Sidi Bou Said

سيدي بو سعيد

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Not far from the capital Tunis lies the small clifftop town of Sidi Bou Said, a picture postcard collection of charming streets with beautiful views across the azure Mediterranean. It can be easily reached by train within about forty minutes from Tunis, but I decided to stay overnight.

I spent probably too long wandering around looking for places to stay, as it's not a large town, and I ended up settling on the first place I looked at anyway. I had dinner in a restaurant that Sarkozy and Bruni had been at a few weeks earlier, and accidentally stumbled upon some kind of presidential compound, when a man with a gun told me to get lost.


Old Sidi bou Said was all little white houses with shuttered blue windows and woodwork. It was really pleasant to wander around in.

More blue windows and narrow alleyways.



This little lane was just around the corner from the small vaulted ceiling hotel I stayed at.

Pavement café in the middle of the old town.



View of one of the old buildings at the top of the steep slopes down to the Mediterranean.

Colourful touristy shops selling all sorts of things which aren't really necessary.



Looking up the main street in Sidi bou Said.

The Hotel Amilcar sounded okay from the guidebook, but it was a bit of a trek to get to. When I found it, it appeared to be closed down, as you can see. I later realised that the entrance was actually further round, but it looked like a dump anyway, in spite of keeping in with the local colour scheme.

Hotel Amilcar


So instead I stayed at this small old place around a courtyard, the owner was courteous and French, but unfortunately I can't remember what it was called.

A few spots of town aren't done in the traditional whitewash...



North African style minaret at the mosque by the railway station.

The beautiful Mediterranean sea. Every time I visit somewhere around the Mediterranean coast, I like it even more.


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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2008