Our last trip to North Africa was to Egypt, which we loved, and we couldn’t wait to do something like it again. When we first started researching our Tunisia road trip, we found Roman ruins instead of pyramids. We were intrigued, until now all we had ever heard about Tunisia was the all-inclusive beach resorts. We had no idea how many wonderful things there were to do in this under-rated country. Hopefully this Tunisia Travel Guide will help you in your planning.
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Our Road Trip through Tunisia Map
Our Tunisia Itinerary – 10 days
- Tunis – 3 nights
- El Kef – 1 night
- Sousse – 2 nights
- Sfax – 2 nights
- Hammamet – 2 nights
- Tunis – 2 nights
TunisWe started and finished our trip in Tunis, since that’s where the international airport is located. We usually get on the road right away, but this time we were waiting on our friends to meet up with us, and we arrived a full day and a half before they did. We took advantage of that extra time and visited the Bardo National Museum, which is chock full of mosaics relocated from the many Roman ruins throughout the country. We were amazed at how many, how large, how varied the artwork was. If there is one museum to go to you need to visit the Bardo. Then we had one full day to head north. We walked around the city of Bizerte, visited the ruins of Utica, and drove around the Ichkeul National Park. Ichkeul is known for its wetlands, and flocks of a variety of migratory birds. We did see some flamingoes while we were there. At the end of the trip, we visited Carthage, the U.S. North Africa Military Cemetery, and even spent the afternoon in Sidi bou Said.
El KefOne of our favorite stops, El Kef feels like it’s on the frontier. We certainly did not see any other tourists, or westerners on this part of the trip. The furthest they seem to go is Bulla Regia. We spent a fun night in the one restaurant that we found open. There were no women, but it was packed, and we spent hours there drinking rosé wine and talking to the people closest to our table.
SousseSousse is a pretty city on the coast. The medina here has a night market, and we discovered it as the sun was setting. People were sitting in the square, kids playing, parents gossiping. It felt relaxed and fun. The beaches here were some of the prettiest as well.
MonastirMonastir was probably our favorite spot of the whole trip. We had fun here touring the Ribat and the Habib Bourguiba Tomb. The best part was the family we met, as the people always make it or break it. If I were to travel to Tunisia again, I would make Monastir my home base. The town was quiet. The beach was beautiful. We just loved the vibe of this town, and it’s close enough to both Sousse and Sfax that you could do a lot in just a few days.
SfaxWe stayed in Sfax because it was our gateway to visiting Tatouine and El Jem. These two days were spent trundling through the Saharan towns, stopping and chatting with people along the way whenever we could. We had a couple of experiences with olives, but otherwise the towns were so far apart that at first it looked like we’d have to wait to get back to the city before we had a meal, but we got lucky and found a man grilling outside in a small town. We were the only customers, but it was a good lunch of lamb skewers making us all very happy. Other than walking around the medina and the souk, we didn’t do much in Sfax. Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty modern city.
HammametWe spent a couple of nights here, because this is the place that people go. The beaches here are full of resorts, and all my friends who’d been to Tunisia ahead of me loved this town. It did have a quaint medina, very pretty and clean. It also had a lot of really nice hotels, which after a few days of being out in the countryside, we really welcomed.
Driving in TunisiaIt was surprisingly easier than we thought. The cities are crowded, and traffic could get a little chaotic, but overall the signage was good. Drivers were courteous, and we found free parking almost everywhere we went.
A Few Tips for Driving in Tunisia
- Fill up whenever you see a gas station if you are out in the countryside. Gas stations were at most major intersections, but you don’t want to risk running out.
- Don’t drive at night. There are lots of people and animals on the road and no street lights. It’s very difficult to see, even with your headlights on bright. It’s just better to be parked by the time the sun goes down.
FAQ on Tunisia
Where is Tunisia Located?Tunisia is in Northern Africa, sandwiched between Libya and Algeria, neither of which are very friendly to westerners. We came very close to both borders, but we didn’t even think of crossing them. Tunisia is not very large, so you could pick only one of two places and do day trips from them. However, we like trying out different cities. Each one had its own flavor, and we could easily have spent more time in Monastir, Sousse, and Le Kef. However, we were ready to get out of Sfax. It just didn’t set well with us, even though we really enjoyed the souk there.
What Languages Do They Use in Tunisia?Arabic is the official language of Tunisia, but French is widely spoken and can be found on signs and instructions. Many people also speak English, especially in the major cities and all the coastal areas where there are beach resorts. At no time did we have trouble with language. When ordering meals, if the restaurant did not have an English or French menu, we just pointed and that worked.
What is the Tunisian Currency?The currency in Tunisia is the Dinar, which is roughly one-tenth of a dollar. Conversion was very simple. Meals, souvenirs, and souk items were all very cheap for travelers. The most expensive meal we ate was only $15 per person.
Do You Need a Visa?Most people traveling to Tunisia require no visa, and you can stay for 90 days. You can check the list here to find out if your country is one of the 97 approved visa-free countries. If not you can apply online for one.
What Vaccinations Do You Need?The following are recommended vaccinations before traveling to Tunisia:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Rabies (if you will be around animals)