I stayed in Hammamet for 10 days in March, and although the weather wasn’t the best at this time of year, I found Hammamet to be a good base because of it’s geographical position in relation to other main cities and places of historical interest. In this blog I will be introducing you to the best day trips from Hammamet.
When is the best time to Visit Hammamet?
The beaches in Hammamet are also really nice, but I would recommend that you go between May and September to enjoy those. Avoid the British school holiday which can be very busy, as Tunisia sees a lot of British tourists. Also consider whether or not you want to be in Tunisia during Ramadan (happens around March/April time). There can be some interesting celebrations to witness but also stricter codes of conduct to follow during this time.
What are the best Day Trips from Hammamet?
I have been on many excursions from Hammamet and hands down, the BEST day trips from Hammamet are definitely the day trip to Carthage Roman Ruins and then the trip to Kairouan and El Jem (often these two destinations are combined into one day trip on tours). You need to be a bit of a history buff to enjoy these to be honest, but if you are into it, these sites are amazing. The Kairouan Great Mosque is the fourth most important Mosque in Islam (after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem) and El Jem is the largest Roman Amphitheatre outside of Rome. on’t miss these!
If you like big(ish) cities with Medinas then the other great day trips from Hammamet are Sousse and Tunis. It is easy to see the main sites of Tunis (the capital city in one day). Sousse is smaller and this trip is often combined with Monastir.
If you haven’t yet had your fill of Roman ruins and have more time to spare then head to the archeological sites of Oudna and Dougga.
The capital city of Tunis is doable in a day (although it is better if you can spend a weekend in Tunis). Get up early and get to the Bardo Museum for 9am (you will need at least an hour and a half there). Then take a cab to the Medina to visit the souks and Al-Zaytouna Mosque. Grab some lunch before following the main tourist mile past Place de l’Independance (Independence Square) and Place du 14 Janvier (14th January square). Also in Tunis, don’t miss Bab el Bahr (the city gate) and St. Vincent de Paul Cathedral.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 50 mins
One of the best Day Trips from Hammamet is a day trip to visit the Roman ruins of Carthage. Although it’s very close to Tunis and some trips combine them, I would recommend that you do the centre of Tunis and Carthage on two separate day trips so that you don’t feel knackered and rushed.
Carthage is a number of ancient sites spread out in a small area near the sea. Get yourself a ticket that covers all the sites rather than paying to get in every site separately – it works out cheaper. The key sites of Carthage include the Roman Amphitheatre, Baths of Antoninus and Byrsa Hill.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 1 hour
Dougga is another popular ancient Roman Site that can be explored as a day trip from Hammamet, but it is quite far inland. You need to prepare yourself for around two and a half hours drive to get to Dougga – that’s potentially a 5 hour round trip.
Saying that, it’s worth it if you are interested in Roman history. Dougga was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, stating that it represents “the best-preserved Roman small town in North Africa”.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 2 hours 30 mins
The old town of Nabeul is home to many narrow streets and colourful houses. The city is also known for its pottery, with many artisan workshops producing traditional ceramics and pottery. Most tourists visit Nabeul for the shopping experience and to visit Kelibia Fort. It was also the first beach resort in Tunisia.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 20 mins
Oudna is another Roman site often referred to as a ‘little Dougga’. It’s more manageable than the day trip to Doug because it’s only an hour away from Hammamet. The two-floor vaulted basement still remains, and Oudna is one of the largest temples in Roman Africa.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 1 hour
Sousse is another popular tourist destination in Tunisia that is doable as a day trip from Hammamet. The main attractions in Sousse include Sousse Fortress (the Ribat), the souk and the Mosque of Sousse. The Ribat of Sousse is a fortified monastery that dates back to the 8th century, and the Great Mosque of Sousse, a stunning piece of Islamic architecture which took inspiration from the Great Mosque of Kairouan in design.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 1 hour 10 mins
El Jem was one of my favourite day trips from Hammamet – you will visit the largest Roman Amphitheatre outside of Rome. The amphitheatre was was built around 238 AD in the city that was then called ‘Thysdrus’.
The Amphitheatre of El Jem is extremely well preserved. You will be a able to walk around the arena to see where people sat to watch gladiator shows. Also you can head underground to see the prison cells where animals and prisoners would have been kept before the shows.
The amphitheatre is the only real attraction in El Jem and so many tour companies combine it with a trip to Kairouan. Be prepared to go through security scanners to enter – this is normal and for your own safety.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 1 hour 45 mins
The city of Kairouan is home to some amazing mosques. Although it can be combined with the trip to El Jem, Kairouan deserves a full day itself – especially as it is home to 3 important mosques and an exciting Medina. Start your day at the Great Mosque of Kairouan, the largest Mosque in Tunisia. Non-Muslim tourists are allowed in the courtyard to this mosque where you will find the original sundial and irrigation system. You can also see inside the prayer hall.
Next visit the Mosque, Tomb and Madrasa of Sidi Sahab (a place of pilgrimage for Tunisian Muslims) and the three door Mosque (inside the Medina). You might also like to do a spot of souvenir shopping to end the day.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: 1 hour and 30 mins
Cape Bon is a peninsula in northeastern Tunisia, located on the Mediterranean coast. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches. Cape Bon is also home some ancient ruins of Kerkouane.
Travel time from Hammamet by car: Approx 2 hours
I hope that you enjoyed this article on the best Day Trips from Hammamet. Do comment on my blog below and let me know if you have any more ideas for this list! If you would like to read more about Tunisia then check out the following articles…
- My Holiday to Tunisia – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- The best Tunisia Tours
- Pupput Roman Remains in Hammamet
- Exploring Hammamet Kasbah