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The country of Tunisia bears witness to some of history’s most fascinating conquests and exchanges. The entire country has miles of coastline that served as ports and settlement for the empires of the Mediterranean. Here’s the most optimal ways to explore Tunis and its immediate vicinity.
Tunis is fairly accessible on foot especially for tourists since they tend to be staying in the downtown or in one of the airport hotels. The metro system consists of six lines which are an above ground light rail. It can be insanely crowded at typical rush hour times and should only be used if you are looking to get to a suburb. The interchange hub is at the Place de la République. Cost is less than 1 Tunisian Dinhar per trip.
The biggest draws for tourists looking for ancient ruins are of course centered around the ruins of ancient Carthage. One can certainly pick up a taxi at any time and head North along the coastal towns to see these ruins, but if one would prefer a more cost effective and hop on hop off approach, the TGM light rail train is the best option. One can buy a ticket for first or second class that allows one to get off at any stop.
Arriving at Tunis Marine Station to take the TGM one will probably not find the place well marked, simply look across the metro tracks for a track that runs perpendicular and for markings that indicate Tunis Nord.
The TGM train is one of the oldest rail lines in the country but it conveniently serves 20km of coastline from Tunis Marine station, through the city of La Goulette, Le Kram, Carthage, Sidi Bou Said and La Marsa is the last stop. The case can be made for seeing any of these towns, but the two most impressive are Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. The cost of a one way ticket is less than one Tunisian Dinhar. Be aware that vendors are not present at every stop, but you should be able to buy a ticket from a ticket inspector if you explain your situation. As of July 2014 the TGM line is under renovation and the line ends at Tunis Carthage. From there a bus service connects one to the other stops.