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Tunis (تونس) is the capital of Tunisia.


Located on the Mediterranean coast but lacking much in the way of beaches, Tunis has been spared the onslaught of package tourism in the resorts to the north and south. With a population of less than 700,000 (the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants), the entire city feels small and compact. There isn't much in the way of must-see attractions, but the Roman ruins of Carthage, now surrounded by houses, is easily accessed from here and the medina is one of the most hassle-free in North Africa. Due to its 20th century history, the country uses French and Arabic. This is very helpful as all signs/notices/menus are shown in Latin letters as well as Arabic font. An understanding of French is therefore a great advantage.


Tunis is divided into the old city, known as the medina, and the new city, or ville nouvelle in French. Ave Habib 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 name.

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 ez-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 square fringed by razorwire. It is fairly easy to move between the two streets by cutting 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 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. The Medina is open during Ramadan from 08:00 until 16:00 and on a Sunday around 1/4 of the shops open. If you want to find your way out just head back down Rue Jemaa Zaytouna and you will find your way back to the Port de France. Note that as of May 2014, most of the central city ( centre ville ) is closed by 9:00pm.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tunis-Carthage Airport (TUN), 8 km away from the centre, is small and in reasonable shape with all standard facilities. Free wifi is available at several of the restaurants, including Caffe Lindo, but is not always working. International flights will arrive on the ground floor of the airport. Tunisian law requires all currency to be exchanged within the country. It's illegal to bring Tunisian currency with you outside the country or inside, though it can be done at most travel desks if you sign a waiver. The major western carriers who service Tunis-Carthage are Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa, from Paris, London and Frankfurt. You can exchange money at the airport or at your hotel. There are several ATMs, but some seem to struggle with international cards. On the ground floor beneath the Banque de Tunise sign and next to the cafe L'Escale there is a reliable one. If you bring sterling with you then you will get a good exchange rate. There is a desk to the left just after customs with a reliable ATM next to it. When you change money over you will be given a printed receipt of the transaction, keep this as when you return to the airport and change your money back they will not accept it unless you provide a receipt of a transaction. ATM receipts are not a valid receipt to change dinars to foreign currency (The tourist information desk did not know this). One solution is to change some foreign cash on arrival at an exchange to get a receipt to exchange dinars left over that were withdrawn using an ATM. You may want to keep a few dinars when flying home though as although Duty Free accepts Euro, the food stalls the other side of customs only take dinars.

Toilets are clean but have attendants that ask for change after use. If you don't bring your own, be sure to get toilet paper from the attendant.

There is a taxi rank immediately outside the terminal building. The taxi ride is a 10 minute trip to the medina without traffic, and no more than 25 minutes even with traffic, unless there is something exceptional like a bad accident. Do not respond to the touts who will approach you, but go directly to the clearly marked taxi stand. Note that large taxis and white taxis are intended for regional trips and unmetered, but may attempt to persuade you that they are deluxe. Small taxis are yellow and are local for trips to the Tunis area (including La Marsa). Taxis are supposed to use their meter, but as of Jan 2018 metered taxi prices have been fixed despite a declining value of the Tunisian dinar, and some drivers may insist on a fixed fare. In case the driver refuses to use their meter, just agree on a reasonable price (e.g. maximum 10 dinar during the day to the Tunis medina, no more than 15 dinar at night) and make sure this is the 'all inclusive' price, i.e. that they do not try to charge extra for luggage. A metered fare to or from the airport from the center of Tunis will be around 5-8 dinar (Jan 2018; €2-€3). Check the meter before commencing your journey and it will start at 0.5 dinar. A favourite trick of the drivers is to not reset their meter and add your fare to their previous one. Some drivers may also have had their meter illegally modified to charge at a faster rate.

Though most taxi drivers won't speak English, there are various hanger-ons around the taxi rank who do. They will for example once you have picked a taxi without asking move your luggage from your trolley into a taxi and help you converse with the driver - and then ask you for some change. They can be useful, for the translation, but you may well find they then try to ask for ridiculous money for the help - 20 dinar, say, which is four times the price of the metered taxi ride into town. If you have one dinar, that would be a more reasonable tip for the language assistance, assuming they actually helped you. Generally, you should assume *everyone*, no matter what or whom or what for, except the people you yourself speak to and decide to hire, are pushing themselves on you. Good luck, but also keep in mind that even if you get cheated by a taxi, it's only going to be for an extra €2-3. Don't let it ruin your day.

During the daytime, you can go to the departures area and get a taxi. You are more likely to get a hassle-free ride this way. However if you have a late arrival (e.g. after 10pm) you will not be able to do this.

Alternatively, buses depart fairly regularly during the day (but not at night) and charge a fraction of the price (± 1/2 dinar) but it will take much longer and it is probably not worth the hassle unless you speak French or Arabic and have previously visited Tunis.

Many taxi drivers lack a GPS map unit and house signage (numbering) is barely existent. The driver will by no means necessarily be familiar with your destination and probably won't speak English, although they will speak French. The best way to tell the taxi driver your destination is to mention several landmarks (e.g. big hotels) or the closest major street name. Oddly, taxi drivers do not necessarily know how to read maps and will be generally unfamiliar with smaller streets' names. In case you are staying in an apartment, it is a good idea to have a phone number of someone at the destination. GPS in your phone is best, although the lookup on Google Maps between addresses and physical locations, for Tunis, is not really close enough (especially given the lack of signage) to locate an address. In some cases, Apple Maps has more accurate street names and numbers than Google Maps.

By train[edit]

Passanger connections in Tunisia:
red and purple - routes with passanger trains
black - routes with only freight trains
grey - not used routes
Interactive map

Tunis Central Station is near Place de Barcelone for easy interchange onto the light metro. Trains are generally cheap and comfortable, but if you want to ride first class during peak season, do reserve your seat in advance. Trains are run by SNCFT.

Tunis is a main hub of Tunisia railway system - Tunis Railways Station when it this possible to change from north system trains (this system uses normal rail gauge) to south train network (which uses narrow gauge). The station is unique because different platforms has different track gauges.

By car[edit]

In the greater Tunis area, there is no reason to rent a car as the taxis are incredibly cheap and easy to find. However, if you want to do a road trip, particularly around the northern half of the country, a car may come in handy. In case you rent a car, make sure you have a GPS, and it will help if you can speak French in case you get lost or need to ask about parking. Nearly all road signs and markers are in French and Arabic lettering.

By bus[edit]

Tunisia has over 70 bus lines, with Tunis at the hub. There are two bus stations in town, with Gare Bab el Fellah serving southern destinations and Gare Bab Saadoun serving those to the north. Buses are run by SNTRI at both stations. The relevant louage stations are beside each.

By boat[edit]

Ferries connect Tunis to a number of international destinations including Trapani, Palermo, Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Genoa and Marseille. The main ferry terminal is at La Goulette, but check your departure terminal carefully as there are also other ports. Operators include GNV[18], Cotunav, Grimaldi Lines, Sncm.

By tram[edit]

There is a tram system in Tunis (it's not really a metro, as it's fully above ground). Tickets are very cheap (.48 DT for one trip) but the system is grossly overloaded during the rush hours, and indeed the rush hours are extended by this, as people simply have to let trains go by until enough people have been moved that there comes to be enough space that it is possible to board.

It is best to avoid the tram during rush hours, as it can be difficult to board. During this time, it is also very difficult to find a taxi, so you should plan accordingly. Rush hour tends to extend between 8 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. Walking is your best bet during these times. To be clear, for most tourism purposes the tram is not needed, except for getting to the Bardo Museum. Tunis is a very walkable city and the distance between landmarks is quite easy to do by foot.

Tickets are bought from a little booth at each stop. There are two, one on each side, but usually only one is occupied. A ticket is for one trip; if you're going to make multiple trips, you cannot buy say four tickets when you board, because they are all timestamped at the moment of purchase. Towards the evening, the booths are no longer manned; instead, a staff member will be on board each tram and you buy your ticket on the tram. These staff members do not speak English (but they will speak French).

There are apparently month long tickets, but you cannot buy them at the stations. Note the stations are not marked in anyway; no name plates. You will only know which station you're at by using GPS and a phone map.

Not every stations has a matching station in the other direction. Most station do, but of a few of those, their matching station sometimes is a bit of a walk up or down the line.

Illuminated clock tower, a good landmark
Map of the Medina pointing out the best places to go, sleep, drink, eat etc.

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). They are well worth the visit.

light metro is a convenient six line system run by Société des Transports de Tunis [19] (French/Arabic only, but including the TGM line). 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. A one month pass is 32 TD.

Taxis are also a good option if you need to go a bit farther than the metro, though cabs picking up in front of nice hotels will charge much higher rates. Prices are displayed as 3.700 for 3.7DT. Flagfall is .400. (.4 DT). Assuming they are honest, the meter is a good way to go. Only try to negotiate a price if you know what you are doing and are sure of the value of the trip. Otherwise insist on the meter being used at all times.

The TGM light rail line, starting at Tunis Marine station on Lines 1-4, connects to La Goulette (ferries), Sidi Bou Saïd, Carthage and the beaches of Marsa. Tickets cost 680 millimes each way. At Tunis Marine, be aware that there is an extreme dearth of signage. No obvious signs even say TGM, and on the maps on the trains themselves the station is marked as Tunis Nord. If you arrive at the station on the Tunis Metro, the TGM platform will be perpendicular to the metro cars and is easily accessed across the tracks. Tickets are sold at the end farthest from the metro stop. As of July 2014 the TGM line is under renovation and the line ends at Tunis Carthage. A bus service connects to the other stops. It is advisable to ask for a 'premiere' ticket or you will have to stand in second class.

Signs for station names along the TGM differ slightly from those that appear on the onboard map, but if you can see the signs from the train and they are free of graffiti it is easy to tell where you are. It is not unusual for the trains to stop and wait on the tracks after leaving Tunis Nord or upon return. This usually does not last an extraordinary amount of time, and you will likely be better off not following the example of the optimistic youths that decide to leap from the car and walk along the tracks into the city.

Many stations along along the TGM don't have full-time ticket vendors, so if you are making several trips along the line while visiting Carthage or Sidi Bou Said, you might be forced to risk traveling without a ticket. Conductors frequently get on the train to check and sell tickets. A simple answer is to buy a return to your farthest destination and then your ticket will be valid for wherever you get on and off. The safest option will be to check with the ticket vendors or buy a ticket if you can 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 for more details on schedules and fares. The Tunis train station is in Place Barcelone.

Societe Nationale de Transport Interurbain (SNTI) is the domestic bus line. Although schedules are more flexible and also reach more locations than by train, prices are usually similar. Visit for more on schedules and fares. There are two bus stations, North and South. The North is in the Bab Saadoun neighborhood; the South is located in Bab Alioua, south of Place Barcelone.

Otherwise, louages (shared taxis) are the most flexible of all options. The minivans with 8 passenger seats take off when they are full and therefore run on no particular schedule. Prices tend to be a little bit higher than buses, but the difference is usually negligible. The North louage station is in the parking lot of the North bus station( Gare Bab el Fellah ). The South louage station is across the street from the South bus station ( Gare Bab Saadoun ).

See[edit][add listing]

Port de France
  • Zitouna Mosque (Jemaa ez-Zitouna). The largest mosque in Tunisia and an important landmark, this Aghlabite mosque dates back to the 8th century, although the distinctive square minaret is a much later 19th century addition. Until recently non-Muslims could enter a viewing platform on the edge of the courtyard but this is no longer allowed. The mosque is surrounded on three sides by souks, which are worth exploring. The very nice and friendly men sitting nearby may offer to show you the medersas (Quranic schools) and panoramic views from terraces overlooking the mosque nearby for tips. If you are not careful you will end up with an unexpected tour that will cost you some dinar. Otherwise just brush them off and do not follow them.
  • 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 - a quarter of the price first asked is a good starting point, except for obviously cheap items. As always, if you give a price and they agree, you will be expected to pay. The tourist office adjacent to the Clock Tower has excellent maps of the medina that depict an interesting walking tour.
  • Bardo Museum (Le Musée National du Bardo), Le Bardo-2000, (nearest station Bardo on Metro line 4), 1 513-650 (Fax: 1 513-842), [20]. September 16 to April 30: 9:30-16:30. May 1 to September 15: 9:00-17:00, Tuesday to Sunday. Entry TND11 as at Nov 2017, photos TND1. Nearest metro (streetcar) station is Le Bardo on line 4. From the station walk toward the fenced compound to the north and then clockwise around it until you find the unmarked gate. Count the stops, as signs are often missing, or ask someone 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.
  • 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. As of Nov 2017 this was in a state of neglect and closed to visitors with several former staff apparently residing in rooms.
  • Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul Built in 1882, this is the largest surviving building from Tunis' colonial era, in the neo-Romanesque style. Usually open mornings. Free entry. Other than the stained glass, not much of interest is inside but a nice quiet respite from outside.
    Interior of cathedral
  • Bab Bahr (Porte de France). The Gate to the sea, which remains unchanged since its erection in 1848. It can be found on the Avenue de France and makes a good taxi destination.
  • Bab Saadoun. Another gate, constructed originally in 1350 with one arch, then rebuilt in 1881 with three arches to facilitate commerce gives its name to the suburb in which the northern bus and louage stations are located.
  • Musée Paléochrétien (Early Christian Museum), 20 rue 8010 Montplaisir - B.P. 345 - 1002 Tunis Belvédère - Tunisie, +216 (71) 909 264, [1]. 08:30-17:00 (16/09-31/03), 08:00-18:00 (01/04-30/04), 07:30-19:00 (01/05-15/09). Surely includes more dreaded mosaics. 9 DT.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

view from government store
  • Take a walking tour of the ancient buildings, mosques, and gates of the medina. All types of commodities including slaves used to be traded here, today's market is mainly that of day to day goods, increasingly produced in mainland China, and a shrinking quantity of local handicrafts.
  • See an opera, ballet, or other production at the Théâtre municipal de Tunis.
  • Wander through Tunis' largest park, Belvedere Park, which houses the Museum of Modern Art and the municipal zoo, and overlooks Lake Tunis.


There is an American school in Tunis, the American Cooperative School of Tunis. It is a private, non-profit day school. If you would like to study Arabic or French while in Tunis, there are a few options, including The Language Academy [[21]], or private tutors.

Buy[edit][add listing]

the Souk
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 [22]
  • Halfaouine a cheap, traditional food market and fripe located between Bab Souiqa and Place Halfaouine. Place Halfaouine is a nice area to enjoy coffee on Sunday. The best place to do this is Cafe Sidi Ammara, where you can enjoy a shisha and have a coffee under the trees while observing the action around you. To better navigate, you can enter the following coordinates into Google Maps: 36 48.483, 10 10.05

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. Most of the produce you will find is grown in Tunis. Approximately 90% of presented in Tunis goods are of local origin. There are networks of state supermarkets Monoprix and General in the capital.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Most hotels include breakfast, and some include dinner. There are countless coffee shops with delicious drinks and French pastries to enjoy, as well as sandwich shops, but reasonably priced restaurants that serve good meals can be hard to find. When eating out, always make sure to ask for the bill ( l'addition ) otherwise you may be overcharged, especially in the cafes along Avenue Habib Boughiba/de France. The waiters assume you will not remember the prices of everything you ordered and are mindful that foreign tourists will often round up to leave a tip, so may inflate the total to bring it closer to an amount that will further advantage them. This is not a trick particular to Tunisia, but seems to be one too frequently practised in this part of Tunis.


  • 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.
  • Atlas le Resto, Rue Mustapha M'barek (directly across from the Grand Hotel de France). 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.  edit
  • Capri, Rue Mokhtar Attia (turn into the pedestrian lane opposite Hotel Africa and turn right on the first corner. 50m further, with bright green-red neon.). 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.  edit
  • DeCarlo, Avenue Hedi Chaker (at the corner of Rue de Cologne in LaFayette), One of the city's better patisseries, there is a bakery on the corner serving hot, fresh pastries (.600-1 DT), and a shop on Avenue Hedi Chaker with cakes, cookies and great ice creams (1-5 DT).
  • Wild al Haj around 10 Dinar for a delicious, home-cooked meal. Located in the Medina, just off Nahj al Kasbah, past the intersection with Rue Saida Ajoula, near a number of other food shops. Sit-down restaurant with a quirky ambiance. There is a to-go stand just on the intersection near the restaurant that sells kafteji and sahan tunsi (a cold plate containing tuna, salad, and an egg). Very popular. Lunch here will cost between 2 and 5 TND. The same family also has another restaurant on the square of Bab Souiqa selling delicious kafteji and lablabi.
  • Pizza Berber Rue de Pacha, just past Librairie Dar ben Achour. A hole-in-the-wall food stand selling homemade pizza in the traditional Tunisian/Berber style with a jealously-guarded secret recipe. Be sure to ask for the homemade mozzarella.
  • Wild al Kommissar Self-proclaimed best lablabi in Tunis, and with good reason. Another hole-in-the-wall. Make sure to say: "Mush Harr" if you don't like spicy food. There are two variations of lablabi: one is vegetarian and the other is not. The latter contains *hargma*, which is the foot of the cow cooked until it becomes gelatinous. Definitely an experience for the adventurous, and much more delicious than it sounds on paper.
  • Al Istiqlal A menu fixe restaurant on Place Bab Souiqa. Big portions with generous starters and fruit will set you back between 7 and 10 Dinar. Home-cooked Tunisian cuisine in a cantine-like atmosphere.
  • Chez Sami Offers cheap lunches (think Oujja, pasta, grilled chicken, and fish) located in the heart of the Souq on Nahj Tourbet el Bey. Lunch will cost between 5 and 10 TND.
  • Way Way Not much to look at, but they serve a delicious, healthy, and fresh alternative to Tunisia's heavy cuisine. Authentic Turkish cuisine cooked by a Turkish man who has been in Tunisia for years, and popular with the local Turkish diaspora. Serves light mezze and shish kabobs for a very reasonable price. Definitely sample their mixed salad plate. Lunch will set you back around 10 TND.
  • Patisserie Zaytouna Rue du Riche, close to Tourbet el Bey. The only worthwhile patisserie in the Medina, and one of the best in Tunis. Offers a variety of tarts that offer a pleasant contrast to the uninspired approach many other patisseries take, including a nutella hazelnut tart and a fruit tart with seasonal fruits. Prices start at 800 millime.
  • Amm Haseen Just off Nahj al Kasbah, on Rue du Tamis, near Dar Belhadj. Another hole-in-the-wall, one of the most popular fruit cocktail (smoothies) selling sweet sandwiches (kaskrout halou) and draa (Tunisia's porridge), as well as the aforementioned cocktails. A delicious cocktail (served straight from the blender) will cost 1.5 TND, while a small one is 1 TND. There are only four stools, so be prepared to drink standing up.


  • El Mouradi Hotel Africa Tunis, 50, Avenue Habib Bourguiba, 1001, Tunis, Tunisia, +216 73 348 577, [2]. Situated in Tunis, on the famous Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Hotel Africa Tunis is a 15-minute drive from Tunis-Carthage Airport. It offers soundproofed and air-conditioned rooms with panoramic views over the city.  edit
  • The Résidence Tunis, BP 697, 2070, Gamarth, Tunisia, +216 71 910 101, [3]. This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. In Gammarth overlooking the Gulf of Tunis, this 5-star hotel features a golf course and 2 swimming pools. Depending on the season, the hotel features a total of 6 restaurants including one on its own private beach.  edit
  • Hôtel Belvédère Fourati, 10 Avenue des Etats Unis d'Amérique, 1002, Tunis, Tunisia,  +216 71 783 133, [4]. Located in Tunis, 0.6 miles from Belvedre Parc, Hôtel Belvédère Fourati features free WiFi access and free private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant.  edit
  • L'Orient 7, Rue Ali Bach Hamba, tel: 216 71 252 061. Just off Rue Habib Boughiba opposite the theatre, towards Port de France. Good food served in a delightful remnant of old Tunis. Charming suited waiters with napkins over their sleeve offer prompt and courteous service. Seafood is a specialty, sourced directly from the iced display cabinet. Local and imported wines. TD18 and upwards.
  • La Mamma, Av de Carthage, tel: 216 71340423, email: [email protected] Very cosy restaurant on several floors. Good Italian-inspired food.
  • Mama Africa, rue Pierre de Coubertain (an extension of Rue d'Iran), tel: 216 22428470. Near Passage. Delicious West African food at very reasonable prices, popular with employees of the African Development Bank. Far tastier and friendlier than the typical mediocre Tunisian restaurant experience. Open for lunch. Monday through Saturday.
  • Dar Slah. Located on Nahj al Kasbah (GPS coordinates: 36.798609, 10.171047). Serves a delicious menu fixe of traditional Tunisian cuisine blended with modern elements. Between 22 and 25 dinar, and well-worth the expense for tourists seeking a calm refuge from the intensity of the Medina while enjoying an authentic meal. Ask the waiter about daily specials. Speaks perfect English, French, and Arabic.


  • Dar el-Jeld, 5-10 rue Dar el-Jeld (near the Prime Minister's residence, and the Youth Hostel), 71 560 916. Perhaps the best of the restaurants in Tunis, this restaurant pays attention to every single detail. You don't even open the door - just knock on the large yellow door, and they open it (this gives it the appearence of not being open). The food is excellent, and the management speaks English and French fluently, and can recommend various dishes. The menu is a bit complicated, with price categories, rather than prices, listed (check the last page for what each price category costs). The physical setting is inside a beautiful, tiled covered courtyard, and has private areas off to the side. As of March '17, prices for a main course cost up to , appetizer 7-9, and water or tea 3.5. Everything is recommended, though the couscous is simply good, but not incredible. Note that this is the only place in the medina that serves wine. 25-40 TD.  edit
  • Foundouk el Attarine expensive, and not necessarily as delicious as other restaurants on the list (though still high quality), but has the best atmosphere in the medina. A huge, light-drenched courtyard offers the opportunity to relax, have meetings, enjoy a coffee, or have a meal. There is also a design show room of locally-produced crafts. Meals here will set you back around 30 TND.


A couple of French supermarket chains have a presence in Tunis. Carrefour have a few supermarkets, as do Monoprix and Magasin General. These are by Western standards small stores, and more particularly, as is common in fact in Tunis, their range of products is significant less than in the West. You will find any single given product doesn't have just one place on a shelf, but a couple; an entire wall fridge unit might be completely packed, but only with two items, one being peas, the other being say strawberries. Supply is also a bit erratic - items which are present one day, once sold out, might not be seen again, or for a long time. Product quality is somewhat poor, although the international brands are of course the same everywhere.

The fresh bread products are typically good.

Fresh meat products are not always all that fresh; fresh chicken for example is best eaten on the day of purchase, and even then it can smell a little. The range of fresh fruit and vegetables is quite limited. You do better for fruit buying from the better of the many street-side vendors or visiting the Central Market.

Prices are a bit cheaper than in the West, but not by much.

Drink[edit][add listing]

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. 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.
  • Le Boeuf sur le Toit, 3 avenue Fatouma Bourguiba. The name means The Beef on the Roof, and trendy people come for food, drinks, live music, DJs, and a dance floor.  edit
  • Bar Jamaica, 49 Avenue Habib Boutguiba. 18:00 - 23:00. 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.  edit
  • Hotel Africa Lobby Bar, Avenue Habib Bourguiba. A bit smoky, but has all of the local drinks save Stella, and is one of the few places that serves alcohol during Ramadan.  edit
  • Cosmitto Coffee, Rue du Lac Biwa (One block north of Hotel Berges du Lac), 29222165, [5]. 08:00 - 23:30. The only Starbucks-style coffeehouse in Tunis, features 100% Arabica coffee imported from 8 different origins. 4-7 DT.  edit
  • Le Plug, La Marsa Plage, [6]. Great place to get a drink in the house in the sea with amazing view, DJs or live rock music, young crowd with a trendy and alternative touch. No entry after 23:00. Almost no to guys only companies without "reservation". Beer 6TD.  edit
  • Blanko kitesurf club, Gammarth, by the Carrefour mall / Gammarth Center / Ramada Plaza hotel (pass the shopping mall by the right towards the sea), [7]. 10:00-02:00. Open April - October on the beach night club / bar / cafe with dance / pop / rock / live (depending on day) music and mixed crowd full on weekends. Tables indoor / outdoor on the beach, mats, dancefloor wherever you like. No entry after midnight. Almost no to Tunisians unaccompanied by female. "Parking fee" 2 TND, but charged 3 TND unofficially, even if you park by the shopping mall. (36.928076,10.278434) edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Most tourists will be interested in accommodation in either the Medina or in Ville Nouvelle. The medina includes the youth hostel and several other budget accomdations, and the high end Dar El Jed. The Ville Nouvelle offers a large number of budget and mid-range accomodation, many grouped within a few blocks of each other north of Place Barcelone. Some places expect couples to present some sort of proof of marriage in order to rent a two person room.

As of 2014 most of the budget places in Tunis are fairly horrible. Most are extremely dirty. Lights spark wildly when turned on. Water may not work. Why these hotels have been allowed to slip to such a level is a mystery. Having said that, most of the cheaper places to stay within Tunis can be fully booked. If you cannot find a place to stay in Tunis, consider the 1 hour shared taxi (about 5d) to Hammamet.


  • YHA Tunis Auberge Medina, "25, +216 71 567 850. 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. 15TD incl. breakfast.  edit
  • Hotel de la Medina, 1 Rue des Glacières, +216 71 327 497. 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. 20TD.  edit


  • Grand Hotel de France, Rue Mustapha M'barek, +216 71 32 62 44 (). checkout: noon. Located in a neat old building with marble staircases and a friendly staff. They do not speak much English, although it was no problem. Free wifi in the lobby and courtyard and some rooms on the first floor, two communal computers, but cannot comment on price or quality, although one had a webcam attached. Breakfast was coffee/tea, bread, coffee, and apricot jam. Easily accessed by taxi to 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. In practice the hotel does not respond to email enquiries and only deals by phone, and only in French. Even with a reservation, you are expected to confirm by phone 24 hours in advance. You may be best to book your first night online elsewhere and then make arrangements in person. 43TD for one person in a double room with aircon, ensuite toilet and shower.  edit
  • La Maison Doree, 6 bis rue de Hollande, +216 71 240 632 (fax: +216 71 240 631). This hotel captures a slightly faded, colonial era charm. Rooms are basic (the hotel building is old) but clean. Free wifi in the lobby. 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. 32-52 TD.  edit
  • Hotel Transatlantique, Rue De Yougoslavie 106, Tunis 1000, +216 71 334 319. 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. There are many prostitutes that "use" this hotel, and female travellers are well advised to avoid the first floor, especially at night, when Johns may come a-knockin'. 50 TD (Feb 2013).  edit


  • Dar El-Medina, 64 Rue Sidi ben Arous. A luxury hotel in a century old mansion in the Medina, this is best accessed (at least until you get your bearings) by taking a taxi to Place du Government on the West side of the Medina - it's a few blocks walk from there. [8] 200-250.  edit
  • Sheraton Tunis Hotel and Towers, Avenue de la Ligue Arabe · B.P. 345 · Tunis Carthage Cedex 1080, (216)(71) 782 100, [9].  edit Modern hotel overlooking the entire city. Conviently located in the Central Business District.
  • Carthage Thalasso Resort, Les cotes de Carthage BP La Marsa-Gammarth 2070, 00 216 910 111 (, fax: 00 216 71 913 140), [10]. A 5-star hotel with an excellent thalassotherapy center. The marble and the decoration of the place create the real sensation of harmony and good serenity in mind of the Moorish bath. The accommodation also brings this sensation of tranquillity thanks to the decoration of rooms and their comfort. The place is ideal for the persons in search for tranquillity as seniors or couples; it is moreover the choice of preference of the amateurs of plastic surgery in Tunisia. 150-200.  edit
  • Dar Ben-Gacem, 38 Rue du Pacha، Tunis 1006, (216)71 563 742, [11]. A beautiful boutique hotel located in the heart of the old town, Medina, of Tunis. A traditional Arabic courtyard home was carefully restored and transformed in to a 7-room guest-house to showcase the country's rich cultural heritage. Highly recommended for an authentic Medina experience as the staff of the guest house can recommend a great variety of cultural activities in the neighbourhood. Free wi-fi all over the house, lunch and dinner on request.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Travel Warning WARNING: In March of 2015, 19 foreign tourists and two Tunisian citizens were killed by gunmen during a terrorist attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

As of May 2014, most of downtown Tunis begins closing around 8:00pm and is deserted by 9:00. There is no good reason to be on the streets. The only people who still are will be rummaging through garbage or leaving bars.

Although the locals, as in all of Tunisia, are friendly and helpful once you approach them, most politely ignore foreigners. However there are a number of men, especially in the medina and along Avenue de France/ Habib Bourghiba who make their living by taking advantage of tourists. In general, and as extreme as this sounds, anyone in any area where tourists frequent who approaches you uninvited is almost certain to be a confidence trickster. Tunisian people are far too polite to casually strike up a conversation with a stranger on the street. Those who do are just after your money.

A similar problem exists with unofficial guides who hang around near tourist spots in the medina. Shoo them off if they start to launch into a spiel on the architectural wonders of this or that, or they will demand some payment for their unwanted services. Likewise, people anywhere who help you with anything you're doing are quite likely to be wholly unrelated to where-ever you are, and will definitely expect money afterwards.

Favourite ruses to bypass your defences include sidling up to you while window-shopping to discuss how Tunisian prices compare with your own country; apparently resting outside closed monuments but knowing where to find the guy who has the key (and will demand his tip); or standing guard against boys playing football on the street who you are told regularly snatch tourists' possessions. There is even a guy who pretends to be a French tourist, wears a backpack and takes photos who acts as a supporting actor for some of them. Most are middle-aged, well-dressed, well-spoken, and may actually have accurate information. However, all of them will eventually spring their trap and make outrageous demands when you are not in a good position to refuse. Save yourself the grief and just don't talk to them.

In Tunis, French is the second language and is widely spoken, but English is infrequently spoken, other than by those who need it in their daily work. If anyone whom you meet in a tourist area speaks to you in English, they are much more likely than not to be a con-man. Even if something entirely natural occurs, say you shelter someone else with your umbrella - if they then turn out to speak English, you have quite possibly just sheltered a a confidence trickster who will now attempt to take advantage of the opening to suggest coffee, a bite to eat, etc. Can you guess who will be expected to pay the bill for both of you?

The unemployment rate in Tunisia is about 15% overall, and higher for the younger men, and for some this lifestyle is their normal occupation.

You will also find such people - and not younger men, but adults - particularly in the airport, where they will be extraordinarily persistent in trying to make conversation.

But, don't allow this to give you a bad impression of Tunisian people. They are for the most part honest, warm and welcoming. They just may not speak much English and don't presume to interfere.


For Tunis itself, no immunizations are necessary. If you want to be vaccinated anyway, the only conceivable immunizations are for tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A and B. The last case of polio was in 1992. A full set of travel immunizations are available locally at a fraction (15% or so) of the price in a Western country and can be obtained from the reputable Institut Pasteur de Tunis, a Tunis branch of the Louis Pasteur Institute, which offers a walk-in clinic open during the mornings of the working week. Remember though it takes most vaccinations some weeks to become effective, so if you do take them here, they won't be functional until some time has passed.

The Institut is very busy. Arrive early (9am) for your first visit, as you need to see the doctor. He'll draw up a schedule of appointments, where typically you will attend once a week for a few weeks, as only so many immunizations can be administered at once. For your appointments, arrive about 11am, when things have quietened down a bit. On arrival you are given a ticket. When your ticket is called (there's a numeric display) you go to a counter, which gives you a bill. You then queue for another counter, where you pay. You then wait; your name will be called, and then you take your immunizations. You then wait around about twenty minutes, to make sure you have no adverse reactions. The staff are professional, the doctors speak fluent English, some of the technicians speak some English. They are very good at administering the jabs without discomfort; they do fifty to a hundred each day!

Note that prices here are extremely low. You can have a full suite of immunizations for a tenth of the price you would pay in the West. If you're in Tunis, it's well worth the money to take as many immunizations as you can, while you're in town.


Barbershops can be found in the medina, and there are women's hair salons throughout the city. Many of the nicer hotels also have spas.

Carrefour have a number of shops in the city, which provide a modern, Western supermarket. These are concentrated in the east, by the waterfront (probably a richer part of town).vThere is also a Magasin General on the Avenue de France close to the Port de France.


  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 6, rue Saint Fulgence, Notre Dame, 1082 Tunis, +216 71 288 890, Emergencies: +216 98405053 (, fax: +216 71 789 518), [14]. 08:00-14:00.  edit
  • It-flag.png Italy, 1, Rue de Florence (ex Rue de l' Alhambra) - Mutuelleville, +216 71 892 811 - 31 321 811, Emergencies: +216 98 301 496 (, fax: +216 71 892 150), [15]. 08:00-18:00.  edit
  • Flag of Serbia (state).png Serbia, 4, Rue de Liberia, Belvedere, +216 71 780624 (fax: +216 71 796482).  edit
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Rue du Lac Windermere, Les Berges du Lac, Tunis 1053, +216 71 108 700 (, fax: +216 71 108 779), [16].  edit
  • Us-flag.png United States of America, Zone Nord Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 2045 La Goulette, +216 71 107 000 (, fax: +216 71 963 263), [17].  edit

Get out[edit]

By TGM[edit]

This is the metropolitan train service, Métro Léger de Tunis. Tickets are less than one dinar and service is frequent, but busy during rush hour. The station is located a few hundred metres to the east of the clock tower and the raised Trans-African Highway No. 1 directly east from the main drag (Avenue Habib Bourgouiba; the one with the main Medina gate - just keep walking away from the Medina). The station is impossible to miss - it's a large building parallel to the road on the south side. Note that if you're heading out this way, there is also a national tourism office on the north-east side of the clock tower (that effectively demarcates the edge of Tunis' larger buildings before the highway), and they provide free maps and advice regarding Tunis and Tunisia.

  • Carthage, famously razed by the Romans with the few remnants now safely encased in a museum, easily reached by train. Get the TGM from east of the clock tower
  • La Marsa, a beach-side settlement at the end of the TGM train line, just north of Sidi Bou Saïd
  • Sidi Bou Saïd, a lovely village of white-and-blue houses and fancy cafés and restaurants, easily reached by train

Unsure how to reach[edit]

  • Kerkouane, Phoenician and Punic historical site 80 kilometres west of Tunis
  • Quamart - A resort on Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast.
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