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200BC - 101BC
The Bardo Museum,

Carthage history

Carthage was one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world and spawned the powerful Carthaginian Empire which dominated much of the western Mediterranean. The ruins of this famed city can be found on the outskirts of modern day Tunis.

Carthage itself was central to the history of the ancient world. Legend states that the city was founded by the Phoenician Queen Dido in the 9th Century BC and the ancient metropolis certainly rose to prominence over the next 500 years.

However, three long and brutal wars with Rome, known as the Punic Wars, eventually led to the downfall and destruction of Carthage in 146BC. It is said the Romans salted the earth so nothing more could live on the site of the once-dominant city.

Having destroyed the Carthaginian Empire however, the Romans later realised the potential in the strategic location of the site. In the 1st Century AD they re-founded Carthage and it grew to become one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire.

As Rome’s power waned, Carthage was briefly captured by the Vandals in the 5th Century AD before Byzantine forces re-took the city. In 698AD, after many years of hard fighting, the city was finally captured by the forces of the Umayyad Caliphate who founded the new city of Tunis nearby, leaving the ancient metropolis to fade away.

Time has significantly taken its toll on the site and little remains of ancient Carthage today and much of what remains is spread over quite a broad area. The best way to begin exploring these ruins is probably by visiting Byrsa Hill and the Carthage Museum. The museum hosts a collection of Carthaginian (Punic) and Roman artifacts including marble sarcophagi and a model of Punic Carthage.

Other key points of interest include the impressive Antonine Baths, the Roman Amphitheater, Roman villas and reconstructed Roman theatre of Carthage. Among the best preserved Punic remains are the Magon Quarter, Punic Port and unnerving Sanctuary of Tophet.

You can explore all the sites of Carthage on our Carthage Sites Map feature and Carthage also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tunisia.


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Laura May
26 Sep, 2014

A very accessible site if you're okay with walking (and asking for directions!). Hardly any other people when I visited, great to see things so up close.

Claudius Drusus
27 Nov, 2012

There's a lot more to see here than just the sites by the harbour, though it takes a bit of effort places like the tophet and the half-buried roman houses are definitely worth the time.

Jonathan White
29 Jun, 2012

Great place to visit for the pure drama of what happened here - you have to use a bit of imagination in places though as very little remains of the punic city


Carthage is an awe-inspiring site. When you stand and gaze out at the bay you can understand exactly why they built the city here. The ruins are a bit confusing, i think because so much of the original Punic city was destroyed and its hard to tell the Punic and Roman ruins apart. Even taking that into account, Carthage is a really scenic, atmospheric place, definitely worth a visit.

Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Carthage is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.

contact details

Address: Byrsa Hill, Carthage, Tunisia

Phone: Contact local tourist office

E-Mail: info@cometotunisia.co.uk

visitor information

Directions to Carthage:
15km north of Tunis. Accessible via the TGM light railway from Tunis to Carthage-Hannibal station.

Carthage opening times and ticket prices:
Open from 8.30am-5.30pm (7pm summer). Tickets cost around 9TD


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