Tunisia

Tunisia Travel Guide – All About Visiting Tunisia

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Planning holidays in Tunisia? You will not be disappointed! The country was one of my best travel discoveries recently; I was so impressed with all the remarkable monuments, historical sites, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful landscapes, hospitable locals, and friendly vibe. Whether you are traveling to Tunisia to relax on the beach or to explore this fascinating country, you are in for a treat.

tunisia travel guide

I put together this Tunisia travel guide to help you prepare for your trip to Tunisia with all the info you might need. In this article, you will find all you need to know about visiting Tunisia and having a hassle-free time there. Read on, plan your trip, and enjoy Tunisia!

Planning a trip to Tunisia?

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Basic information on Tunisia

Where is Tunisia

Tunisia, a country of over twelve million inhabitants, is located in North Africa, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It neighbors Algeria on the west and Lybia on the east.

Why visit Tunisia

For some reason, Tunisia isn’t as popular among tourists as nearby Morocco and Egypt, yet the country offers exceptional sights and monuments and perfect opportunities for relaxing holidays at the sea. It is also not so spoiled by tourism as the two countries mentioned above, which makes visiting Tunisia so much easier and more pleasant.

If you are looking for exceptional Roman ruins, vibrant yet charming medinas, beautiful architecture, stunning views, or even some alternative sites – Tunisia is a place for you. There are so many great places to visit and things to do in Tunisia that you will be impressed with all the country has to offer!

tunisia travel guide

Planning a trip to Tunisia

Best time to visit Tunisia

The best time to visit Tunisia is spring (April-May) or autumn (October-November). The weather is good then, perfect for relaxing on the beach and sightseeing. Summer months can be too hot even for sun lovers.

I visited Tunisia in early January, and it was perfect for sightseeing, with mostly sunny days and temperatures around 15-20C (sometimes even more). There were also very few tourists around, making sightseeing much nicer.

Insurance for Tunisia

I believe you should always have insurance when you travel as you never know what might happen, and better safe than sorry. And the same goes for a trip to Tunisia. You can buy travel insurance with the trusted company, SafetyWings, here.

tunisia travel guide

Visa for Tunisia

Most nationalities don’t need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. If you are from some countries in Africa, Asia, or South America, chances are you need a Tunisian visa before entering the country. You can get it in the embassy of Tunisia near you.

Before planning a trip to Tunisia, be sure to consult the website of the Tunisian embassy or your local Ministry of Foreign Affairs to check if a visa is required.

How to get to Tunisia

Unfortunately, Tunisia is not on the route of low-cost airlines, so getting there might be a bit tricky and expensive (that’s the most budget-consuming thing about visiting Tunisia). I flew with Air France via Paris, but you can also fly directly to Tunis from Rome, Cairo, Casablanca, Doha, Frankfurt, Istanbul, or Dubai. Check the local airline Tunisair, too, as it serves many direct flights to European airports.

Another good option to fly to Tunisia might be a charter flight. They serve primarily tourists who decide to go for resort holidays, but you don’t need to buy the whole package to use them; you can get the flight ticket only and use them too. Charter flights usually go to popular holiday destinations in Tunisia, which include the airports of Djerba, Enfidha–Hammamet, and Monastir.

I was considering flying charter to Tunisia, but flights from Poland were only once a week, on Thursdays, and the price wasn’t much lower than Air France that I used (where I could choose the dates that suited me). It’s worth checking charter flights, but in the end, the regular flight might still be your best option.

tunisia travel guide

How many days for visiting Tunisia

The optimal time for visiting Tunisia is 10-14 days. This way, you can see all the highlights and best attractions in Tunisia as well as relax a bit at the seaside. Of course, the more, the better, but even with only one week in Tunisia, you can see a lot.

I spent ten days in Tunisia and was satisfied with what I saw then. Still, I wouldn’t mind spending an extra day or two simply doing nothing and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of the seaside.

You can read my detailed 10-day Tunisia itinerary here.

tunisia travel guide

In Tunisia

What to see in Tunisia

Tunisia offers so many amazing places to visit, and what makes it a great destination is the diversity of attractions. Spectacular Roman ruins, incredible vibrant medinas, long sandy beaches, charming towns, and so much more – Tunisia has it all!

Some of the best places to visit in Tunisia (that I was lucky to see) are:

  • Tunis – the capital of the country, with beautiful, UNESCO-listed medina and interesting architecture from the French colonial period
  • Carthage – impressive ruins of the Phoenician city from the 6th century BCE and the most significant trade metropolis of the antique world, another UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Sidi Bou Said – a charming town on the coast just outside of Tunis, famous for its traditional white-blue houses and winding lanes
  • Bulla Regia – an impressive archeological site known for its Hadrianic-era semi-subterranean housing and numerous mosaics still left in place
  • Dougga – one of the best and most well-preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen, a massive site packed with original buildings from ancient times, another UNESCO site
  • Testour – a 16th-century shelter for the Muslim and Jewish refugees from Andalusia who gave a distinctive look to the town
  • El Jem – home to one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world, dating back to the 3rd century, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Sousse – the third largest city in Tunisia, with UNESCO-listed medina and a great Archeological Museum, famous also for its long and sandy beach
  • Kairouan – another UNESCO place, the town is known as a holy city in Islam, with incredible medina and stunning Great Mosque, among other attractions
  • Djerba – the island is popular as a holiday destination for its long and sandy beaches, but you can also find there some alternative sites such as the town with over 200 murals or numerous abandoned hotels
  • Ksar Ghilane – an Oasis on the edge of the Sahara desert
  • Chenini – an old Berber village built into the mountains, partly abandoned
  • Tataouine – the city is known primarily thanks to the Star Wars movies; you will find in and around the place numerous inspiration and filming locations for great films

Other interesting places that I missed but are still worth visiting include numerous seaside towns perfect for relaxing holidays (Hammamet, Nabeul, or Monastir), Chott el Djerid (the vast salt lake), Sbeitla (another ancient town), Matmata (the Berber village and the Star Wars filming location), or Tozeur and nearby mountain oasis villages.

tunisia travel guide

How to get from Tunis airport to the center

Apparently, some infrequent buses run between the airport and the center of Tunis, but I’ve never seen them (and in total, I was four times at the Tunis Carthage airport). The best option is to take a taxi. The fair prices I found online are 30 TND in the day and 45 TND at night, but everything depends on the negotiation skills and meter use.

Fortunately, in Tunis, you can use Bolt cars and find the ride in the app. That’s what I did in Tunis, and I never paid more than 10 TND (that included my tip) for the ride between the airport and the center, doesn’t matter what time of the day I was going (once I had to be at the airport around 5 in the morning and price for Bolt was 6 TND at that time).

Since the area around the airport can be confusing for finding the car, I suggest going outside to the roundabout and getting the ride there (here is the exact location). It is so much easier and stress-free this way. When I arrived, I couldn’t find my driver at the airport, and eventually, we met at the roundabout; the second time, I went directly there and ordered my ride from that point.

tunisia travel guide

How to get around cities

Again, taxis are your best option. In Tunis and Sousse, you can use Bolt, and that makes everything so much easier. In other places, like Djerba, you can use regular taxis. I found the taxi drivers in Djerba honest, and I wasn’t scammed even once there; usually, I even paid less than I assumed for the ride.

How to get around Tunisia

By train

Tunisia doesn’t have very well-developed railway lines; however, you can use the train during your trip, especially on the Tunis – Sousse – El Jam route. You can find the schedules here, at the official website of Tunisian Railways.

The trains are a bit old but surprisingly comfortable, and the journey doesn’t take that long, although delays happen. There are two classes on the train, and I recommend getting tickets for the 1st class as they are not much more expensive, but the comfort level is much better.

Since I’m used to getting tickets in advance, just to be sure I have a seat secured, I went to the train station in Tunis shortly after arriving to get all my tickets. As it turned out, there was no need for that as everyone got the tickets just before the departure. You can go to the train station 15 minutes before the train and get the ticket there.

While the coach and seat are indicated on the ticket, no one cares about that, so sit wherever you want to, as long as the class is correct.

tunisia travel guide

tunisia travel guide

You can also take the suburban train from Tunis to Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. They depart frequently from the small Tunis Marine station, just a short walk away from the clocktower in the center of the city.

You buy the ticket in the window just before entering the platform – the same system works everywhere on this line. The ticket is really cheap, less than 1 TND for the ride from Tunis to Carthage or Sidi Bou Said.

tunisia travel guide

By louages

Louages are the most popular way to travel around Tunisia. These minibusses can fit up to 10 people and depart when full. The whole system might look hectic, and the louages station can be a bit overwhelming, but everything is relatively straightforward and easy.

In bigger stations, you can find the signs with destinations, but even if they are not there, someone will tell you where to go so you won’t be lost for too long. You buy the ticket for the route you are interested in, and then you are pointed to the right car; once all the passengers arrive, you are ready to go.

I took louages from Sousse to Kairouan and back, and I never had to wait more than 5 minutes to go. As for the comfort, it depends on what kind of car you will get. On the way to Kairouan, the louage was jammed, and even if it was only an hour-long journey, my knees weren’t happy. However, on the way back to Sousse, it was spacious, and I could have easily gone in this kind of car for a few hours.

tunisia travel guide

By plane

If you are short on time in your itinerary or don’t want to spend too many hours in louages, consider flying within Tunisia. At first, I was planning to take a louage from Sousse to Djerba, but it takes around 6 hours, leaving me with not enough time to explore the island, so I’ve decided to take the plane from Tunis to Djerba. And it was a perfect decision.

The flight was operated by Tunisiar Express and served by smaller planes – ATR 72. There is no online check-in, so you still need to wait in the queue at the airport, but at least you get checked luggage in the price. The flight time between Tunis and Djerba is around one hour.

Another place you might consider flying to/from is Tozeur, right in the heart of the Sahara, in the central part of the country, some 450 km away from Tunis.

tunisia travel guide

Tours

Unfortunately, not every interesting place and tourist attraction is reachable by public transport in Tunisia (or it’s too much hassle if you’re in the country only for a short time). That’s why it’s worth considering the tour. They might be a bit expensive, but in most cases, they are definitely worth it as the places you visit are pretty impressive, and it would be a pity to miss them when visiting Tunisia.

I went on two tours during my trip, from Tunis to Dougga and Bulla Regia and from Djerba to the Sahara desert and Chenini. I booked both of them in advance on Viator, and I was really satisfied with the choice as both tours and all the places were incredible. I booked both tours in advance, before arriving (that’s my preferred way of planning a trip), but I think you might also get them organized by your hotel when you are in Tunisia.

tunisia travel guide

Language in Tunisia

The official language in Tunisia is Arabic, but French is widely spoken due to its history and connections with France. If you know French, you are good to go. I had to try really hard to remember some basic French from when I learned it at school some 20 years ago.

Getting around with English can be complicated as it’s not that popular, and sometimes it’s a bit hard to communicate with people only in English. But everyone is friendly, and they will do their best to help you and make you feel welcome even with the language barrier.

Money in Tunisia

The currency of Tunisia is the Tunisian dinar (TND). At the time of writing this article, 1 TND was worth 0,30€ or 0,33$. The banknotes are 5, 10, 20, and 50 TND; the coins are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 millimes, and 1/2, 1, 2 and 5 dinars.

tunisia travel guide

Getting money in Tunisia

There are plenty of ATMs around where you can get money in Tunisia. Most of them charge a small fee for withdrawing money, usually 10-12 dinars – what’s interesting is that sometimes the fee varies even among the ATMs of the same bank. The only ATM that didn’t take a fee was the STB bank ATM in the arrivals at Tunis airport, just after the passport control but before collecting the luggage.

I used ATMs a few times and never had any issues, but I always use ATMs located at the bank, just in case. I also used my Revolut card.

Payment by card

Unfortunately, paying by card isn’t very common in Tunisia, so having cash with you is better; consider it when taking money from an ATM. I used a card only a handful of times, in hotels and at the airport; everywhere else, I paid by card.

tunisia travel guide

Prices in Tunisia

Tunisia is, in fact, a very affordable country, and I was surprised by the prices there. To give you a few examples: a 3-star hotel in Djerba, with breakfast, was less than 30€/night, the first class train ticket from Tunis to Sousse was a bit over 3€, a hearty meal in one of the best restaurants in Sousse medina was 10€ and a quick fast food lunch was around 3€. The bottle of water is around 0,40€ and the bottle of cola around 0,80€. The fresh orange juice is around 1€. The cappuccino in Tunis cafe with the exceptional view of the medina is 2€.

tunisia travel guide

Entrance fee to attractions

Most attractions and monuments require a ticket, which is another really affordable thing in Tunisia. I paid between 5 and 12 TND for entrance fees.

If you decide to go to the Sahara desert, most likely you will go to the oasis Ksar Ghilan. You can go a bit into the desert on a camel or a quad there. The prices for around a 45-minute trip are 10€ for a camel or 30€ for a quad.

tunisia travel guide

Safety in Tunisia

The most common question I got about traveling to Tunisia was about safety. As you might remember, in 2015, Tunisia was targeted by ISIS. Two of three terrorist attacks that took place then were aimed at tourists (in the Bardo Museum in Tunis and the seaside resort near Sousse). Since then, tourism in Tunisia really collapsed as people were afraid to travel to a potentially dangerous zone.

But a few years have passed, and Tunisia slowly gets back on the travel map, with more and more travelers deciding to visit the country. Most of them are, however, going on resort holidays or organized tours.

During my trip to Tunisia, I’ve barely seen independent tourists besides me, and exploring such an unpopular place was an interesting experience. But I’ve never really felt unsafe there. Quite the contrary, actually, as everyone was friendly and welcoming. I was expecting a bit of the hassle in tourist spots, similar to those you get in Morocco or Egypt, but during my whole stay there, I had only one encounter with the annoying local who insisted on showing me around the medina in Kairouan – he was quickly yelled at by the local lady from the shop and run away.

That said, you must follow safety rules like everywhere else and use common sense. Before your trip, check the warnings of your local Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see if there is any part of Tunisia that you should avoid.

tunisia travel guide

Solo female travel in Tunisia

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the question of why I’m traveling solo in Tunisia (my usual answer was, “Why not?”). The concept of solo female travel isn’t popular there, and people couldn’t get why I’ve come there alone. But even if they didn’t fully understand, they were still very friendly and hospitable.

I didn’t have a single situation where I felt unsafe. The only time I felt more self-conscious than usual was when I was exploring abandoned hotels in Djerba, but it had nothing to do with the danger and more to do with my mind playing tricks. If you follow basic safety rules and your intuition, you will be fine.

tunisia travel guide

tunisia travel guide

Internet in Tunisia

Internet in Tunisia isn’t as widely available as you might wish. You can connect to wifi in hotels or some restaurants and cafes, but I would generally not rely on it too much. In two out of three hotels I’ve stayed at, I used my mobile data to surf online as wifi was too poor or acting up.

SIM card in Tunisia

As soon as I landed at Tunis airport, I got myself a local SIM card with internet data. There are three mobile phone networks you can choose from (Ooredoo, Orange, Tunisie Telecom), I went for Orange as their stand was the first one, just after passport control. There, I got a free SIM card with only a few bites included, but I went to the Orange shop in the arrivals, where they put the local SIM card in my phone and added extra bites. I paid 20 TND for 6 GB, which was more than enough for my trip. Maybe I overpaid, but then I saved the money on the Bolt ride from the airport versus taking the taxi, so I was good with that price.

When traveling around Tunisia, I didn’t complain about the network coverage. The only place where my Orange network didn’t work, but the other one (Tuntel) did, was the Sahara desert and near it.

You can also get a eSIM with Airalo for your trip to Tunisia, this way you will stay connected without all the hassle of getting a local SIM card. Click here to get the Airalo eSIM.

tunisia travel guide

What to eat in Tunisia

The most popular food you can try in Tunisia is couscous, apparently the best in the world. It is prepared with spicy tomato sauce; you can choose different additions: meat, fish, or vegetables. Other dishes you might want to try include ojja – spicy tomato sauce with poached eggs and merguez; soups (like chorba or lablabi); tajine – the Tunisian version is made of eggs, potatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, happy cow cheese, salt, pepper, and turmeric (and then some extras, such as chicken, shrimps, or spinach), omek houria (spicy carrot salad), and tabouna (a traditional Tunisian bread).

tunisia travel guide

Vegetarian in Tunisia

I was surprised by the challenge of being a vegetarian in Tunisia. In many of the restaurants, there was not a single vegetarian option on the menu, but as I quickly learned, it was not a problem at all. Everywhere I asked, they did something vegetarian for me – usually couscous with vegetables, which was so delicious I didn’t mind eating it every second day. Sometimes, it was a less fancy meal – an omelet or rice with salad, but the point is, I never was hungry.

Just a word of warning – if you can, treat the local pizza as a last resort. I had it twice, as it was the only option, and in both cases, it wasn’t the best food I’ve ever had. It was edible, of course, and I didn’t feel bad afterward; it just wasn’t very tasty, and I think the cheese was to be blamed for it.

tunisia travel guide

What to drink in Tunisia

The absolute best thing you can drink in Tunisia is freshly squeezed juice, most often orange, but sometimes you can also find pomegranate. You can get it in most cafes and restaurants as well as from random vendors around, and usually, it’s very cheap, like 2-3 TND for a cup. I had it every single day (sometimes a few times), and it never got boring!

Another local drink I enjoyed was the mint tea. I’m a huge black-tea-no-sugar drinker, but somehow, I enjoyed this overly sweet drink. I was familiar with this kind of tea already from Morocco, but I still ordered it numerous times during my trip and enjoyed every single cup.

Alcohol in Tunisia is legal, but you are not allowed to drink it in public spaces, such as beaches, parks, etc. You can buy it in bigger stores; alcohol is also served in some restaurants and resort hotels in popular tourist destinations.

tunisia travel guide

Where to stay in Tunisia

Since Tunisia is a popular seaside destination, you can find numerous hotels, including big resorts, along the Mediterranean coast. When it comes to staying in less popular places, the choice is smaller but still there.

You can find a place to stay and book your accommodation on Booking, that’s what I did too.

tunisia travel guide

Power plugs in Tunisia

Tunisia uses type C and E power plugs; the European plugs work fine there.

Useful apps

The two most useful apps for me in Tunisia were Bolt for ordering taxis in Tunis and Sousse and Google Translate, which I downloaded in French and Arabic before the trip. I also used a lot of maps.me and Google Maps when getting around.

tunisia travel guide

Final thoughts on visiting Tunisia

I can’t recommend visiting Tunisia enough. It was like a better version of Morocco or Egypt, with great ancient sites and bustling medinas but without many scams, overwhelming tourism, and annoying situations. It’s a matter of time before the country becomes a tourist hotspot again, so hurry up and visit Tunisia soon and enjoy all the greatness it has to offer.

tunisia travel guide

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tunisia travel guide


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12 Comments

  • Reply
    ALI KHAMMASSI
    27/11/2023 at 09:47

    Hi Kami,
    I’m a licensed tunisian guide, i just want to thank you for the great job that you did and that you are doing. You’ve been a very good ambassador for my country .

    Choukran

    • Reply
      kami
      29/11/2023 at 20:36

      Thank you. I really enjoyed my trip to Tunisia and I’ll gladly recommend the country to other travelers.

      • Reply
        Miriam
        26/01/2024 at 11:05

        Hi Kami yours are the most helpful infos i found on tunisia. Just 1 question. Aren’t there any mini buses? I know them from kenya and türkiye. One can get on and off anywhere. No bus stop needed.
        Have you seen those too?

        • Reply
          kami
          25/02/2024 at 14:34

          There are no minibuses like for example in Eastern Europe but there is a shared public transport with louages. I wrote about them in this article.

  • Reply
    Knox
    01/01/2024 at 18:55

    Thank you so much for writing this blog! We just visited Tunisia, and there isn’t a lot of quality information out that. Super appreciation all of the information, we used your blog non stop as a guide to help!

    • Reply
      kami
      02/01/2024 at 20:54

      Thank you for your kind comment, I’m really happy you found my blog useful for your trip. All the best!

  • Reply
    Charles Stewart
    15/02/2024 at 20:28

    Hi Kami –

    I’ll be in Tunisia in March and just read your travel guide. You’ve provided some very helpful tips and answered any question I might have at the planning stage. Excellent intro to an unfamiliar country…thank you!!

    • Reply
      kami
      25/02/2024 at 16:02

      I’m very glad you found it useful. Have a wonderful trip to Tunisia! I’m sure you will enjoy this fascinating country!

  • Reply
    BENJAMIN ABOSI
    18/02/2024 at 18:36

    Thank you for sharing your tourism experience in Tunisia, the information is very interesting and I will like to get more of your traveling experiences.
    I wish to be your friend because I love traveling a lot.

    • Reply
      kami
      25/02/2024 at 16:13

      I’m glad you found this article useful. All the best!

  • Reply
    Jennifer diPretoro
    27/02/2024 at 13:37

    Hi Kami-

    Thank you for such a great article about Tunisia–I’m planning a trip in early April and this is enormously helpful !

    • Reply
      kami
      04/03/2024 at 21:32

      I’m glad to hear that! Have a wonderful trip!

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