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Shopping in Tunis, the best places for your purchases

Tunis is a city that offers a series of truly interesting opportunities for shopping enthusiasts. Modern Western-style shops in the new part of the city complement traditional souks and small shops in the medina, where bargaining is a must.

The souks of the old city of Tunis

For a tourist, the souks of the medina are undoubtedly one of the most captivating parts of a trip to Tunisia; they are markets specialized in various specific products, with entire streets dedicated to books, others to spices, others to fabrics, and so on. Remember that no price is displayed, and the number one rule is to bargain: the first price you hear asked is never the final one, and you can take home the desired item for much less.

The medina itself, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, is a maze of pedestrian streets, very crowded during the day, significantly less so during the evening hours. You will find artisans and traders everywhere busy in their daily activities, and you will find unique handmade items for sale, even outside the souks. Pay attention to opening hours: most shops and boutiques start closing around 6:00 PM, and only a few are open on Sundays.

Shops in the new city

When bargaining has worn you out, shift your shopping desires to the new city, where you will find fixed prices and comfortable, air-conditioned shops.

For example, you can head to Rue Charles de Gaulle, located just east of the medina. It is part of the French colonial heritage and offers tourists a glimpse of everyday Tunisian urban life. This street is packed with shops and is one of the best shopping destinations in Tunis.

Markets in Tunis

An extra mention goes to the markets of Tunis. The first one to visit absolutely is the Central Market, or Marche Central, a true sensory triumph. You will feel like you’re in the Middle East and immerse yourself in flavors, smells, and colors of all kinds. You will find handicrafts, ceramics, souvenirs, and all kinds of food products, along with some stalls where you can eat. Remember to bargain; even at Marche Central, you can take away items and products for a fraction of the initial price.

Also not to be underestimated is Marche Lafayette, mainly specialized in fresh fruits and vegetables, although there are several stalls selling meat and cheese. It is located outside the medina, northeast, and is also reachable on foot.

Shopping malls

Scattered throughout the new city of Tunis are a series of shopping malls where you can find shops (at fixed prices) of all kinds. But the most interesting shopping center in the eyes of a Western tourist is undoubtedly the Central Park Shopping Center, located along Avenue Jean Jaures, which proves to be a real relief for those tired of wandering through the souks and bargaining with local traders. Inside, you will find clothing stores of major international chains such as Mango and Zara, as well as a variety of international brands on display.

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