Dougga

Dougga is a small town in the north of Tunisia that holds the extensive ruins of a Roman town, set on a hilltop, overlooking surrounding valleys with olive plantations, featured on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It also has several other monuments dating from pre-Roman times. Plan to spend about 2 hours here, and if you have a car, couple it with trips to surrounding areas (ask the security guard at the ticket office for recommendations).

Roman remains at Dougga

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The road to Dougga passes through beautiful rural and scenic landscape. Unlike Roman ruins in Carthage or even in European towns where one or two remaining monuments are isolated in the middle of a modern city, at Dougga, the entire town is preserved, even the Roman streets. Without the barriers and the flocks of tourists, one can take one’s time to climb in and out of houses and tunnels, temples and the theatres.

Mausoleum of Ateban

As with other sites in Tunis, Dougga’s history is not limited to only the Roman period. One finds an old Punic temple here with a cleansing bath and walls from the Phoenician period, which was later transformed and reused by the Romans, and thus has Roman pillars. There is also an obvious funerary monument, the Mausoleum of Ateban, dating to 2nd century BCE, one of three examples of royal Numidian architecture. Its inscription is housed in the British Museum, and the Punic-Libyan bilingual inscription was used to translate Libyan script.

Get a bus (at least two hours) or louage (80 minutes) to Teboursouk (pronouned Tebsook) from Bab Saadoune louage/bus station (Gare de Routiere Nord) in Tunis. A taxi will take you the short distance to Dougga and then pick you up again at an arranged time. Louage drivers often ring ahead to alert the taxi that a tourist is arriving. It’s very convenient and quick but 15-20 DT for only a short distance. If you can’t manage to get the price down, remember that Dougga is a memorable place to visit and well worth the money. As of July 2016 there was only one, extremely busy, taxi in Teboursouk that also served as the local bus, so arguing with the driver over the price was pointless.

Use return taxi trip to get to Teboursouk because there will almost certainly be no taxis waiting to pick up passengers leaving Dougga (as it is in the middle of nowhere).

If driving, clear sign posts pointing to the Ruins of Dougga can be followed from Tebersouk.

You could also go as part of an organised tour from Tunis.

. . . Dougga . . .

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