Thank you so much for that info.
We will not have kids in tow, our eldest is 36- gives you an indication of our age! Which is part of the problem. We were completely ok about all of this a few years ago, but a bit worn out now, and a bit less tolerant (oh dear) and a lot more cautious, hence this discussion. We once loved all the excitement of the medina,etc (not the Tunisian one-obviously- haven't been there yet), and would love to see a bit of the 'real' Tunisia (and we know that we certainly won't see that in Hammamet)
With that in mind, do you still think it's a good idea to go to Tunis. We just really fancy seeing something beyond the completely sterile resort of Hamammet (which is lovely, by the way, but you could be anywhere- a bit like visiting Cuba and staying in all inclusive in Varadero). Is there anywhere else you would recommend as a possible alternative (rail-linked) place to visit? We really wanted to use the railway and also avoid going down the organised tour route if possible.
I booked a day out with a rep in the hotel to go with a private driver me and my son to go to Tunis , Carthage ruins , And Sidi Bou Said .. It was 120dinars and to be honest I didnt really know where I was going I kind of got put on the spot and agreed to go , I told the driver I did not wish to actually go to the Medina in Tunis as I was a little scared being alone and our first time but went to the ruins was nice but my driver did not really tell me what was going on so I was a little confused I had to ask an English tourist for a little info on what I was looking at and the history etc ! He was happy to explain Lol !
We then went to Sidi Bou Said pretty place , and had dinner there and a quick walk around and to be honest I felt more relaxed there then I did in Hammamet .. Strange !
Was a shame as we only had an hour or so to see the place so felt a little let down but apart from that was nice and it was nice to get out of the resort ! :)
Hammamet isn't great for getting around by train.
You obviously want to visit Tunis, so rather than stay there overnight, why not have a couple of days trips there by public bus. You've got a map so look for the Southern Bus Station which is a 5-10 minute walk south of the Tunis Train Station.
You could spend the first trip wandering around the Ave Habib Bourguiba area, visiting the Medina, the indoor covered market (very vibrant, clean and colourful), a walk along to the Clock Tower and watch the mad drivers trying to get round it (and the even madder pedestrians trying to run across the road). Plenty of busy pavement cafes (just like Paris) to stop at, and inexpensive places to eat (next door to the Cafe du Paris opposite the Cathedral on AHB, upstairs is v.good and really cheap, but no alcohol).
On the 2nd trip you could take the metro to Sidi Bou Said in the morning, and perhaps stop off in Carthage or La Goulette (Port of Tunis) on the way back. If you want to go to Carthage then make sure you know exactly where you want to visit as there are half-a-dozen metro stations with 'Carthage' in their name!
The bus for Tunis leave the bus shelter just up the road from the Hammamet Medina opposite the Post Office. They are one an hour on the half-hour. Pay the driver and the cost is about TD4.200 each-way. The journey takes about an hour. Coming back, buses leave from Tunis hourly on the hour. Buy your ticket from the orange kiosk just inside the station building.
All the above can be done very cheaply, and you can move around as you want and at your own pace.
PS. Rather than taking the bus both ways, you could always get the bus to Tunis, and the train back to Bir Bou Regba (for Hammamet).
Postings 13, 16, 20, 23, 24 and 25 look pretty good to me. Contributions from someone with a lot of interest if you ask me!
Thanks for all your advice and to everyone else who contributed. We are back home now. Had a fantastic time but never made it to Tunis after all that tripadvisoring!
It was baking so we spent nearly all our time swimming, which isn't culturally enlightening but wonderful all the same.
Many thanks. (Shukran)
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