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1. The old port

2. City scenes

3. Corniche - the beach

4. Fish market

4. The Spanish fort


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The oldest — and most European
Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte is at one and the same time the most French and the oldest city of Tunisia.
This is the place for the Phoenician colony called Hippo Diarrythus, established around 1000 BCE. But today's Bizerte bears a character of being the last place the French left. Bizerte served as a French base for five years into the Tunisian independence. The French only left after perhaps 1000 young Tunisians had died in attacks towards the military base the French wanted to keep here.
There are many good reasons to visit this place. It's far cooler than the rest of Tunisia in midsummer, it has some of the best restaurants in Tunisia, it's one of the few seaside cities of Tunisia (there are many cities close to the sea, but most of these never "meet" the sea, keeping a distance of a couple of hundred metres), and there are many very good beaches close by.
The central port of Bizerte is a beautiful place. It's "defended" from the sea by a double kasbah that is in perfect shape despite the 400 years of age (the original structure dates back to Byzantine times). The houses at the port are made up of a beautiful mixture of greyish white and pale blue.
Hotels and alternatives
Unfortunately, Bizerte is one of the worst places to get good value for your money if you plan to stay the night. This comes from the fact that there are no medium priced hotels. The cheap places are terrible, and they better places often overpriced.
During summer season, you should arrive early in the day to check out the hotels. Out of season, prices drop to a more pleasant level. But this is also the time when Bizerte stats to be a bit cold and windy.

Restaurants and alternatives
Just as with the hotels, there is quite little to offer in terms of restaurants. Some guide books promise good sea food here, but finding the actual restaurants is difficult.

Night life in Bizerte is great through summer. Streets are crowded, discos are frequented by just as many women as men. And in many hotels there are live performances.
So if you have found a hotel for the night, don't go to bed early.

Change Money
Bizerte has all necessary banks for changing money, as well as some ATMs for cash withdrawals.
Many of the better hotels will change money in the reception.

There are plenty of forms of transportation in and out of Bizerte. Shared taxis are plentiful if you're going south, but more sparse if you're heading in direction of Tabarka and the western mountains.
Other options are buses and trains.

If you're spending the night during summer, book ahead for hotel rooms or arrive early in the day.

By Tore Kjeilen