Difference between revisions of "Sfax"
Revision as of 08:00, 11 November 2009
Sfax-Thyna Airport has one flight per week to/from Paris Orly Aiport with Tunisair. You can also reach Sfax by internal flights with Sevenair from Djerba, Tozeur, Tunis or with a Libyan Air or Sevenair flight from Tripoli.
Train connections are available from the train station in the centre of Sfax to most major Tunisian cities.
Sfax has two bus stations. Soretras, which is the regional bus company, and may not offer A/C busses, is on Rue Commondant Bejaoui, a few blocks past the central market.
SNTRI Bus station, which offers long distance busses, may be marked incorrectly on some travel guide maps. It is not accross from the regional bus station, but is roughly 400 M to the south, over the train tracks. It is probably best to take a taxi there, especially in the summer (less than 2 TD from the Medina/Blvd Republique). The bus station is in the same building as the TunisAir office.
Public transport is easily available in Sfax.
Transport between cities can be done by train or by louage. Trains go south to Gabes for the Ksour district or sites where Star Wars was filmed, or north to El Djem, Sousse or Tunis. Trains have 3 classes of travel: 2nd class, 1st class and Confort. The last is recommended, especially when the train is crowded, since the inspector will move passengers out of seats where they don't belong. The Confort class is a separate section within one of the 1st class coaches, the smaller section, with about 24 seats. (Often locals do not realise this, and will sit there until moved on by the inspector, or wiser souls.)
The Louage is a minibus of about 9 passengers. The Louage station is located beyond the western end of Avenue Bourguiba, about 1.5km from the railway station (and so is worth a taxi fare). The louage driver will wait until the 'bus is full, which may mean an hour or more at quiet times, or to infrequent destinations. A wait for a ride to Tunis, El Djem or Sousse should not take too long, but if you are in a hurry and there is only one or two seats left, offer to pay for an extra seat or two.
Bus transport between cities is also available.
Wander around the fascinating Medina (which has an easily mastered and logical layout) where life and business go on much as they have for years and where tourists, although welcome, are few and far between.
Ride to Kerkenna on the ferry, with 8 trips a day costing about 800 millimes each way. In Kerkenna, get a taxi to the Hotel Cercina where you can walk the beach, or sit on their patio and enjoy tea looking over the bay. Check the times of the ferry's return, and make sure you get a taxi back in time! From the Grand Hotel you an also walk the beach, with your destination, the old Bourj, visible in the distance. About 1.5km each way, so give yourselves time to enjoy it. The Roman ruins beside the Bourj are opened to public as well.
Sfax is the second metropolis after the capital. It has become a museum of folk arts and traditions. It's better to buy silver and leather products in Sfax. Also every Sunday a fair is holden in the city. You can find out more detailed information in your hotel. 
The Tea House just inside Bab Diwan is one of the best places to sit back and relax in friendly and comfortable surroundings.
Cafe Diwan is located in the wall, literally, between Bab Diwan and Bab Kasbah, so it can be reached from either side. The stairs from the street will take you into the main room, but the roof is the place to sit and enjoy the view. Thé with pine nuts (‘pignons) or Café Turc (Turkish coffee) can be enjoyed there, as well as the regular offerings. Cafe Diwan was a fort, Bourj Al Resace, until the arrival of the French in 1881.
Café Terrase is located in Zephyr Building. It's a good Salon de thé with slightly higher prices.
Budget accomodations include several hotels immediately inside the medina from the main gate (Bab Diwan), just off to the right. Of these, Lonely Planet describes Hotel Besbes as the least worst of these.
The lonely planet is not complimentary to any of the hotels in the Splurge category.
Zitouna (5 stars) located in the downtown, near the harbor.
Borj El Dhiafa (5 stars)
Nahr El Founoun