Tunis Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Tunis

Tunis is a large city with a great deal of charm accumulated over the centuries. Overlooking a large Mediterranean gulf, the city abounds in historic and cultural attractions: ancient ruins, old mosques, aristocratic palaces and lots of other interesting pieces of Arabic architecture. The French influence is also very much present. Follow this orientation walk to discover the main attractions of Tunis!
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Tunis Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Tunis Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Tunisia » Tunis (See other walking tours in Tunis)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • City Hall of Tunis
  • Place du Gouvernement
  • Kasbah Square
  • Tourbet Aziza-Othmana
  • Mosquée Youssef Dey
  • Ez-Zituna Mosque
  • Mosquée Sidi Mahrez
  • Habib Thameur Gardens
  • Medina of Tunis
  • Bab el Bhar (Porte de France)
  • Place de l'Independance
  • Cathédrale Saint-Vincent-de-Paul
  • Théâtre Municipal
  • Avenue Habib Bourguiba
City Hall of Tunis

1) City Hall of Tunis

This municipal building was planned and built by architects Ismail Ben Fredj and Wassim Ben Mahmoud. City Hall of Tunis represents City Council of 60 members. Being the modern building- it was built in 1998- it symbolizes local traditions. City Hall of Tunis is the intersection of tradition and modernity, located in the heart of Tunis.
Place du Gouvernement

2) Place du Gouvernement

Place du Gouvernement is a Tunis square with rows of cropped trees, lined with graceful lampposts and beautiful fountains. The square contains such important government buildings as the Prime Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Foreign Ministry. Have a rest on one of its benches and enjoy the beauty of Medina!
Kasbah Square

3) Kasbah Square (must see)

Kasbah Square is situated opposite to the well-known Mosquée El-Kasbahmuch and houses the City Hall of Tunis, the intersection of tradition and modernity. It is a beautiful, wide open and attractive square with graceful black lanterns and many red Tunisian flags. It's close to downtown Tunis so it's easy to find and walking distance from many other places like the old Medina.
Tourbet Aziza-Othmana

4) Tourbet Aziza-Othmana

Aziza Othmana was the granddaughter of Othman Dey and Hamouda Pacha’s wife. Being a very charitable and kind person, she founded a hospital. This Ottoman mausoleum is covered with colored ceramic tiles and finely-cut stucco and will impress you with its rich decorations.
Mosquée Youssef Dey

5) Mosquée Youssef Dey (must see)

An official Historical Monument, the Youssef Dey Mosque operated primarily as a public speaking venue before becoming a real mosque in 1631. At the time it was the 11th mosque to be built in the capital. In the late 19th century, it underwent extensive restoration, ordered by Ali Bey. A decree in 1926 saw the mosque become an annex of the University of Ez-Zitouna.

Why You Should Visit:
The mosque itself is really nice and even the courtyard is interesting (if you are lucky), but it's the neighborhood – the side streets, the cafeterias, etc. – that you should explore at least once.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ez-Zituna Mosque

6) Ez-Zituna Mosque (must see)

Ez-Zituna Mosque (literally meaning "the Mosque of Olive") is the oldest mosque in the Capital of Tunisia and covers an area of 5,000 square metres (1.2 acres) with nine entrances. It has 160 authentic columns brought originally from the ruins of the old city of Carthage. The mosque is known to host one of the first and greatest universities in the history of Islam. Many Muslim scholars were graduated from the Al-Zaytuna for over a thousand years. From Ibn 'Arafa, one of the greatest scholars of Islam, Imam Maziri, the great traditionalist and jurist to the famous Tunisian poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi and countless others all taught there.

The courtyard is accessible via nine lateral doorways and forms a rectangle surrounded by galleries supported by columns made variously of marble, granite or porphyry and which were taken from ancient monuments (primarily from Carthage), as were those in the prayer hall. The square minaret, built in 1894, rises from the northwest corner of the courtyard.

Why You Should Visit:
The building fits perfectly in the environment but is not less majestic. The architectural work of the main minaret is remarkable.
Given the age of the mosque (nearly 1000 years old), the overall degree of preservation is surprising.

As a non-Muslim, you may take a look at the square of the mosque (via the main gate) and snap some photos, but will not be allowed entrance to the prayer room.
Mosquée Sidi Mahrez

7) Mosquée Sidi Mahrez (must see)

Built by Mohamed Bey El Mouradi, son of Mourad Bey II in 1692 in honor of the patron-saint of Tunis, Sidi Mahrez, this mosque is an official Historical Monument. It is strongly influenced by Ottoman architecture, showing similarities to the Sultan Ahmed II Mosque of Istanbul with a central dome with cupolas occupying the four corners of the square of the prayer hall. Polychrome tiles were imported from Iznik (Turkey) to cover a large part of the wall in the direction of Mecca and the grand pillars that support the central dome. The interior of the mosque was renovated in the 1960s.

In order for non-Muslims to visit the interior, they should convert to Islam, so you can perhaps satisfy yourself, without too many dramas, by observing this mosque from the outside.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Habib Thameur Gardens

8) Habib Thameur Gardens

Habib Thameur Gardens or Jardin Habib Thameur is a public garden of Tunis built in 1957. It was named after the hero of independence and Tunisian politician, Habib Thameur. The garden is framed by the Avenue de Paris, Avenue de la Liberte, Avenue Habib Thameur, Rue des Salines and St. London.
Medina of Tunis

9) Medina of Tunis (must see)

The Medina of Tunis is located in the very heart of the city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great attraction to the tourists. The narrow streets of Medina are full of colorful shops with various goods ranging from leather to plastic, from souvenirs to the works of tiny crafts-shops. The shop owners are much less pushy than say in Marrakesh and normally they start with a price which of course is inflated, but not extremely so. You don't need a guide, as you can manage the tour by yourself; it is simple to get around – one major path, Rue de la Kasbah, going across the Medina from the Place de la Victoire up to the Grand Mosque. If you do go off the beaten track, you can find some wonderful treasures (particularly beautiful rugs and ceramics), but you will have to bargain hard!

Make sure you get a proper map from the tourist information bureau so you know where to go; otherwise it isn't very clear (even with online apps).
Walk the small roads and discover the small laboratories where they make handbags, shoes, perfumes and many other things... Very interesting!
Bab el Bhar (Porte de France)

10) Bab el Bhar (Porte de France) (must see)

Bab el Bhar ("the sea gate"), also known as Porte de France ("the gate of France"), is a city gate in Tunis that was named so after a door in the Medina’s rampart opened to the lagoon. The French tore it down in 1848 and erected this stone ‘gate to the sea’ made up of a lowered archway and topped by a crenelated parapet. It became the beginning of the colonial city’s construction. To this day, it marks the separation between the Medina of Tunis and the European city and is a place to enjoy the old market with traditional souvenirs and some Tunisian art crafts.

Why You Should Visit:
Great lively area with a friendly atmosphere, bargains to be found with shopping and also Tunisian food/snacks freshly prepared should you get peckish.
If you like old parts of cities this is probably the best place for you. You could walk here for a whole day.

Try to find a guide to escort you around.
The square becomes deserted after about 10pm, but offers wonderful photo ops as the gate & surrounding buildings are lit.
Place de l'Independance

11) Place de l'Independance

Place de l'Independance is a beautiful square not far from the graceful Cathédrale Saint Vincent de Paul. It houses the statue of Tunisian polymath Ibn Khaldun. He was considered the father of a vast range of disciplines such as demography, cultural history, historiography, the philosophy of history, modern economics and sociology.
Cathédrale Saint-Vincent-de-Paul

12) Cathédrale Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (must see)

Situated at Place de l'Indépendence in Ville Nouvelle, the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul is a Roman Catholic church in Tunis dedicated to the patron saint of charity.

The church was built in a mixture of styles, including Moorish revival, Gothic revival, and Neo-Byzantine architectural traditions. Construction began in 1893 and the church was opened at Christmas 1897. Imposing and unique, it is the largest surviving building from Tunis' colonial era and is still a living church thanks to a community of foreigners. Directly opposite is the French embassy, built in colonial times as residence of the French governor.

Don't miss the mosaics on top of the facade and discover the unique souvenir from the visit of Pope John Paul II. The church is free to enter.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-12pm / 3-5pm (Sep-Jun); 8am-3pm (Jul, Aug)
Théâtre Municipal

13) Théâtre Municipal (must see)

The Municipal Theater of Tunis is located in the former 19th century Palais du Theatre. Unique in the Medina, it is a sort of Palladian villa behind high walls and reflects the growing taste for all Italian things in 19th century Tunis. It offers different performances including opera, ballet, and symphonic concerts.

Ticket boxes are on the right side of the building, and you can check if there are any shows in there. It is always better to book in advance. Make sure you choose your seat properly when buying tickets.
Avenue Habib Bourguiba

14) Avenue Habib Bourguiba

Avenue Habib Bourguiba is the central thoroughfare of Tunis, and the historical political and economic heart of Tunisia. It bears the name of the first President of the Republic of Tunisia and the national leader of the Tunisian independence movement. Today, the broad Avenue aligned in an east-west direction, lined with trees and facades of shops, and fronted with street cafes on both sides, and which is compared to the Champs-Élysées in Paris, and its extension, the Avenue de France, Place de l'Indépendance marking the central roundabout with Lake of Tunis at the eastern end. Many of the important monuments are located along this avenue, including Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul, French Embassy in Tunisia and Théâtre municipal de Tunis.

Walking Tours in Tunis, Tunisia

Create Your Own Walk in Tunis

Create Your Own Walk in Tunis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tunis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Carthage Walking Tour

Carthage Walking Tour

Carthage is an ancient place of archaeological and architectural value. Its unique architecture tells about the rich history and wealth of this great strategic site for different empires such as the Phoenicians, the Punics and the Romans. Check out these interesting places in the next walking tour!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Habib Bourguiba Avenue Walking Tour

Habib Bourguiba Avenue Walking Tour

The famous Tunisian Habib Bourguiba Avenue is located in New Town, or Ville Nouvelle, in the new part of the city. This Tunisian Champs Elysees houses the well-known Monumental Clock, the Art Nouveau National Theater of Tunis, the luxurious and prestigious Hôtel Africa, Cathédrale Saint Vincent de Paul and Bab El Bahr (Porte de France). Follow this walking tour and enjoy all the great sights...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Tunis Shopping Spots Tour

Tunis Shopping Spots Tour

Shopping in Tunis is certainly an art. Outside official shops, it contains various souks, which offer a rich selection of handicrafts of incomparable beauty, traditional Tunisian clothes, original souvenirs, excellent works of art and crafts. Don’t be afraid of the inflated prices. Bargain and act disinterested and you will get an excellent deal. All this makes shopping more fun!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Carthage Ruins Walking Tour

Carthage Ruins Walking Tour

Carthage is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a unique place of archaeological and cultural value. It houses ruins of great buildings, theaters, villas, baths, houses and columns from the great Punic and Roman empires. Take the following tour to discover ancient Carthage!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Being the oldest part of Tunis, Medina is packed with a number of great mosques of both religious and historical value. Most of them have high minarets, marble columns, beautifully decorated prayer rooms and mausoleums of famous people. Mosquée Zitouna, built in the 9th century, is the Tunisian jewel.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles

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