7 visits to do in Carthage and Sidi Bou Saïd

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Alejandra Rangel


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Carthage was a famous city in the ancient period. Today it has become a tourist place and exhibits to its visitors the vestiges of its glorious past. A few kilometers from Tunis, you can reach Carthage from the village of Sidi Bou Saïd. With its cobbled streets and houses of white lime and blue shutters, this village perched on a cliff has a tremendous charm on its visitors. Discover all the visits to do in Carthage and Sidi Bou Saïd!

Visits to do in Carthage

Founded in the XNUMXth century BC, Carthage dominates the western Mediterranean in the XNUMXth century BC with the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula as well as Sicily. Approaching Roman lands, it threatens the Roman Empire and ends up being destroyed during the Punic Wars, a century later. The Romans rebuilt it thereafter, but its survival is mainly due to its domination by the Byzantine Empire, to which Carthage gives several emperors. Today, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a peaceful town proud of its past, exhibiting its ancient monuments to tourists.

Representation of Carthage before its destruction

1. Go to the archaeological site of Carthage

The city of Carthage has many archaeological sites scattered all over the city, with stones tanned by the sun. Witnesses to a heavy past between the Carthaginians and the Romans, these historic sites are now essential visits to make in Carthage. You can see a theater, the remains of an amphitheater, but also stroll through the Punic district. Do not hesitate to go to the ancient roman baths, on the beach and at the same time, observe the presidential palace next door.

The archaeological site of Carthage

You can also see the ruins of the old aqueduct where you can easily imagine the work that was done there. Indeed, tanks and tools are still on site. Do not forget to go see the ancient Roman villas. It is advisable to take these tours with a guide so that you can fully immerse yourself in these places where time seems to stand still. Without realizing it, you have taken your seat aboard a time machine, and you immerse yourself in a civilization to be absolutely discovered!

2. Visit the Oceanographic Museum of Salammbo

The Oceanographic Museum of Carthage is a superb and very enriching place. You will discover there many species of fish, crustaceans and other marine species in beautiful and large aquariums. You will learn a little more about each of these species, but also about older, now extinct, species. Indeed, the museum has several reconstructed fossils and skeletons. You will visit 11 rooms, each with its own specificity such as protected species, the Tunisian coast or even fishing techniques. Tours are organized every day with guides speaking several languages. Outside you will have one of the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. A great family outing to do in Carthage!

The Oceanographic Museum of Carthage

3. Discover the national museum of Carthage

Located on Byrsa Hill, in the heart of the city, the National Museum is truly a must visit to do in Carthage. You will better understand the past of this region of Tunisia. Indeed, you will discover in this museum the whole history of the city of Carthage and its setbacks. You will also find many vestiges of a heavy past there. Like, for example, old objects found in the rubble, vases and jars or even reconstructed frescoes. The museum is located on the acropolis of Carthage from where you will have a splendid view of the whole city and its ruins. You will also be a short walk from Saint-Louis Cathedral, which is also a visit to Carthage. It is now abandoned, but receives many visitors who love Byzantine-Moorish art. It also hosts Tunisian music concerts.

The National Museum of Carthage

Visits to do in Sidi Bou Saïd

Located on a cliff overlooking Carthage, the village of Sidi Bou Saïd is not lacking in charm. The particularity of Sidi Bou Saïd is to present blue and white facades. The whole thing gives a dazzling harmony under the sun!

4. Quench your thirst in a cafe

During your visit to Sidi Bou Saïd, take the time to stop in one of the city's cafes. Many have a good reputation such as the famous Café des Délices, the Café des Nattes or the Café Hadj Amor. You could taste an excellent mint tea or other typical drinks of the country like the wines made in North Africa. While enjoying these delicious drinks, look around and admire the city and its architectural beauty. If you opt for the Café des Délices (see on a map), it is on the Gulf of Tunis and Carthage that you will have a magnificent view.

The famous Café des Délices

5. Explore the Palace of Baron d'Erlanger

In the heart of Sidi Bou Saïd, you can visit the Ennejma Ezzahra Palace, formerly belonging to Baron d'Erlanger. Now transformed into a museum open to the public, you will be able to see what the residence of this Franco-British looked like, died in 1932 in Tunis. But also to know the traditions and customs of yesteryear. Himself architect of his Palace, the Baron was also a painter. His many paintings are also presented within the house. You can also visit its private hammam, but also the sumptuous garden which will present you a sublime view on the Gulf of Tunis. 

The palace of Baron d'Erlanger

6. Admire the view from the Ras Qatarjamah and Sidi Chabaane lookouts

Located not far from the village of Sidi Bou Saïd, the Ras Qatarjamah belvedere is easily found by taking the tourist route. It is built on the former ribat of Sidi Bou Saïd. With a little courage you will be able to climb to the top of the hill, at the foot of the lighthouse bearing the same name. You will then have the chance to have one of the most beautiful views which will be given to you on the Gulf of Tunis and its surroundings.

The view from Sidi Bou Saïd

The Sidi Chabaane belvedere is located near the Café des Délices, in the village of Sidi Bou Saïd. From the terraces in white and blue colors, you can admire another equally sublime point of view on the Gulf of Tunis. From these belvederes, you will take the most beautiful photos there is to do in Sidi Bou Saïd.

7. Take a walk Rue Habib Thameur

Rue Habib Thameur is the main street of Sidi Bou Saïd. It is a street not to be missed when passing through the city. It is the essential place for those of you who want to leave with souvenirs and objects of all kinds.. You will find almost everything you want there and of course, you will have to haggle. It is also a street where you will find many very good restaurants. Take the time to stop there in order to taste the local specialties. A little thirst-quenching break will also be welcome after having climbed this street under the Tunisian heat.

Part of rue Habib Thameur

The essentials of Carthage and Sidi Bou Saïd… and after?

Sidi Bou Saïd and Carthage are really two very interesting cities given their respective histories, but also thanks to the visits and panoramas they will offer you. It would be a shame not to go there during your stay in Tunisia and especially if you are passing through Tunis which is only a few kilometers away. Do not hesitate to consult our articles dedicated to other Tunisian cities, they too will have several great visits to offer you.

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