48 Hours in Tunis
Arab architecture, Mediterranean food and roman ruins
Sarah Ben Romdane
With temperatures hitting around 25ºC in Spring, there’s no better time to visit Tunisia’s capital city.
Located closer to Italy than to the desert – Tunis is a city packed full of fascinating contradictions, a place where Africa meets Europe and the present lives side by side with the past.
Today Tunis is hands down one of the Arab world’ s biggest success stories (the Arab Spring was born there in January 2011) and its past is equally as rich. Founded by Phoenicians in 814 BC, Carthage—now a residential suburb of the capital—used to be the world’s most avant-gardist power. Having dominated the Mediterranean for over 600 years, it’s long been a place where people came from all over Europe and Africa to trade.
Whether you’re looking for Arab architecture, Roman ruins or mouthwatering Italian food – Tunisia has it all. Forget beach resorts and head to the capital. MILLE rounds up the capital’s best spots to stay, eat, chill, check out art and dance.
Where to stay
Dar El Medina, Tunis
In the heart of Tunis’s Kasbah, this old Ottoman villa has been converted into a peaceful, cosy guesthouse. Hands down the perfect spot to discover the eclectic old town, explore the effervescent Souk and get lost in the medina’s back alleys.
We particularly love drinking green tea on the traditional patio.
A night at Dar El Medina starts at 520 AED/ 141 USD per night
Hotel Dar Said, Sidi Bou Said
The picturesque blue and white village overlooking the Gulf of Tunis is often compared to Mykonos. Dar Said’s old home-like but magnificent architecture will make you live a waking dream.
Breakfast by the pool is a must.
A night at Hotel Dar Said starts at 659 AED / 180 USD per night
Four Seasons, Gammarth
Located in the wealthy (and somewhat resort-y) seaside suburb of Gammarth, the Four Seasons, which opened its doors in December 2017, is undeniably the city’s best luxury hotel.
Don’t miss the Roman-inspired spa.
A night at Four Seasons starts at 1085 AED / 295 USD per night
Where to Eat
Dar El Jeld, Tunis
Eating delicious lamb (cooked in a date stew) in this breath taking 18th century courtyard is an experience you have to try at least once.
Dar Slah, Tunis
Another great traditional restaurant hidden in a former house in the heart of the chaotic Medina. Their menu changes daily and never disappoints.
Le Café Vert, La Goulette
Situated in what used to be the Jewish district of Tunis, this casual restaurant offers generous Tunisian food, such as the classic national fish couscous.
Le Golfe, La Marsa
Eating delicate Mediterranean cuisine just by the Mediterranean – yep that’s what Le Golfe is all about.
La Maison de l’Image
The country’s first independent cultural space dedicated to mixed mediums of visual art. They hosts exhibitions, talks and workshops and the space is also perfect for co-working.
Yosr Ben Ammar Gallery
A contemporary and audacious art space dedicated to urban art that continuously exhibits international and local artists.
Musk and Amber
Tunis’s best concept store offering a sharply curated selection of art, designs, fashion and books.
Where to hangout
Le Saf Saf, La Marsa
Referred to as “the most beautiful café in the world” by La Marsa locals, Le Saf Saf is one of the city’s most iconic cafés, and is the perfect place to chill as the sun goes down, drinking tea and playing cards. Also, if you’re craving a snack, they have the best fricassé in town (Tunisia’s popular tuna and potato sandwich).
Villa Didon, Carthage
After visiting the ancient ruins of Carthage, head to Villa Didon, a contemporary hotel located on top of a hill with an eye-watering view. Simply check out the view and unwind.
The Cliff, La Marsa
Hands down the best spot for a drink by the sea at sunset.
Where to go out
Tunis’s trendiest nightspot, which offers the best electronic music line-ups in town. We love playing on the swings by the sea.
Less edgy than its neighbour Yüka, yet still a great option for both dinner and clubbing.
La Closerie, La Soukra
This lounge/restaurant is an institution in Tunis – definitely a must-see if you’re looking for something more chic.