Shopping in the medieval souk (bazaar) in Hammamet is one of the most memorable holiday experiences for most people, who go home laden with attractive souvenirs. A treasure-trove of irresistible goods like exotic carpets, embroidered kaftans, glittering 'hubbly-bubbly' pipes, brassware, jewellery, leather goods and pottery are on offer to delight avid shoppers, who are expected to haggle over prices. A good rule of thumb is to start bargaining at about one-third more than you are prepared to pay. Those needing to buy more practical goods will find what they require in the modern shopping centre.
Most hotels catering for tourists in Hammamet have their own restaurants, but the town itself overflows with a variety of eateries and pavement cafes where it is possible to find anything from fish and chips to pizza. No visit to Tunisia is, however, complete without sampling the renowned local dishes, though they can be overly spicy.
Among the specialities to sample are Couscous (steamed semolina grains mixed with vegetables, fish, chicken or meat), Brik (pastry filled with egg, herbs and tuna), Chorba (thick, creamy tomato soup), and Makroudh (a syrup-soaked honey cake stuffed with dates). The top restaurant in Hammamet, by reputation, is the Chez Achour, but for authentic Arabic cuisine you cannot beat La Brise on the Avenue de La Republique.
Nightlife in Hammamet is low-key, with no all-night hot clubbing experiences on offer. Most hotels offer dancing and entertainment, and there are numerous bars and discos catering for visitors, most closing by midnight however.
Most holidaymakers come to Hammamet for the beach and sea, and there are a host of watersports on offer from water-skiing to snorkelling for those who want to do more than just laze in the sun. On top of the water, boat trips to view dolphins are a popular past time.
On land there are some good golf courses, tennis courts and the chance to go horse riding or, more exotically, explore on camel-back. Hammamet is well situated for a variety of excursions, offered enthusiastically by local operators. Among these most popular are shopping trips to Tunis, expeditions to the ruins of Carthage, desert safaris and outings to nearby Nabeul, headquarters of the ancient but still thriving local pottery industry.
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