Travel in Tunisia – 10 Best Tips for Independent Travellers
Independent travel in Tunisia is easier than most people would expect. This country has a fantastic transport network to help you discover all of the highlights and more. Many visitors, particularly Europeans head to Tunisia as part of a week-long all-inclusive package deal. The drawcard is the beaches along the Mediterranean coastline of Tunisia and the competitive prices for many chic resorts.
But, if you’re interested in discovering Tunisia beyond just the resorts and tourist towns, you’re in for an exciting time. For adventurous travellers looking for a destination to explore in more depth, I’d recommend Tunisia.
If you ask us, this North African nation is so underrated. We had an amazing few weeks discovering this country and the diversity it offers.
We travelled to Tunisia in late November, early December 2021.
The prices quoted in this itinerary for Tunisia are in local currency, Tunisian Dinar (TND).
At the time 1 USD = 2.9 TND
1) Get a SIM Card on Arrival or Buy a digital eSIM
The wifi and internet are not very reliable in Tunisia so I’d recommend picking up a SIM Card for your phone with one of the providers at the airport. There are several to choose from and they all offer similar data plans. I got an Orange SIM Card for free at the airport, then topped it up with 10GB for 20 TND (USD $7). You can also get 2GB for 10 TND.
Alternatively, an easier option would be to get an eSIM for Tunisia. This eSIM gives you 1GB data for 7 days. The price is $9.50 and you can download it on your phone within minutes. Once you’ve arrived in Tunisia, you’re all set to go.
But, because I have a bank account with ING Direct, every ATM bank fee was reimbursed to me. It’s fantastic! I’m also refunded for any foreign transaction fees charged to me whilst I’m travelling abroad with this bank.
5) Download Maps.me App and use louage for transport
One of the best tools to get around Tunisia is the Maps.me app. You can download offline maps of the country which means you never have to use mobile data to get around.
The map also shows hiking trails and walking paths, something that Google Maps doesn’t have.
Although Tunisia has a great train network between cities as well as buses, it is much faster to use louage. Louage is the name for small vans that connect all cities and towns. You go to the dedicated station in town, buy a ticket from the ticket office and take a seat in the van that fits 8 people.
Once the van is full, it departs directly to the final destination. It is the fastest way to get from A to B in Tunisia whiteout using taxi or your own car.
The Louage station in Sousse
🔥 Hot Tip: Book accommodation in advance on Booking.com
🎟 Book your attractions and tickets online: We recommend Viator
Time and time again, Booking.com offered us the best range of accommodation and prices as we travelled around Tunisia. The best part is that the app is really easy to use and you pay in local currency or credit card once you arrive at your accommodation provider.
In many cases, the app gives you the option to reserve the hotel for your selected date and if you need to change it or cancel, there is often no cancellation fees.
6) Drink Only Bottled Water or Bring a LifeStraw
Avoid drinking the tap water in Tunisia and stick to bottled water. Large bottles of water (1.5L) can be purchased from small shops and supermarkets for about $0.25.
Better yet, bring along a LifeStraw filtered water bottle. Not only will you be helping the environment to reduce plastic waste, but you can take it with you on your future travelling adventures.
This a tip we’d recommend not only for travel in Tunisia but for every country you visit. We use XE Currency Converter regularly to convert currency and exchange rates when we’re on the go.
I’d recommend that you download the app to your phone and add Tunisian Dinar (local currency) to your browser. Whenever you need to withdraw currency at an ATM or change other foreign currencies in Tunisia, you can double-check you’re getting the right rate within seconds on XE.
I frequently use my XE app to calculate the prices of goods in supermarkets, and at markets if I’m buying souvenirs or food.
9) Exchange your Tunisian Dinars before your departure
As you explore and travel in Tunisia, remember to keep any foreign currency receipts or ATM currency withdrawal receipts with you.
Before departing Tunisia, ensure you convert all of your Tunisian dinars to Euros/USD (or another hard currency) before you depart. Tunisian Dinars are impossible to exchange once you’ve departed the country.
If you exchange currency at the airport before your departure, you may be asked for the receipt proving where you got the cash initially.
Travel in Tunisia is very affordable, but exchange local currency for Euros/USD before your departure
10) Travel Insurance
We recommend getting a good travel insurance policy for travel to Tunisia. We recommend both World Nomads and SafetyWing.
Use the box below to get a SafetyWing travel insurance quote
Where to stay in Tunis
Most flights from around the world will likely arrive in Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia.
My final tip for independent travel in Tunisia is to reserve at least your first-night accommodation here to begin your trip. My recommendations for affordable, comfortable and well-located hotels, for any budget, are listed below.
Budget: Dar Ya – A great budget option in the heart of Medina. Rooms are clean and comfortable, yet only shared bathroom facilities available. Breakfast is included in the price.
The staff is very welcoming and helpful in providing local knowledge to explore Tunis and the surrounding area. Check prices here.
Midrange: Dar Ben Gacem – A beautifully restored old Tunisian home, now a boutique hotel. The rooms are beautiful, and an amazing breakfast is included in the rate (the best omelette and coffee in Tunisia).
The young staff is always around to help with anything you need, even if it’s just to prepare you a hot pot of tea or coffee after a long day of exploring. Check prices here.
We recommend you read our post about the Perfect 14 Days Itinerary for Tunisia. This is the route we took, and it was ideal. We’ve included prices and details of local transport, where to stay and essential information that will ensure your travels here are smooth.
🚌 Transportation: To book trains,Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we useOmio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go.For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.
💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE is the best online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. It’s so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.
📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code VHN20 for a 20% discounton ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only – Read Terms & Conditions) OR use promo code VHN15 for a 15% discount on ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo account users – Read Terms & Conditions)
Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 190 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.