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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 holiday)

Twelfth day of the third month of the Islamic calendar (date changes each year): Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet, national holiday)

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 Islamic (or Hegira) 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 holiday)

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 include concerts, fireworks and traditional meals shared by families and friends.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

Ninth month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Ramadan (celebrated nationwide)

The Islamic 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 Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Eid al-Fitr (national holiday)

This two-day festival marks the end of Ramadan 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 holiday)

Commemorates the proclamation on this day in 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 Islamic calendar (date changes each year): Eid al-Adha (national holiday)

This festival celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu'l-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 (celebrated nationwide)

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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

Tunis-Carthage International Airport is located about 8 kilometres (5 miles) north-east of central Tunis.

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

Getting from the airport to Tunis and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the N9.
    • A parking lot with 2,500 spaces is located in proximity to both terminals (TND 1.00 for the first 2 hours or any fraction thereof, TND 1.00 for each additional hour)
  • By bus
    • Bus 35 operated by the SNT leaves the airport every half hour and terminates at Tunis Marine train station on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the city centre. The trip takes about 30 minutes and the fare is around TND 1 each way.
    • The TUT bus leaves the airport for the city centre every 15 minutes, with a travel time of about 30 minutes (around TND 2 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 5 (a 50 percent supplement is charged after 9 p.m.).
  • Services: shops,bars and restaurants available in the airport.
  • Telephone: + 216 (0)71 754 000
  • Website: http://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 0.32 and TND 1.50, depending on the number of zones (called “sections”) crossed.
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 2.80 for one section to TND 10.70 for seven sections.

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 0.32 and TND 1.50, depending on the number of sections crossed.

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 0.80 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. 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. There are many car rental agencies dotted around the city. In order to rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have had your driver's licence for at least 1 year.

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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 organize your stay.

Office National du Tourisme Tunisien (ONTT)

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

  • Address: 1 avenue Mohamed V, Tunis
  • Telephone: + 216 (0)71 341 077

Further information available online for visitors to Tunisia

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 (D).

1 € = 2,95 D

1 D = 0,34 €

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

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel.

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:

Water

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

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Administrative formalities

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: http://www.diplomatie.gov.tn/index.php?id=4&L=2

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Essential phrases

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

Good morning: Sabah al-khair (response = sabah al-noor)

Good evening: Masaa al-khair (response = masaa al-noor)

Good-bye: Maasalama

Yes: Na'am

No: Laa

Thank you very much: Shukran jaziilan

No, thank you: Laa, shukran

Please: Min fadlik

I don't understand: Laa afham

Could you repeat that: Mumkin a'id hatha?

What time is it: Kamis saa'ah?

Excuse me: Afwan.

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

intl. access code + 216
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Tunis)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg

Banks

Usually open Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about 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.