Tunisia is a fantastic place to visit with kids. This small North African country is where kids can live out the adventures of their dreams, from exploring ancient ruins to riding camels into the sunset. Depending on your family’s preferences, you can pack your days with activities or take things at a more relaxed pace. Tunisia is happy to accommodate both! There are so many great options, it can be hard to know where to start. Based on my family’s experience exploring Tunisia with two little ones, here are 5 things to do in Tunisia with kids:
Take a desert tour
One of the most popular and memorable things to do in Tunisia with kids is a desert tour. This could involve a camel ride into the sunset, a quad bike ride to a fortress in the desert, a 4×4 tour or even an overnight campout. Our family spent an incredible night in the desert near Douz. After about an hour-and-half camel ride, we helped our guide set up camp. The kids ran wild over the dunes while our guide prepared couscous over the fire. They loved sleeping in the traditional Berber-style tent and eating bread cooked in the sand for breakfast. They frequently ask when we can do this trip again!
Explore a medina
Imagine a winding labyrinth of ancient cobblestone streets and tiny shops full of colorful lanterns, tinkering craftsmen and intoxicating smells. In the old walled cities, or medinas, of Tunisia, families can enjoy a day of souvenir shopping, sampling traditional sweets, and even visiting museums and historical sites. Hundreds of shops sell traditional handicrafts like pottery and rugs as well as small, inexpensive toys and trinkets. My kids love watching the craftsmen who hammer designs into brass plates and tasting free samples of makroudh, a sticky, sweet date-filled cookie. (The city of Kairouan is known for its delicious makroudh). In the Sousse medina, for a small fee, you can visit the ribat, a small fortress originally constructed in the 8th century. Kids will enjoy climbing the twisting staircase up a tower overlooking the city and the port.
Visit Roman ruins
Tunisia’s Roman ruins sites are a great place for kids to learn a little history, imagine the lives of people who lived there long ago … and run around and be kids. Most sites have plaques explaining their historical significance, and some even offer pamphlets and maps in multiple languages. But don’t expect any of the formal stuffiness and strict “no touching” rules that often accompany ruins sites in other countries.
One of my favorite sites is the Antonine Baths, part of the ancient city of Carthage, near Tunis. The ruins of this huge public bathing complex feature enticing tunnels and pillars for hiding in and around. It’s a perfect place for a game of hide-and-seek or sardines!
Dougga is another one of our favorites. It’s a little bit off the beaten path, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. The ancient city sits on top of a hill, and it seems to go on forever. The higher you climb, the more there is to see. (We’ve actually never seen all of it!) Our kids love dancing on the stage of the ancient amphitheater and climbing up and down the giant steps. Other noteworthy sites include El Jem and Sbeitla.
Play in the water
Tired of touring ruins and riding camels under the sun? It’s time for a water day! Of course, you can head to one of Tunisia’s many beautiful beaches. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing our kids love more than the simple pleasure of building castles in the white sand, swimming in the warm water and eating shoush, or popcorn, and bambalouni, fried dough-rings coated in sugar, often sold by beachside vendors. We particularly like La Marsa beach, near Tunis, and Hergla Beach, near Sousse.
You can also check out a water park. One of my kids’ favorite places is Aqua Palace in Sousse. For the equivalent of about 10 USD per person, you can enjoy a full day of aquatic activities. The park features a wave pool, lazy river, and waterslides of various heights.
Visit a museum
Looking for things to do with kids in Tunisia on a rainy day (or a day when it’s just too hot to be outside?) For kids who are interested in history and art, Tunisia has a variety of museums throughout the country.
In Sidi Bou Said, check out the Ennejma Ezzahra palace, the home of a French painter in the early 1900s. Inside, kids will enjoy exploring the house’s many rooms and observing the intricately carved patterns on the ceilings. Outside, they can spot sailboats in the marina below and discover the huge fountain in the garden. Afterward, head to the top of the city to take in more of the view and eat hot bambalouni.
In Sousse, you can visit the Sousse Archeological Museum, which features sculptures, artifacts and dozens of huge, intricate mosaics. Kids will enjoy spotting their favorites among the many wild animals and sea creatures depicted in the mosaics. The museum also has a large courtyard with stunning views of the port.
Other noteworthy museums include the National Bardo Museum in Tunis and the El Jem Museum.
Tunisia – A Great Destination For the Whole Family
With such an array of activities for kids, Tunisia is a great destination for the whole family. As you plan your Tunisia tour, feel free to contact us! We’d love to give you more tips, and help you craft the perfect tour that will give your family memories for years to come.
Click here for more tips on traveling in Tunisia with kids, including what to pack, wear and eat!