Tunisia is a country with a historically rich agricultural bounty, and as such it has played hot potato in the hands of several great empires. The result is a treasure trove for archaeologists, and a delight for those bucket listers with a fondness for ancient civilizations. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and incredible Roman and Carthaginian ruins to explore, not to mention the one-of-a-kind Bardo Museum. Our Bucket List pick is spectacular Dougga, the ancient capital of the Punic and Roman states.
Length of Trip : 2 hours to a full day, depending on how much time you want to explore and soak it all in and what your tour itinerary looks like.
Cost : Not including the cost of getting there (buses, taxis, tours or car rental), it's free to show up and wander about the massive ruins of Dougga.
Best time to go : May to October
Wheelchair friendly : No
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat :
In Tunis, try Restaurant Dar Bel Hadj.
Where to Stay :
There's only one hotel in the nearby village of Teboursouk, the Hotel Thugga. It's pretty basic but will do. There's also a hostel in Teboursouk. In Tunis, the 5-star Hotel Africa Tunis is one of the city's tallest buildings, centrally located and close to the airport.
Getting There :
It's about a 2-hour bus ride from Tunis to Teboursouk, where a local taxi service will drive you the 8km to Dougga. Some people might want to bargain the fare, others not so much. You can arrange with the driver for the return trip. It's the highlight of many historical tours in which transportation is included. Alternatively, you can rent a car in Tunis and explore the various historical sites on your own.
Note from Robin :
There's not much to buy at the actual site (there is a small boutique but it might not be open), so bring water, snacks, sunscreen and a guide if one is not with you. There's a tendency to get ruin fatigue if you're on the historical circuit, so take your time, breathe, explore the many nooks and crannies. The view of the surrounding countryside is fantastic from the higher rows of the amphitheatre.