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Tunis

3,756 bytes added, 17:17, 30 October 2012
Budget
===Orientation===
Tunis is divided into the old city, known as the '''medina''', and the new city, or '''ville nouvelle''' in French. Ave Habib Bourgiba Bourguiba is the large avenue running through the new city from the clock tower to the Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul. It then turns into Ave de France, which runs for a few blocks until ending at the Place de la Victoire and the Port de France, a large free-standing gate that used to be the entrance to the medina. This can be a good landmark for taxi drivers, as some of the smaller streets nearby aren't sure to be known by the drivername.
The Port de France also serves as a good entry point for exploring the medina. Rue Jemaa Zaytouna leads past lots of shops to the Zaytouna Mosque, the great mosque of Tunis and the center of the medina. Running obliquely to Rue Jemaa Zaytouna, and also with an outlet near the Port de France, is the Rue de la Kasbah. This runs all the way through the medina to the Place du Gouvernment and the Place de la Kasbah, a huge bleak square fringed by razorwire. It is fairly easy to move between the two streets by cutting through in across the labrynthine medina, and it is easy to keep your bearings and find an exit. Rue Jemaa Zaytouna seemed to be a better entry point from the Port de France at night, remaining relatively well traveled. Rue de la Kasbah, on the other hand, is active after dark on the Place de la Kasbah side, but is extremely dark and almost scary near the Port de France. It is recommended to get a feel for the medina during the day so that you will feel more confident if you find yourself and alone and need to find a landmark at night.
==Get in==
Free maps of Tunis and Tunisia are available at the '''National Tourism Office''', who also speak many languages, to the north-east of the clock tower (directly east of the main Medina gate).
Tunis is well-served by a convenient four-line '''light metro''' is a convenient six line system run by '''Société des Transports de Tunis''' [http://www.snt.com.tn/] (French/Arabic only). The interchange hub for all lines is in the centre of town at Place de la République/Place de Barcelone.The other station change with TGM is Tunis marine. Single trips cost 0,410 TD.
The '''TGM suburban trainTaxis''' line, starting at Tunis Marine station on Lines 1-4, connects are also a good option if you need to La Goulette (ferries), [[Sidi Bou Saïd]]go a bit farther than the metro, [[Carthage]] and the beaches though cabs picking up in front of Marsanice hotels will charge much higher rates. Tickets cost 680 millimes each wayPrices are displayed as 3.700 for 3.7DT. At Tunis Marine, be aware that there Flagfall is an extreme dearth of signage. No obvious signs even say TGM400. (.4 DT). Assuming they are honest, and on the maps on the trains themselves the station meter is marked as Tunis Norda good way to go. If Only try to negotiate a price if you know what you arrive at the station on the Tunis Metro, the TGM platform will be perpendicular to the metro cars are doing and is easily accessed across the tracks. Tickets are sold at sure of the end farthest from value of the metro stoptrip.
Signs for The '''TGM light rail''' line, starting at Tunis Marine station names along the TGM differ slightly from what appears on the onboard mapLines 1-4, connects to La Goulette (ferries), [[Sidi Bou Saïd]], but if you can see the signs from [[Carthage]] and the train and it is free beaches of graffitiMarsa. Tickets cost 680 millimes each way. At Tunis Marine, a not uncommon problem, it be aware that there is easy to tell where you arean extreme dearth of signage. It is not unusual for No obvious signs even say TGM, and on the maps on the trains to stop and wait on themselves the tracks after leaving station is marked as Tunis Nord or upon return. This usually does not last an extraordinary amount of timeIf you arrive at the station on the Tunis Metro, and you the TGM platform will likely be better off not following the example of the optimistic youths that decide perpendicular to leap from the car metro cars and walk along is easily accessed across the tracks into . Tickets are sold at the end farthest from the citymetro stop.
Many stations along Signs for station names along the TGM don't have ticket vendorsdiffer slightly from those that appear on the onboard map, so but if you are making several trips along can see the line while visiting Carthage or Sidi Bou Said, you might be forced to risk traveling without a ticket. The guidebooks say that officials will sometimes get on signs from the train and check tickets, so travel without a ticket at your own riskthey are free of graffiti it is easy to tell where you are. It might be safest is not unusual for the trains to buy a stop and wait on the tracks after leaving Tunis Nord or upon return to your farthest destination. The price difference should be minimalThis usually does not last an extraordinary amount of time, and that way you might plausibly just have boarded the train, and your ticket will be valid for wherever you get on. The safest option will likely be better off not following the example of the optimistic youths that decide to check with leap from the ticket vendors or buy a ticket if you can find themcar and walk along the tracks into the city.
Many stations along along the TGM don'''Taxis''' t have full-time ticket vendors, so if you are also a good option if making several trips along the line while visiting Carthage or Sidi Bou Said, you need might be forced to go risk traveling without a bit farther than ticket. The guidebooks say that officials will sometimes get on the metrotrain and check tickets, though cabs picking up in front of nice hotels will charge much higher ratesso travel without a ticket at your own risk. Prices are displayed as 3It might be safest to buy a return to your farthest destination.700 for 3.7DT. Flagfall is .400. (.4 DT). Assuming they are honestThe price difference should be minimal, and that way you might plausibly just have boarded the meter is a good way to gotrain, and your ticket will be valid for wherever you get on. Only try The safest option will be to negotiate check with the ticket vendors or buy a price ticket if you know what you are doing and are sure of the value of the tripcan find them.
'''Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens (SNCFT)''' is the '''domestic train''' company for long distance travel between Tunis and other cities. Visit http://www.sncft.com.tn for more details on schedules and fares. The Tunis train station is in Place Barcelone.
==See==
[[Image:TunisPortFrance.jpg|thumb|Port de France]]
*'''Bardo Museum''' (''Le Musée National du Bardo''), Le Bardo-2000, (nearest station Bardo on Metro line 4), 1 513-650 (''Fax: 1 513-842''), [http://www.di.com.tn/museebardo/]. September 16 to April 30: 9:30-16:30. May 1 to September 15: 9:00-17:00, Tuesday to Sunday. 4DT (at least on Sunday), photos free. Nearest metro station is Le Bardo on line 4. Then From the station walk toward the fenced compound to the north and walk then clockwise around it until you find the unmarked gate. Count the stops, as signs are often missing, or ask someone on board onboard if you are unsure. Coming from Place de Barcelone, it is the first stop after you go briefly underground for the second time. Occupying the 13th century palace of the Ottoman-era ''bey'' (ruler) and renowned for its extensive collection of Roman mosaics, although the (huge) collection covers Tunisia's entire existence from the prehistoric era until the Ottoman days. Exhibits from Carthage, Mahdia, Sousse, many from the Roman period in addition to presentations of Arabian culture old and new. It can be mercilessly hot and stifling in the museum, so bring water. The only bathrooms are on the ground floor, and have attendants asking for change. The museum is segregated into old and new, so be sure to walk around a fair amount looking for new passages to be sure you haven't missed any major areas. As of July 2012, the majority of the museum is open, although there appear to be a few areas still under construction.
* '''Dar Ben Abdallah''' (''Musée du Patrimoine Traditionnel''). Tu-Su 9:30AM-4:30PM. A small but interesting folk museum within an 18th-century palace in the medina, covering the everyday life of a rich merchant in the Ottoman era with exhibits including faience, stucco ornament, costumes and furniture.
[[Image:AF-TN-TK-TunisSouk-Lamps.jpg|thumb|Camel skin and other lamps for sale]]
* ATMs are a convenient way of getting money without going to a bureau de change and there are many VISA cashpoints around the city [http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/eur/ResultsDisplayAction.do?uid=X768206-1126521027-ac120464]
* The '''souq''' in the medina makes for a fascinating stroll. Tiny shops overflowing with stuff; people selling, buying, milling about; skeletal cats lurking in the shadows; the smells of essential oils, spices, frying food and rotting garbage; the sounds of the muezzin, raï, football on the radio, Arabic and French... The Tunis medina's main routes are labeled "touristique", but even a few steps off the beaten track it's a real, working market. Behind the often scruffy facades hide old palaces, mosques, Islamic schools. Compared to [[Morocco]] or even [[Sousse]] you will not be hassled here. Bab El Bahr (The large stone-arch "French Gate" at the head of Avenue DeFrance) is a good starting point for the Souk. The goldsmiths are close to Bab Bnet. [[Haggle]] if you wish to buy anything. Prices paid for items are given in July 2012, with the caveat that it is not known if they are good prices. They are provided just for reference. The merchant's first offer is in parentheses: 5DT (12DT) for a low-end scarf, 20DT (45DT, 65DT for a comparable box at another vendor) for an 8" nacre inlaid hexoganal wooden box, 30DT (80DT) for a leather bandolier. If you are unsure, try getting a first estimate from several vendors before you buy. As always, if you give a price and they agree, you will be expected to pay.
* '''Halfaouine''' a cheap, traditional food market, located at Place Halfaouine, near the Habib Thameur metro stop.
There are little stores near every hotel in Tunis, where you can buy everything you need, but it's difficult to call their prices loyal. So it's better to go shopping to other parts of the city. Aproximate 90% of presented in Tunis goods are of local origin. There are networks of state supermarkets Monoprix and General in the capital.
* '''Abid''', 98 rue de Yogoslavie, tel: 216 1257052. You can get a solid meal such as lamb in macaroni for TD5.
* '''Restaurante Les 3 Étoiles''', Rue Mustafa M'barek. Very cheap and filling food such as couscous and salads.
*<eat name="Atlas le Resto" alt="" address="Rue Mustapha M'barek, " directions="directly across from the Grand Hotel de France" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Very friendly owner and his cook speak some English. Delicious iftar (breaking of the daily ramadan fast) of fish soup, bread, harissa, a fried pastry with tuna and a softboiled egg, minced cabbage, grilled chicken and fries, a spicy olive paste, and a lime Bogo, all for 9.500 TD.</eat>*<eat name="Capri" alt="" address="Rue Mokhtar Attia" directions="turn into the pedestrian lane opposite Hotel Africa and turn right on the first corner. 50m further, with bright green-red neon." phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This place can be crowded and the smoke might make this rather unsuitable for children or asthma patients, but the food is good, the service fast and correct and a pizza and a beer should cost no more than 11 dinars. Also a good place for (male) solo travellers.</eat>
===Mid-range===
==Drink==
Ladies, try to bring a man out with you, and be careful about what bars you frequent, because many are frequented only by men and prostitutes, and can get a bit rowdy. Local beers are Celtia and the elusive Stella, which was never seen but exists on RateBeer. Both are lagers. Two brewpubs at one point existed in Hammamet and Sousse, although it is unknown if they are still there. Local liqueurs include Boukha ("boo-k"), usually taken straight or with coke, and thibina, which is usually taken straight with a single ice cube.
* '''Café M'Rabet''' cafe and restaurant.
*<drink name="Le Boeuf sur le Toit" alt="" address="3 avenue Fatouma Bourguiba" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The name means The Beef on the Roof, and trendy people come for food, drinks, live music, DJs, and a dance floor.</drink>
*<drink name="Bar Jamaica" alt="" address="49 Avenue Habib Boutguiba" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">On the 10th floor of the Hotel el-Hana International, this is a funky and popular destination for locals and foreigners, with music and outdoor seating available.</drink>
*<drink name="Hotel Africa Lobby Bar" alt="" address="Avenue Habib Bourguiba" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A bit smoky, but has all of the local drinks save Stella, and is one of the few places that serves alcohol during Ramadan.</drink>
==Sleep==
===Budget===
*<sleep name="YHA Tunis Auberge Medina" address="25 rue Saïda Ajoula phone="+216 71 567 850" price="8TD incl. breakfast">Also referred to as '''Auberge de Jeunesse''' and '''Tunis Youth Hostel'''. Buried deep within the Medina and a bit of a challenge to find (, although there are intermittent signs along the way). During the day you can just push through the crowd of shoppers straight up the Rue de la Kasbah from the Port de France until you see the signs pointing to your right, just after the restaurant Dar Slah, although this route might be intimidating after dark. This former palace of a sultan is architecturally impressive. Rooms are basic and cooled only by fan. The included evening meal is filling. Breakfast, a simple affair of French bread and coffee, is a bit ropey and is served in the large open courtyard.
The communal bathrooms, however, are not cleaned regularly, and may border on offensive. The shower times are limited to an hour in the morning and at night, though hot water may not be available at these times. Plan on using the local hammams for all hot water and cleaning needs.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Hotel de la Medina" address="1 Rue des Glacières" phone="+216 71 327 497" price="20TD"> Located perfectly at Porte de France, this (very) basic hotel offers cheap accommodation. Every floor (5 or 6 rooms) share a bathroom that may be a little dirty (1 dinar). This place urgently needs some fresh paint, but for this price, it's not all that bad of a deal.</sleep>
===Mid-range===
*<sleep name="La Maison Doree" address="6 bis rue de Hollande" phone="+216 71 240 632" fax="+216 71 240 631" price="32-52 TD">This hotel captures a slightly faded, colonial era charm. Rooms are basic (the hotel building is old) but clean. Excellent restaurant with bar (2.5 TD Celtia) that provides room service. Breakfast is included in the price, and the croissants are better than average. Rooms come with ensuite sink and shower, but shared toilets - a room with a toilet is an extra 10 TD. Some rooms overlook the local tram, which can be excessively loud - you may want to look out the window to the street below, and possibly listen to the noise of the passing tram. Located half a block north of Place Barcelone.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Hotel Transatlantique" address="Rue De Yougoslavie 106, Tunis 1000" phone="+216 71 334 319" price="40 TD (Dec 2010)">Ground plus four levels, the first three accessible by lift. Nice mosaics. Lots of lounge space near the lobby. A little noisy, but nicely located. There is a roof accessible on the fourth floor (turn left after climbing the stairs, walk to the end, and open the unlocked door to your left): good for fresh air or some sun, though the view is not brilliant. Disinterested management. Poor water pressure observed on level 4.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Grand Hotel de France" alt="" address="Rue Mustapha M'barek" directions="" phone="+216 71 32 62 44" email="[email protected]" url="" checkin="" checkout="noon" price="43TD for one person in a double room with aircon, ensuite toilet and shower" lat="" long="">Located in a neat old building with marble staircases and a friendly staff. They do not speak English, although it was no problem. Free wifi in the lobby and courtyard, two communal computers, but cannot comment on price or quality, although one had a webcam attached. Breakfast was bread, coffee, and apricot jam. Easily accessed by taxi from the Port de France, where Rue Mustapha M'barek is just a quick left off of the main road running south past the front of the gate. Reservations were made via email using google translate into French, although you are expected to call and confirm the day before, and it might be easiest to find a French-speaking friend do it for you.</sleep>
===Splurge===
==Stay safe==
Touts and unofficial "guides" hang around near tourist spots. Shoo them off if they start to launch into a spiel on the architectural wonders of this or that, or they will expect to some ''baksheesh'' for their unwanted efforts.
 
One thing that can get really annoying in Tunis is the number of "friends" a tourist will attract. There is a decent number of men who hang out on avenue Bourguiba, the main drag in Tunis. They work individually. They approach tourists and start talking to them. The tourist may think that this person is just being friendly but don't buy it. Also beware of teens approaching you on or around Av. Habib Bourguiba. They often "prey" on male tourists and try to talk you into joining them to the cinema. Later on your new "friend" will ask you for 10 Dinars or a pack of Marlborros or this or that. It is best to just avoid these people or to shoo them off. They also have different techniques to get your attention. They include: asking for a cigarette, asking for the time, asking for a lighter, bumping into you on the street. The most common one seems to be when they ask you for a cigarette or a lighter. It is wise to get rid of anyone who tries to just bluntly start a conversation with you on the street. Chances are that there are no good intentions involved whatsoever. Tunisian people are nice and curious towards strangers but avoid the ones who seem too friendly - a good phrase to use could be the French "Monsieur, je connais bien Tunis," (Monsieur, I know Tunis well.)
 
Non-French speakers might have luck with a simple "no, merci," repeated several times and without giving them any additional acknowledgment. Some, however, are persistent in spite of this and will not leave you alone. If you can manage to not bring a backpack or large back, seemed to make you less of a target and attracted fewer hangers-on.
 
One visitor was approached at night leaving Hotel Africa, a popular tourist hotel, and was accompanied by an unwanted visitor down the Ave Habib Bourguiba, plying him for information. Several blocks after being left alone, another person approached them on the street and "coincidentally" mentioned he used to work at Hotel Africa, and then tried to get the tourist to follow him into the Medina. The odds of this are extremely low, and it was likely a coordinated scam. Be aware of such possibilities and use your common sense.
==Cope==
One thing that Barbershops can get really annoying be found in Tunis is the number of "friends" a tourist will attract. There is a decent number of men who hang out on avenue Bourguibamedina, the main drag in Tunis. They work individually. They approach tourists and start talking to them. The tourist may think that this person is just being friendly but donthere are women't buy its hair salons throughout the city. Also beware Many of teens approaching you on or around Av. Habib Bourguiba. They often "prey" on male tourists and try to talk you into joining them to the cinema. Later on your new "friend" will ask you for 10 Dinars or a pack of Marlborros or this or that. It is best to just avoid these people or to shoo them off. They nicer hotels also have different techniques to get your attention. They include: asking for a cigarette, asking for the time, asking for a lighter, bumping into you on the street. The most common one seems to be when they ask you for a cigarette or a lighter. It is wise to get rid of anyone who tries to just bluntly start a conversation with you on the street. Chances are that there are no good intentions involved whatsoever. Tunisian people are nice and curious towards strangers but avoid the ones who seem too friendly - a good phrase to use could be the French "Monsieur, je connais bien Tunis," (Monsieur, I know Tunis wellspas.)
===Embassies===
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