Tucked into the northern coast of Africa, Tunisia is any traveler’s dream. Promising tradition, views, and experiences that won’t disappoint, Tunisia is the proper gateway from Europe to Africa. It packs vibrant cities, mountainous greenery, expansive desert, and glowing coasts right into a small space. This Tunisia journey information will persuade you to plan a visit and inform you learn how to!
Tunisia is completely a hidden gem. Most folks have by no means heard of the nation, not to mention thought-about planning a visit there. However, consequently, they’re lacking one of many coolest journey experiences of a lifetime.
Tunisia is among the many most rewarding international locations I’ve visited, providing a dream beneath the solar at an extremely reasonably priced value. Here, you may you get from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahara Desert in just some hours and drive from one finish of the nation to the opposite in lower than a day. The nation is jam-packed with wealthy tradition and treasured surroundings that it’s a no brainer to go to Tunisia in 2022.
For vacationers who’ve but to journey past North America and Europe, and are searching for a primary foray into Africa, it doesn’t get any higher than Tunisia. The North African nation is overflowing with pure magnificence, structure, tradition, and welcoming locals. Yet, one way or the other it’s nearly fully untouched by vacationers.
The highlights of my journey to Tunisia have been days spent stress-free on the coast, strolling by way of suburban streets, and marveling at city tradition and structure. What will yours be? This Tunisia journey information will inform you every part you’ll want to know to plan an unforgettable journey!
Guest Post by Evan Edler
Where is Tunisia?
Tunisia is the northernmost nation in Africa. It’s nestled between Algeria and Libya with its shoreline straddling the Mediterranean Sea. These giant neighbors make Tunisia appear considerably tiny, but it surely’s bigger than most European nations.
Tunis, the bustling capital, sits on the Gulf of Tunis within the northern a part of Tunisia. The space round Tunis is verdant and mountainous. Going south, the panorama turns into more and more arid, and the southern half of the nation belongs to the Sahara Desert. Its location makes Tunisia a terrific connection between Europe and Africa, excellent for vacationers stepping into both route. Tunis is definitely reachable by direct flights from main cities in Europe, together with Italy, France, and Spain. It additionally has flights to a lot of Africa and the Middle East. Tunisair is the nationwide airline of Tunisia, which gives glorious service to (and round) this nation.
Why do you have to go to Tunisia?
Still want convincing earlier than you guide your flights to Tunisia? Before we dive deeper into this Tunisia journey information, let’s first cowl why it is best to go to the nation within the first place.
It’s a budget-friendly Mediterranean vacation spot
Looking for some R&R? Dreaming of sunbathing on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Spain or Italy? Think once more! Tunisia boasts an enormous choice of coastal locations, starting from rural hideaways to busier spots within the capital of Tunis.
Imagine five-star resorts with fashionable rooms, non-public seashores, spas, and extra facilities than you may depend. Now, right here’s the kicker: Cut the worth tag in half with out sacrificing any of the frills. My keep at a 4-star resort in Hammamet price lower than accommodations in lots of European cities, and was completely luxurious.
Tunisia is a cultural crossroads
Tunisia’s nationwide identification is compiled from years of affect from varied ruling powers, making for a captivating case research in historical and fashionable historical past. Much of the country’s present tradition stems from the rule of Muslim and Arabic forces. Therefore, Islam has a robust maintain as the first faith in Tunisia. Islamic values account for lots of the nation’s customs, thus connecting Tunisia with its neighbors.
However, Tunisia is taken into account extra liberal and developed than different African nations. This is, partially, because of the nation being beneath French rule from 1881-1956. The legacy of French rule stays, with French nonetheless being extensively spoken in fashionable society. As such, Tunisia serves as a bridge between the cultures of Europe and Africa, with its personal distinctive contact. The folks of Tunisia are welcoming and pleasant, which provides to the enchantment of visiting Tunisia.
A variety of wonders
Travelers who enterprise off the overwhelmed path into the guts of Tunisia can be rewarded on all fronts. There are so many lovely locations to go to in Tunisia that it’s arduous to slender down the highest spots. This contains the attractive Sidi Bou Said paying homage to Santorini, the extreme desert landscapes that performed host to Luke Skywalker, and even the biggest Roman amphitheater in Africa. These sights make for a memorable journey expertise that’s robust to rival.
You’ll be the primary of your mates to discover Tunisia
For trailblazers, this the most effective causes to go to Tunisia. It is virtually untouched by vacationers, and I don’t suppose this would be the case for lengthy.
As the tourism trade booms, I’m certain this hidden gem received’t stay hidden. But with a lot to supply and its handy location, it’s certain to develop into a mainstream journey vacation spot quickly. So, take pleasure in bragging rights that you just went earlier than it turns into well-liked!
Should you go to Tunisia or Morocco?
When American and European vacationers make their first leap into Africa, the pure alternative is commonly Tunisia’s western cousin, Morocco. After all, it’s a phenomenal nation – deeply wealthy in tradition and historical past, and is bound to make a beautiful journey for any vacationer. However, I’m going to argue that Tunisia beats out Morocco in a number of methods. In my expertise, Morocco is flooded with vacationers whereas Tunisia isn’t – which has many advantages from a tourism perspective.
In Tunisia, there are fewer vacationer traps on the streets and within the Medinas, giving the cities a extra genuine and immersive really feel. Another consequence of that is that Tunisia is considerably extra reasonably priced, and every part from food and drinks to lodging is cheaper. In reality, varied sources put the price of dwelling in Tunisia at wherever from 20% to 40% inexpensive than that of Morocco. Not too shabby!
Logistical information to Tunisian journey: cash, language, and many others.
With important affect from each Africa and Europe, a few of the particular particulars of journey in Tunisia can appear complicated. Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of it!
Currency in Tunisia:
When in Tunisia, you’ll be utilizing the Tunisian Dinar. At the time of scripting this the Tunisian Dinar is price 0.31 Euros, so a conversion price of about 3 Dinar to 1 Euro or US Dollar is an efficient estimate. Instead of 100s, just like the Euro and Dollar, the Dinar is split into 1,000s (milim), and cash vary from 1 milim to five dinar, and banknotes go as much as 50.
Changing cash in Tunisia:
The Tunisian Dinar is taken into account a “closed currency,” which primarily means it’s unlawful for the forex to depart the nation. That’s simpler for you! Don’t fear about money till you get there. You can trade money at accommodations, banks, and different locations at a authorities mounted price, or you should use ATMs vulnerable to a small payment.
Language in Tunisia:
Tunisia’s singular official language is Modern Standard Arabic. However, the nation’s linguistic panorama is rather more numerous than it could seem on paper. The dialect of Arabic spoken in Tunisia is named Tunisian Arabic, also called Derja. Due to the nation’s colonization by France, French can also be spoken by over half of the inhabitants, particularly in giant cities and vacationer locations.
Power shops in Tunisia:
Both kind C and sort E energy adapters will work in Tunisia – so adapters for mainland Europe amongst different locations can be utilized!
Time in Tunisia:
Tunisia is within the Central European Time Zone, the identical as main cities reminiscent of Paris, Berlin, and Rome. However, Tunisia doesn’t observe Daylight Savings. This signifies that in the summertime, when a lot of Europe units their clocks ahead, Tunisia is according to the UK & Ireland.
Trying to determine the most effective methods to guide and plan your subsequent journey?
What’s the climate like in Tunisia?
Tunisia’s local weather is comparatively predictable, which makes it straightforward for vacationers to pack and put together. Along the coast, and within the north, it follows the identical patterns as most different Mediterranean spots. Winters are heat, and summers are (very) sizzling. Late autumn and winter are the rainiest season, with spring and summer season being fairly arid.
Further south, Tunisia’s local weather falls according to its desert panorama. In hotter seasons the desert can exceed 38°C or 100°F, and is vulnerable to sandstorms. Overall, any journey to Tunisia goes to be heat, so that you’ll need to depart behind your jackets and convey light-weight clothes – and sunscreen.
Looking to chill off after a sizzling journey to Tunisia? Read subsequent: Top Cold Plunge Tubs
The historical past of Tunisia
This Tunisia journey information wouldn’t be full with out mentioning the historical past of the nation. Here, we’ll have a look at the historical past of Tunisia beginning within the twelfth century BCE. Before then, the realm (like the remainder of North Africa) was inhabited by native populations often called Berbers. In the twelfth century, Phoenician peoples (coming from modern-day Lebanon), started to reach and create their very own settlements. One of those settlements was often called Carthage.
By the seventh century BCE, Carthage emerged as essentially the most highly effective kingdom within the area. It was rich and highly effective, and rivaled Rome in guts and glory till the first century BCE, when the Romans took Carthage. As a end result, they launched Christianity to the area, and left behind quite a few Roman websites that stay to today.
The Roman rule of Carthage crossed into the centuries AD, and remained till the Muslims conquered the land within the seventh century AD. This introduced Islamic and Arabic tradition to the land, which stays a significant cornerstone of Tunisian tradition. They retained rule till the Ottoman Empire conquered it in 1546. The Ottomans dominated over Tunisia for the following 300 years.
Tunisia’s more moderen historical past
In 1881, the Ottoman Empire was weakening, and the French conquered Tunisian lands. Starting in 1942, Tunisia was taken by the German forces of the Second World War. It was the location of a 6 month marketing campaign between the Axis and Allied forces, and the Allied victory marked the tip of WWII’s battles in Africa. Independence was lastly granted to the brand new Tunisian Republic in 1956.
The nation of Tunisia was led by varied rulers till a decline in dwelling and dealing circumstances led to the 2011 Tunisian Revolution. This interval of civil unrest prompted an upheaval of the political system. Since then, Tunisia has been led by a democratically elected president, and has adopted a structure granting Tunisian ladies extra rights than most different African populations.
What’s the mythology of Tunisia’s previous?
Not into the historic nuts and bolts? Here’s the mythological retelling of Tunisia’s historical past. If you’re a fan of Greek and Roman historical past or mythology, you’ve most likely heard of Carthage. The city-state of Carthage was a rival of Athens and Rome for hundreds of years, however was an necessary a part of their mythology.
Let’s check out Carthage by way of the lens of one of the necessary mythological texts: The Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem. The Aeneid tells the story of the hero Aeneas, whose adventures all through the Mediterranean result in the muse of town of Rome. In the Aeneid, Aeneas meets and falls in love with Dido, the Queen of Carthage.
Dido fled her household and located herself in North Africa, the place she determined to begin a kingdom of her personal. Legend has it that she made a cope with a neighborhood king. He gave her a bull’s disguise, and stated that she might rule the land that it coated. Clever as she was, Dido strung the disguise out into a skinny string, and encircled a big portion of land on the coast. This land was to develop into her very personal kingdom of Carthage – and far afterward, Tunisia!
Where do you have to go in Tunisia?
You’ve determined to move to Tunisia and need to be sure to see all the key websites within the nation. Where do you begin? Well, with this journey information to the most effective locations in Tunisia!
Tunisia’s most accessible and hottest spot can also be certainly one of its greatest – the nation’s capital, Tunis! Tunis itself has a lot of necessary websites and simple day journeys, so let’s get into them! This journey information will cowl a few of the greatest sights and actions in Tunisia’s vigorous capital, however there’s lots extra to discover.
Tunis’s Medina is without doubt one of the most well-known in Africa, and for good cause. It is a seemingly limitless maze of outlets and stalls (partially coated). This makes it straightforward to dive into the guts of the Medina, as a result of the realm will envelop you – simply be sure to’re capable of finding a manner out!
Here within the Medina of Tunis, you’ll discover garments, meals stalls, and extra. My favourite cease was the rooftop of a carpet store with unbeatable views of the encircling metropolis. It’s not unusual for folks on the road to give you rooftop views for a small payment – for the views and the structure (photograph alternatives, anybody?) I’d say it’s undoubtedly price it!
Sidi Bou Said
When asking for suggestions for my journey to Tunisia, the very first thing anybody stated was to go to Sidi Bou Said. And it’s not arduous to see why! Sidi Bou Said is a neighborhood of Tunis only a practice journey away from downtown, but it surely seems like a unique world. Its white stones and blue accents make it a sister to Santorini or Mykonos.
The streets overflow with with vacationer retailers providing handmade items, and each flip is extra picturesque than the final. Highlights of this cease embody Museum Dar El-Annabi, a rich family became a phenomenal museum with nice views, and the Café des Délices, a beautiful restaurant with immaculate views over the coast.
Another neighborhood inside Tunis, and likewise reachable by practice, Carthage is properly price a visit. The neighborhood is attractive, and I extremely suggest spending a while strolling the previous city, admiring the structure and the flowers. The most necessary web site right here is the archeological sights of Byrsa Hill. A brief stroll up this hilltop will lead you to the beautiful facade of the Acropolium church. Behind lies the Carthage National Museum, with historical ruins on the property. With its unimaginable structure and ambiance, it’s no surprise Carthage is a large a part of Tunisia tourism.
Other prime stops in Tunisia
Sousse is a coastal metropolis, the third-largest in Tunisia. It’s one of the well-liked resort areas within the nation the place you could find any luxurious you want. It balances seashore vibes with a historic city heart, the place you may see structure and artwork to your coronary heart’s content material. Hammamet could also be a greater wager for a strictly seashore trip, however Sousse’s cultural benefit is price contemplating to get the most effective of each worlds.
Widely thought-about to be the third-largest Roman amphitheater ever constructed, the El Djem (alternatively spelled El Jem) is a web site price seeing. It rivals the Colosseum in Rome, however with out the crowds of vacationers. You can get to the amphitheater on guided excursions or by yourself from close by cities like Sfax or Monastir (additionally price journeys in their very own rights). If you’re utilizing guided journey teams in Tunisia, ensure that to cease right here!
Tunisians have a robust satisfaction for this metropolis, because it’s the fourth-holiest in Islam. Kairouan is a web site of pilgrimage, and within the Islam religion seven journeys to Kairouan can equal one journey to Mecca. The metropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good cause. The essential attraction is its medina and its quite a few mosques. The metropolis additionally hosts unimaginable structure and is a well-liked buying vacation spot – particularly for carpets.
Check out a few of the different prime historic websites on the earth!
For vacationers who haven’t but been to the African continent, the Sahara Desert might seem to be a dream vacation spot. Tunisia’s declare of the Saharan panorama is a superb asset to its tourism trade, and it is best to make the most of it! The greatest strategy to see the desert is to take an organized tour all through the desert. Any good tour will present you some pure wonders, native tradition, and doubtless some filming websites for the Star Wars motion pictures!
Travel Guide inside Tunisia: How to get round
Trying to determine learn how to get round Tunisia? The nation’s bus and practice networks are expansive, and are properly price a glance. They may also be overwhelming (particularly for vacationers who can’t learn a lick of Arabic). But there are many different methods to get round this small nation.
Firstly, for those who plan to do an organized tour, they need to account for all transportation, which is sweet for those who’re not eager on figuring it out your self. Though essentially the most dependable and cozy strategy to journey is by automobile. You’ll discover automobile rental corporations in Tunis and in different giant cities.
You may rent cabs and personal drivers. While dearer than different choices, they’re cheaper when in comparison with different international locations. And better of all – you’ll get numerous bang to your buck with out the stress of navigating Tunisian visitors.
What to eat in Tunisia
The hottest meals in Tunisia’s numerous culinary pallet is couscous. Couscous is usually served as a kind of pasta served with stew, however varieties differ throughout North Africa. You may also encounter masfouf, a sweeter number of couscous.
For breakfast, strive a neighborhood chakchouka (additionally spelled shakshouka). This dish consists of poached eggs served in spicy sauce accompanied by varied greens and spices. Finally, you may (and may) order conventional mint tea when given the choice. It is a staple of Tunisian diets lasting from historical historical past, and you’ll’t eat in Tunisia with out being provided a sip a minimum of as soon as.
Where to remain in Tunisia
The greatest house base for any journey to Tunisia is undoubtedly Tunis. As the biggest and capital metropolis, it has essentially the most accommodations, eating places, guesthouses, and different vacationer facilities. It’s additionally most simply related to the remainder of the nation and the world, making it ideally suited to journey into and out of. There are a lot of neighborhoods which might be good choices for vacationers. Here’s a information to a few of the greatest spots to remain when touring in Tunisia!
Here are some wonderful stays in Tunis:
The bustling coronary heart of Tunis’s metropolis heart, the Medina space is the most effective to remain in to be totally immersed in city Tunisian life. Here you’ll have straightforward and handy entry to nearly wherever you’d prefer to go, and an array of facilities geared for locals and vacationers alike.
For the most effective expertise, I’d suggest staying at Dar El Jeld. It’s one of many nicest accommodations (and eating places) in Tunisia, so is pricier than some neighbors, however comparatively reasonably priced by most American and European requirements. Suites begin at $140 an evening. This lodge is totally luxurious, and any providers you can presumably want can be found. The rooms are big and opulent, and the situation is ideally located on the sting of the Medina. If you’re trying to splurge wherever in Tunisia, that is the place!
If you’re touring on a funds, take a look at the hostel Auberge el Medina. It gives conventional structure and meals, in addition to a cushty keep for reasonable. Dormitory-style rooms maintain 4 beds every, at $15.50 an evening for one mattress. You may guide all 4 beds to show any dorm room into your individual private room. Hostels are a lot much less frequent in Tunisia than in most of Europe, so it is a uncommon discover and a terrific wager for younger vacationers who need essentially the most bang for his or her buck!
Sidi Bou Said
Tunis’s personal Santorini, Sidi Bou Said is without doubt one of the hottest spots within the metropolis for vacationers. Outside of the Medina correct, it’s a calmer house base with loads of eating places and retailers. Plus, the views over the Mediterranean are merely unbeatable. Dar Said is a superb possibility on this village, overlooking the gulf. Rooms outfitted with double beds begin at simply over $100 an evening. Guests can make the most of a lot of choices, together with breakfast, a swimming pool, and gardens. This lodge in Tunis is a quiet recluse in a bustling metropolis!
Here are some wonderful stays in Sidi Bou Said:
La Marsa and Gammarth
A distinct possibility for lodging in Tunis is to hug the shore – actually. La Marsa and Gammarth are two neighboring villages that share lengthy coastlines with idyllic sandy seashores. This is the place you’ll discover many all-inclusive resorts and coastal getaways.
Because of its setting, this space is house to a lot of luxurious (ex: the Four Seasons Tunis). If it’s luxurious you’re searching for, I like to recommend the The Residence. A luxurious stick with non-public swimming pools, a number of eating places, and a phenomenal seashore, that is the place to be pampered in Tunis. Rooms right here (and in most of its opponents) begin at round $300 an evening.
Here are extra wonderful stays in La Marsa and Gammarth:
Looking for some relaxation and rest to work in your bodily and psychological well being?
Itinerary concepts for a visit to Tunisia
Booked your flights to Tunisia? Time for my favourite a part of this Tunisia journey information. Let’s have a look at a number of itinerary choices. I’ll base these on every week of journey, though I like to recommend staying longer for those who can!
Bustle to seashore
To guarantee a great combination of journey and rest, cut up your go to to Tunisia between metropolis and sand. Start in Tunis, the place you’ll discover the guts of town. Take journeys to Carthage, Sidi Bou Said, and the Medina. This is your time to buy in streetside stalls or get souvenirs for family and friends! Then make your manner all the way down to Hammamet, the resort capital of the nation.
Spend a number of days in a resort of your alternative, at a fraction of the associated fee that you just’d discover on the opposite facet of the Mediterranean. Enjoy the great seashores and the inviting ocean, and ensure to enterprise into the picturesque city heart. Once you’re correctly pampered, head again to Tunis to fly house (or additional on!).
If you’re trying to profit from a brief journey, hire a automobile and prepare to race by way of all of Tunisia’s prime sights. First, spend a minimum of two days in Tunis. This will provide you with loads of time to see Sidi Bou Said and Carthage, in addition to the Medina and metropolis heart. Then, drive south. Stop in Hammamet and Sousse, two great coastal cities. Explore the El Djem amphitheater, the biggest in Africa and third largest on the earth.
If you might have time, head all the way down to the key port metropolis of Sfax for its structure and tradition. You may drive additional south to achieve the tip of the desert! Head again as much as Tunis, and cease in Kairouan – the fourth holiest metropolis of Islam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now you’ve seen virtually the entire nation!
Follow the Force (guided journey by way of Tunisia)
One of Tunisia’s best claims to fame is its distinguished options within the Star Wars sequence. Whether you’re a superfan otherwise you’ve by no means seen them, an organized tour by way of these websites may be a good way to discover the southern and Saharan elements of the nation! This can also be one of many best methods to journey by way of Tunisia, as there are a variety of tour corporations that can manage a complete itinerary for you, with a wide range of durations and costs. Some of the preferred (and respected) corporations embody Silverscreen Tours and StarWars Tours.
Tunisia Travel Trivia: enjoyable details!
About to move off to Tunisia and need to be taught some extra? On your manner again and searching for some details to impress your mates? This Tunisia journey information wouldn’t be full with out some enjoyable details. How many of those Tunisian tidbits do you know?
- Tunis, when it was often called Carthage, was based and dominated by Dido. According to the mythology of Virgil’s Aeneid, Dido was compelled out of her house and seemed to discovered a brand new kingdom. She bartered right into a deal that she might rule nonetheless a lot land she might cowl with the disguise of a bull. Cleverly, Dido minimize the disguise into skinny strips and fashioned a strategic circle that she then made into town of Carthage.
- Tunisia has been a go-to filming location for the Stars Wars franchise ever since its origins! Numerous Star Wars movies have shot in Tunisia, profiting from its considerably other-worldly panorama.
- Tunisia is house to Islam’s 4th most necessary metropolis! The first three you most likely know: Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. But subsequent in line is Kairouan, Tunisia! The metropolis is a web site of pilgrimage for a lot of in addition to an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The northernmost level in Africa is in Tunisia. Cape Angela is a rocky landmass jutting into the Mediterranean, farther north than different locations reminiscent of Tangier or Algiers.
- The El Djem amphitheater in Tunisia is the biggest historical amphitheater in North Africa, and one of many largest on the earth. You might have even seen it in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian or a Nike business!
Tunisia journey information abstract
If you’re a very adventurous traveler, you may need booked your flight into TUN earlier than you even completed this text! If not, head from this tab to Skyscanner or Google Flights. By now you’ve learn concerning the historical past and tradition of Tunisia, however there’s no strategy to admire it with out visiting and experiencing it. The footage I’ve included of main sights don’t do them justice. And, in fact, your individual journey to Tunisia will embody surprises you may’t predict!
I hope this text on Tunisia tourism has put a brand new splendidly hidden gem in your bucket record, and that you just’ll hold Tunisia in your radar for future journeys. You can’t ask for a greater vacation spot to dip your toes within the (metaphorical) waters of Africa, and the (literal) waters of the Mediterranean on the identical time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Evan B. Edler is a full-time scholar and part-time traveler born in Amsterdam, raised in Boston, and at the moment dwelling in Dublin. A primary-year in college, he explores Europe on the weekends and books flights throughout class. You can (attempt to) sustain along with his adventures at @evanbedler.