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Tunisia Travel Information

Visas, Health and Safety, Currency, When to Go

By

Chenini Mosque, Southern Tunisia

Chenini Mosque, Southern Tunisia

© Anouk Zijlma
Page 2 -- Getting to Tunisia by Air, Land and Sea
Page 3 -- Getting Around Tunisia by Plane, Train, Louage, Bus and Car

Visas, Health and Safety, Currency, When to Go

Visas

Most nationalities including those from the US, Canada and the UK do not need a visa to enter Tunisia as a tourist. If your nationality is not on the following list, then you should contact a Tunisian Embassy and apply for a visa.

You do NOT need a tourist visa if you belong to one of the following countries: Algeria, Antigua, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia & Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cote d', Croatia, Denmark, Dominica, Falkland Is, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Gibraltar, Gilbert Islands, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland Rep, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Korea (South), Kuwait, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saint Helena, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Solomon Is, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City and Yugoslavia.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after you enter Tunisia. You will get a stamp in your passport upon entry into the country (make sure you get it) which will allow you to stay for 3 months. No entry fees are charged.

Nationals of Australia and South Africa can obtain their tourist visa upon arrival at the airport, but double check with the Tunisian Embassy.

Health and Safety

As with most destinations in Africa you have to careful about what you drink and eat in order to avoid stomach upsets. Buying food from street vendors carries some degree of risk especially salads and uncooked food. Tap water can be drunk in major towns, but there's plenty of bottled water around to be totally safe. Luckily Tunisia is malaria-free.

Immunizations and Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required by law to enter Tunisia but Typhoid and Hepatitis A are two vaccinations that are strongly recommended. It is also a good idea to be up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccines.

Terrorism

On April 11, 2002, Al-Qaeda terrorists used a truck bomb to attack a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The attack killed 14 Germans, five Tunisians and two French tourists. About 30 others were injured. In 2008 two Austrian tourists were kidnapped by an Algerian Al-Qaeda organization. The couple were on their own and driving close to the Algerian border deep in the Sahara desert. They were released 6 months later in Bamako, Mali. Apart from these two incidents, Tunisia has been free from terrorist attacks and is probably the safest destination in North Africa.

Crime

Violent crime is quite rare in Tunisia but getting harassed by "guides" and petty theft is fairly common in the tourist areas and souks. Avoid walking alone at night especially in unlit areas and on the beach. Take care of your valuables and don't flaunt your cameras and jewelry.

Women Travelers

Tunisia is an Islamic country so be modest with your clothing. In the major tourist areas and the capital Tunis, dress is quite modern and only half the women wear head scarves. But you won't see too many short skirts, shorts or tank tops. Wear a bikini or swimsuit only at a pool or on a beach. More information on women traveling alone in Africa.

Currency and Money Matters

The Tunisian Dinar is Tunisia's official unit of currency. Click here to convert your currency and see the latest exchange rates. The confusing thing about Tunisian Dinar is that 1 dinar is equivalent to 1000 millimes (not the normal 100). So you can have the occasional heart attack and think you owe 5,400 dinar for a cab ride, when in fact it's only 5 dinar 4 millimes.

The Tunisian Dinar is not available outside the country, it's not an internationally traded currency. But you can easily change US Dollars, British Pounds and Euros at most major banks which line the main streets (as for Ave Habib Bourghiba whatever town you're in, and it'll be the main street!). Many of the banks ATM's (cash machines) accept credit cards. My US debit card (with a MC logo on it) was accepted everywhere. Using an ATM is much less time consuming than exchanging currency inside a bank, and often cheaper.

You can't take Tunisian Dinar out of the country, so try and spend it before you go! The Tunis airport does not accept Dinar in its gift shops once you go through customs.

Credit Cards are accepted at high end hotels, in the tourist zones and some high end restaurants in the main cities, but you'll be using cash for the most part. American Express is not widely accepted at all.

When to Go to Tunisia

As with many destinations the weather usually determines the best time to travel to Tunisia. If you want to trek in the desert (which I highly recommend) the best time to go is late September to November and March to early May. It will still be chilly at night, but not quite freezing, and the days won't be too hot.

If you're headed for the beach and would like to avoid the crowds, May, June and September are all perfect. Most tourists visit Tunisia in July and August when the sun shines every day, the swimming is perfect and the beach towns are filled with life. Book your accommodation well in advance if you're planning to travel during the summer months.

Click here for average temperatures and more climate information.

More Tunisia Travel Information
Page 2 -- Getting to Tunisia by Air, Land and Sea
Page 3 -- Getting Around Tunisia by Plane, Train, Louage, Bus and Car

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