Backpacking in Tunisia: Top 5 Sights in Monastir

Backpacking in Tunisia: Top 5 Sights in Monastir

Backpacking in Tunisia: Top 5 Sights in Monastir

My 100th country odyssey continued as we headed on a train south out of Tunis, Tunisia’s capital city. We were heading for the coastal town of Monastir and were pleasantly surprised. As well as being my 100th country, Tunisia was also the first place I decided to try couchsurfing. My girlfriend Panny had used it before, but I had registered and never used it. Being my 100th country seemed to make things more special and we decided to couchsurf our way through the country. Our host in Monastir was Wicem and after meeting him at Monastir train station, we headed out to explore the sights of this surprising city.

Touring Monastir with Wicem

Touring Monastir with Wicem

1. Shrine and Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba
This shrine is the reason alone as to why you should visit Habib Bourguiba. Being his home town here in Monastir, Habib’s shrine, mausoleum and museum is a must visit. You’ll get your bags checked on the way in but be ready for a treat.

Outside the Habib Bourguiba shrine

Outside the Habib Bourguiba shrine

Quite simply, as far as Tunisian Independence goes (dating back to 1956) Habib was the man at the forefront of the whole movement. In fact Habib Bourguiba was the First ever Tunisian citizen. When the country became independent in 1956, he had the identity card number 1.

Habib's Tunisian ID card - number ONE!

Habib’s Tunisian ID card – number ONE!

You also see Habib’s shrine and a mini museum dedicated to his life. He is one of the most respected Tunisians of all time, if not the most respected.

With Wecim touring Habib's mausoleum, museum and shrine.

With Wecim touring Habib’s mausoleum, museum and shrine.

2. Monastir Fort
Sitting proudly by the ocean sits Monastir Fort. Well worth a jaunt for great views and historic architectural relevance.

Monastir Fort, Tunisia

Monastir Fort, Tunisia

3. The Old Mosque
Monastir like all Tunisian cities has quite a few Mosques, but my favourite was the Old Mosque down by the harbour, as it was plain and simple. Nothing fancy here. Religion stripped down to a building to practice it in.

The Old Mosque in Monastir, Tunisia

The Old Mosque in Monastir, Tunisia

4. Monastir Harbour
Monastir Harbour reminded me of my hometown. The fact is, both Bangor in Northern Ireland and Monastir have an elaborate Marina complex by the sea. The restaurants and cafes around it are licensed and can be pricey.

Gorgeous day at Monastir Harbour, Tunisia

Gorgeous day at Monastir Harbour, Tunisia

Marina at Monastir

Marina at Monastir

5. Monastir Medina
As with my top sights in Kairouan, the Medina features again. Every Tunisian city has one and Monastirs is your usual mix of tiny poky streets within walls and a Mosque inside it.

The Medina in Monastir, Tunisia

The Medina in Monastir, Tunisia

Wicem, Panny and I touring Monastir

Wicem, Panny and I touring Monastir

Thanks to our host Wicem for helping us see Monastir and giving us a tour of this fantastic city.

Backpacking in Tunisia: Top 5 Sights in Monastir

Backpacking in Tunisia: Top 5 Sights in Monastir

 

On a negative note, Tunisia is a disorganised country. The public transport networks are horrendous and their national airline carrier, Tunis Air are the worst airline company I have ever flown with in my life. Not only did they lose (steal) my baggage, but their check in situation is appaling, and their website doesn’t allow flight bookings either. Take the hint and DO NOT fly with Tunis Air.

Here are some videos from our time in Monastir while backpacking in Tunisia:

 

 

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Africa, Lists, Monastir, My Top 5s, Tunisia. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Backpacking in Tunisia: Top 5 Sights in Monastir

  1. The Habib Mausoleum looks absolutely stunning. He certainly must have been quite a guy to be so highly honoured.

    I’ll take your advice on Tunis Air. I’ve never come close to flying with them in the past and I think I’ll try to avoid it now. They sound like they are decades behind other airlines.

    I also like the idea of your marking the 100th country with a new experience. I’ve never tried couchsurfing myself but know many people love it. You seem to have acquired a great tour guide and friend from it too.
    The Guy Who Flies recently posted…San Antonio Places To Visit This WeekendMy Profile

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi the Guy – yes it’s a cool museum, I loved it. Tunis Air (and Tunisia in general) are very disorganised – chaotic in fact. It’s a shame as the country has lots of nice people including the three couchsurfing hosts we had. Safe travels. Jonny

  3. Pingback: Sunday's Inspiration: Top 5 Tips on Becoming a Professional Travel Blogger

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