No, three days isn’t enough time to see all of Tunisia, but it is enough to get a taste of the North African country. If you only have a few days, I recommend staying in one place and taking day trips from there. We stayed at El Patio Courtyard House right near the Souks of Tunis and thought the location was perfect.
Day 1 – Tunis
You should have a full day in Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis. In the morning, you can spend a few hours shopping and getting lost in the souks. After lunch, allow plenty of time to enjoy the mosaic display at Bardo National Museum. Summers in Tunisia are extremely hot, so feel free to take an afternoon cool down back at your hotel room. Once you feel revitalized, hit the streets again! The souks will be winding down, but you can find a café to enjoy a Tunisian mint tea. For dinner, I recommend trying the local cuisine, perhaps some couscous and fish at The Ben Arous, where we had our favorite meal in Tunisia.
Day 2 – Carthage and Sidi Bou Said
Today you can try out the TGM light rail line, starting at Tunis Marine station, to see the Ancient Ruins of Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. Spend the first half of you day roaming the ruins of Carthage, which was founded by the Phoenicians and dates back to 814 BC. Whichever location you start at, you will get a ticket for about 12 TND that includes access to the rest of the ruins. If you’re not interested in too much walking between sites, you can hire a guide or a taxi to take you around. We met one couple who paid a driver about 70 TND to drive them to each site of the course of a few hours.
Spend the second half of your day in Sidi Bou Said, a cute hillside town with white buildings and royal blue accents, which give it the nickname “Santorini of Tunisia”. Stop by Café des Délices for a snack or meal with a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean. If you’re craving a little night life, stop at Le Carpe Diem on your way back to Tunis. I’m not sure how late the trains run, but if you stay past time, someone at the club should be able to help you hire a taxi back to Tunis. This ride should not cost more than 20 TND, so make sure you know the price before you get in the car.
*Most of the locals speak Arabic and French, but the ones that speak English love to strike up a conversation and help with directions, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Day 3 – Hammamet OR Ghar El Melh
For your third day in Tunisia, consider taking the local transportation, the louage, to a beach! The louage is fast, safe, and very cheap! Go to this extremely helpful blog post for more information on how to ride the louage. Make note of where you were dropped off as that is where you should go for your return trip.
We chose to go to Hammamet, but Ghar El Melh also came highly recommended and seems to be equidistant from Tunis. The drive to Hammemet was less than an hour and we spent the day swimming, sunbathing and walking through the Hammemet Medina (a smaller version of the Souks of Tunis). A heads up, the cute straw umbrellas on the beach are not free. If you are interesting in renting one for the day, just sit under it and someone will approach you with the price. You can also pay 8 TND to go inside the Kasbah, a 9th century fortress that has been modified over the years. The Hammamet louage drops off and picks up near the hospital.
If you’ve decided to make Tunisia your next destination, read my last post for 10 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Tunisia.
Still wondering if you should go at all? Take a look at Why Tunisia? to find out why we went and 5 reasons you should go!