Once serving as the summer capital of Tunisia, La Marsa is a seaside town north-east of Tunis. It lies between upmarket Gammarth and the ancient settlement of Carthage, which was a site of continual conflict between the Sicilian Greeks, the Roman Republic and the local Berbers. Today, La Marsa is a popular weekend getaway destination for locals and tourists alike.
Things to do in La Marsa
La Marsa Beach is the heart of all the action, with locals flocking here to cool off in the Mediterranean Sea during the summer months. When the temperatures drop, you can cast a fishing line to see what’s biting or watch the local soccer players turn the sand into a boisterous pitch. A breezy promenade backs the sand where you’ll find a handful of restaurants and cafes.
One of La Marsa’s most important architectural landmarks is Abdellia Palace, which was constructed around 1500 on the site of an ancient port. Established for the Hafsid Sultans, it later became a summer residence for the Muradids and Husainids. Abdellia Palace is one of the oldest surviving examples of Palatine Muslim architecture and regularly hosts Tunisian cultural exhibitions.
Travelling with kids? They’ll love spending an afternoon at Parc Essaada, which is home to an ice-skating rink and the amusement attractions of Lily Land. It can easily be combined with a visit to Parc de Sidi Bou Saïd with its shaded walking trails and duck-filled pond.
Getting around La Marsa
La Marsa is around 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Tunis and Tunis-Carthage International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Subway services connect to the nearby Sidi Dhrif metro station while buses travel throughout La Marsa. Tunis to Marsa are also connected along the Tunis-Goulette-Marsa line.