The largest city of Tunisia, Tunis is quite often called "Grand Tunis". The city extends from its coastal site on the Mediterranean Sea in the Gulf of Tunis sitting behind the Lake of Tunis and La Goulette Port to the surrounding hills. At its heart lies its ancient medina that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just beyond its reaches you will find Carthage, La Marsa and the bohemian artists' enclave of Sidi Bou Said. It is a popular tourist destination where you can wander around Roman ruins, sun worship on the stunning coastline, hike its mountains or ride off on a camel at sunset into the Sahara Desert.
The majority of the population is Arab-Berber with a smattering of European (mostly Italian and French). If you can't speak Arabic, don't fret as French is also widely spoken. Predominantly a Muslim enclave, make sure that you pack some modest clothing or buy some local fashion in one of the many bazaars. A quarter of the population of Tunisia reside in Tunis and the country has strong trading ties with Europe, due to the fact that it is the most northern country in Africa.
An easy going city oozing exotic charm, most of the main city attractions can be found in the medina of the Old Town where crazy alleyways wind around with a maze effect happening (follow the high walls so you don't get lost). You will find colonial-era buildings contrasted with small old structures. The grand Avenue Habib Bourquiba (aka the "Tunisian Champs-Elysees") will lead you to the new city through the Sea Gate (aka Bab el Bahr). The Ville Nouvelle is awash in French cafe culture and belle époque architecture. Check out the 9 white domes of the Mosque of Sidi Mahrez of Ottoman-style architecture and the National Institute of Archaeology and Art to soak up its opulence. The Olive Tree Mosque (AD 732) displays some of the country's most astounding religious architecture and the iconic La Goulette Port is where you should take your afternoon promenade.
You will have to go out of town to see the fabulous mosaic collection of the Bardo Museum and the incredible Carthage, the fabled seafaring city of the Phoenicians. Make sure you head to Souk des Chechias for a traditional woolen hat to adorn your pretty head.
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