People constantly ask me if I have ever tried “Couchsurfing” and my answer is always “Yes I have slept on many couches” but if you mean the official website, my answer is a resounding “No”, well in the official sense. I have couchsurfed all over the world in reality but never through using the website couchsurfing.com. The first time I registered with Couchsurfing back in 2008 – 2009, they asked for my card details and that put me off for life. However, we can change and believe it or not to celebrate my 100th country, we decided against the swanky hotels of Hammamet in Tunisia. Panny and I decided to use Couchsurfing for our entire trip through Tunisia. It was about time I tried it, so we lined up some cool hosts via the website and we started off by staying with Ayoub in the Olympic City area of Tunis.
Ayoub was so cool that he met us at the airport! I had just arrived in my 100th country, and Ayoub turns up, we get a cheap taxi (2-3 Denars) straight to his flat which is on the top floor of a block of flats in the Olympic City part of Tunis. Here are 5 cool things about our time staying with Ayoub, not to mention the fact that Ayoub met us at Tunis airport on my arrival into my 100th country.
1. Top Floor Views
With Ayoub’s flat being top floor, we had stunning views all over Tunis from his windows.
2. Local Neighbourhood
Ayoub lives in a local neighbourhood called Olympic City so you can see an area completely bereft of tourists. Before I went couchsurfing, this was something I didn’t think about before. Couchsurfing really allows you to see a different part of the city. I can assure you that if we stayed in a hotel in downtown Tunis, we would not have ventured out to Ayoub’s neighbourhood.
3. Celebratory Night Out with Ayoub and Panny
Ayoub doesn’t drink alcohol being a strict Muslim but we went for celebratory drinks none the less and we headed to a bar inside Hotel Hanna. In there I tried a Celtia – my first ever Tunisian beer and we celebrated Panny and I having visited every continent together (7), Ayoub’s finishing his marathon and my 100th country.
4. Local Tour of Tunis
Ayoub took us on a bit of a tour of the city which was a bonus as he was so busy. We got to see the main sights of the city centre with him before heading out on our own to explore. Later on we toured the ruins of Carthage and the picturesque Sid Bou Said on our own.
5. Away from the City Centre
Tunis can be noisy, dirty, dusty and hard to get to grips with at the start. By staying with Ayoub we knew we had a quiet retreat away from the pure madness of central Tunis.
Here are some videos from our time staying with Ayoub in Tunis, Tunisia: