Nearby Morocco often overshadows Tunisia, but this North African gem is worth including on any trip to this region. Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa and is bordered by Algeria and Libya. Despite its lack of tourism infrastructure, Tunisia is up and coming, attracting visitors with its historical capital city, stunning coastal towns, and iconic Star Wars filming locations.
Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or simply want to learn more about Northern African countries and cultures, Tunisia is easy to fall in love with. Most international travelers will start their trip in the capital city of Tunis. Tunis can act as a fun stopover when traveling between other North African destinations (like Morocco and Egypt) or it can earn its own place on the itinerary as a one-week road trip from North to South.
8 Old Medina In Tunis
Tunis is a culturally rich city with fascinating historical sites and a well-preserved old town. The Tunis Medina takes travelers back in time because it contains approximately 700 historical sites. The Medina became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and provides insight into North Africa’s past.
Spend an afternoon strolling around the old town, taking in the sights and shopping. Or, join a guided walking tour for more in-depth information about Tunis’ origins.
7 Visit Carthage Archeological Site
History buffs will love exploring and learning about the ancient ruins of Carthage, a seaside suburb of Tunis. Carthage was designed to influence ships passing on the Mediterranean Sea and eventually became an important port that the Romans viewed as a rival. Today, Carthage is an archeological site that provides a glimpse of the past. There are ruins of theaters, villas, and ancient baths.
6 Explore Chebika (Star Wars Filming Location)
Chebika is a desert oasis in Tunisia, located at the base of the Djebel el Negueb mountains. Chebika is several hours southwest of Tunis, so the best way to reach the oasis is to rent a car and drive or join a guided tour with included transfers from Tunis.
From Chebika, it’s also possible to visit Mos Espa, an abandoned Berber town where they filmed Star Wars Episodes IV, V, and VI. Mos Espa has become touristy because of the filming location, so it’s possible to dress up here in Star Wars gear and pose for photos like a Jedi.
5 Take In The Views From Sidi Bou Said
Get away from the main city of Tunis for a few nights and escape to the charming coastal town of Sidi Bou Said. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Sidi Bou Said has gorgeous blue and white buildings reminiscent of Santorini at much more affordable accommodation prices.
The seaside town has plenty of art galleries, cafés, and Tunisian restaurants to enjoy. It’s an idyllic vacation spot that’s perfect for starting or ending a trip to Tunisia.
4 Desert Village Exploration At Matmata
On a road trip from Tunis, venture to Southern Tunisia to the Berber town of Matmata. Matamata is famous for its unique underground house structures that look like holes inside a cave wall. These homes are called “troglodyte” buildings with rooms connected via passageways. In Matamata, approximately 1200 of them are still in existence and are usable today.
3 Relax On The Beach In Nabeul
In the Northeast of Tunisia is the coastal resort of Nabeul, the perfect spot to unwind at the end of a Tunisian road trip. Nabeul sits on the Mediterranean Sea, offering clear blue waters for swimming and sandy beaches where travelers can relax under the sun.
Besides hanging out at the beach, visitors to Nabeul will love shopping in the beautiful souks. In particular, Nabeul is a great spot for purchasing pottery and floral essences.
2 Visit The Ancient Ruins Of The Dougga
Also, in Northern Tunisia, Dougga used to be a Berber settlement. Today, it is an archeological site and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is thought to be the first capital of the Numidian Kingdom and existed for over six centuries. The site preserves the ruins of the entire city atop a hill, surrounded by picturesque olive groves.
Visiting Dougga should be on every traveler’s itinerary when in Tunisia. It’s a critical part of the country’s history and is a great opportunity to appreciate the complicated past that comes from being at the crossroads of Europe and Africa.
1 Relax On The Island Of Djerba
The island of Djerba is a hidden gem of the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. This island has beautiful beaches and whitewashed desert homes influenced by Berber, African, and Jewish cultures. The island has the oldest synagogue in Tunisia called El Griba, which is an important part of the Jewish community on the island. Djerba is an incredible fusion of cultures, providing a unique experience that differs from traveling to the rest of the country.
Visitors can enjoy walking the cobbled streets and shopping at the Houmt Souk, which is the main market here. Popular evening activities include smoking shisha in Tunisian tearooms and watching live music performances at local bars or restaurants.