The 10 best sights of Monastir – descriptions and photos

Monastir Sights

Salt Lakes Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba Monastir Beach Le Grill Restaurant Beaches Skanes Mosque Habib Bourguiba Monastir Marina

This site contains Monastir attractions – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Monastir, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Monastir.

Salt Lakes

Salt Lakes (photo)

The salt lakes in Tunisia are the largest of their kind in the world. Their area exceeds 7000 square meters.

Almost all year round, with rare exceptions, there is no water in the lakes, and then tourists see the mysterious, in some way unearthly beauty created by salt crystals. Since the lakes are located in the northern part of the Sahara Desert, it constantly blows a strong dry wind, so go here, you should take care of protection from the sand.

The local population near the lakes earns money by selling salt roses, created by nature itself with the help of the wind.

Coordinates: 33.92513000,7.87719700

Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum

Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba (photo)

Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba is located in the city of Monastir, opposite the Ribat fortress. The mausoleum is dedicated to the Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba.

This memorial complex was built in 1963. Since its construction it has been enlarged several times. The mausoleum began to be built while Habib Bourguiba was still alive. It was erected on the burial site of the servants of the Ribat.

The building has a golden dome, carved stone walls decorated with coral and blue ceramics, two high minarets and a bronze gate. Near the mausoleum, richly decorated both outside and inside, one can see the guards of honor guard. Next to the sarcophagus of Habib Bourguiba are the burials of his close relatives. There is a museum in the building where pictures of the president from different years, his clothes and personal belongings are displayed.

Coordinates: 35.77767100,10.82870000

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Monastir beach

Monastir beach (photo)

The main value of Monastir, a resort town in Tunisia, is its beaches. The entire coastline that belongs to the city is landscaped and numerous hotels and other tourist infrastructure are attached to it.

The beach of Monastir is considered “the most”: it is the longest – stretches along the coast for more than 12 kilometers, the most famous, the most popular, the most fashionable. Hotels built along it have divided the beach into small zones and compete with each other in design and amenities.

In general, Monastir is almost ideal for a budget holiday: the sand on the beach is fine and white, the area is flat, the sea is picturesque, the climate is warm.

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Coordinates: 35.78091700,10.80100500

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Le Grill Restaurant

Le Grill restaurant in Monastir (photo)

Le Grill Restaurant offers Tunisian as well as international cuisine. It has an amazing Tunisian style grilled steak.

The interior of the institution is quite simple but neat, and the food is exquisite, all prepared only from fresh and high-quality products.

The menu of this restaurant is diverse and the atmosphere is conducive to a pleasant rest. Le Grill is best suited for family dinners. The staff is friendly and the waiters speak English. Prices for dishes fully correspond to their quality.

Coordinates: 35.77910700,10.83174100

The Medina of Monastir

When visiting Tunisia, you must visit the Medina and the Great Mosque of Monastir. The Medina is the old part of the city. You can wander through the narrow streets with white and blue houses and feel the amazing atmosphere of the Arab world.

The Medina is surrounded by battlements almost completely restored in the 17th and 18th centuries and there are five gates inside, though originally there were twelve.

The Beaches of Skanes

Skanes beaches (photo)

Skanes is a beautiful Tunisian resort which stretches along the coast for 6km. This resort area offers a variety of recreation, ranging from an active nightlife, with a variety of nightclubs for all tastes, to cozy outdoor cafes, with coffee, hookah, amazing, exotic drinks.

An atmosphere of relaxation and ease reigns in Skanes everyone will find something to do in this beautiful place. Possible boat trips and horseback riding, places with historically valuable monuments, scuba diving and a golf course – all these activities are either in the resort itself or in close proximity to it.

There are many hotels at this resort with different numbers of stars, different features and twists, so everyone can choose something to suit themselves: a secluded spot or a bustling one, a first-class room or an inexpensive but quality option.

The resort is designed in a very interesting style: the builders resorted to old architectural methods, which makes the resort takes us back in time and creates a wonderful traditional atmosphere of Tunisia in its former days.

Coordinates: 35.77040200,10.71385900

The Mosque of Habib Bourguiba

The Mosque of Habib Bourguiba (photo)

In Monastir is the mosque built in honor of the first president of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba. The spacious prayer hall can accommodate up to a thousand worshipers. The interior is decorated with columns of pink marble. The building was constructed in 1963 using as an example the Hammoud Pasha Mosque of Tunis.

Coordinates: 35.77437600,10.83050300

Monastir Marina

Monastir Marina (photo)

This is probably the busiest place in all of Monastir. And it is justified, because here, besides the beautiful and often quite unusual yachts, you can see the art of tattoo artists who work on the coast. By the way, Marina is even famous for having the best tattoo artists in the city.

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You can also have lunch at any of the restaurants that work on the marina and taste Tunisian, French, Italian and other cuisines, almost all of them you can smoke hookah.

From here you can also take a tour to the island of Curiat, where you can dive, fish, have a picnic or even a barbecue.

And of course, you can’t ignore the most popular attraction: boat rentals. From the boat you can enjoy the picturesque panorama of the city and the scenery of the sea.

Coordinates: 35.77960300,10.83313900

The most popular attractions in Monastir with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Monastir on our website.

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10 Monastir sights worth seeing

monastir-dostoprimechatelnosti

Nestled on a small peninsula and surrounded on almost all four sides by beaches, Monastir resembles a sparkling Mediterranean gem that attracts crowds of tourists from around the world every year. But aside from the pleasures of the sea and beach, this ancient Tunisian city has much more to offer to those whose curiosity extends beyond the traditional resort limits.

These include the ancient Islamic relic of Ribat Hartem, right on the beach, the impressive Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba, which combines traditional and modern Tunisian architecture, and many other historical monuments and cultural heritage sites. A short trip to the nearby town of El Djem near Monastir will give you a unique opportunity to admire one of Tunisia’s main tourist attractions, the Colosseum, which is one of the best preserved and largest in Africa.

Ribat Khartem Fortress

Ribat Khartem Fortress

Ribat Khartem Fortress | Photo: wikimedia

Ribat Khartem Fortress, built by the order of caliph Khartame Ben Ayan in 796 BC, is the most famous Monastir sight almost on the sea shore. For centuries she reliably protected the city from the alleged maritime invasions of the Byzantines. Film buffs will instantly recall the distinctive architecture of this imposing structure from unforgettable scenes in M. Python’s “Life of Brian” or F. Zeffirelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth.

This predilection of filmmakers for the Monastir Ribat is not a coincidence, but rather a regularity: this amazingly preserved three-tiered fortress will always be a beautiful deeply realistic setting, perfectly reflecting its era and Oriental flavor.

On the southeastern side of the fortress rises the three-story Nador Tower, the top of which offers picturesque views of the city, the harbor “Port de Plaisance”, the Great Mosque, the Mausoleum of Bourguiba and the Monastir Cemetery. The grand west gate leads to the Ribat’s courtyard, surrounded by buildings that once served as outbuildings and living quarters. Historians believe that the separate entrance found on some of these premises indicates that they were intended for women. The former prayer hall on the top floor now houses the Islamic Museum, which has a lot to tell those who care about the history and culture of Tunisia.

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Address: Ribat Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.

Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum

The Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba

Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba. | Photo: Dennis Jarvis / Flickr.

The majestic Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba is located on the northern edge of the Monastir Cemetery. The magnificent splendor of the museum is a tribute to Tunisia’s first president and an active participant in the independence of his native country from French colonial rule.

This funerary mosque, topped with a huge golden dome and two towering minarets, was specially built in 1963 for the upcoming burial of all members of the Bourguiba family. The façade of the building is covered with delicate fine tiles and the 25-meter high minarets are made of Italian marble. The tomb of Bourguiba, who died in 2000, is surrounded by a dazzling interior of inlaid glass, the effect of which is enhanced by a fairy-powerful chandelier.

Address: Mausolée Habib Bourguiba, شارع الشهداء، جمال، Tunisia.

Bourguiba Mosque

 Bourguiba Mosque

Bourguiba Mosque.| Photo: traveling.the.world / Flickr.

This is another magnificent architectural masterpiece built in honor of the great Monastir native Habib Bourguiba. The mosque was erected in the same year, 1963, commissioned by the ex-president himself. The architectural style of the structure has much in common with the features of the Hammoud Pacha Mosque built in the city of Tunis.

The Bourguiba Mosque features a pathetic 41-meter octagonal minaret and a huge prayer hall capable of accommodating thousands of worshippers. Although this hall is closed to tourist viewing, other areas of the mosque have recently become open to the public (subject to some rules about clothing and footwear). Not far from the mosque (in the office of the tourist agency “ONTT”) is a small museum of Tunisian national wedding dresses, and on Trabelsia Street is the Museum of the National Movement, dedicated to the history of the Tunisian people’s struggle for independence from French expansion.

Address: Bourguiba Mosque, Monastir, Tunisia.

Medina Old City

Old city of Medina

Old City of Medina. | Photo: wikimedia.

Medina is the Monastir Old City, which has lost some of its true charm as a result of the reconstruction process. Nevertheless, Medina remains a great place to explore the narrow, tangled streets that sometimes make it difficult for two travelers to separate.

Opt for an early morning or late afternoon stroll, when the surrounding houses provide pleasant shade, encouraging leisurely promenades and visits to local stores, stores, and markets. A walk through the Monastir Medina will open you a great opportunity to bargain to get an unusual souvenir in the form of an elegant product of wood, silver, ceramics or leather. But do not forget that you are in the East, where the original prices can be very high.

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Address: Medina, Monastir, Tunisia.

Monastir Cemetery

Monastir Cemetery

Monastir Cemetery | Photo: wikimedia.

To the northwest of Ribat Khartem is the Monastir Cemetery, where almost every grave is decorated in a way that draws the eye and modestly urges one to stop to examine it more closely and understand who it rests with. The cemetery contains the graves of prominent Monastir natives, many of whose graves are inscribed with lines of Kufic inscriptions and finished with faience tiles.

Some of the graves are very old: for example the grave of Sicilian by birth but a marabout (Muslim holy man) by faith, Sidi el-Mazeri, who preached here in the 12th century. The cemetery is very photogenic and breathes a quiet serenity in which to enjoy the silence and explore the biographies of the great sons and daughters of Monastir after the city’s excursion crowds. To the south of the cemetery you will see the 9th century Monastir Mosque towering over it, transformed and enlarged in the 11th century by the Zirid dynasty.

Address: Cimetière de Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.

Port de Plaisance Harbour

Port de Plesans harbor

Port de Plesans harbor.| Photo: aurelie lefay / Flickr.

The sunny Monastir Promenade, known as the “Corniche”, leads to the Port de Plaisance harbor where many pleasure yachts and boats are moored. Here you can buy a ticket for any voyage, near or far, with an interesting excursion or traditional beach pleasures away from the hustle and bustle of the urban beaches.

But if you dream of just sailing and breathing the sea air without going ashore, you can easily find a Port de Plaisance operator willing to fulfill that dream. Just outside the harbour there is a modern beach resort known as the Village Touristique, which shelters most of Monastir’s luxury hotels.

Address: Marina Cap Monastir، Monastir, Tunisia.

El Djem Amphitheatre

El Jem Amphitheatre

El Djem Amphitheatre.

For most tourists, a vacation in Monastir won’t feel complete unless they take a day trip to the nearby town of El Djem. The picturesque 60-kilometer drive will take you to the majestic Roman Colosseum.

This is one of the most important attractions in Tunisia, which is really worth seeing. Perfectly preserved, the third largest in the world and the first in Africa, El Djem is one of the best examples of the Roman amphitheater.

The ancient Colosseum is so huge that it continues to dominate even against the background of modern, but mostly low-rise urban buildings. Go back in time to the glory days of the Roman Empire, visit the arena and grandstands of the Colosseum and explore its underground chambers designed for wild animals and gladiators – the dream of many travelers, and you can make it happen during your stay in Monastir.

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Address: El Djem Amphitheatre, El Djem, Tunisia.

Scanes district.

The northern suburb of Monastir, Skanes is a row of gorgeous, dazzling white villas and luxury hotels reflecting a blend of traditional Tunisian architecture and more mid-century modern design. Skanes is considered the most fashionable district of Monastir, favored by the upper classes.

Perhaps this is because the area is right on the coastline, dotted with the best sandy beaches and water equipment clubs and scuba diving. All the fun and entertainment is within walking distance of your hotel room or villa. The road to Skanes passes by the former presidential palace, surrounded by sky-high walls with ornate wrought iron gates.

Address: Salle Mesk Ellil, Monastir, Tunisia.

Beaches of Monastir

Skan Beach

Skan Beach.

For many tourists the main attraction of Monastir is its coastline, which is a continuous chain of perfectly white sandy beaches. The unique location of Monastir, which is located on a peninsula, makes this city the owner of a long enough coastal strip, surrounded on all three sides by a warm Mediterranean smooth surface.

All city beaches are kept clean and have a lot of facilities, among which cafes and restaurants occupy the last place. There are a number of beaches in Monastir which offer water sports and boating in addition to the traditional umbrellas and sun loungers.

Address: Plage Sqanes, Monastir, Tunisia.

Moknine town

View of Sidi Bou Abana Mosque

View of the Sidi Bou Abana Mosque.| Photo: wikimedia.

If you get a little bored in the city, you can leave it for a while and visit the small town of Moknin. Located on the shores of the salt lake, Moknin is famous for its first-class jewelers and craftsmen who create real wonders of ceramics with their hands.

A short trip to the small town, just 15 km from Monastir gives you the chance to admire the lake landscape of unusual colors, created by the sediments of the lake. In Moknina there are several museums, among which the folklore museum and the archaeological museum occupy a special place.

The city folklore museum, for example, is located in the former mosque “Sidi Babana”, whose original architecture includes elements of the “tube vault” found in Bulla Regia. The museum has a rather extensive collection of exhibits about the local culture, art and crafts that made this lake region famous. And of course, if you want to preserve the memory of your visit to this town, Moknin provides a huge selection of unique handmade ceramics and jewelry.

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