Tunis is the beautiful capital city of Tunisia, located in North Africa. The country has the northernmost point in Africa known as Cape Angela. Similar to Morocco, the languages spoken are Arabic, Berber & French. Its country code is +216 and currency is Dinar (TND). At the time of travel the exchange rate was £1 : 3.4TND. I didn’t take much cash as most places take debit/credit cards for payments. Tunis is a vibrant city during the day and throughout the night, with lots of shisha bars and cafes open until early hours of the morning. The beaches are beautiful and the hotels are stunning.
How to get there
The main airport is Tunis-Carthage. You can get flights direct from London, UK to Tunis Carthage on Tunis Air. Return flights cost c£200. A direct flight is less than 3 hours and it’s less than 30mins drive from the airport to main city area. Flights from Europe are with @tunisair_info and @airfrance. Flights from Africa are with @EGYPTAIR @flyethiopian @qatarairways and more depending on where you are travelling from.
How to get around
The Yellow Taxi’s are cheap and cheerful although they run on a meter. If you want to charter one for the day to see the city it costs approx 20TND per hour (£5.50). Before you jump into one, make sure the driver speaks English, otherwise you’ll find it hard to explain where you want to go! If you want find your own way around, Tunis has good public transport links with trains, trams and buses going all over the city.
Hot tip: the drivers in the taxi’s outside the hotels know how to speak English.
Places to stay
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay in Tunis. Airbnb has some amazing apartments and there are luxury hotels like The Residence Tunis, Movenpick and Golden Tulip. The hotels have an airport transfer service, which you can book when reserving your room.
Things to do there
- Tunis is well known for its golden beaches and clear waters as it is bordered by the mediterranean sea. If you like watersports then Tunis is a great place for that. Surfing, swimming, water rafting to name a few.
- Sidi Bou Said is a popular place for sightseeing and shopping. This blue and white majestic village is full of shops, roof top cafes/restaurants and even a former hotel turned museum hosting ancient artefacts from Tunis life in the olden days. You can buy some nice souvenirs in Sidi Bou Said; ceramic bowls, fridge magnets, camel leather bags, shoes, rugs and more. Do not accept the first price given as it’s a bump. If the shop keeper charges 700TND you can haggle him down to 70TND! Most shops sell the same things so shop around for the best price.
- The views from the top of the hill in Sidi Bou Said are breathtaking. If you walk down the hill, there is a marina at the bottom of the village, lined with luxury yachts (which are most likely) owned by rich Tunisians. You won’t be able to take a ride in one but you can walk around or sit and eat at the restaurant on site.
- The city centre is very busy. There are loads of cafes, shops and souks (markets) where you can buy anything from food, to clothes and electronics. Pop into Ben Yedder a popular coffee shop on Rue Al-Djazira. They sell coffee beans from different African countries and serve sweet and savoury snacks. Also take a photo by the I (heart) Tunis sign which is slap bang in the middle of the city square.
- Take a tour of Carthage; the remains of a Roman city that was built around 900bc. If you buy a ticket for 10TND you can gain entry into several historic sites in the area including the Carthage museum and Antonine Baths. One site I really liked was the theatre, which is now used to host festivals and music concerts.
- Want to party? If so, there are a few bars/clubs dotted around the city that are open until 2am. Most hotels have their own entertainment for guests and even have a nightclub on the premises.
Hot tip: 1) don’t just walk into any cafe as some are for men only. 2) the majority of cafes/bars/clubs sell shisha but do not sell alcohol.
Places to eat
I spent most of my time touring the city, so I ate a lot of street food during the day and had dinner in my hotel at night. The only restaurant I went to was Dar Zarrouk. The food was good and the service was great. I had a really nice crepe and fresh strawberry juice at a rooftop cafe in Sidi Bou Said and shawarma and chips from a local street vendor. The food is really cheap and you get a lot for your money. I went past a cool looking dessert place called Twist in La Marsa. I didn’t get a chance to go in, however I will definitely go in the next time I visit Tunis.