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First on every visitor’s list should be the Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum. This is an impressive and very regal looking marble building that contains the remains of Habib Bourguiba, a founder of modern day Tunisia. An important and popular figure, the mausoleum contains some history about the country’s independence and more information about Tunisia’s first prime minister.
Make sure you visit the Colosseo. This grand building is dedicated to Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia, and it is located near Monastir’s old city, or the Medina, as it is called. Inside the Colosseo is simply fascinating and there’s also a mosque close by which offers an insight into the people of Monastir and their customs. There aren’t many amenities nearby but the Colosseo makes for a great morning out.
Monty Python fans take note! Forte El Ribat was used as the setting for a few of the scenes in the Life of Brian. Much of the old fort still remains and you can visit it easily, located just round the corner from the city’s main mosque and the mausoleum. There are plenty of guides here to show you round and you can have fun piecing together scenes from the movie with these very real fort remains.
A great way to sample local Monastir culture is by visiting the Gallery Espressioni. This impressive gallery showcases some of the best local art and crafts in the area and you buy items to take home with you. Some of the pieces here are rare and very unique to Monastir, and the gallery is considered a gem by the city’s residents.
For those quiet days, head to Monastir’s Central Park. This beautiful park is located between the Ribad and the Bourguiba Pavillions. It is also not far from the Bourguiba Mosque. You’ll find all sorts of exotic wildlife, flowers and plants here. Spend an afternoon relaxing under the palm trees and people watching.
Worthy of an extra note is the Amphitheatre of El Jem. This is an absolute North African must-see and looks as grand today as it must have done in Roman times. It could hold up to 35,000 spectators and signifies how powerful Imperial Rome was at the time. Not to be missed!