Medina of Hammamet

Medina of Hammamet: Address, Phone Number, Medina of Hammamet Reviews: 3.5/5

Medina of Hammamet
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

2,824 reviews
Very good

Dunbeath, UK20 contributions
Jan 2020
This is a real medina, unlike the one in Yasmine Hammamet. Interesting narrow passages, well maintained and interesting to visit. Lots of shops with lots of pushy sales staff trying to get you inside their shops. This is quite normal and not intimidating, I was able to have a laugh and a joke with them without being pressured to buy. Unfortunately, all the shops are selling the same items, go into one and you’ve been into them all. None of what was on sale was anything special or exceptionally cheap anyway so I came out with nothing. Good to visit though and fun to explore.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

13 contributions
Dec 2019
For those they trvel in Winter time, it is advisable to check if the hotel or house have heating. Have experience temps as low as 11d, combining with humidity, it is not pleasant... In this area centre ville of Hammamet, the small hotel Khella is running heaters almost 24 hours at only 50-60 td including breakfast. Clean surroundings and the medina an extra gift for those love the walled old cities.... Unfo, had no time to go around in medina, althought a French friend lives there.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pontyclun, UK4 contributions
Jul 2019 • Friends
The Medina is a lovely place to visit, the markets have everything you could every need. The only issue is if you don’t like to haggle you can pay over the price, haggle is part of the experience. The shop owners do try to pull you in but if you just say no a few times they will leave you alone.
Written June 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

29 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
We were here in February. With young children. Whilst walking towards the medina a man approached us and said he recognised us from our hotel. He got talking to us and said he would show us around the medina. We said no, it's ok. But he wouldn't leave us alone and insisted on taking us around. We ended up in some shop. And long story short. We felt we HAD TO BUY SOMETHING. I walked out of the shop but he followed us. Wouldn't leave us alone and as the kids were a bit scared I ended up buying something I didn't want at a ridiculous price. If we didn't have the kids I would have handled it . If you can I would advise on shopping in a shop with fixed prices.
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Earth1 contribution
This is my first trip to Tunisia, Parents in law have been here 7 times. My mother in Law will not go into the Medina again. She and my wife went in 8 years ago by themselves, The merchants were very aggressive and tried to pull them into their stores, which neither of them liked. I went in with my father in law a few days ago. The medina itself is a beautiful labrynth of small streets and passage ways, however the merchants have not changed. One merchant seperated me from my father in law and insisted that I looked in his store "Just look, no Buy" he kept repeating. When I glanced in and said I was not interested he physically held me there repeating his catch phrase. After standing there for a couple of minutes fed up with his attempts he let me pass through the narrow corridor where his store was located. I would go in again with someone else, but the merchants really create an almost hostile atmosphere. If you are not comfortable in small places I wouldn't go. The Friday Market in Nabeul is an open market and has better souveniers and handy crafts than the Medina. Take the local train from Hammamet, it is more relaxing than a taxi and you'll get a taste of local life, and it only costs TD0.6.
Written December 22, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK687 contributions
Yes this place is full of aggressive sellers all selling very similar goods but if your a wise and open eyed tourist you'll know it's all good fun. Full of shops selling pottery, jewelery, bits and bobs, leather, shoes, bags etc you have to shop wisely and cleverly.

The sellers will start with ridiculously high prices and they will pester you as you walk through for business but you just have to play along with them if you want something and say no thank you and move on if your not.

Some sellers can pout and moan about how u want something for too little a price but it's almost always an act, game or show. If you don't play along or don't like the hassle this place isn't for you but the techniques and way they shop owners persevere to get the sale if similar to Egypt, Turkey etc.

Don't take it personally, play along and enjoy the experience, and remember don't get ripped off - one seller wanted £75 for two olive wood chopping boards which is just silly. We haggled and got them down to a fiver!! They know they are asking far too much but you have to know that too. Another seller was selling spices for 45 dinar which were 5 dinar in a fixed priced shop! Just shop smartly.

Go in prepared but this place really is good fun

Other than the shops near the front of the medina around the back is quieter smaller streets with ornate doorways, mosques - real life continues and this area of the medina gives you a more intimate view of Tunisian life

There is also a very nice restaurant which overlooks the main entrance and sea front - it's well known though so book or get there early for a table with a good view

One final tip - eat the caramelised nuts being sold by street vendors as they are delicious.
Written September 6, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Glasgow, UK207 contributions
Having recently returned from Hammamet, I felt I would write a review to warn fellow travelers of some of the scams which I encountered in the Hammamet Madina. The first scam begins when you arrive at the entrance, where a random Tunisian will pretend to be a waiter from your hotel and will offer to show you about and find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t fall for this scam – they are usually friends of the shopkeepers and get a commission from their friends based on what the visitor ends up buying from that particular shop.

Let’s get one thing clear from the offset – haggling is expected and encouraged in the Madinas of Tunisia. The few shops which do sell fixed price goods which are clearly priced are few and far between. So they will expect you to haggle in the majority of places here. The general rule of thumb (as a starting point) is to offer only a quarter of the asking price. This is the way it works from my experience. The shopkeepers know this fact fine well and will boldly start the haggling 4 times the actual price. This is not the scam, however. The real scam is far more subtle and I will explain exactly how it works. The fact that shopkeepers know that tourists will aim for a quarter of the asking rpice, means they can deliberately inflate the RRP. To put it in simple English, once the customer has brought the price down to a quarter, they are satisfied that they have successfully haggled and will think they are getting a bargain. However, the shop keeper had deliberately inflated the RRP and then multiplied by 4. So let’s say something is worth 5D RRP, the shopkeeper has inflated it to 10D and then multiplied it by (around) 4, so his starting price is 40D. The unwary tourist has managed to get it down to 10D, yet will still pay double the RRP! So my tip is this – get it down to atleast a quarter of the asking price first AND THEN LET THE REAL HAGGLING BEGIN!!

Let’s say you’re a serious haggler. You’re satisfied with the price being asked, but part of you feels you could still get it EVEN cheaper, then simply walk away. I can guarantee that you will get the price reduced even further. It works every time.

Another tactic they will use is to engage you in conversation, “Come in and have a look, no hassle, you just look, no buy” is the common phrase. Once you’re in their shop they stick to you though and will try and sell you all manner of touristy crap you never wanted in the first place. It can all get a bit frustrating for the tourist, especially if you want a bit of privacy and want to take your time without being pestered.

If you mention the fact that you have seen a similar good being sold cheaper elsewhere, they simply will dismiss this saying that it must have been inferior in quality to the item they are trying to sell you.

I must warn you of the 2 shops which bear the official fixed price government logos, the scam is that only some of the things are fixed price. We went in there, were welcomed by the elderly guy who even asked us to sit on the comfy sofa while we waited for mint tea. While we were waiting he brought out a selection of carpets and was asking for silly prices. I couldn’t be bothered haggling for something I didn’t even want in the first price so I made him an offer which he could either take or leave. He seemed somewhat offended by my offer. I offered to shake his hand as a goodwill gesture to which he rudely slapped my hand away. Charming. Tea was cancelled.

We went on a tourist train which is situated at the entrance to the Madina and costs around 5D per person and leaves when the conductor is satisfied that there are enough people on board. The train takes you to Yasmine Hammamet and returns at the Madina. A very good way to see Hammamet and Yasmine Hammamet, which is far more upmarket. It lasts around an hour.

The advice I can give is keep your wits about you. DO NOT feel pressurized into buying anything you don’t want. Despite what other people have said, they are not “dragging you in by the arm”, infact they’re not allowed to make any contact with you. If you don’t want to go into a shop, a simple no thank you is enough, or just ignore them completely and walk past, either way they can’t pester you or follow you. A good tip which a fellow tourist gave me is to wear sunglasses. This way, you avoid making eye contact with them and they don’t know what items you’re looking at so can’t bother you (as much). I must add that there are other Madina around Hammamet, where the sellers are definitely a lot more relaxed and you have more freedom. Definitely do check it out tho, just for the experience, you can get bargains if you are assertive enough.
Written August 20, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scott T
1 contribution
Jul 2018 • Family
I got back from Hammamet just over a week ago and here's my experience;
I stayed at Royhal Nozha hotel and the staff are really really sound but the foods pretty poor ! once you take a right there's a row of shops and they hound the hell outta you but (it's NOTHING compared to on the promenade in Agadir Morocco that is UNREAL it's harrassment at it's worst but that in no way refelects the Moroccan people just the ones who want your doe they are really sound just markets and places like that are a nightmare !) the shops to the right of this particular hotel they are sound they let u just go about your browsing so again, this doesn't reflect the tunisian people as all being a nuisance !
I took a trip out in a taxi as i like to visit a football stadium wherever i go and i went to FC Hammamet who are a small 2nd division club and it felt pretty safe & sound around that area i even walked around the back streets and felt fine so no dramas there.
Towards the end me n my Mum decided to visit the Medina where the king kong ride is and them elephants are outside before you enter and as nice as it looks ect ect it's dodgey as f**k believe you me there are people eyeing you up everywhere and one guy even tried to get close to my mother when he passed and i noticed his hand kinda brush in the direction of her pocket as if he was itching to pickpocket her so i pulled her towards me and looked right at him as if to warn him and he just wondered off in to the crowd (i might have been reading it wrong but it seemed legit what he was trying yo do for me) then a guy approached us and started giving it "hi i'm the chef in your hotel, your at royal nozha aren't you ? i live in this area it's my day off and i can show you the medina if you wish ???" and he was very thin and had bad teeth and then it dawned on me i'd read about this on another review on here that it's a tactic/scam to get you to pay them at the end and it was bang on but i was on the ball as i normally am and i remembered the review and quickly f**ked him off telling him it's ok, then, as we walked away, another guy sort of took us in2 his company, started saying "hey i saw what that guy did, i don't like it when they harass the tourists ect ect i see this every day and it's not fair" i thought to myself this seems a bit odd, so, i decided to test the water and i handed him a coin and he politely refused and said he didn't want our money, then he said "c'mon now, i'll show you the way to the medina" and i was like hahaha, he's flirted his mate off so he can get paid haha nice try pal but i didn't come down with the last shower ! then we went in2 the part where the elephants are at the gates and the king kong ride is and it wasn't too bad in there tbh but once we left to meet our taxi we'd arranged for 1pm the same guy who originally told us he was from our hotel came at me again and was sayin "i think you misunderstand me first time my friend" and again, i just said "nah your alright mate, cos this convo is gonna end up in you wanting money so forget it" and i just grabbed my mums arm and said "hurry up we're outta here" and whilst we were waiting by that "carthage land" sign for our taxi another taxi just came outta nowhere and said "hi, your taxi for royal nozha for 1pm" then i was confused cos he didn't look like our original guy then outta nowhere our guy came up behind him and bollocked him and got us in and we were off back to the hotel and he said "remember my number on top of taxi" (it was 407 or something) and he took us home but i will say in general i had a nice experience, but as another review that i read previously said, just get this in to your head before you visit this place..................."NOTHING IS FREE IN TUNISIA" ! it's really THAT simple ! no matter how nice, warm, welcoming they may seem it will eventually lead to them wanting money TAKE MY WORD and it's nothing against them as a nation/race country ect ect it's just it's a poor place and they have to do that to survive becuase there's no welfare state ect but you can have a nice time if you know your limits and just keep your eyes/ears open at all times !
Written July 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Istanbul, Turkey3 contributions
Actually Tunisia is a quite secure country. Except of this very place called Hammamet Medina. Never go there. Unlike other Tunusian people this places people abuse you. We were there at nine oclock. Medina was almost closed.A young man came and said that he works on our hotel, he said our hotels name ! and asked if we remember him. He said he served us in the hotel. We couldn't remember him exactly but we didn't want to be rude so we said yes maybe we remember him. He sticked to us. He said that he knows some shops open inside Medina. We said that we just want to see mosque and he said he goes to mosque to and start to follow us. Inside Hammamet Medina is onother country. After a few steps we understand that all the shops of Hammamet Medina is almost closed.In front of the mosque situation was dangerous cause we were alone with him. He sticked again and said that he wants to take us his sisters shop. I was with my wife and 9 years old son. I didn't want to argue with him and he took us to the shop. Shop was full of fake watches and silly t-shirts. I said there is nothing interests us in the shop and I asked him to show us exit from Medina. They got angry. Until that moment he was saying that we were friends etc. Suddenly they started to act angry. Owner of the shop kindly ! suggested to me to give some money to young man and I had to accept. He took us to the exit of Medina. I gave some money. The they after our local guide ( a Tunisian) said that it was a big mistake to go to Hammamet Medina. He explain the trick. These young men ask to your taxi driver which hotel are you coming fromand they close to you with this information. Again Tunusia is a lovely and peaceful conutry. Police is everywhere. Sellers on the other cities medinas leave you alone by one word.Just say "No merci" Theye never stick to you. You feel secure everywhere. Even in little southern towns. Go to Tunusia but never visit Hammamet Medina!
Written May 31, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Delphi,Greece6,673 contributions
Nowdays, all over Tunisia ( and all over North Africa countries I guess), medinas that are to be found in touristy places are quite similar and are mainly focused to tourists. Hammamet's old (original) madina is not different. It is full of shops selling souvenirs- to be honest I haven't see any other kind of shops there. People try to sell you things and call you in their shops and sometimes pushing it a lot, but to be honest, that's the way it is, and Hammamet's medina is "softer" in comparison to other medina such as eg Sousse medina etc. I am a female and entered the medina in various occasions my self, and I didn't feel unsafe. Uncomfortable maybe, but not unsafe. Men may try to start a conversation, invite you for a coffee, offer to go out with you together etc, but usually if you ignore them, or say firmly a NO, they stop. As this medina is focused on selling souvenirs to tourists, has lost lots of the "local colour" other medinas may offer, but it is still an interesting experience to get lost in the various souqs, wonder around, have some conversation with locals and maybe buy something if you want to. At the less busy half of the medina, there are mainly houses, not too many shops, and it's interesting to walk around, especially during noon hours when it's quiet. Medina means "old town". and that's the original arab town, what the whole town used to be years ago. If you are interested in such things, it's nice to check on the narrow lanes, built like that to avoid the hit and allow breezes to be created, and on the walls, built to protect the town from intruders. Hammamet's medina is small, and can be easily walked around, and it's easy to navigate too. Most of the houses are traditionaly built and decorated , with beautifuly coloured doors and windows, and symbols as the fatima hand present all around.
On the other hand, if you are in Hammamet only to lie on a beach and have no interest in the local culture, there is a "new medina" built on purpose in Yasmine Hammamet, where you can buy souvenirs mostly in fixed prices, and avoid the husle of bargaining (even if not absolutely)!
Written November 29, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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