Perhaps unsurprisingly for a resort town, Hammamet is light on tourist attractions, but it's worth abandoning the sunlounger for half a day to get lost in the central medina. The Hafsids, a Muslim Berber dynasty that ruled parts of the Maghreb, built the looming enclosure around 1500, with 2m-thick walls, on the site of a 9th-century Aghlabid structure. Up to 1881 the medina was Hammamet – a fortified village of 300 inhabitants.
Although the structure is in great condition, tacky souvenir shops have conquered its weblike lanes, so most of the authenticity you'll find in medinas in larger Tunisian cities has been lost here. However, local life in the southern residential district is better preserved, with daily routines carrying on in the mosque and neighbourhood shops, as residents tend to their fishing nets and small boats that supply area restaurants.
The big hotels have activity lists as long as their dinner buffets, usually including horse-riding, golfing, paragliding, waterskiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing or anything else your heart desires.
Because of the 2015 terrorist attack in Sousse, large resorts have ramped up their security, with boot and under-car checks every time vehicles pass through the gates. Sniffer dogs and security personnel patrol the private beaches at some hotels.
Most of Hammamet Nord's fortress-like hotels are past their prime or are recent and cheap quick-builds. Stylish La Badira, perched on its own peninsula, is the rare exception.
Accommodation in the centre generally isn't seaside, but Hammamet's best public beaches are just a short walk away (and perhaps the small hotel pools help make up for it). If you want to be near shops and restaurants and stay a stuffed-camel’s throw from the medina, this is where to unpack.
The hotel strip along Rue de Nevers has a nice vibe, with a string of laid-back cafes and restaurants along a tree-lined street. The hotels get bigger and more sprawling the further south you go. In summer this area is Hammamet's nightlife HQ.
Hammamet's southernmost outpost is almost a town unto itself, with wide palm-tree-studded thoroughfares and even its own mock 'medina'. Most of the resorts in Yasmine Hammamet are all-inclusive and come with a high price tag.
Perhaps because of the number of all-inclusive resorts, Hammamet's dining scene is decidedly ho-hum, though there are a couple of spots where it's worth taking a break from your full-board options.
Hoards of restaurants cluster in Hammamet’s centre, especially around the medina (and on top of its walls).
A number of Italian restaurants are spread out along Rue de Nevers and down Rue Dag Hammarschold, with a batch of mostly Tunisian flavours on offer further south on Rue Moncef Bey.
Yasmine Hammamet, with its high percentage of all-inclusives, is not a great place to eat out, but if you must, some below-average restaurants haunt the medina. Otherwise, stop by the marina for a pre-dinner gelato before heading elsewhere.
Drinking & Nightlife
In summer, Hammamet Sud has some of Tunisia’s best nightlife, though this says more about the dearth of it elsewhere. You’ll find a lively mix of Tunisians and foreign tourists on the dance floors, but the clubs can have a cattle-market vibe. The most happening places in town band together at the southern end of Rue Moncef Bey.
Countless excursions from Hammamet are run by some large hotels and independent tour companies, including half-day tours to nearby Berber villages Takrouna, Zriba and Jeradou, as well as one-day tours whizzing around Carthage, Sidi Bou Saïd and the Bardo Museum in Tunis.