Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions

2467 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel


Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions is in Dar Jeliouli, one of the old palaces in the centre of Sfax. It has a splendid carved doorway in the centre of a lime washed wall with no windows. There is a small panel on the side of the door with opening times. Through the doorway is a small dark vestibule with the ticket office (4TD + 1TD for photo permit). There is no brochure and they don’t sell post cards. There are labels in Arabic, French and English throughout the museum and a few paintings illustrating daily life.

Beyond is a dark hallway with seats which leads into the beautiful courtyard with decorative tiles and a wooden balcony round it. There is a well in one corner and very steep steps in the opposite corner lead to the underground storage area and cistern. Drainpipes from the roof have a small bowl for collecting water before it drains into the underground well.

The rooms off the courtyard are designed to give the impression the house is still lived in. A large T shaped room on the left hand wall is furnished as a living area described as the ‘Tithkitha on Qbou salon’ with cushioned benches round the centre of the room and a small table. Above are pictures and a painted wooden shelf which was used to display precious belongings. At one end is an alcove with a traditional bed with a small storage chest and a carved wooden screen in front of it. On the wall next to the screen is a peg which looks as if it could have been used to hang up a turban or other head dress. At the opposite end are display cabinets with women’s head dresses, shoes and perfume vials. It is a very high room with windows at first floor level and a painted ceiling.

In the corner of the courtyard steps lead down to the kitchen area which has a display of measures, bowls and dishes used for cooking, a still for extracting oils from flowers and a small traditional fire with a cooking pan above. Water colour paintings show how these were used.

Next to this, opposite the hallway is a narrow room set up to demonstrate wood working techniques from the area. There is a foot operated spindle for carving wood and examples of decorative bed screens and chests to store valuables.

The room on the right side of the courtyard is a long narrow room with a painted ceiling with a traditional bed and screen at one end and a display case at the other with guns, powder container tamper etc. In the small recessed T area there is a small table with paintings and decorative shelf above.

The room next to the hallway contains different examples of pottery storage jars from huge ones to store water to smaller ones for olive oil. These include a beautifully decorated yellow and green glazed jar with a fish and bird design which was used to store olives.

Stairs lead to a first floor corridor (with very dodgy toilet on the wall next to the roadway) and another set of stairs leads to the second floor balcony which runs round all four sides of the courtyard. The rooms up here are much simpler and have display cases with examples of traditional dress, jewellery which includes a splendid head dress hung with coins and shawls worn by the women. One room has a display of Arab calligraphy and old paintings. There is a delightful pictures of the tomb of Sidi M’Hamed Ben Aissa guarded by “dangerous animals” which included lions, snakes and scorpions. It was a very well worth while visit and for most of the time we were the only visitors.

Silver Travel Advisor

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.