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Where to Stay in Tunis
Tunis is the largest city in the North African nation of Tunisia. Located along the Mediterranean, the capital city is broken down into two distinct districts. The first, known as the Medina, is the ancient part of town. This city center features century-old fortifications, winding alleys and more than 700 landmarks and monuments. Sites of interest in the Medina include the Zitouna Mosque, the largest mosque in the country, as well as several palaces and museums. The charming district is also the center for the city's souks, traditional North African marketplaces. At these souks, hundreds of vendors sell everything from imported merchandise to handmade crafts. It's also an ideal place to sample street food and people watch. The Medina is home to a mix of low-end and luxury hotels, making it an accessible area for all types of tourists. Many of the city's youth hostels and budget accommodations are located in the Medina. East of the Medina is the other main district of Tunis—Ville Nouvelle. This more modern area was the center of the French government's presence during the city's occupation, which lasted from 1881 to 1956. Marked by the iconic gate, known as Bab el Bahr and the Porte de France, this affluent area of town is home to many shops and fine restaurants. It's also where you'll find such cultural attractions as the Museum of Modern Art, the zoo and Belvedere Park, the largest urban green space in Tunis. It is also the prime area to search for exclusive hotels. Or head north of Tunis to the ancient city of Carthage. This popular tourist spot features the centuries-old ruins of what once was a flourishing city. Visitors to Carthage can book reservations at a number of boutiques located along the coastline.
Tunis Hotel Tips
Despite the hot weather, the summer can be one of the best times to visit Tunis. Although temperatures can reach the 90s, the coastal cities near Tunis, including Carthage, play host to some of the area's liveliest festivals. In particular, the Carthage International Festival, which lasts throughout July and August, draws hundreds of tourists from around the world. This large-scale celebration features dozens of musicians, dance troupes and other performing artists. If you are planning on a trip during this peak season, book your hotel reservations several months in advance to ensure availability.
Budget travelers will want to search for affordable flights to Tunis and hotel rooms during the months of December through February. This is when Tunis is at its coolest, with temperatures rarely topping the mid 60s. This is the region's rainiest season; however, it still is fairly dry with an average of only eight rainy days per month.
Tunis Hotel Recommendations
If you want to stay in the historic Medina district but don't want to sacrifice luxury, then book reservations at the Dar El-Medina hotel. The lavish boutique is housed in a refurbished antique mansion and boasts 12 richly appointed rooms. Each room sports unique decor and furnishings, providing guests with a personal touch. Aimed at the modern traveler, the contemporary accommodation offers its guests convenient access to hundreds of attractions, including traditional bazaars, palaces and art galleries. Visitors can enjoy tea and coffee in the guesthouse's tearoom and cafe. There are also two patios where travelers can mingle and relax in the warm Tunisian sun.
Or make reservations north of the Medina at the Hotel du Parc. Located in the French-influenced Ville Nouvelle district, this luxury hotel is just a stone's throw from Tunis' top attractions, including Belvedere Park, the municipal zoo and the Museum of Modern Art. The exclusive hotel boasts 51 rooms and suites, all of which sport inviting decor, air conditioning and wireless Internet access. Dining and nightlife options abound around the hotel, though guests can also choose to eat at one of the establishment's two restaurants. A bar is located on-site as well. In addition, if you're planning a special event, reception or meeting, the Hotel du Parc provides banquet spaces that can accommodate as many as 1,000 people.
Or choose La Maison Blanche, a hotel located in the heart of the Ville Nouvelle that provides guests with convenient access to the Medina and the central business district. Originally designed as a private residence, this lavish hotel is like a miniature palace. Guests stay in roomy junior suites, each equipped with period furniture, sitting rooms, office space and dining rooms. Bathrooms are luxuriously appointed in marble with separate baths and showers. In addition, the hotel offers a range of services, including a full-service business center. La Maison Blanche also claims a swank upscale dining room and a trendy, chic lounge. Plus, ample meeting space is available for conference and special events.
Tunis offers travelers several options when it comes to public transportation. The city boasts a light metro system. The rail system mainly operates above ground on five lines that stretch for a total of about 20 miles. The rail system stops at many popular destinations in the Medina, Ville Nouvelle and beyond. There is also a fairly robust bus system in Tunis. Buses run on roughly 200 different routes throughout the metro area. There is also a commuter rail line that provides service from the center of the city to the suburbs. There are also separate train and bus lines that operate between Tunis and other Tunisian cities. Taxi service is also available. Meanwhile, some areas, such as the Medina, are best explored on foot.
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