Tunisia

7 Must Things to Do in Sousse, Tunisia

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I didn’t have many expectations before visiting Sousse, Tunisia. I knew it was a popular holiday destination for its sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, but, to be honest, I only knew a little about Sousse attractions. And then, I was very impressed with the city and what it has to offer; I couldn’t be happier to include it in my Tunisia itinerary.

Not only is this a perfect place to relax, but there are some fantastic things to do in Sousse, including a wonderful, UNESCO-listed medina or one of the best museums you can see during your trip to Tunisia. If you plan to visit Sousse, you are in for a treat with its diverse attractions. I enjoyed the city so much, and I’m sure you will like it too.

things to do in sousse tunisia

I put together this Sousse guide so you can also plan your trip to Sousse and see all its highlights. If you still have questions about visiting Sousse, feel free to ask them in the comments below.

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Where is Sousse, Tunisia

Sousse, the third-largest city in Tunisia, is located on the Mediterranean Sea coast in the northeast part of the country. Tunis, the capital, is 150 km north of Sousse.

things to do in sousse tunisia

How to get to Sousse

If you are traveling from abroad, you can fly to the nearby Monastir airport, popular for charter flights, located some 20 minutes drive from Sousse.

Getting from other places in Tunisia is easy, too, as Sousse is located on the railway line from Tunis to Sfax, with a few daily connections to both cities per day. There are also louages (minibuses) from destinations all over the country.

I took the train from Tunis to Sousse; it was fast, affordable, and comfortable. The journey takes around 2.5 hours. You can book the ticket here or directly at the train station.

things to do in sousse tunisia

How many day for visiting Sousse

You can see all the highlights in Sousse in one day. Still, stay there a bit longer so you can also relax on the beach or go on day trips – there are some great places to visit near Sousse.

things to do in sousse tunisia

How to get around Sousse

You can easily walk between most of the interesting places in Sousse (mainly the medina and the seaside) since they are not too far away.

If you need to get to some further locations (like the louage station), you can use Bolt, which works well and is very affordable (paying for the ride by cash is preferable). Since you would need internet to find the ride, you can get connected with Arialo eSIM – you can get it here.

things to do in sousse tunisia

Things to do in Sousse

And now, without further ado, here are the best things to do in Sousse.

See the view from Ribat of Sousse

Located right at the entrance to the medina, Ribat is one of the biggest Sousse attractions. Originally dating back to the 8th century but reconstructed in the early 9th century, it is probably the best-preserved Ribat in Tunisia. This fortified structure served as home to military volunteers as well as protection on the trading routes.

The Ribat of Sousse is not very large; inside, you can’t see much (in some of the rooms, you can find parts of the old decor). Still, the place is definitely worth a visit; the entrance costs a few dinars (8 when I visited). Not only will you be able to admire the interesting, original structure of the place, which is very neat and symmetrical, but you will also be able to climb the tower, and that’s the absolute highlight of visiting Sousse.

From the top, you can see the most beautiful panorama of the city, with medina, the harbor, and the new part of Sousse right in front of you. I can’t count how many pictures I took and how long I spent there, as the view was breathtaking.

When I visited the Ribat of Sousse, I was there alone, which was an even better experience as I could explore every single corner of the building. It was one of my favorite Tunisia tourist attractions!

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

Visit Great Mosque

Only a few steps away from the Ribat, you will find another of the top Sousse attractions – the Great Mosque. It was built in the mid-9th century when the Aghlabid dynasty ruled the region, and it’s one of the most outstanding examples of architecture from that period.

What you can notice right away is that the mosque is very modest in decor; you won’t find many details around, just bare walls so you can focus on praying. The only addition to the place is the Islamic inscription in the upper part of the wall around the mosque’s yard and beautiful chandeliers in the praying hall.

It’s a very calming and tranquil place, contrary to the bustling medina outside the mosque’s walls. The entrance costs a few dinars (it was five during my visit), and you must wear modest clothes to enter (you can borrow a traditional dress to cover yourself if requested).

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

See the mosaics at the archeological museum

Visiting the Archeological Museum was one of my favorite things to do in Sousse. Nothing could have prepared me for all the greatness I could see there, and as soon as I stepped inside, my jaw dropped. Since the famous Bardo Museum in Tunis was closed during my trip, this was the only collection of ancient mosaics in Tunisia I could see, and it was mindblowing.

Located in the kasbah (an Arabic fortress) at the edge of medina, the Archeological Museum in Sousse is home to the second-largest mosaic collection in the world (after the Bardo Museum, mentioned above). Other ancient artifacts are also presented here, some dating back to the 7th century BC.

Still, mosaics are the real reason to visit the place. There are many of them, some in better shape than others, but altogether, they create such an impressive exhibition. Some of the most popular mosaics you can see in the Sousse Archeological Museum are the Head of Medusa, the Face of Oceanus, or Neptune on his sea chariot.

To visit the museum, you must exit the medina and enter the kasbah from the other side of the walls (here is the exact location). You can see a nice panorama of Sousse from the courtyard, with medina and newer parts of the city. During my visit, the ticket to the Archeological Museum cost 10 dinars.

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

Visit Museum Dar Essid

Museum Dar Essid is one place that I missed during my trip to Sousse (it was closed when it wasn’t supposed to), and I still regret it. In the past, this was home to the aristocratic local family, but with the passing of its last member, the palace was turned into a museum.

Inside, you can see how the daily life used to look like in Sousse in the 18th and 19th century. The furniture and decor of the rooms are original, including German clocks from the 1800s and 200-years-old curtains.

There is also a tower you can climb for great views of Sousse as well as a rooftop cafe to relax after the sightseeing.

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

Wander around medina

The medina in Sousse was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 for its cultural and historical value and preservation from modern development, and you will quickly see why it got this prestigious title. The maze of narrow lanes is perfect for wandering around, getting lost and finding your way again, and admiring centuries-old architecture.

Surrounded by city walls, the Sousse medina dates back to the 9th century BC and has always played an important role in the region. Besides the numerous historical sites already mentioned above, the medina is mainly used as a souk – a market where you can shop for everyday products as well as souvenirs and try how good you are at bargains.

For me, wandering around the medina was one of the best things to do in Sousse. Only occasionally, I checked the map for the general sense of directions. I followed my intuition to get around and found some really charming corners, numerous stunning doors (so typical for Tunisia), and plenty of picturesque places. And that’s the best way to explore the Sousse medina, with no map and in no hurry – this way, you can feel the real magic of the place.

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

Enjoy the beach

What surprised me the most in Sousse was its pleasant beach. I didn’t expect such a nice and clean sandy beach right in the center of the big city, yet there it was, perfect for strolls along or simply relaxing.

The water was turquoise and clear, inviting for a swim. The seaside area was very vibrant, with many locals hanging out and a tourist train riding along. There were a few cafes and restaurants to sit down and enjoy the view.

Fans of urbex will surely appreciate some abandoned hotels you can fit at the seaside – I didn’t dare to explore them (there were too many people around for my taste, and I wasn’t sure if I could get myself in trouble), but I indeed enjoyed the look of them.

Overall, the beach is such an excellent addition to the city and a perfect place to balance all the Sousse sightseeing.

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

Go for day trips

Sousse is a great base for day trips to some of the best places to visit in Tunisia. I used the city to explore the nearby area, too, and it was such a good idea.

The best places you can see on day trips from Sousse are:

  • El Jem, with its magnificent amphitheater from the 3rd century, better than the Colosseum in Rome; you can easily get there by train from Sousse
  • Kairouan – the fourth holy place in Islam, after Mecca, and an important religious center, with great medina and numerous historical sites; a UNESCO World Heritage Site; you can reach it by louage from Sousse
  • Monastir – a popular tourist seaside town, home to the largest Ribat in northern Africa
  • Tunis – if you are staying longer in Sousse you can also visit the capital on a day trip to discover its highlights, there are trains and louages between the cities

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

Final thoughts on visiting Sousse

As you can see above, Sousse has a lot to offer, and what makes it such a great place to visit is the diversity of attractions. I really enjoyed my time there and actually stayed a bit longer than I originally planned. I’m sure you will have a good time visiting Sousse too.

Even if you plan to mostly relax on the beach, wander around the medina, or see some nearby interesting places so that you can use your time in Sousse to the fullest.

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

things to do in sousse tunisia

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things to do in sousse tunisia


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