Medina Yasmin Hammamet
Medina Yasmine Hammamet is not a classical medina (the center of an Arab city protected by fortress walls), but an artificially created shopping mall in the open air where you can visit amusement parks, shopping galleries, cafes and restaurants. Outwardly it is very similar to the classical medina, some tourists even confuse it with the Old Medina of Hammamet .
A bit of history
The official name is "Medina Mediterranea". The object began to be built in the 90's together with the active development of the most tourist zone of Yasmine Hammamet. The architect Abdelwahab Ben Ayed hatched a plan for this reconstruction for 40 years. In 2003, the first visitors entered the gates.
The total area is 5 hectares (a rectangle measuring approximately 300 by 150 meters). There are many establishments in this square.
How to get there
Medina is located in the heart of the resort of Yasmine Hammamet . From most of the hotels in this resort is easier to walk (within 15 minutes of walking) than to go. Be guided by Google maps, see the distance to your hotel.
If you go far or just do not want to, then you can take a local taxi . A trip from Yasmine Hammamet will cost no more than 8 Tunisian dinars , from Old Hammamet hotels no more than 15 dinars, from the hotels of Nabeul resort to 25 dinars.
Opening hours, entry price
Medina is open 24 hours, but shops and amusement parks, naturally, are closed at night. The entrance to the medina itself is free, where did you see that money was taken to enter the building of the SEC?
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There are four of them in total and each of them was told separately. Read our reviews: Carthage Land , Aladin Park, Ali Baba Park and AquaLand Aqua Park . But there are several other institutions that are better called "cultural and entertainment."
Attraction "Barbarossa" is dedicated to the famous Tunisian pirates - Hayreddinu and Aruji Barbarossa. Tunisians know them very well, Russians do not know. At this attraction, visitors swim by boat and look at the beach, where the figures depict scenes from the life of pirates.
Attraction "Palace of 1001 Nights" is similar in principle, but travels on it on foot, and the figures show an Arabian tale. For Russians who do not know French, great value these entertainment does not represent, nothing is clear.
The film "Odyssey 3000" shows the history of Tunisia . Tunisians were able to "shove" their story in 21 minutes, as they say, "brevity - the sister of talent." The figure 3000 denotes 3000 years of the history of the country, we recall that the first Phoenician colonies in Tunisia began to appear around the 11th century BC - just 3,000 years ago.
Another entertainment is arranged only in the evening, this is the "Shahrezade Show", which is combined with dinner. Tickets for this event must be booked in advance, but the organizers do not speak Russian. If you can write a letter in English or in French, then write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The show consists of belly dances and Tunisian national dances, all shown during the evening animation in hotels. Dishes for dinner can be ordered separately on the site, which has no Russian version and is not foreseen.
A full museum in the medina is only one and is called the "Museum of Civilizations and Religions". The building of the museum copies the classic North African mosque of the 9-11th centuries. The museum itself promotes religious tolerance, here the exhibits show the life of the three religions in Tunisia - Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
Cafes and restaurants
They are more than two dozen in the medina. Unfortunately, the quantity does not always go into quality. Most establishments are ordinary cafes with pizza and sandwiches, soda and ice cream. There is one full-fledged restaurant of Libyan cuisine and one real Italian restaurant.
Recall that Islam strictly prohibits (haram) gambling. But in Tunisia there are 4 casinos (information for 2016). One is on the island of Djerba , two in Sousse and one in Medina Yasmine Hammamet. Assortment is not great - roulette, blackjack, Texas Hold'em.
Hotels and conference rooms
Almost a third of the area of the medina is occupied by hotels. There are four of them: Hotel Solaria & Thalasso 5 *, Hotel Belisaire & Thalasso 4 *, Hotel Diar Lemdina 4 *, Hotel Residence la Paix 3 *.
For beach tourists, these hotels do not represent value. Prices are high, to the sea far, no All Inclusive. You ask: why are they needed? We answer. In addition to hotels, in the medina there are several conference rooms, the largest with a capacity of 500 people. Medina was planned as a venue for conferences, symposiums and other events. Hotels were planned for accommodation of participants.
A large market in the heart of the medina is called "Sook." It is located on two floors and is conditionally divided into four parts, called "fondouki".
"Fondouk la Goulette" is made in the style of Tunisian Jewish architecture. This quarter of the market is designed to preserve and show tourists the architectural and cultural heritage of the Jewish communities of Tunisia.
"Syrian stock-fund El-Khimidiya" - a quarter of Damascus weavers.
"Fondouk Bagdadi" is a quarter of pottery and glass masters from Iraq.
"Fondouk Marrakech" - the quarter is dedicated to Morocco and the craft of leather processing and weavers of wool.
The assortment of most shops does not differ from ordinary souvenir shops. There are some traders who sell really handmade things. Such items are suitable if you want to bring something from Tunisia exclusive, but the prices "bite".
Where to go near the medina
If you want to buy souvenirs, and the prices in the medina do not suit, then leave the main gate (with elephants) and turn left. There are many shops along the street, including the Costa Mall. You will find many Fix Price stores with a good range.
If after the entrance do not turn left, and go forward (on the right hand will be the Hotel El Mouradi Hammamet), then you will get to the famous beaches of Hammamet. You can take a dip and visit one of the local restaurants, where there are more servings and the prices are lower.
If they went to the left, then beyond the Costa Mall there will be a port with even more shops, restaurants, cafes and there are several shopping centers, including Blue Ice, where they sell Tunisian beer and wine .
Important tips for tourists
- Alcohol in the medina is not sold anywhere, if you want a beer, then go to Blue Ice;
- In the amusement parks can not carry: food, drinks (except plain water), dangerous items. At the entrance you will have to pass control;
- There is a real hamam;
- On the territory are performances and shows of artists: acrobats, dancers, musicians, swallowing fire and children's animators. Unfortunately, there are no timetables, or simply do not publish it. Look around, if you're lucky, you'll see a free performance;
- Walk around the medina, the walls look great, lots of greenery around, beautiful statues and almost no annoying merchants and pseudo-cooks from the hotels. About these characters, we wrote in the article " How to buy in Tunisia, " and the photos of the medina and the surrounding area, see the gallery below.
- Smoking in the medina is possible everywhere, except for indoor facilities. These are the general smoking rules in Tunisia , which few people follow;
- The medina has its own application for Android and iOs, download, and the phone will prompt where to go and what to do. Unfortunately, the application is in English and French, there is no Russian version.
Have a good entertainment in Yasmine Hammamet, and read our other helpful reviews about Tunisia ( links below ).
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