Tunisia flag vs map

Tunisia Shopping, Culinary, and Accommodation




In the medinas of the large cities of Tunisia, such as Tunis, Kairouan, Sousse or Sfax, you will find a great selection of local handicrafts. Bargaining is absolutely necessary here. In the state-run ONAT shops (Office National de l’Artisanat Tunisia) tested goods are offered at fixed prices. Souvenir shops are plentiful in resort towns, but it is rare to find quality products here. Tourists should only buy from stores recommended by tour guides or the Tunisian Tourist Board. You should also consider the Tunisian export regulations when buying. Popular souvenirs are copper goods, objects made of olive wood, leather goods, traditional clothing (kaftan, djelaba, burnoo), perfumed oils, pottery, folklore dolls, embroidery, tiles, silverware, enameled jewellery, hookahs and carpets. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, paprika, aniseed, coriander, pepper or chili are sold at colorful stalls in the souks at reasonable prices. The artists’ village of Sidi Bou Said is known for its wooden bird cages. Nabeul is a center for the production of pottery, and in many shops you will find not only the tiles that are typical of the region, but also other ceramic art objects. Tunisian rugs are typically unusually geometrically patterned and rendered in more muted colors than their Central Asian counterparts. The quality of the carpets is strictly controlled by the national organization for handicrafts (ONAT), and a label attached to the carpet shows the seal of approval and graduation. The city of Kairouan is Tunisia’s carpet capital, where a number of carpet dealers display valuable carpets and rugs. Many of the dealers are knowledgeable experts in the art of rugs and will be happy to help you with your selection. Unfortunately, there are also people here who are inclined to lie and cheat, which should be taken into account when buying a carpet.

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Opening hours

08.00-12.00 and 16.00-19.00 in summer, 09.00-13.00 and 15.00-19.00 in winter.



Tunisian nightlife essentially consists of a strong café culture. Even in the smallest towns you can find at least one or two cafés, where people gather from sunset. The good atmosphere of these small bars often extends to the sidewalks in front of them, where café visitors smoke hookahs, play backgammon and drink coffee or tea until the early hours of the morning. An evening in one of these cafés offers a good opportunity to get in touch with the Tunisians and to get to know local life. In larger cities like Tunis, Sfax or Sousse, these traditional establishments are usually located in or at least near the medina. In the newer parts of the city you can find modern versions of these cafés, which have a more European atmosphere and often serve alcohol. In areas that attract a lot of international visitors, you can find some nightclubs that either tend to attract more affluent young Tunisians or cater exclusively to tourists. Many of these nightclubs are part of a hotel. Live music and belly dancing performances are held regularly in some restaurants and bars from May to September. Tunisia also has a lot to offer culturally: from October to June, numerous theater and concert events by local and foreign ensembles take place throughout the country. International groups perform in the theaters of Tunis, Hammamet and Sousse.



Tunisian cuisine is rather hearty and combines Arabic, Mediterranean and French elements with influences from Middle Eastern cuisine. The dishes are often prepared with olive oil and seasoned with anise, coriander, cumin, caraway, cinnamon or saffron and flavored with mint, orange blossom or rose water. Harissa, a hot spice paste made from fresh chilies and garlic, is often served with the dishes. Fish is often served along the coast, especially Dorade (sea bream). In the Sahara region, on the other hand, you will find more Berber specialties, especially rich stews. Roasted poultry and lamb dishes are popular across the country, as is couscous (meal made from wheat, barley or millet). Salad is on the menu all year round and is served with a simple, light dressing. Desserts are not typically Tunisian, but there is a wide range of Arabic sweets and cakes, often filled with nuts and soaked in honey or syrup. Some French pastries such as croissants or pain au chocolat are also available. In Tunis and other major cities, there are French, Italian and other European restaurants, among others. Usually served at the table.

Regional specialities

Tajine (lamb stew). Brik (dumplings filled with egg, tuna, onions, capers and parsley). Salade mechouia (grilled salad with tomato and peppers). Merguez (strongly seasoned beef sausages). Filfil mahshi (peppers stuffed with beef and harissa). Lablabi (chickpea stew with lots of garlic). Marqa (slow-cooked meat and vegetable stew). Ojja (egg dish with harissa, tomatoes, peppers and sometimes meat).

Useful information

Although Tunisia is a Muslim country, there is no ban on alcohol. Alcohol is available in bars, restaurants and some supermarkets. For most Tunisians, a vegetarian diet is unimaginable. It can sometimes be difficult to find meatless dishes. Although Tunisian cuisine has all sorts of salads, soups, stews and egg dishes, it should be noted that many dishes labeled vegetarian are based on chicken broth or contain a small piece of meat or two for flavor.


Tipping is not expected, but it is customary to give a few coins to waiters and taxi drivers. In restaurants that are mostly visited by tourists, the waiters get 10% of the bill.

Regional drinks

Moorish cafes with traditional decor serve excellent ahwa arbi (Turkish coffee) and thé à la menthe (mint tea with pine nuts). Tunisia produces excellent table wines, sparkling wines, beers, aperitifs and local liqueurs such as boukha (distilled from figs) or thibarine (date liqueur with herbs).

Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages

In Tunisia, you can drink alcohol from the age of 21.



Tunisia has around 160,000 hotel beds. There are also holiday villages everywhere. In Tabarka there is a luxury resort. A directory of accommodation is available from the Tourist Office. Categories: The hotels are divided into five categories, ranging from deluxe (5 stars) to simple (1 star).


You can camp on the beach or in the parks with permission from the owner, the police, or the National Guard. The largest campsites are Le Moulin Bleu in Hammam-Plage (20 km from Tunis); L’Auberge des Jasmins in Nabeul (65km from Tunis), with showers, washbasins, toilets, hot and cold water, shop, restaurant, open-air theaters and a large orange grove; L’Ideal Camping in Hammamet (60 km from Tunis) with restaurant; Sonia Camping & Caravan in Zarzis (505 km from Tunis) and the youth center of Gabès (404 km from Tunis and open only in summer).

Other accommodation options

Group reservations in youth hostels should be booked in advance if possible. The Tunisian Tourist Office provides further information (see contact addresses).



98% Muslim (Sunni). Jewish, Catholic and Protestant minorities.

Social Rules of Conduct

General: In terms of Arabic culture and tradition, Tunisia is a liberal and tolerant Muslim country. The Tunisian constitution contains many laws on equality between men and women, introduced by Habib Bourguiba, the country’s first president. Polygamy is prohibited by law. Women are free to choose not to wear a headscarf, have the right to file for divorce, work, run their own business, and have access to abortion and birth control. But even if cities like Tunis, Sfax or Sousse seem very liberal and modern, one should always keep in mind that people in the rural areas lead a much more traditional life. manners: They shake hands to greet each other. The kiss on both cheeks, with which women greet each other, is more personal. Men who are friends also kiss each other on the cheeks as a greeting. It is customary to place your right hand on your heart after shaking hands; this is also a polite way of expressing thanks. This gesture sometimes replaces the handshake among very religious people of opposite sexes. Hospitality plays a big role. Small gifts of appreciation or as a token of friendship are always welcome. Clothing: Neat casual clothing is acceptable. In view of the predominantly Islamic faith of the population, women should neither show bare knees nor shoulders or a too low-cut décolleté. Men should only wear shorts on the beach and in tourist areas. This rule should be observed, especially in the rural areas of the country. Women should also cover their hair when visiting a mosque. Swimwear belongs on the beach. Smoking: Smoking is permitted everywhere, some restaurants offer separate non-smoking areas. Smoking is permitted for tourists during the month of fasting Ramadan, but out of consideration for the believers it is better not to do so in public. Tipping: If the service charge is not already included in the restaurant bill, a tip of 10-15% is usual. In taxis, the fare is usually rounded up.


Best travel time

Warm all year round. The best travel times are spring and autumn. Inland, temperatures can rise extremely. Winter is generally mild with occasional rainfall.

Country data

Phone prefix


Area (sq km)



11,818,619 (Source: homosociety)

Population density (per square km)


Population statistics year


Main emergency number


Tunisia flag vs map