Tunis is the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as Grand Tunis, has some 2,700,000 inhabitants.
Situated on a large Mediterranean Sea gulf, behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette, the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At its core lies its ancient medina, a World Heritage Site. East of the medina through the Sea Gate begins the modern city, or Ville Nouvelle, traversed by the grand Avenue Habib Bourguiba, where the colonial-era buildings provide a clear contrast to smaller, older structures. Further east by the sea lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said. As the capital city of the country, Tunis is the focus of Tunisian political and administrative life; it is also the centre of the country's commercial and cultural activities. It has two cultural centres, as well as a municipal theatre that is used by international theatre groups and a summer festival, the International Festival of Carthage, which is held in July.