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The charming city of Sidi Bou Said is often considered one of the premiere attractions to see in the vicinity of Tunis and Carthage. It possesses all the attractions of an alluring day trip, easy access by public transport and roadways from the capital, wonderfully scenery of nature and the town along with one of a kind urban wonders.
Why to visit?
The first thing that’s unmistakeable about Sidi Bou Said is its white and blue colors, there seems to be no other option in this city for buildings. There is a striking vibrancy to these hues which reflects well on the cliffs and Bay of Tunis which forms the natural backdrop on the coastline. The entire experience of colors combined with the traditional latticework, ancient looking doors and winding stone paved streets gives one the essence of historic appeal.
How to get there:
The city is only a good 20 minutes outside Tunis and just five minutes around the coastal bend from Carthage, the ancient site of a Mediterranean Empire. The TGM light rail line is the easiest way for tourists not taking their own car or taxi out to the site. It is quite affordable but can get full in town during normal rush hours. Understand that Sidi Bou Said will often be the site of packaged tours, but strike out on your own to enjoy the coffee spots and shopping at your leisure. For one who really wants to see the city as it was enjoyed by artists and bohemians it is best to stay overnight.
Things to do:
The best things to do are simply to wander, look and take photos. The place is so unique that on a sunny day it can just burn itself into your memory. The town can be explored in its entirety in a few hours. This would include shopping for tourist goods in the town Souk ( Rue Dr Habib) which has many ornate trinkets and household items, however don’t forget to barter as the prices are already high due to the location. The views of the bay of Tunis are exquisite and two cafes offer the most stunning panorama’s: Cafe Sidi Chebaane and Café des Nattes. Cafe’s are a way of social life in Tunis and they are certainly a central part of any visit here. Even a center for language study makes this town a place of inspiration and extended learning too.
Overall this is a small town of lasting impressions. It offers a unique glimpse into small town life and leisure in Tunisia all the while being located next to some of the best landmarks of the ancient world.