Tunisia

Visit Sidi Bou Said – the Most Picturesque Town in Tunisia

(Last Updated On: )

Sidi Bou Said is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Tunisia. The charming, bright town is known for its white and blue buildings that altogether create a fairytale-like vibe. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Tunisia, and I’m more than happy that I put Sidi Bou Said on my Tunisia itinerary.

Fortunately, visiting Sidi Bou Said is very easy if you want to do it independently; there are also numerous tours that cover the place (together with nearby Carthage) that you can take. I compiled this travel guide to help you plan your trip to Sidi Bou Said so you can enjoy this charming, picturesque town, too.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

Where is Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Sidi Bou Said, a small town of around six thousand inhabitants, is located on the peninsula at the shore of the Mediterranean Sea (northern side of the Gulf of Tunis), some 20 km away from the center of Tunis. The close distance to the country’s capital makes Sidi Bou Said one of the easiest and most rewarding day trips from Tunis.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

Why visit Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Tunisia, attracting tourists every day. And it’s no wonder so many people want to visit Sidi Bou Said. The town is the prettiest, with most buildings painted in white and blue, creating a fairytale-like look.

While there might not be that many monuments in the town, it’s worth visiting Sidi Bou Said for its cobbled streets and charming corners, vibrant atmosphere, and stunning views of the Gulf of Tunis.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

Best time to visit Sidi Bou Said

I visited Sidi Bou Said on January 1st. It was a warm and sunny Sunday, and the place was really crowded. At least the main street was; a short detour to one of the back lanes was enough to enjoy the area without crowds.

In general, I recommend visiting Sidi Bou Said in the morning; the earlier, the better, so you can explore the town peacefully before all the tourists arrive. The best months to come here are March-early April and late October-November, as that’s when Tunisia isn’t so famous for package holidays; hence, there are fewer people around.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

How to get to Sidi Bou Said

Visiting Sidi Bou Said is very easy. There are frequent regional trains (TGM line) departing from the Tunis Marine station, near the Clock Tower, at the edge of the center of the capital.

You need to purchase the ticket from the window on the left when entering the station; it costs around 1 TND (about €0,30 or $0,33). Even if there was a language barrier, I didn’t have any problems getting the ticket on any station on the TGM line. I clearly said where I wanted to go and gave the money, usually a bit more than I was expecting to pay. Each time, I got a ticket and a change hassle-free. There is no need to validate the ticket; you simply board the train and are ready to go.

Sidi Bou Said is the 14th station, counting from Tunis Marine. If you have visited Carthage before (that’s what I did), it’s three more stations from Carthage Hannibal where you most likely board to Sidi Bou Said.

The trains aren’t very modern or comfortable; they can also get crowded, but overall, I felt safe taking the train solo, and it was a smooth ride, which takes around 30-40 minutes.

To get back to Tunis, you need to take the train from the same station, from the platform across the tracks. There’s a ticket-selling point at the entrance to the platform.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

If navigating the public transport sounds overwhelming, you can take tours from Tunis that cover Sidi Bou Said and nearby Carthage (which is pretty spectacular, too). Here are some of the recommended ones:

Tours are also the best option for those planning to visit Sidi Bou Said from another location other than the capital. Below are a few highly-rated Sidi Bou Said tours you can take:

visit sidi bou said tunisia

How to get around Sidi Bou Said

The town is relatively compact and not too big, the touristy part is mostly pedestrian, so your best option is to walk around.

From the train station, it’s about ten minutes walk from the part of the town you want to see. It’s a straight way, a bit uphill, but you shouldn’t have any problems navigating around.

I recommend downloading the offline map (I use maps.me) to check your location if you get confused.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

Things to do in Sidi Bou Said

The best thing to do in Sidi Bou Said is simply to wander around, admire the beautiful, bright architecture, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, and take many pictures. In such a stunning place, there is no way you can take a bad photo; the town is one of the most charming and picturesque places I’ve ever seen.

While the majority of tourists stick to the main street only, I recommend you venture a bit into the backstreets, where you can also see some lovely corners but with hardly any people around. This is also where the surroundings get a bit more gritty and real; it might not be as polished, but it’s still beautiful.

Street art fans will surely appreciate a few murals around, too – it’s nothing like Djerbahood, but it’s definitely a nice touch to the overall vibe and look of the place.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

Tunisia is known for beautifully decorated doors. It’s hard to walk past them and not stop to admire the beauty and patterns on the colorful wooden structure. Of all the places I visited in Tunisia, Sidi Bou Said has one of the most remarkable doors.

Be sure to pay attention to details when wandering around the town; you will surely notice many of them. It’s yet another picturesque reason to visit Sidi Bou Said.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

With the location on the top of the hill, high above the waters of the Gulf of Tunis, you can surely find some incredible viewpoints in Sidi Bou Said.

Everyone goes to the one at the end of the main street, and it offers some fantastic views indeed, but I found a nice panorama of the town at Rue Taieb Mhiri, only a short walk away from the central part of the town. There is also a good view of the Mediterranean from next to the cemetery.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

If you would like to see a traditional house from the 18th century and learn more about the lifestyle of the local aristocracy, you can visit Dar El Annabi for a few dollars. Inside, you will find some stunning interiors as well as numerous artifacts and traditional clothes typical for that region.

Sidi Bou Said is also a perfect destination for souvenir shopping. The main street is lined with numerous shops offering souvenirs for all tastes and budgets, from magnets and postcards to beautiful ceramics or rugs.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

The majority of tourists come to Sidi Bou Said only for a short visit to take a few pictures around before moving to another place. I recommend spending more time here to wander around and get a proper feel of the place.

Once you finish all the Sidi Bou Said sightseeing, you can sit in one of the cafes to observe the bustling life around you. Or you can head to one of the local restaurants (preferably the rooftop one, with the view) and try some of the delicious dishes of Tunisian cuisine.

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

visit sidi bou said tunisia

Where to go next

Only 3km away from Sidi Bou Said, you can visit Carthage. Back in the BC times, it was one of the most impressive and important metropolises. Today, the town is a sleepy upscale suburb of Tunis with numerous UNESCO-listed ruins from the ancient period that are worth visiting.

When you are in the area, you should also give a chance to Tunis. Many travelers overlook the capital of Tunisia, but it’s a surprisingly cool city with vibrant medina and beautiful colonial architecture. Tunisia has so much to offer and is more than just a relaxing seaside holiday.

Carthage Tunisia

Tunis Tunisia

Further reading

I really enjoyed my time in Tunisia and I can’t recommend enough visiting this underrated country. If you are planning a trip to Tunisia I wrote a few articles that you might find useful:

Travel Resources

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Tunisia

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Tunisia here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin to get updates about the new posts
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Tunisia too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!

LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!

visit sidi bou said tunisia


love, kami 2

If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 30.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss new posts sign up to my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Let’s become friends!

    Join me on Facebook for even more travel updates!