The National Costume Museum in Monastir is small, it will take no more than 15 minutes to inspect all the halls. Small but interesting, you can see traditional Tunisian clothes, decorations and a rich collection of wedding dresses.
How to get there
The museum is located in Monastir on Rue de l'Independance, next to the Habib Bourguiba mosque . There is no need to go anywhere specifically or to go, you will still pass by.
From the hotels of the resort of Skanes (Monastir) you need to go by taxi, the distance to the hotel zone is from 5 to 16 kilometers, the price of a taxi is 4-8 Tunisian dinars. About the fares for taxi travel in detail read in the article " Taxis in Tunisia ", and the current exchange rates are searched in our article " Tunisian Dinar ".
From the hotels of the resorts of Mahdia , Sousse and El Kantaoui, it is convenient and quick to get there by local train, as you can read in our review " Vetka Metro Sahel ".
The rest of the resorts of Tunisia are far away, we do not recommend an independent trip. It is easier to buy an organized tour of Monastir.
How to get from the railway station to the museum
After exiting the station building, head forward and left, go to the wall of the medina of Monastir and the main gate (called Bab al-Kouka). Go through this gate and move forward along the Rue de l'Independance (Independence Street).
See the map with the route on the left, click on the map to enlarge.
Consider that this is a street with traffic and it is very narrow. Drivers in Tunisia do not respect the rules of the traffic rules, and one must be extremely cautious, especially with children, as we talked about in the review " Dangers for tourists in Tunisia ."
After 400 meters, you will see the high minaret of the Habib Bourguiba mosque, on the right you are looking for a museum.
The entrance to it is unsightly, a one-story building, white in color. Look for the sign "Musee" (in French "museum").
Click here to see the photo of the museum building.
From 9-00 to 16-00. Monday is a day off.
The ticket price is 5 Tunisian dinars. Photo tickets below, click on the photo to enlarge.
Children up to 6 years of age and students (on an international student card) are free of charge.
Permission for photography is 1 dinar.
For current exchange rates see our article " Tunisian Dinar ".
What to look for - men's clothing
One small hall is dedicated to the men's national costumes in the museum. Do not be surprised, because Tunisian men's clothing does not differ in variety.
The main element of the male costume is called "zhebba". This is a large shirt (or tunic) covering the whole body, except forearms. Its distinctive feature is a long neckline on the chest. In Tunisia, gobes were worn by the rich and the poor, only among the rich gobies were made of silk and with embroidery, and among the poor of wool and without ornaments.
From the top wore a "barnus" - a woolen cloak with a hood, an actual element of the costume in the winter months. Barnus sleeveless, something like a poncho. Under the zhubb they also wore a "farmla" vest or baggy pants "saruel".
In the photo next to this is the only room with men's suits. On the photo at the entrance you can see their discount variety. Click on the photo to enlarge.
The most famous element of the national Tunisian costume is the headdress of "Chechia", something resembling a fez. Chechnya and zhubb at one time glorified President Habib Bourguiba, he liked to appear in public and international events in national dress. His beloved Chechya can now be seen in the mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba here in Monastir.
Naturally, all of the above items of clothing can and should be seen in the National Costume Museum in Monastir.
What to look for - women's clothing
Traditional Tunisian women's costume consists of "fouta" and "blouse". Fouta is a wrapping skirt made of cotton or silk (ceremonial). The skirt of the tail was often replaced with baggy pants, as a more convenient option for work.
Blouse is a short shirt, it's clear from the title. Naturally, the combination of "blouse" and "tail" could open the belly and back of the woman with an awkward movement, which was unacceptable for an Islamic country. Under them they wore an easy shirt or tunic.
On the top were "sefseri" - a white woolen or silk veil covering the head and the whole body. Hijab in Tunisia, women never wore, the face was never closed.
What to Look For - Costume Jewelry
Tunisian women always wore a lot of costume jewelry, sometimes a few kilograms. Most of all they wore bracelets - up to a dozen on one arm or leg. Some bracelets on their feet even remind me of chains. But do not worry, this costume jewelry.
For the holidays they wore gold and silver ornaments. On ordinary days, they wore jewelry made of copper, bronze, brass. The Museum of National Costume has a very rich collection. Ornaments are exhibited on individual stands and on mannequins.
See the mini photo gallery below:
What to look for - wedding clothes
In the Museum of National Costume, a very rich collection of elements of wedding dresses from different regions of the country. The local collection can even compete with the Guellala Museum on the island of Djerba .
80% of the exposition of the Museum of Traditional Costume is occupied by wedding dresses and their elements. Elements of wedding dresses are easy to recognize by gold embroidery and gold threads.
Tunisian wedding dress - it's not just clothes, it's also a family stock of gold and silver "for a rainy day." Wedding dresses can weigh up to 25 kilograms. The dress was handed down from generation to generation.
A collection of photos from the Museum of National Costume see below.
What else is interesting and useful?
- The museum has a nice clean toilet;
- In the museum there is a small shop with souvenirs and books;
- But if you seriously decided to purchase Tunisian gifts , then go straight for 20 meters after leaving the museum. You will find beautiful statues of camels, it's interesting to take a picture with them, and next to it there is a large (by the standards of Monastir) shopping center;
- In the same shopping center there is an exchange office with a favorable rate. Read our review " Currency exchange in Tunisia ".
- Across the road behind the shopping center you will find several cafes with Italian and Tunisian cuisine.
Have a good tour of Tunisian costumes, and read our interesting articles about Tunisia ( links below ).