Tunisia Tourism - Best of Tunisia

Tunisia offers the best in a variety of experiences. It’s quintessentially North-African, yet has a massive Roman and Mediterranean heritage. This includes Carthage, one of the most important cities of the ancient world. Not far off the coast is stunning Djerba, an island of pristine white and rich history. Whether you choose to tread the waters, or the ancient Saharan sand, Tunisia and her people will welcome you warmly. It’s one of the friendliest places on Earth.

CLIMATE AND BEST SEASON:

April, May and September are typically the most popular tourist seasons. They are just before the onset of summer and winter respectively. It’s just beautiful in the spring, when everything is bursting with colours. If it’s the desert to the south that you’ve set your heart on, consider visiting in September or October, when the heat isn’t scorching. Avoid visiting in June or July unless you want to stay glued to the beaches in the north. It can get hot as a furnace in the summer (north of 30 degrees Celcius), especially as you near the desert. You also might want to consider early winter, when a number of festivals are held.

GETTING IN:

Many European, Asian and Western Nations do not require a visa to travel to Tunisia. Check whether yours does. Two major airports serve the country; the Tunis-Carthage International Airport (TUN) and the HabibBourguiba, Skanes-Monastir (MIR). Catching a taxi from TUN airport to Tunis should not exceed 4-5 dinars in the day and double that in the night. Or you could just take buses, which charge half a dinar and leave every 30 minutes. The MIR on the other hand is a low cost charter flight favorite.

GETTING AROUND:

  • SHORT DISTANCE: Driving in Tunisia is scary. The roads are a mixture of very good and very bad, but practically everyone ignores the speed limit no matter where they are driving. People are reckless, contemptuous of rules and pay no attention to traffic guidelines. Pedestrian must walk the road as there are no sidewalks, and as such are at high risk. There is a high number of traffic related death every year. The police are no help. They’ve gotten used to being ignored in general, and will rarely stop a driver unless it’s to demand a bribe, something quickly paid. You’ve probably not driven in these conditions before so it’s best you hire taxis to take you about. Try to use the yellow taxis and insist on rates by the meter. If you still want to get around yourself, consider hiring a rental in the city, not at the airport ( which is more expensive) for about 40 dinars. Inspect you car thoroughly for damage of any kind before renting. Also, the rental company is responsible for outfitting the car with some minimum safety equipment; make sure it’s all there, or you could be fined. Word to the wise, parking is a major headache.
  • LONG DISTNACE: Louages are shared taxi vans, for when you can’t access buses or trains. Find out their depot in each city. They are pretty cheap, but usually horribly cramped and stifling. Not exactly luxury. Their stripes mark their area of service; red for inter-city, blue for local travel and yellow for the rural areas. Getting around by train is convenient. Buy a Blue Card for 20 dinars and you can get around the country for about a week or two, at insanely low prices. Buses are also a good option.

EAT AND DRINK:

Couscous, stews, spicy harrisa and heaps of olives are standard dining fare in this Mediterranean country. Every country has its own specialized meat dish; Tunisia has two, lamb and seafood, and both are done mouth-wateringly well. Make sure to try the Tunisian tajine, a unique pie. It’s best if you get yourself invited to dine at someone’s home rather than at a restaurant. Tunisian mealtimes are more like rituals than routines.

Alcohol is available, but in restricted quantities. Demand can be pretty high, so make sure to stock up quickly if you see some available.

ACCOMODATION:

Tunisian hotels are usually decent, but they are not world class. Usually people will just rent out their rooms or apartments to tourists. It’s best to make reservations for that kind of thing though. 

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