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Tunisia
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Weather & best time to visit

14°
Wednesday, 07.12.2016
09:00 UTC

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Good to know

City map Tunis

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    Tunis – a brief overview

    Since the Arab Spring (which started in Tunisia in 2011), the capital of Tunis has made remarkable progress. This has always been an inclusive, relatively progressive country, and the road to democracy has largely been a resounding success. The tourists haven’t quite returned in healthy numbers yet, but there is much to see, and not just in the resort-heavy seafront a few kilometres away.

    The city boasts one of the oldest, most compelling medinas in the Arab world, jostling for attention with busy and more modern Ville Nouvelle (New Town). Then there are the incredible ruins of ancient Carthage on the outskirts. Get there before the inevitable tourist boom.

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    Top 10 sights in Tunis

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    Tunis, Tunesien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Medina

    Medina
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tunis’ ancient medina is an incredible warren of Islamic monuments and mosques, little shops and cafés.

    Zitouna Mosque

    Rue Jamaa Ez-Zitouna
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 909 264
    Show on map

    Opening times: Sat-Mon 0800-1500

    Dating back to AD732, this soaring mosque in the heart of the medina is one of the most important in the world. Reclaimed Roman and Byzantine pillars and lintels are included in the interior decoration.

    The National Bardo Museum

    Rue Mongi Slim
    2000 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 513 650
    Show on map

    Opening times: Daily 0900-1700 (May-Sep)Daily 0930-1630 (Oct-Apr)

    This recently restored museum is full of archaeological treasures, with one of the world’s most outstanding collections of Romans mosaics.

    Carthage

    Carthage
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    The ancient ruins of Carthage are Tunisia’s top tourist attraction. Highlights include the Roman theatre, Antonine Baths and the National Museum of Carthage, converted from a grand old cathedral.

    Sidi Bou Saïd

    Carthage
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Named after a 13th-century holy man from mystical strand of Islam known as Sufism, this cobblestoned, labyrinthine town on the coast has long been an artists’ haven.

    Dar Ben Abdallah Museum

    Impasse Ben Abdallah, Medina
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 909 264
    Show on map

    Opening times: Mon-Sat 0930-1630

    Set in a grand 18th-century mansion, this fascinating museum contains arts, furniture and textiles that shed light on Tunisia’s traditional crafts – still alive in the medina.

    Avenue Habib Bourguiba

    Avenue Habib Bourguiba
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    It’s essential to walk the main tree-lined boulevard running from the imperious clock tower, past many busy café terraces and important monuments, until you reach the ancient medina gateway.

    Municipal Theatre of Tunis

    11 rue de Grèce
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    Opening times: Various

    The impressive white municipal theatre was built in 1902. It’s worth a look as much for its high-profile performances as for its gorgeous art nouveau architecture.

    Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul

    4 rue d'Alger
    1000 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 335 831
    Show on map

    Opening times: Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1400-1800Sat 0800-1200 (until 1400 in Jul-Aug)

    The 19th-century church is an oddity not just for being Catholic, but for its unusual design, which mixes Byzantine, Moorish and even Gothic elements.

    Belvedere Park

    Avenue Taieb Mehiri
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Established during colonial French rule, this green oasis in the city’s New Town used to be for the affluent only. Now it features a small lake, a zoo and a handsome 18th-century pavilion.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    From broad sweeps of beach, overlooked by a tumble of sugar cube houses, to grand ancient ruins, and the vast, rolling dunes of the Sahara; Tunisia is a fusion of everything that makes North Africa enticing.

    Geography

    The Republic of Tunisia lies on the North African coast, 130km (80 miles) southwest of Sicily and 160km (100 miles) due south of Sardinia. Dwarfed by its neighbours, sandwiched between Algeria to the west and Libya to the east, Tunisia is just over 163’000 sq km in size. It may be small but Tunisia has a landscape which varies from the cliffs of the north coast, to the woodland of the interior, from desert to rich, arable land, and from mountains to salt pans below sea level.

    The 1,148 km (713 miles) Mediterranean coastline is dotted with small islands, notably Djerba in the south and Kerkennah in the east.

    The coastline is backed by lush pasture, orchards, vineyards and olive groves and is the most populous area of the country.

    The north of the country is increasingly mountainous with rolling pine-clad hills a large feature of the landscape. South of Gafsa and Gabès the central region’s countryside becomes starker with semi-arid plains as the Sahara begins to exert its influence.

    The desert region of the Sahara is one of Tunisia’s most famous features. Its diverse environment of mammoth salt pans, vast sand plains and towering dunes, interspersed with lush oases forms the landscape of the south.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 10835873

    Population Density (per sq km): 66

    Capital: Tunis.

    Language

    The official language is Arabic. French is the second language, English, German and Italian are spoken mainly in tourist resorts.

    Currency

    Tunisian Dinar (TND; the symbol DT is also used commonly within Tunisia) = 1,000 millimes. Notes are in denominations of TND30, 20, 10 and 5. TND5 bank notes are now rare. Coins are in denominations of TND5 and 1, and 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 millimes. The 10 and 5 millimes coins are not commonly used but are still legal tender.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0830-1300 and 1500-1745 (winter); Mon-Sat 0830-1300 (summer). Government office opening hours may vary by half an hour. Shops open later, while many business and offices close on Friday lunchtime, and the whole country works at half-efficiency during the month of Ramadan.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2016 – December 2017 period.

    Note

    Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last up to several days, depending on the region.

    2016

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2016
    Revolution Day: 14. January 2016
    Independence Day: 20. March 2016
    Youth Day: 21. March 2016
    Martyrs’ Day: 09. April 2016
    Labour Day: 01. May 2016
    End of Ramadan: 06. July 2016
    Republic Day: 25. July 2016
    Women’s Day: 13. August 2016
    Feast of Sacrifice: 12. September 2016
    Islamic New Year: 03. October 2016
    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad: 12. December 2016

     

    2017

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2017
    Revolution Day: 14. January 2017
    Independence Day: 20. March 2017
    Youth Day: 21. March 2017
    Martyrs’ Day: 09. April 2017
    Labour Day: 01. May 2017
    End of Ramadan: 26. June 2017
    Republic Day: 25. July 2017
    Women’s Day: 13. August 2017
    Feast of Sacrifice: 12. September 2017
    Islamic New Year: 03. October 2017
    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad: 12. December 2017

    All information subject to change.

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Tunis

    ListMap

    Though more tolerant about drinking than elsewhere in the region, Tunis’ night scene still revolves more around iced coffees and mint teas on café terraces than boozing.

    There are bars serving alcohol, though, especially in the New Town, as well as plenty of live music.

    Le Plug Rock Bar

    1 Rue Mongi Slim
    2070 La Marsa
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    This lively bar overlooking the sea in La Marsa is popular with the burgeoning hipster crowd.

    Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes

    Rue du 2 mars 1934
    2026 Sidi Bou Saïd
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    The Ennejma Ezzahra Palace hosts traditional and progressive artists, such as Arab electronica.

    Villa Didon

    Rue Mendès France
    2016 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    With amazing views in the heart of Carthage, Villa Didon turns into a hedonistic club at night.

    Grand Café Du Theatre

    50 Avenue Habib Bourguiba
    1001 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Of the trendy café terraces on Habib Bourguiba, this is the classiest, with impeccable service.

    Le Boeuf sur le Toit

    El Kram
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    This buzzy bar has live music and DJs, as well as excellent food.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Tunis

    ListMap

    Blending Mediterranean, Arab and Berber influences, Tunisian cuisine is a delight with plentiful couscous, thick chickpea soups and saucy lamb dishes.

    Given its colonial past, there’s a classy French element alongside the traditional local eateries.

    Dar El Jeld

    5 rue Dar El Jeld
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Tunis’ finest restaurant, Dar El Jeld is set in a lavish 18th-century palace.

    Chez Slah

    14 rue Pierre de Coubertin
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    For French colonial fare in the city centre, head to Chez Slah.

    La Spigola

    52 Avenue Franklin Rosvelt
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    With Sicily just across the Med, it’s nice to find an Italian-style fish restaurant in Tunis.

    Café M'Rabet

    27 Souk El Trouk El Kasba
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    In the middle of the ancient souks lies this lively local restaurant serving traditional dishes.

    Le Chargui

    39 Rue Habib Thameur
    Tunis
    Tunesien
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Enjoy spicy merguez (traditional sausage) or fresh fish overlooking the sea.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Festival d'Epervier (Falconry Festival)

    16 – 19 June 2016

    Venue: El-Haouaria, Cap Bon (two hours by bus from Tunis).

    Four days of falconry demonstrations, live music and a big market. Sparrow hawks are captured during their spring migration, trained and released again after the festival.

    Tunis Medina Festival

    20 Juni – 15 July 2016

    Venue: Old Town

    Running since the early 1980s, the Tunis Medina Festival takes place in the capital during evening over Ramadan, featuring musical acts and film screenings from a wide range of different countries.

    Carthage International Festival

    9 July – 16 August 2016

    Venue: Roman amphitheatre of Carthage.

    Tunisia’s largest cultural festival with music, dance, theatre and art amid the ancient ruins of Carthage.

    Hammamet International Festival

    9 July – 20 August 2016
    Website

    Venue: Hammamet (one hour by train from Tunis).

    A wide variety of international performances of music and theatre.

    Kharja Festival

    18 August 2016

    Venue: Sidi Bou Said.

    Sufi brotherhoods gather for a procession up to the shrine of the local Muslim saint after whom the village is named.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Tunis

    ListMap

    Many tourists come to stay at the beach resorts on the coast near Tunis, but lodging options are improving in the city itself as it becomes a destination in its own right.

    While there are some guesthouse-type options in the medina, the New Town is always a safe bet.

    Regency

    2078 La Marsa
    Les Côtes de Carthage
    Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel: +216 71 259 499
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Based on the coast in La Marsa, this opulent hotel boasts a hammam, pools and a Thai restaurant.

    Novotel Tunis Mohamed V

    Avenue Mohamed V
    1002 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    For glitzy modernity, try Novotel’s offering, with good international food.

    Concorde Les Berges Du Lac

    Rue du Lac Turkana
    1053 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    The Concorde is a handsome city hotel, with a great restaurant and spa.

    St Georges Tunis

    16 Rue De La Cologne
    Tunis 4001
    Tunisia
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Built in 1970, St George is basic and a little faded, but cheap and cheerful.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 07.12.2016 09:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    14°C


    wind speed

    3.75 mph

    7 days forecast

    Thursday

    08.12.2016

    18°C / 14°C

    Friday

    09.12.2016

    18°C / 13°C

    Saturday

    10.12.2016

    19°C / 12°C

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    18°C / 11°C

    Monday

    12.12.2016

    18°C / 10°C

    Tuesday

    13.12.2016

    18°C / 11°C

    Wednesday

    14.12.2016

    18°C / 13°C

    Climate & best time to visit Tunisia

    The areas of northern Tunisia that draw the most tourists have a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, occasionally rainy winters. Along with destinations like Egypt and Turkey, Tunisia has claimed a good slice of the Mediterranean summer holiday market, making June to August a popular time for coastal resorts.

    Spring and autumn both offer their own enticements though, both in terms of an appealing climate and a lessening of tourist traffic. This is the best time to visit the desert regions of the south and central Tunisia, as in summer the temperatures can climb to stifling heights, whilst in winter the Sahara can be bitterly cold at night.

    Winter is low season in Tunisia and hotel prices often drop during the months of December to February. There are still plenty of sun-filled days but temperatures drop substantially once the sun has set and you need to come prepared for rain.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    25 °C

    -1 °C

    29 °C

    -1 °C

    35 °C

    0 °C

    33 °C

    2 °C

    40 °C

    5 °C

    45 °C

    9 °C

    46 °C

    12 °C

    46 °C

    11 °C

    44 °C

    12 °C

    36 °C

    5 °C

    31 °C

    2 °C

    25 °C

    0 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    59 mm

    57 mm

    47 mm

    38 mm

    23 mm

    10 mm

    3 mm

    7 mm

    33 mm

    66 mm

    56 mm

    67 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    4 h

    5 h

    6 h

    7 h

    9 h

    10 h

    11 h

    10 h

    8 h

    7 h

    5 h

    4 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    76 %

    74 %

    73 %

    71 %

    68 %

    64 %

    62 %

    64 %

    68 %

    72 %

    74 %

    77 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    14 °C

    13 °C

    14 °C

    15 °C

    16 °C

    19 °C

    23 °C

    24 °C

    23 °C

    21 °C

    18 °C

    16 °C

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan25 °C-1 °C15 °C7 °C76 %59 mm94.7 h
    Feb29 °C-1 °C16 °C7 °C74 %57 mm85.7 h
    Mar35 °C0 °C18 °C8 °C73 %47 mm86.4 h
    Apr33 °C2 °C20 °C10 °C71 %38 mm67.5 h
    May40 °C5 °C24 °C13 °C68 %23 mm39.1 h
    Jun45 °C9 °C29 °C17 °C64 %10 mm210.3 h
    Jul46 °C12 °C32 °C20 °C62 %3 mm< 111.5 h
    Aug46 °C11 °C32 °C20 °C64 %7 mm110.6 h
    Sep44 °C12 °C29 °C19 °C68 %33 mm48.6 h
    Oct36 °C5 °C25 °C15 °C72 %66 mm67.0 h
    Nov31 °C2 °C20 °C11 °C74 %56 mm65.8 h
    Dec25 °C0 °C16 °C8 °C77 %67 mm84.8 h
    year46 °C-1 °C23 °C13 °C70 %466 mm617.7 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +216

    Telephone

    Public phones are found widely, with some shops also offering the service. Using Skype in an internet café though, is usually the more cost-effective option.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements with international mobile phone companies exist. You can buy a local SIM card at Tunisie Telecom offices if you provide appropriate identification.

    Internet

    Tunisia has a high number of internet users, so email can be easily and cheaply accessed from Internet cafés in most towns and all resorts. Many hotels now also offer Wi-Fi for guest use. Connection is usually of a good standard.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Tunis

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    The medina is full of shops and stalls selling cheap souvenirs, traditional crafts and clothing. Be sure to bag yourself a pair of babouche slippers, but get ready to haggle Maghreb-style! For a wider range of shopping options, head to Ville Nouvelle, the New Town, which is full of shops and boutiques.

    Markets

    The souks in the medina of Tunis are some of the oldest in North Africa, particularly the spice market. The Souk El-Trouk is great for antiques and tailored clothing.

    Shopping Centres

    With more than 60 boutiques, Le Centre Commercial Tunis City (Ariana) claims to be the biggest mall in Tunisia and will serve most practical shopping needs.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Arabic in culture and tradition, Tunisia is a liberal and tolerant Muslim society with many equality laws enshrined in the Tunisian Constitution brought in by the country’s first president Habib Bourguiba. Polygamy is outlawed, women are free to choose whether to wear the headscarf, and have the right to ask for divorce, work, run their own businesses, and have access to abortion and birth control.

    Although cities like Tunis, Sfax and Sousse can seem extremely liberal and modern, it is important to remember that in more rural areas local life is much more traditional. Outside of resort areas visitors should dress modestly out of respect for this. Most Tunisian men would not be caught dead wearing shorts once off the beach and in the countryside it is practically unheard of. Likewise, once away from touristy areas, women should avoid wearing skimpy, revealing clothing. When visiting mosques and other religious buildings, both sexes should make sure their clothing covers their upper arms and knees, and women should wear a headscarf. On a separate note, Tunisians take a lot of pride in their dress and although informal clothing is now very acceptable among younger Tunisians, visitors will garner more respect if they don’t dress scruffily.

    Shaking hands is the usual form of greeting.

    Women greeting other women and men greeting other men will often also kiss each other the cheek. It is common to place your right hand across your heart after shaking hands. This is also a polite way of showing your thanks. Occasionally, among more religious people greeting people of the opposite sex, this is used as a greeting instead of shaking hands.

    Hospitality is important in Tunisia and a small gift in appreciation of hospitality or as a token of friendship is always well-received.

     

     

    Good to know

    Health

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is normally chlorinated in urban areas, and whilst safe may cause mild abdominal upsets. It is advisable to only drink bottled water during your stay, which is widely available everywhere. It’s worth also noting that ice is rarely made from bottled water (even in resort areas) and should be avoided altogether. Milk should be boiled when unpasteurised. UHT milk is available and is advised.

    Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled before eating. When choosing where to eat, look for popular places which have a high turnover of food meaning food will be fresher and will not have been sitting around for a long time. Avoid ice cream being sold on the street, which might have melted and been refrozen.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against Hepatitis B are recommended.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Schleith-Amara, Susanne
    110 Avenue de le Liberté
    1002 Tunis
    Tunisia
    Tel. +216-71784470

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.
    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre