Sidi Bou Said is Tunis’ bohemian seaside suburb, full of photo-perfect whitewashed buildings with wrought-iron window dressings and sky-blue wooden doors.
Approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Tunis lies the idyllic seaside town of Sidi Bou Said.
Perched on top of a steep cliff and surrounded by breathtaking Mediterranean views
The village is recognizable in the blink of an eye thanks to the
immaculate white of the walls and the typical blue of the windows of its houses.
One of the most popular things to do here for tourists is simply kicked back and enjoy watching the world stroll by.
History of Sidi Bou Said
- The village of Sidi Bou Said has not always been a haven of peace. Since the Carthaginians and until the 17th century this hill was
mainly used as a watchtower for possible attacks by enemies from the sea.
- The town is named after Abu Said Ibn Khalef Ibn Yahia El-Beji,
a Muslim saint who spent much of his life studying and teaching at the Zitouna Mosque in Tunis.
- It wasn’t until the early 1920s that the town adopted its striking blue and white color scheme. It was inspired by the palace of Baron
Rodolphe d’Erlanger, a famous French painter, and musicologist is known for his work in promoting Arab music
Since then, the town has become synonymous with art and creativity,
having provided a sanctuary for many famous painters, writers, and journalists. Paul Klee was inspired by the city’s beauty and author (and Nobel laureate) André Gide had a house here.
- Chateaubriand, Gustave Flaubert, Paul Klee, August Macke, Alphonse de
Lamartine, André Gide, Colette and Simone de Beauvoir were all
attracted by the charm of this village, rightly nicknamed The White and Blue Paradise.
Tourism in Sidi Bou Said
Palace Dar Nejma Ezzahra
- This palace is located in the famous Carthage site. It is a museum, but it is not open to the public
- This lovingly restored old residence dates from the early 20th
century, when it was built for the French painter and musicologist Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger
Museum Dar el-Annabi
- Dar El Annabi was originally built near the end of the 18th century.
- It is now a museum showing the typical Islamic architecture on the
outside and the atmosphere and lifestyle of a traditional Tunisian family on the inside.
- Some rooms contain rather dusty dioramas depicting local life, but
the true highlight here is simply viewing the interiors with their colorful ceramic tile and stained glass details.
Streets of Sidi Bou Said
- The streets of the city of Sidi Bou Said are different from other states and cities
- Its streets are not down, but distinctive streets paved with stones
and pebbles, such as archaeological sites, houses, and architectural designs are a mixture between Tunisian architectural design and Andalusian designs.
- As for the houses, they are distinctive, as most of the city’s houses are blue and white
Art Galleries in Sidi Bou Said
Continuing Sidi Bou Said’s artistic heritage, today there are several small art galleries
Read more about famous Arab Cities – The list of Arab Countries – List of Arab capitals