Sousse has the charm of a historic city and the lure of a big city. It is enjoyed in any season, because its advantages are not limited to its seafront. The beaches at the centre of town offer limited interest, but the popular bars, restaurants and the historic district of the Medina are there to compensate.
Choose to stay in Sousse just to stroll around. Port El Kantaoui is only four miles north and Monastir is 18 miles south. If you're one for adventure, travel to Sousse as a starting point then visit the Tozeur and the oasis of the south.
The Sousse medina is one of the most beautiful in the country. It starts at Martyrs square. The main street can be traced back to the Great Mosque. Built in the 9th century, it was built on the foundations of an old fort. To the west of the Great Mosque, rises the Ribat, which takes the form of an impressive fortress. The interior can be seen from the guards' rooms that end in a vast courtyard.
The Sousse medina does not only allow for visits but for shopping too! If you do not want to haggle, go to the store with fixed prices which is found at the entrance (on Martyrs square). On two floors you will find a very special selection of Tunisian crafts: varied pottery and ceramics, fabrics, turkish slippers, leather masks, bags, belts and jewellery.
A long promenade, with or without shopping, in the small streets of the medina. Also, while passing the stalls, stop to imagine for a while how the city looked a few centuries ago. Outside the medina, Sousse is a lively and modern urban area where there are cafés, night clubs and cinemas.
See the courtyard of the Great Mosque (open only in the morning, the afternoon is reserved for prayers), Ribat (8th century fortress) and the museum of Sousse where you can admire numerous antiquities from the Roman period. This is the museum that is second richest in mosaics after Bardo in Tunis.
Monastir and Port El Kantaoui are not far from Sousse (30 minutes maximum journey). It takes one day to discover these two cities, especially if you are planning a round of golf at Port El Kantaoui. Another aim for an excursion, around an hours drive away, is Kairouan. One of the most typical towns of the country.
Avoid staying in the centre of town or even along the seafront. The seafront avenues, very busy, offer little peace (by day and night). Moreover, the beach along the seafront is less beautiful than the one outside of town (stretch of sand not very large, rocks in the water).
Couscous (with chicken or lamb). You can find buffets in the major hotels more and more (offered as a speciality or during Tunisian evenings). Try also other recipes of the country such as the fingers of Fatma (pastry stuffed with white chicken, potatoes and capers), tajine (omelette with meat and potatoes) and the brick (triangle of dough filled with tuna and a half-cooked egg).
More or less 'tourist' souvenirs such as leather masks in Arab-Berber style , T-shirts, towels and caps printed with 'dromedary', clay or ceramic ashtrays and mini chiselled iron plates. You could also bring back some typical crafts, though they can be very large such as wrought iron lamps, pottery Berber, blown glass vases. It is better to get some more information before buying about the possibility of having the objects delivered.
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