Before our trip to Tunisia we checked the comments and tips you can find online, but most of them were so outdated they didn’t help plan our trip at all. So we’ve decided to launch our Frequently Asked Questions page with all you need to know about traveling to Tunisia (we’ll keep updating it with your future questions, so keep asking 🙂 )
Tunisia FAQs about the country
Tunisia still offers great value compared to most other Mediterranean destination. Sometimes it’s even cheaper to travel on a tour than solo, so just think about it when you plan your travels there.
Nice question! Tunisia is different in many subtle and visible ways: it has undergone many political changes since 2010 and has had to face some terrible attacks. After a couple of years trying to recover from the lack of tourists, the country is working hard to get back on track. Check out Leticia’s post on why you should visit Tunisia now.
Besides that, people is welcoming, the volume of travelers is still low, so easier to move around and visit the most iconic places, and there is a good infrastructure for traditional travelers and alternative ones (yes, Airbnb is there too.)
The answer depends on where you want to go. We always tell you how to get to the destinations we write about, so you can choose wisely. Most top destinations in Tunisia are connected by Highway. There is also train to go from Tunis to Sidi Bou Saïd, for example, but train is not a major transport there.
For farther distances, best choice (if possible) is flying with Tunisair Express. It connects short-haul flights inside Tunisia and with other Mediterranean destinations.
If you are planning to drive in Tunisia, we recommend obtaining an international driving permit prior to your arrival. There are many local rental companies at airports.
It depends on where you want to go. Tunisia is located at the Mediterranean, so there is nice weather with higher temperatures in the south, mild spring and autumn and hot and dry summers.
But, if you are visiting the desert areas, take into account that some areas don’t experience rainfall from one year to another.
Yes and no. While it is still high season, the volume of tourists now is as low as 20% of what it was only 3 years ago.
The currency in Tunisia is Dinar. Dollars, Pounds and Euros are not widely accepted. Well, maybe in some really touristic spots and at the airport of Tunis-Carthage (where they only accept Euros), but don’t expect to be able to use them anywhere else.
The currency exchange is set by the government (you can only buy it in Tunisia) and major banks and hotels offer the official exchange, no commission.
Payment with credit and debit card is widely accepted (although mostly Visa or MasterCard, not AmEx).
Tunisia FAQs: accommodation
That’s up to you. There are some great hotels in Tunisia and right now they are pretty affordable.
Of course there are many Airbnb and similar rent-an-appartment accommodations available all around Tunisia. If you prefer to stay with others, homestays are also available, as well as family run B&B.
And if you are looking for a quirky place to sleep, look for the Star Wars themed hotels like the ones in Matmata and Tataouine.
Tunisian FAQs: Food in Tunisia
Tunisian cuisine changes from region to region, but you will find fresh fish and great lamb and couscous all around the country. We write about the restaurants and the food we’ve tried on each region to help you avoid the tourist traps. Just drop us an email if you want to know more.
Tunisia is a wine producer and you will be able to find wine in many restaurants. Beer is also available,
but we’ve seen only one brand, so it’s probably just for the tourists (don’t expect much craft beer around.) our friend Reboleg has told us that beer is the most popular drink in Tunisia and that there are plenty of brands (see comments below).
Tipping in Tunisia is customary and I would say expected of tourists. You can always round the bill or tip them up to 10% of the bill.
As in most countries, some areas of Tunisia are easier than others for vegans. There is a wide variety of salads and even vegetarian couscous in many places, but some times they include fish or fish stock. Check our Tunisian food mini-guide to see what to expect when eating in Tunisia.
As a muslim country with a big jewish community, it is easy to find food that follows both food rules. If you want to make sure, you can always ask your waiter to double check.
It depends on the place, the city and even the day of the week. Some places offer Bussiness menus as well as À la carte eating, and there is a wide variety of restaurants.
Just as a reference, the most expensive dish at Dar Zarrouk in Sidi Bou Saïd costs about 15€ (a full À la carte meal would be up to 30€) and a special menu for St Valentine’s at italian La Tavolata would cost around 40€ with music.
Don’t expect many McDonalds and Starbucks on your way. You will find pizza and other fast food places, but international franchises are not that common.
Tunisia FAQs: Telephone and gadgets
Plugs in Tunisia follow the European standard Plug and 230 volts. Avoid plugging items that run on a lower voltage as you might damage your appliances.
Not in many places. Ask your restaurant and your hotel for the password, sometimes they offer it free and sometimes they will charge you for that.
Buying a SIM card is cheap and it will allow you to do phone calls for a lower price. But if you don’t want to spend a dime, get the free SIM card from Orange when you arrive at the airport (at the luggage pick-up area,) it brings 60 minutes of calls and some free data.
Tunisia FAQs: Before you go to Tunisia
Just the regular ones that you would take to any Mediterranean destination.
No visas are required for most Americans and Europeans.
If you are from another country, please ask your local government or contact the Tunisian Embassy.
Tunisians speak both Arabic and French.
Learning a few basic words of French is always handy. Most Tunisians don’t speak English, with the exception of the most touristic areas and children, who study many different languages at school. Does it mean that you won’t find anybody to talk to? No, it only means it will take you longer to get yourself understood. And… you can also try drawing or sign language to get yourself understood, or drop us a message and we’ll be glad to help you out.
Travel Insurance and Health Insurance is always recommended. While you might be helped in case of emergency, you could end up paying a lot more if you don’t have one.
No, you don’t need to cover your head to walk on the streets or the zouks.
Men or women, you will have to cover your head if you want to enter a religious building (either jewish or muslim) but they have spare garment for you to use if you don’t bring your own in many places.
Regarding dress code, take into account that many tablecloth restaurants have a dress code, so bring a jacket (man) and something nice (women) if you are planning to eat out. Also, avoid flip-flops and beach wear (unless you are going to the beach).
¿More questions? Let us know below or send us an email and we’ll keep adding new answers to the list.