is a sight to behold and will take your breath away multiple times over during your visit.
What to Do in El Jem
The main draw here is of course visiting El Jem’s magnificent amphitheater. Spend some time wandering around it and discovering every nook and cranny as you listen to your guide explain its history and construction. Afterwards you can take a walk through El Jem’s souk nearby and pick up some souvenirs and local crafts such as jewelry or hand-knitted scarves and bags. Then why not take an afternoon off and just enjoy the serene surroundings of El Jem? Going off the beaten track is recommended here as El Jem is full of hidden gems away from its more crowded spots, such as secret gardens, restored buildings and little cafés tucked away down side streets.
Finally no trip from Tunis is complete without a visit to Sousse. Sitting atop a hill overlooking beautiful beaches, Sousse is definitely worthy of spending at least half a day here, as it has much to offer for travelers of all kinds. With a mesmerizing Old Town awaiting exploration, archaeological sites spanning centuries of history and plenty of picturesque locations for those perfect Insta shots included – why not pay this charming city a visit?
What to Do in Sousse
Start your day with a visit to Sousse’s iconic Kasbah fortification at the heart of the Old Town. This 10th century fort is considered one of Tunisia’s greatest treasures, protecting Sousse against attacks by land or sea. As you wander around the complex of towers, gates and ramparts explore local craftsmanship and its historic culture as you learn more about the site’s role throughout history.
From there escape the hustle and bustle of the Old Town by heading to one of Sousse’s beaches for some well-deserved relaxation time. Admire views of the city walls as you swim in a Mediterranean Sea lapped by golden sand beaches guaranteed to make for an unforgettable day at the beach. Sunbathers should flock to Boujaâfar beach well-equipped with beach bars selling snacks and drinks so you can stay hydrated even on especially hot days!
Make It Happen!
We hope this guide has been helpful if you’re looking for ideas on what to do on your day trip from Tunis – Kairouan, El Jem and Sousse are all great places to visit that offer something for everyone! And if you’ve been looking for an easy way to book activities or travel tickets for your adventure around these cities, look no further than GetYourGuide, an app dedicated to helping travelers get around more easily with their comprehensive selection of activities! So don’t wait any longer – book your perfect day trip from Tunis now on GetYourGuide!
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