Sousse, Tunisia

Sousse is one of Tunisia’s oldest cities situated in the country’s central east coast facing the Gulf of Hammamet. The city has drawn visitors mainly from the East and Central Europe because of its opulent history and heritage, beautiful beaches, as well as its growing modern tourist industry.

One of the first places that you should rightfully explore in Sousse is its medina, which was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The medina is a precious representation of the city’s past, which spans more than 2000 years. This old walled complex displays the common Arab-Muslim architecture that focuses on coastal military defense features.

Here, you will see symmetrical divisions of residential quarters complemented with winding and narrow alleyways. Several stunning and imposing structures will also easily catch your eye, and one of them is the Great Mosque. Despite of what the name might lead you to think, this mosque is not heavily embellished. It exhibits Aghlabite style, which is characterized by a simple and bare appearance to create a tranquil atmosphere. Tourists can enter the Great Mosque but the prayer room is off limits to non-Muslims. You should be properly dressed with your arms and legs modestly covered up to be allowed entry.

Another amazing site is the Kasbah, which highlights the Khalaf El Fela Watchtower and houses the Sousse Archaeological Museum. The museum maintains one of the most incredible collections of mosaics, burial tombs, statues and other objects, which were created during the Roman times, more than two millennium ago. The mosaics that depict amphitheater scenes, chariot riding actions and mythical gods are the ones that will inspire interest.

Other places of interest include the fortified monastery called Ribat, the three-story minaret of Zaouia Zakkak and the catacombs, which reminds visitors of Tunisia’s Christian influences. The medina is also a fun and intriguing place to shop as it is teeming with shops and vendors willing to test your haggling skills.

Sousse can be just as relaxing as it is intriguing. Here, you can enjoy its pleasant climate and beaches. The main beach area is the one closest to city center, and is a favorite among visiting Tunisian families. If you go to the northern beaches, you will be greeted to a series of luxurious hotels complete with their own restaurant, bar and swimming pool. The Boujaafar Beach, located at the edge of the city is also a popular spot especially for sunbathing and swimming.

The newer face of tourism in Sousse is the visitor and residential complex of Port El Kantaoui. The architecture for this modern and white and blue complex is patterned after a traditional Tunisian village. Strategically situated around a massive artificial harbor, it was established with the intention to lure more tourists to the city. Since its development, has El Kantaoui quickly become the hub of outdoor sports and entertainment in Sousse.

There are plenty of fun things to do in the area, including sailing, waterskiing, and paragliding. The area is also known for its well-constructed marina and 36-hole PGA certified golf championship golf course. At night, you will also find it especially nice to just stroll around the scenic U-shaped yacht pier and the port’s squares, decorated by cobblestoned streets, and brilliantly lit lamps. These squares are also loaded with restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, boutiques and parks which makes for a relaxing and enjoyable visit.

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