Welcome to our awesome travel guide all about Monastir – seriously, the coolest coastal city in Tunisia! If you’re looking for the “Best Things To Do In Monastir,” you’ve come to the right place. Get ready for a super fun and exciting trip!
We’ve crafted an amazing list of the top 13 best things to do in Monastir. Seriously, it’s jam-packed with hidden gems and one-of-a-kind adventures that will make your trip totally unforgettable. So get ready to have a blast and create memories that will stay with you forever.
This iconic site offers excellent panoramic views, surrounded by picturesque landscapes. As you begin your journey, a helpful plaque at the entrance provides a brief history in English, French, and Arabic (perhaps German too, if memory serves right). You can also grab a pamphlet for additional insights into the monument’s significance.
The entrance fee is a mere 8 Tunisian Dinar, a small price to pay for the treasure trove of history that awaits you. While it would be great to have more plaques with additional information, the experience of strolling around this ancient site is undeniably enjoyable. During my visit, I spent about an hour, savoring every moment and basking in the magnificence of this well-preserved piece of history.
Ribat is a true testament to the dedication of our ancestors in preserving the rich cultural heritage of Tunisia. Though it may appear as a pile of stones to some, it holds profound historical value, taking us back to an era that has shaped our identity. Witnessing this ancient marvel reminds us of the conscientious work of those who came before us, leaving behind a legacy we can now cherish.
Be sure you climb the tower while you’re there—I’ll guarantee the view will be worth it! From the observation deck of the tower, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Monastir marina and its lovely surroundings. It’s the perfect location to take in the beauty of the city and connect with its glorious past.
Read more: How To Travel Around Tunisia By Train?
2. Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba
Step into the profound legacy of President Habib Bourguiba at the Mausoleum dedicated to his memory, one of the most significant attractions in Monastir, Tunisia. The visit is a breeze, taking just about three-quarters of an hour, leaving you ample time to capture memorable pictures to cherish the experience.
This magnificent structure stands as a mark of the deepest respect for President Habib Bourguiba, a visionary figurehead who promoted gender equality and was responsible for many significant improvements in the nation. The mausoleum is one of Tunis’s most costly buildings due to its grandiosity, which also comes with a hefty price tag.
The security guy at the guardhouse will be waiting to direct you to the entrance. Once inside, you’ll be immersed in the renowned figure’s enthralling past and learn the amazing narrative of the mausoleum’s building. The ex-prime minister Habib Bourguiba’s tale is really motivating, and the safe environment makes it possible for you to wander about with confidence.
3. Monastir Marina
Monastir Marina has everything you might want. This marina is one of the cleanest in Tunisia. This is the location to be if you enjoy seafood. There are several eateries serving delicious seafood meals throughout the whole Marina Walk. It’s very amazing to enjoy your supper while looking out over the shimmering ocean.
After a fantastic seafood meal, treat yourself to a cup of coffee or mint tea to feel revitalized. Don’t forget to try the freshly squeezed orange juice, though; it’s an unforgettable flavor that will have you going back for more day after day.
Read more: 6 Best Places To Visit In Tunisia For Beach
4. Monastir Beaches
Year after year, more and more people are drawn to Monastir by the appeal of its beautiful beaches, which are touched by gentle waves and embellished with the clearest water. Your trip here is sure to be really lovely and ideal thanks to the sea’s clear blue tones. The beaches of Monastir are calling your name if you’re looking for the perfect seaside getaway!
Stretching gracefully along the coastline, Monastir boasts long, straight beaches that invite you to unwind and immerse yourself in relaxation. The spaciousness ensures you’ll always find a comfortable spot to lay your beach towel and soak up the sun. It’s no wonder why travelers adore these picturesque spots so much; they offer a true haven of tranquility.
While the absence of crowds is a definite plus, one drawback of these unspoiled beaches is the limited natural shade available. So, if you decide to venture into the wilder sections of the coast, be prepared to bask under the warm sun without the luxury of a cool, shady hideaway.
Most of Monastir’s beaches are nestled within the boundaries of the town, which means you won’t find an abundance of untouched natural landscapes here. However, fret not, as there’s plenty to explore beyond the sandy shores. Immerse yourself in the local traditional architecture and intriguing aspects of daily life for a captivating cultural experience.
5. Bourguiba Mosque
This grand edifice, crafted from white marble and flanked by two majestic minarets, is a sight to behold. The site is meticulously maintained, exuding a remarkable beauty that captivates all who visit.
The Bourguiba Mosque stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of Tunisia, honoring the memory of a beloved leader who played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s destiny.
Unfortunately, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter, contrary to what many people say. Despite this setback, you can admire the exterior’s architectural magnificence from afar.
6. Spring Land
The charming park known as Spring Land is only a short stroll from Monastir’s busy old town and offers an entertaining experience for tourists of all ages. It provides a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and is near to the north-west gate. A few of the rides at Spring Land are geared at younger guests, guaranteeing smiles and laughing all day long. With trampolines, bumper cars, “bumper car-boats,” and a variety of merry-go-rounds, the park offers kids never-ending fun.
While the park primarily caters to younger visitors, there are also a couple of “adult” rides, including a small space shoot and a roller coaster, offering a dose of excitement for those seeking a thrill.
Read more: How Many Days Are Enough To Visit Tunisia?
7. Great Mosque
The Great Mosque of Monastir stands as a living testament to the rich history and architectural heritage of the region. Over the centuries, this magnificent structure has undergone multiple phases of construction, resulting in a unique blend of styles and features that captivate all who visit.
The mosque, as it stands today, boasts a prayer room and a minaret, yet intriguingly lacks an internal courtyard—a characteristic that sets it apart from many other Islamic mosques. This distinctive layout is the culmination of four distinct phases of construction that have left their mark on this revered place of worship.
One of the mosque’s notable peculiarities lies in the absence of a dome surmounting the mihrab—a rarity in medieval Ifriqiyan architecture. This unique feature adds to the mosque’s allure, drawing in visitors to admire its architectural marvel and historical significance.
8. Cultural Complex Of Monastir
Among the many gems that grace the enchanting city of Monastir, the Cultural Center stands as a beacon of artistic and historical marvels. This center houses a fascinating Museum of Islamic Arts, an exquisite collection that offers a captivating journey through the rich heritage of Tunisia.
Inaugurated on August 5, 1958, the museum finds its home on the first floor of the south wing of the impressive Ribat, an iconic historical monument in its own right. Within these walls lie nearly 300 exquisite works, each a testament to the creativity and skill of artisans from eras past.
The collection boasts a stunning array of artifacts, including fragments of wood, funerary stelae, and polished ceramics, showcasing the ingenuity and artistry of Islamic craftsmanship. As you stroll through the exhibits, you’ll find yourself immersed in the beauty of each piece, transported to times when these creations first graced the world.
This remarkable museum attracts almost 100,000 visitors annually, drawing art enthusiasts, history aficionados, and curious travelers from all corners of the globe. Each visitor is treated to a glimpse of Tunisia’s vibrant cultural heritage, woven intricately into the tapestry of Islamic arts.
9. Kuriat Islands
A true gem among Monastir’s attractions. This is a wonderful day trip from Monastir. And it´s even better if you hire a good agency (you can do it pretty easily through Internet), which can make your trip even more special. As you set foot on the island, you’ll be greeted by its tranquility, adorned with clean, pristine waters and an aura of serenity.
The beauty of Kuriat Islands will leave you pleasantly surprised, especially by the crystal-clear waters that glisten under the sun. The level of service provided by the yacht and zodiac is impeccable, setting the tone for an exceptional adventure. The ease of booking through the Internet adds to the convenience, ensuring your journey is seamless and stress-free.
During your visit, luck can be on your side if you have the incredible opportunity to witness adorable little sea turtles in their natural habitat. It is a heartwarming encounter, leaving you in awe of the wonders of nature.
10. Imagine Espace Creatif
Take a moment to relish your coffee amidst the beauty of the enchanting garden tucked behind the station in the center of Monastir. As you explore the shop, you’ll discover an array of memorable handcrafted souvenirs, accessories, and gifts – each piece a unique treasure to cherish.
But Imagine Espace Creatif is not just a store; it’s an inspiring hub for learning and discovery. Engage in a workshop to delve into a new craft, guided by the talented artisans who share their knowledge and passion. The experience promises to be unforgettable, leaving you with newfound skills and cherished memories.
This undiscovered treasure in Monastir greets you with its pleasant and stimulating environment and is conveniently situated adjacent to the train station. When you enter, you’ll be welcomed with encouraging sayings and attractive artifacts, many of which have been expertly repurposed. Enjoy a great cup of tea or lemonade while soaking up the atmosphere of creation.
Read more: Is Tunisia Safe to Visit?
11. Musée du Costume Traditionnel
The Musée du Costume Traditionnel is located near the iconic Bourguiba Mosque and right in front of the majestic Ribat Monastir. If you’re not particularly into traditional clothing, don’t worry; this unique museum still has some interesting aspects worth noticing.
This incredible museum showcases the rich history of clothing in the region from the 19th to the early 20th century. But it goes beyond that – it offers a broader historical perspective, highlighting how traditional costumes evolved over time and the influences that shaped them.
As you step inside, you’ll be treated to a treasure trove of traditional outfits from various regions of Tunisia, primarily spanning the last two centuries. The museum is like a little ethnographic gem, featuring mannequins dressed in folkloric costumes from all around the country. One of the most impressive sections is dedicated to the bridal wear, adorned with stunning jewelry and other ornamental pieces.
The museum opens its doors from 9 AM to 4 PM, giving you ample time to explore its exhibits and learn more about Tunisia’s rich cultural heritage.
12. Gallery Espression
This lively gallery and exhibition podium showcases a diverse range of talents, offering displays from local artists, art and design fairs, exciting courses, and soul-stirring concerts. But that’s not all; Espressioni also plays a pivotal role in supporting the local community and economy by featuring art and handicrafts crafted by talented individuals from the city and province of Monastir.
It’s an ideal spot to engage with the local community while admiring the best art, hand-made items, and souvenirs – perfect tokens to take home as cherished memories of your trip.
The owner of Espressioni is a gem himself, welcoming visitors with open arms and fluently conversing in five languages. No matter where you’re from, you’re sure to feel right at home. And here’s a sweet treat for you – the apple pie at the café is an absolute delight, adding an extra touch of warmth to your experience.
One of the most fantastic things about Espressioni is that the owner offers to ship the art worldwide at affordable rates. So, if you fall in love with a piece and can’t bear to part with it, worry not – you can take a slice of Monastir’s creativity with you wherever you go.
13. Folla Shopping Center
With its fascinating goods, Folla Shopping Center in Monastir, Tunisia, is a must-see location for tourists. You are invited to explore its vivid aisles and find a variety of treasures in this shopping paradise. Every time I travel to this wonderful nation, I look forward to stopping by this location, and I heartily urge you to do the same.
When shopping here, it’s essential to engage in the art of bargaining. Remember to haggle for the best prices – if they quote 100, aim to pay 70 or less. However, it’s vital to strike a balance, as the locals depend on tourism for their livelihood, and they have faced challenges in recent years. You’ll find that the people of Tunisia are incredibly friendly and eager to help, going out of their way to assist you in any way they can.
Whether you’re in search of unique gifts or fashionable finds, Folla Shopping Center has you covered. The three floors boast an array of products, from leather jackets to trendy watches, and there’s even a sports shop with excellent prices on trainers and football shirts.
For fashion enthusiasts, the bag shop is a hidden gem, offering designer bags at incredible prices without compromising on quality.
In conclusion, Monastir, Tunisia, demonstrates to be a beautiful spot filled with a wide variety of experiences that satisfy the needs of any tourist. This coastal city has something absolutely remarkable to offer, from its ancient sites like the Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba and Ribat, which provide a look into the nation’s rich legacy, to the energetic Monastir Marina and the calm Kuriat Islands, which embrace nature’s beauty.
I’m a total Africa enthusiast! I’ve been exploring this amazing continent for years and I can’t get enough of its diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and incredible wildlife. From hiking through the savannahs to sampling local cuisine, I’m all about immersing myself in everything Africa has to offer. I’m constantly on the lookout for new and exciting experiences, and I love sharing my passion and knowledge with fellow travel lovers. If you’re looking for an adventure like no other, Africa is the place to be, and I’m here to help you make the most of it!