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Tunis, Tunisia

Medina Tunis Reviews

tj1777 tj1777
379 reviews
The old medina of Tunis Jan 04, 2010
The city of Tunis used to be an insignificant small village a few miles away from the much bigger and metropolis of Carthage. It was occasionally home to some minor events like the Romans using the area as a camp site in 255 BC during the first of the three Punic Wars. Otherwise not much was happening in the area where Tunis was located. But finally in 695 the Arabs came along and they found the area around Tunis would be much easier to defend than the ancient city of Carthage - hence Hassan bin Nooman decided to place his headquarter in Tunis.

From this day on the old city of Tunis quickly grew and in 732 the main mosque at the centre of the old medina was founded. The city quickly grew and soon it was the main centre in the area. And during the heyday of the Tunis medina from the 13th to 16th century about 60.000 people lived within the walls of the medina. Today most people have moved out of the old city to the new city of Tunis but the medina is still very much a living place with up to 15.000 people still living inside the walls. And the medina is actually bigger than the old medina’s of Cairo and Fez.

The old medina is great for wondering around for hours. You can go and look for the old mosques and other great buildings - or you can go and look at the many souqs where you can get everything you can possible want - and quite a few things you didn’t know you could ever need.

The main ally in the medina leading from the entrance to the medina at Place de la Victoire to the main mosque is by far the most touristy of all the streets inside the medina and the people can tend to be a bit pussy training to sell you whatever they offer for sale. Most tourists only walk this street which is a great shame because the real dealings of the medina are on the other streets. If you let you self wonder of on the other streets you will find them full of locals going out shopping and you will pass one little shop after the other selling everything from clothes to batteries to spices. Making the scene colorful combined with the exotic smell of spices.

You can leave the market streets and go to other parts of the medina some areas you will find craftsmen working in their small workshops making different things of iron or cobber depending where you are in the medina. You might also like to go inside a couple of the historic museums or buildings within the medina or find a small restaurant where you can eat at very reasonable prices.

Just keep an eye on your valuables - the medina can be quite crowded at times and pickpockets are around. I am pretty sure somebody made a move on my valet at one stage but I manage to push him away before anything happened - and the nearby shop owners made gestures for me to take care.
Streets of the medina
Streets of the medina
Streets of the medina
Streets of the medina
anupa_rk says:
Great reading!
Posted on: Mar 15, 2010
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Liselore_Verschuren Liselore…
252 reviews
Back to the Arabic Middle Ages Jul 08, 2000
The medina of Tunis, capital of Tunisia, originates from the Middle Ages and is absolutely breath taking. The narrow allies of the oldest part of town are still lined with the original city wall, even the century old entrance gate is still there. Long ago this gate was closed every night to keep nightly invaders out.

In the middle of the medina you’ll find a huge complex of high arched souks that were build in the thirteenth century. Inside these souks there is an explosion of smell, colours and sounds of all sorts merchandise, from fruit to leather, from hats to perfume. Shops are sometimes no larger than a broom closet and are stuffed with products.

The Djama ez-Zitouna Mosque (Mosque of the Olive tree) is also located in the medina and is the oldest mosque in Tunisia. If you are not a Muslim you can only visit the (beautiful) courtyard.

Hidden in the middle of the labyrinth of alleyways is the carpet shop Palais d’Orient. In the back of the store there is a staircase that leads to a terrace that overlooks the city. The view is not that special, the terrace itself is stunning. It has nice arches and colourful mosaics. Chances are that when you leave the terrace, salesmen will try to sell you a carpet in the shop.
Small shop in the medieval souks. …
The courtyard of the Djama ez-Zito…
The beautiful terrace of Palais d…
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