Our 7 must-do visits!

Kairouan is a city known to all Muslims thanks to its large mosque. But it is increasingly visited by tourists, and the city is even classified by UNESCO.

Kairouan was the first major city in North Africa. It is designated as the first holy city of the Maghreb. In the effect, It is also referred to as “the city of three hundred mosques”.. After a short history lesson about the city, discover our main things to do in Kairouan now!

Sister Kairouan

Kairouan, located in Tunisia in the east of the country, was protected against attacks by various countries around the Mediterranean. Indeed, it is located in the eastern part of the Atlas, the North African mountain range. In conclusion, located in a dry region, and is supplied with water only by dams built in the valleys and above. As such, we understand that it offers little attraction for occupants.

Kairouan history
Kairouan in the past ©trialsanderrors / Wikipedia Commons

He is asked to play a role in religion in the 7th and 8th centuries. actually counts military base It aimed to defend the positions obtained in the name of jihad, the Islamic holy wars. But Kairouan definitely gets its reputation as a religious city by the way it’s built. its very famous mosque. It is the largest in the Maghreb and has served as a model for other Islamic structures. Don’t be surprised by the building’s castle-like appearance and walk through it safely. You will not be disappointed by pillars, earthenware and other manifestations of Islamic art.

Kairouan mosques
Vue de Kairouan ©Haythem Gataa / Unsplash

Since then, 300 more mosques have opened in the city and Kairouan fourth holy city of IslamBehind Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.

After this little historical reminder, here are the unmissable things to see and do In Kairouan…

Wander through the Aghlabid basins

What could be more extraordinary than discovering two basins of water in the middle of the desert? Yet if you go to the Aghlabid basins this is what you will see in Kairouan. In reality, These pools built in the 9th centurypearl In the century, it served as a water reservoir for the city of Kairouan.. Moreover, they were not only two but fourteen years old. There were large pools of 55,000 cubic meters, followed by smaller pools that served as sedimentation pools. They were fed by the aqueductIt is 36 km long, bringing water from the mountains.

Aghlabid basin © Bernard Gagnon / Wikipedia Commons

Explore Kairouan Grand Mosque

Kairouan’s great mosque is also called Oqba Ibn Nafi. founderEast The largest mosque in North Africa. It also has the reputation of being the most beautiful in all of Tunisia! It was built in 7.pearl century and Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This mosque is truly a must visit in Kairouan.. You can explore alone, but a visit with a guide will be even more rewarding. You will indeed learn a lot about this magnificent building. For women, consider bringing a sarong or scarf that can be used to cover your shoulders and head during the visit. Otherwise, security will lend you a scarf at the entrance.

Kairouan Mosque
Kairouan Mosque ©Fehmi bouguezzi / Wikipedia Commons

Explore the Medina

Kairouan’s medina, like most of the monuments found in this city, is one of the most beautiful in Tunisia. You will definitely discover many little things to see. especially, Puit A Barrouta, Üç Kapılar mosque or Bey’s house. You can also go to the markets or many local shops. since 1988 Kairouan’s medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also explore the many small streets full of history and ruins.

a barouta
A good Barrouta | © David Stanley / Flickr

Visit Bey’s house

The Bey Evi, also known as the Governor’s Mansion, is an ostentatious and old mansion. Years ago, it was actually the residence of the governor (Beg for Tunisians). From, converted into an oriental carpet museum. The visit is completely free so you can explore the luxurious rooms and secrets of this house. You will be amazed in almost every room beautiful knotted rugs, completely handmade. Moreover, you will discover how they are made. As a matter of fact, a factory is being built on the land. If you wish, you can offer yourself an original and typical Tunisian handmade knotted carpet.

governor's mansion
Governor’s house ©Alexandre Moreau / Wikipedia Commons

Getting to the Islamic Arts Museum in Raqqa

Located about ten kilometers from Kairouan, it is a former presidential palace built on the ruins of what is today the city of Raqqada. this museum. The old palace also houses a research center specializing in Islamic civilization.. Inside the museum, you will discover many models of Kairouan’s most beautiful monuments and the Raqqada region. You will also find many ruins from these sites One of the rooms in this museum is completely dedicated to the Kairouan Grand Mosque.

Kairouan museum
Coupole du musée © Mahdi Jouini / Wikipédia Commons

Wander through the bazaars

The souks are an essential visit to do in Kairouan. Famous throughout the Maghreb. It is inevitable to find your happiness in these vast bazaars in the streets of Medina. well organized, you will find several “sectors” containing an approximate “product” category. You will indeed find an bazaar for jewellery, an bazaar for glass, then an bazaar for perfumes. not to be missed Al Zarbia bazaar. Kairouan has a worldwide reputation for making knotted rugs. You’ll find them in all colors, at any price, of course you’ll have to bargain!

Kairouan rugs ©Alexander Hoernigk / Wikipedia Commons

Taste local specialties

In Medina you will find several patisseries that will allow you to taste local products. Kairouan is famous for its Tunisian-Jewish specialties. among others, You will enjoy great macrouds. This pastry is mainly made with dates, semolina and honey. Kairouan is also famous for its excellent wines with very fruity notes. you will also enjoy many pressed juices right before your eyes in one of the city’s cafes. Of course, you will still need to enjoy the couscous and tagine. Note that each country and even region of North Africa prepares these dishes quite differently.

Kairouan’s macrouds ©Rusty Clark / Wikipedia Commons

Useful information

  • Especially for visits to certain places of worship for women, don’t forget to take something to cover your shoulders and take it with you. The legs will also need to be minimally closed and low necklines will need to be avoided.
  • local currency Tunisian dinar (TND). Know that 1 € = 3.38 TND is approx.
  • The easiest way to reach Kairouan from France is by plane. You can land at Monastir airport and then reach Kairouan by train, bus or taxi collective. You can also rent a car at the airport during your entire stay. You will be able to act without restrictions!
  • Avoid July and August when it can be very hot! Check out our annual climate forecast to find out when is the best time to go to Kairouan.
Things to do in Kairouan
Kairouan ©Haythem Gataa / Unsplash

Kairouan’s basics… and then?

There are many beautiful things to do in Kairouan. Remember to plan your outings as much as possible so you don’t miss one. One of both you enjoyed your stay in this holy cityYou may want to consider renewing your trip to another Tunisian city, for example Tunis or Monastir. If you had the chance to visit Kairouan, feel free to leave us your impressions or other explanations in the comments.

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