Walking Tour: Medina Meander

  • Start Bab Menara
  • End Pl Halfouine
  • Length 1.8km; four hours

Enter Rue de Château near Bab Menara and walk past Mosque Ben Khorassan to Dar Hussein, popping in to admire its exquisitely decorated courtyard. Then wend your way to Rue Torbet El Bey, named after the huge 18th-century Ottoman mausoleum at its southern end. Continue left (north) until you arrive at the junction of the Souq El Leffa and Souq de la Laine; veer left into the former to arrive at the Panorama Medina Cafe, where you can admire a view over the Zitouna Mosque from the cafe's mosaic-adorned rooftop terrace.

Backtrack to Rue Torbet El Bey and continue on before veering right (east) into the Souq El Attarine. You may wish to stop for lunch at the Fondouk El Attarine, a beautifully restored funduq (caravanserie) that is home to a restaurant and the chic boutique La Maison de L'Artisan, or just continue on, looping left into vaulted Rue du Tamis and then left again into Rue de la Kasbah. Head up the incline until you see the entrance to the hugely atmospheric 17th-century Souq des Chechias. Check out the chechias (traditional felt caps) for sale and then exit onto Rue Sidi Ben Arous, one of the medina's most attractive streets. Turn left (north).

From here, follow Rue Sidi Ben Arous and Rue de Pacha to Rue de la Hafsia – there are plenty of handsome buildings with ornate doorways along the route. Turn right (east) and then left (north) into Rue de Tribunal to visit the 19th-century Palais Kheïreddine and Dar Lasram; the latter was one of the first historic mansions restored under the auspices of the Association de Sauvegarde de la Médina de Tunis (Association to Safeguard the Medina of Tunis). To the east of this area, the former Jewish ghetto of Hafsia centres around the markets along Souk Al Grana; although it’s being progressively restored, it’s still mainly a tourist-free zone. Continue further north again, out of Pl Bab Souika and along to Pl Halfouine, where you’ll find a vibrant area of street markets.