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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Tunis

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Tunis each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

Third month of the Hijri calendar: Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet, national)

This festival celebrated on the twelfth day of Rabi'al-Awwal commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and is one of the most important days on the Hijri calendar. Tunisian Muslims use this opportunity to recall the values advocated by the Prophet. It is also a day when families gather to share a traditional meal in a festive atmosphere.

March 20: Independence Day (national)

Commemorates Tunisia's independence from France, gained on this day in 1956, under the leadership of President Habib Bourguiba. Anniversary ceremonies emphasize national unity and celebrations across town include concerts, fireworks and traditional meals shared by families and friends.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

Ninth month of the Hijri calendar: Ramadan (national)

The holy month of Ramadan, during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, is an especially pious time in Tunisia, a country with a majority Muslim population. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset. For the entire month, Tunis operates at a slower pace during the day and stirs into action at nightfall.

First two days of the tenth month of the Hijri calendar: Eid al-Fitr (national)

This two-day festival marks the end of Ramadan as well as the end of fasting, and is a time for family celebrations across Tunis, with exchanges of gifts, especially new clothes, and great feasts bringing together all family members. Music, dancing and street processions are also a prominent feature.

July 25: Republic Day (national)

Commemorates the proclamation on this day on July 25th, 1957 following a vote by the Constituent Assembly, which abolished the monarchy and established Tunisia as a republic. Anniversary celebrations include official ceremonies, parades and fireworks.

Tenth day of the last month of the Hijri calendar: Eid al-Adha (national)

This festival celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijja honours Ibrahim's proof of his obedience to Allah. Allah asked him to sacrifice his son Ismael, but just as Ibrahim was about to make the sacrifice, Allah told him to offer a ram instead. Traditionally, to remember Ibrahim's offering, each family sacrifices a sheep in the morning and the remainder of the day is spent in prayer and celebration, feasting on the roast mutton and sharing the meat with others.

December 25: Christmas (national)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Tunis

Tunis enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate. Winters are cool and rainy. Summers are usually hot and dry, although sea breezes moderate temperatures somewhat.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 7/45 16/61 59/2.3 Not the best period to go
February 7/45 16/61 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
March 8/46 18/64 47/1.9 Not the best period to go
April 10/50 21/70 38/1.5 Good period to go Good period to go
May 14/57 25/77 23/0.9 Good period to go Good period to go
June 17/63 29/84 10/0.4 Good period to go Good period to go
July 20/68 32/90 2/0.1 Good period to go Good period to go
August 21/70 33/91 7/0.3 Not the best period to go
September 19/66 30/86 36/1.4 Good period to go Good period to go
October 15/59 25/77 66/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
November 11/52 20/68 54/2.1 Not the best period to go
December 8/46 16/61 63/2.5 Not the best period to go
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Tunis-Carthage International Airport

The Tunis-Carthage International Airport is located about 8 kilometres (5 miles) northeast of Tunis.

  • Two terminals:
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2 (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Tunis and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the N9.
    • A car park with 2,500 spaces is located in proximity to both terminals (TND 2 per hour for the closest, TND 1 per hour for the farthest).
  • By bus
    • Bus 35 operated by the SNT leaves the airport every 40 minutes and terminates at Tunis Marine train station on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the city centre. The trip takes 15-30 minutes and the fare is TND 0.76 each way.
    • Bus 635 connects the airport with the city centre every 30 minutes, with a travel time of about 30 minutes (around TND 0.45 each way).
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the terminals. The trip to the city centre takes about 20 minutes and costs around TND 8 (a 50% supplement is charged after 9 p.m.).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, bank, post office and free Internet Access (Wi-Fi) are available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +216 (0)71 754 000
  • Website: www.oaca.nat.tn

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GETTING AROUND Tunis

Tunis has a good public transport system and is an easy city to get around. In addition to its many bus routes, the city has a modern light rail network covering the entire metropolitan area, including districts on the outskirts.

By rail

With six main lines criss-crossing the city, a total network length of nearly 45 kilometres (28 miles) and 66 stations, the light rail system in Tunis (called Métro Léger by locals) is an ideal option for getting around. The trains are inexpensive and easy to use. A single ticket costs between TND 0.40 and TND 1.50, depending on the distance and the number of zones.

Useful tip: A 7-day pass may be purchased, valid for unlimited travel on buses and the light rail network, with prices ranging from TND 3 and TND 10 depending on the number of zones.

By bus

Buses are a convenient and inexpensive solution for getting around Tunis. The network is efficient and offers extensive coverage of the city. A single ticket costs between TND 0.40 and TND 1.50 depending on the distance and the number of zones.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful in Tunis and relatively inexpensive. Official taxis are yellow and are equipped with meters. Make sure the driver turns on the meter before setting off. The official rate is TND 0.47 per kilometre, added to the initial charge of TND 0.50 (a 50 percent surcharge is added to fares between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.).

Shared taxis

In addition to its fleet of standard taxis, a large number of shared taxis (called "louages") circulate in Tunis. These yellow vehicles, either large sedans for five passengers or minibuses taking eight, operate along fixed routes throughout the city and can often be the fastest way to get around. Count about TND 0.70 for a ride downtown. Fares are usually slightly more than the bus fare for the same route. However, it is important to note that, unlike the buses, louages only leave as soon as the full complement of passengers has appeared, or occasionally when the driver gets tired of waiting.

By car

Renting a car in Tunis is an interesting option, especially for families or groups of friends travelling together. A national driving licence (international for non-European citizens) may be sufficient to drive around Tunisia. Make sure you have insurance coverage.

By bicycle

Riding a bike around Tunis and its whereabouts may not be an easy task. Bike lanes are virtually non-existent and sharing the roads with cars may be dangerous. Favour smaller streets.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Tunis, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Tunisian National Tourism Office (ONTT)

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: 1 avenue Mohamed V, Tunis
  • Telephone:+216 (0)71 120 300

Tunisia travel guide

The ONTT's official website provides a wealth of information on Tunis.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Tunisia is the Tunisian Dinar (TND).

1 SEK = 0,30 TND

1 TND = 3,30 SEK

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home. Tunis counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

Booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines are recommended. Depending on the length of your stay and hygiene conditions, the following additional vaccinations are also recommended: typhoid, hepatitis A and B.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are few risks of food safety in Tunis. However, it is recommended to:

  • carefully wash produce before eating
  • avoid eating raw food

Water

Although tap water is usually safe to drink in Tunis, it is recommended to drink only bottled water during your stay.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Tunisia

Tunisia has entered into visa exemption agreements with 96 countries, including all European Union countries.

To find out whether you will need to obtain a visa for your stay, visit the website of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gov.tn/en/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Tunis, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Arabic phrases that will make your stay in Tunis a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Sabah al-khair

Good evening: Masaa al-khair

Goodbye: Maasalama

Yes: Na'am

No: Laa

No, thank you: Laa, shukran

Thank you very much: Shukran jaziilan

Please: Min fadlik

I don't understand: Laa afham

Could you repeat ?: Mumkin a'id hatha?

What time is it ?: Kamis saa'ah?

Sorry: Afwan

Excuse me: Airport: Mataar

Train station: Mahattat al-qitaar

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Funduq

Hospital: Mustashfaa

Bank: Bank

Telephone: Telephone

I'm (…): Anya (…)

I'm looking for (…): Ab hass ane (…)

How much is (…)?: Bikam (…)?

Do you have (…)?: Hal 'indaka (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Ayna ajed (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?: Ayna ashtarii (…)?

I'd like (…): Urid (…)

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Good to know

+216
+ phone number (without 0)
-1 : 00
of time difference with
Stockholm
There is no daylight savings in Tunisia.

Banks

Usually open Monday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. In July and August, banks open only in the morning, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In July and August, administrations open only in the morning, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping

In Tunis and throughout Tunisia, tipping is not necessarily required, although always appreciated if you are satisfied with the service. There are no hard-and-fast rules for the amount to leave.

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