From ancient Punic ruins to the wineries of the Cape Bon Peninsula, here are the best things to do in Hammamet, Tunisia.

The waves crash into the medieval walls of the Medina. Kids are leaping off rocks into the Mediterranean Sea, a fishing boat hauls its cargo to shore, and yachts fill the horizon with white sails as the sun begins to set. In the shadow of the ancient Kasbah, tourists are taking selfies next to the ‘I Love Hammamet’ sign, and even in late September, I’m basking in the glory of the Tunisian sunshine.

This is Hammamet, a coastal town in Tunisia where history collides with the country’s package holiday resorts. Yes, the coast is lined with all-inclusive hotels and waterparks, but hidden amongst the four and five star properties, Punic ruins and Roman remains await those willing to dig deeper into Hammamet’s past. First settled by the Phoenicians, the region later came under the sway of Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Spanish, Ottoman and French rulers; and the legacies of these empires are still found across Hammamet. Oh, and there are wineries too!

If you’re planning a trip to Tunisia, then keep reading, as I explain the best things to do in Hammamet.

Things to do in Hammamet

You’ll find Hammamet to the south of the Cape Bon Peninsula. It’s around an hour’s drive from Tunis, but given the large number of resorts here, Hammamet has a dedicated international airport. Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport is around 40 minutes south of the town, halfway between Hammamet and Sousse. There are direct flights to many European cities, including Birmingham, Bristol and London, and it’s often cheapest to book an all-inclusive stay that includes flights and accommodation.

I spent a few days in Hammamet, soaking up a little sun and exploring the history, but you can easily book a week or even a two week long stay if you just need some time out to chill. Even in winter, temperatures are in the high teens (degrees Celsius), so it’s a great spot for a budget getaway. You’ll need transport to visit many of the destinations outside of the town itself, but it’s easy to arrange tours of the nearby Punic and Roman ruins, or trips to the local vineyards in Cape Bon, when you’re on the ground.

The Tunisian flag flies from the Kasbah in Hammamet.

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1. Get lost in the Medina of Hammamet

Encapsulating centuries of history, the Medina of Hammamet stands as a lasting testament to Tunisia’s Arab heritage. Encircled by ancient stone walls, the Old Town represents a classic example of medieval urban design in North Africa.

The Medina of Hammamet is thought to date back in its current form to the 13th century, when the Arabs constructed the tall walls to keep out European raiders. The Medina has long been the focus of trade and business in Hammamet, however, so you’ll be stepping back much further in time time than this.

Entering through its fortified gates, you’ll find yourself in a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets, lined with traditional whitewashed houses framed by blue doors and windows. The Medina of Hammamet hosts shops and market stalls selling local crafts, textiles, and spices, where you’ll have to learn fast how to bargain the Tunisian way.

One of the many narrow entrances leading into the Medina of Hammamet.

2. Walk the walls of the Kasbah

You’ll find the Kasbah of Hammamet perched atop a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, where this historic fortress has long guarded the town’s Medina. Dating back to the 15th century, it was constructed to defend against Spanish invaders and has since become an iconic landmark of Hammamet.

The Kasbah’s robust walls and imposing structure offer a glimpse into the architectural styles of the period. Inside, you can explore the remains of the fortification, including its ramparts and watchtowers, which provide stunning panoramic views of Hammamet and its surrounding coastline.

The Kasbah of Hammamet.

3. Bask in the sun on Hammamet Beach

Renowned for its golden sands and crystal-clear Mediterranean waters, Hammamet Beach is one of Tunisia’s most picturesque shorelines. Stretching along the coast on both sides of the Medina of Hammamet, I was surprised by how popular the beach was with locals, as much as it is with tourists.

From sunbathing and leisurely strolls to water sports like jet skiing and windsurfing, the beach is one of the best places to visit in Hammamet. Pull up a deck chair, hire a sun lounger and enjoy the white sands of Hammamet Beach as you bask in the Tunisian sunshine!

4. Explore the nearby town of Nabeul

Nabeul is a coastal town a few miles along the Mediterranean Sea to the east of Hammamet. It’s easily reachable on the local train, a journey of around 40 minutes each way.

This town was once the ancient Greek settlement of Neapolis, and modern Nabeul blends history with an enterprising artisanal spirit. You’ll be drawn to Nabeul’s lively Friday market, where a kaleidoscope of locally crafted ceramics, textiles and fragrant spices are for sale.

The town’s famous pottery is distinguished by its bright colours and intricate designs, reflecting centuries-old techniques. Nabeul’s proximity to beautiful beaches adds to its appeal, offering a perfect blend of cultural immersion and relaxation away from the much more touristy surrounds of Hammamet.

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5. Book an all-inclusive at Yasmine Hammamet

Yasmine Hammamet is the modern resort development that the town is so famous for, and it’s internationally renowned for its luxury and leisure offerings. Situated south of the traditional town of Hammamet, it stretches for miles along the coastline.

This seriously touristy area features a marina, hotels and a beautiful sandy beach. You can stroll along the promenade, lined with shops and cafes, or explore the Medina Mediterranea, a recreated traditional Tunisian medina with contemporary amenities.

Yasmine Hammamet is also home to Carthageland, a theme park that offers fun for kids and families. Its blend of modern facilities and traditional Tunisian charm makes it a popular destination for tourists seeking luxury and relaxation on the Mediterranean.

Enjoy the coastline of Hammamet.

6. Hike in Boukornine National Park

Boukornine National Park is located between Hammamet and Tunis, and it’s a natural haven beloved by Tunisians for its diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity. Spanning approximately 19 square kilometres, the small national park is dominated by Jebel Boukornine, a mountain offering spectacular views of the Gulf of Tunis from a height of over 500 metres above sea level.

Its varied terrain, from rocky hills to green valleys, provides a habitat for numerous plant and animal species that you might just spot on a hike to the top of the mountain. The park is a popular destination for hiking, bird watching and experiencing the natural beauty of the region; a stark contrast to the resorts of Hammamet.

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7. See the Punic ruins of Kerkouane

Kerkouane is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the northeastern coast of of the Cape Bon Peninsula. It’s home to an ancient Punic city that’s remarkable well-preserved by archaeological standards.

Dating back to the 6th century BC, Kerkouane was built by the Phoenicians but abandoned during the First Punic War. It was never rebuilt, leaving its original layout intact. This archaeological site offers rare insights into the urban planning and domestic life of the Punic, or Carthaginian, civilization, and you’ll quickly notice how the rich merchants who lived here built their homes to have the best sea views!

You can explore the remnants of houses, streets, and temples, and look out for the advanced layout that featured a sophisticated water system and evidence of early urban sanitation. Kerkouane is a significant historical site that provides a glimpse into the ancient Punic era, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts staying in Hammamet.

The Punic ruins of Kerkouane.

8. Bathe in the hot springs of Korbous

Korbous, a small town located to the north of Hammamet, is known for its therapeutic hot springs. Hidden away in a mountainous coastal area offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, Korbous has long been a destination for those seeking wellness and relaxation.

The hot springs, rich in minerals, are believed to have healing properties, which the ancient world believed was particularly beneficial for rheumatic and skin ailments. The town, with its natural spas and scenic landscapes, offers a tranquil escape from the bustle of Hammamet, and it’s well worth a day trip during your visit to Tunisia.

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9. Explore Roman history in Pupput

The Pupput ruins near Hammamet are the archaeological remains of a Roman settlement dating back to the 1st century AD. Initially a small village, Pupput grew significantly during the Roman and Byzantine eras into an important North African trading hub.

The site, though less excavated than others in Tunisia, offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient urban life. You can explore the remains of residential houses, public baths and a water supply system. Intricate mosaic floors, unearthed in several dwellings, highlight the artistic skills of the period. Pupput’s ruins provide a quiet, less-crowded alternative for those interested in exploring the historical depths of Roman-era Tunisia.

Roman mosaics abound in Tunisia.

10. Get artistic at the George Sebastian Villa

The George Sebastian Villa in Hammamet is a striking example of architectural fusion. Built in the 1920s by Romanian architect George Sebastian, the villa blends traditional Tunisian elements with Art Deco and modernist styles.

This elegant villa symbolises cultural convergence, and being surrounded by lush gardens and offering views of the sea, it was a hub for international artists and intellectuals, including luminaries like André Gide and Salvador Dali.

Today, the villa serves as a cultural centre, hosting concerts, exhibitions, and events. Its unique design and historical significance make it an important cultural landmark, reflecting Hammamet’s cosmopolitan past and its role as a bridge between cultures.

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11. Dig into Tunisian cuisine

Tunisian cuisine is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean and North African flavours, and in Hammamet, you can enjoy the freshest dishes made from the Cape Bon Peninsula’s best local produce.

Characterised by its use of fresh seafood, meats, vegetables, Tunisian cuisine is a rich blend of spices like harissa, cumin and coriander. Signature dishes include couscous, often considered the national dish, typically served with lamb or fish and a variety of vegetables.

Brik, a crispy pastry filled with egg, tuna, or minced meat, is a popular appetizer. Seafood is abundantly used, reflecting Hammamet’s coastal location. Sweet treats like baklava and Tunisian pastries, often accompanied by mint tea, round off the dining experience.

Brik was easily one of my favourite Tunisian dishes!

12. Take a wine tour of Cape Bon

The Cape Bon Peninsula, with its fertile soil and favourable Mediterranean climate, is home to some of Tunisia’s most renowned wineries. This region, steeped in a winemaking tradition that dates back to Phoenician times, has adapted to modern viticulture while maintaining its unique heritage.

The vineyards here produce a variety of grapes, including both local varieties like Muscat and international ones like Chardonnay and Syrah. Visiting these wineries offers a delightful experience, combining wine tasting with scenic views of the Mediterranean landscape.

The Cape Bon wineries, including the Neferis Domain Estate, not only showcases the rich winemaking history of Tunisia but also its commitment to producing quality wines that reflect the terroir’s distinct character.

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13. Take a day trip to Tunis

Day tripping to Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, is one of the must-do things when you’re staying in Hammamet. Located an hour’s drive from Hammamet, Tunis is a historic city where ancient history meets modern life.

You can explore the UNESCO-listed Medina of Tunis, where you’ll find a maze of narrow streets lined with souks, mosques, and traditional buildings. The Bardo Museum, housing one of the world’s largest collections of Roman mosaics, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

The city’s blend of Arab, African, and European influences is evident in its architecture, cuisine, and daily life. A day trip to Tunis provides a compelling insight into Tunisia’s rich heritage and contemporary urban dynamics.

The Medina of Tunis.

Read more: 15 Things to Do in Tunis, Tunisia

14. Day trip to the ruins of Carthage

A day trip from Hammamet to the ancient city of Carthage is a journey back in time to see one of the most powerful cities of the ancient Mediterranean world. Located near Tunis, about an hour’s drive from Hammamet, Carthage is famed for its archaeological ruins and complex ancient history.

Once a thriving Phoenician trading hub, it later became the centre of the Carthaginian Empire in North Africa. Carthage rivalled Rome for greatness in the Mediterranean, but was burned to the ground during the Second Punic War in 146 BC. The Romans rebuilt Carthage from the ashes, but the Arabs burned it once more in later centuries.

Today, you can explore the remains of Roman baths, Punic ports and the Carthage National Museum, which houses artifacts from various periods of the city’s history. This excursion provides a deep dive into the historical significance and enduring legacy of Carthage, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts who are staying in Hammamet.

The ancient ruins of Carthage.

Map of the best things to do in Hammamet

Here’s a map of the best things to do in Hammamet:

FAQ: Things to do in Hammamet

Her’ws an FAQ on the best things to do in Hammamet:

Q1: What are the top attractions in Hammamet?

Visit the Medina of Hammamet for a historical and cultural experience, relax on the beautiful Hammamet Beach, explore the Kasbah for stunning views and historical insight, discover George Sebastian Villa and its cultural events and experience the modern Yasmine Hammamet resort area.

Q2: Is Hammamet good for beach activities?

Yes, Hammamet Beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports like jet skiing and windsurfing.

Q3: Can I experience traditional Tunisian culture in Hammamet?

Absolutely, you can visit traditional markets in the Medina, explore historical sites, and experience a Hammam, the traditional Tunisian bathhouse.

Q4: Are there any historical sites in Hammamet?

The Kasbah and George Sebastian Villa are key historical sites, offering insights into Hammamet’s past.

Q5: What family activities are available in Hammamet?

Families can enjoy the Carthageland amusement park and various beach activities.

Q6: Is there a place for luxury and relaxation in Hammamet?

Yasmine Hammamet offers luxury accommodations, a marina, and leisure facilities for relaxation.

Q7: Can I find traditional Tunisian food in Hammamet?

Yes, local restaurants offer a variety of Tunisian dishes like couscous, brik, and Tunisian pastries.

Q8: What are the shopping options in Hammamet?

The Medina offers traditional crafts, textiles, and souvenirs, while Yasmine Hammamet has more modern shopping options.

Q9: Is Hammamet suitable for history enthusiasts?

Yes, with its rich history, sites like the Kasbah and nearby Roman ruins offer much for history lovers.

Q10: Are there any unique experiences in Hammamet?

Yes, experiencing a traditional Hammam and visiting local markets for an authentic cultural experience are unique to Hammamet.

There you are, the best things to do in Hammamet! What’s at the top of your Hammamet itinerary?