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Currency/ Spending Money in Tunisia

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Comments

  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi again Lesley,
    Thank you so much for your reply, it's changed my wife's opinion on holidaying in Tunisia.
    I don't suppose you could give me the name/s of some good hotels. We normally book half board as we like exploring and eating out and trying the local foods. The hotel would not have to be the best in the world but would need to have good service, clean, excellent staff and good food. A nice pool is always welcome as both me and the wife love nothing more than lazing by and reading by the pool, that's when we are not exploring the local streets for places off the beaten track. Hammamet does sound like a good place to start but if you know of any other places to stay then any advice would be greatfully appreciated.
    All the best
    Graham
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi there Babs - I'm not sure about the building work. They are probably renovating as now is low season and there are not many guests in house. I'll try to find out for you.

    Generally there is no tipping here and TD1.000 is a lot to be honest with you. If you have absolutely great service then that would be fine, but just a few coins to round up is normal. If you take taxis make sure you get the correct change, they love it when you just get out and don't look!
  • edited 9:18PM
    Graham - wow, I must have great sales skills! I am glad that your wife feels more comfortable now. I know you will both enjoy it. I think Hammamet or Yasmine Hammamet is a great introduction to Tunisia. The other area I could suggest would be Port el Kantaoui (PEK) which is quite new and purpose built resorts for tourists. It is quite charming and has a lovely marina, so I could also suggest there.

    I have heard good things about El Mouradi Hammamet, and Hotel Yasmine Beach Hammamet but I very rarely make recommendations as hotels/standards change so frequently. Actually a very good website to check out hotels in these areas is: www.tripadvisor.com they rate the hotels and provide reviews. I use it personally a lot.

    In PEK one of the good hotels is Eldorado Seabel Alhambra and does get good reviews and also Mouradi Palm Marina .

    Be aware though that the star rating is not as the rest of the world. Our 5* are more likely to be 3 1/2 - 4* but will be clean, good rooms, pools and good restaurants.

    I do hope that you enjoy your holiday and would love to hear your feedback when you return.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi I have found this forum really interesting and imformative.

    I am off to the Sahara Beach Hotel in Skanes for 2 weeks at the end of feb for our honeymoon. I understand Skanes is pretty quiet place which we dont mind as we do want a nice chilled holiday with just a couple of trips. I do have a couple of questions if thats ok.

    We have been told that the medina is not too far from the hotel. Is there a best way to get there?

    I believe there is a zoo near PEK, is that correct? Is that a nice place to visit and does it take long, which ever way is best to travel from skanes to there? I dont know if you'd know this but how much approx would it cost to do the day trip to the star wars place as my fiance is a big fan of the films.

    Lastly sorry. I know its low/mid season so its cooler but approx what is the weather/temp like end of feb to mid march? Obviously its not going to be scorching/really hot I know.

    Sorry to bombard you with all these questions. Thanks, Helen
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hello, First may i say what a great read this is.

    I am staying at the Kanta hotel in PEK in the 1st week of March, So first of all can you tell me if it is going to be realy cold or cold or even a mild, walm day. Also as we are staying Half board food is taken care of but we will still want to tave a couple of meals out around the marina so are the restaurants open air or can you sit in. One more thing. Can you give me an idea of the cost for a glass or bottle of wine + the cost of beer (dont worry about the cost of the spirts as i can not stand them!...
  • edited 9:18PM
    Have found all the previous remarks most helpful for my forthcoming trip to Tunisia. Also helpful is an English travel book "Tunisia" by DK Eyewitness Travel, ISBN:798-1-4053-2910-1 for anyone close to a Public Library.

    Using 'google' I've also been checking on their weather each day as my trip draws closer, feel very excited I'm finally going to visit those wonderful ancient sites, the markets, souks, and for sure I'll get to visit the Bardo Museum.

    Looking forward to reading more of Lesley's postings.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi Helen - mabrouk for your upcoming marriage and wishes for joy and happiness. You are right, Skanes is quiet but built for tourists. You can walk almost everywhere, the medina (city) is within walking distance but taxis are very, very cheap here and you may like to walk there and taxi back.

    I'm not sure about the zoo but have not had any negative feedback. I would advise again, taxi - you would be hard pressed to pay more than around TD5.000 but the hotel will be able to assist you with this. You may even like to hire a taxi for the day to do some sight seeing and it won't break the wallet I can assure you. PeK in itself is nice to walk around, it is again built specifically for tourists, but has some great restaurants, cafes etc. Nice to spend a day to have a late breakfast and wander.

    there are many cities within easy reach of you, Mahdia a beautiful seaside town, Kairouan which is a wonderful, ancient city and the centre of carpet making here. Sousse and Monastir are also nice for day trips and easily reached by louage. An adventure in itself! One of the best preserved Roman colosseums is at El Jem, a wonderful site. You can get to Tataouine or to Matmata to see the Berbere cave homes. this is where the Star War movies were made. Tataouine is around 350km away and will take around 3-4 hours depending on traffic and the roads. However, there are tour companies based in Skanes and I would suggest that you book with one of these as it will mean travelling in comfort.

    The weather is slightly milder on the coast than in other areas, however, it is cool to mild and the nights can be quite cold. Unless you are coming from the snow - leave the strappy sundress at home! You can check the weather on www.tuitempo.net as they usually have updated and 7 day forecasts.

    I hope you will have a wonderful time
  • edited 9:18PM
    2-cats - I'm happy that you enjoy reading about Tunisia and thank you! Hard to predict the weather, but right now it's freezing cold and definitely snowing somewhere near me!! PEK will be mild perhaps in the high teens to low 20s but really not beach weather unless you are one of those hardy people!

    Make sure you understand what you get for 1/2 board - some hotels that say 1/2 board really mean b/b. Full board is for 3 meals by day. the marina area is full of cafes and restaurants and you can sit inside or outside.

    In PEK - alcohol costs more than in other areas due to it's touristique nature. I am only guessing when I say that a glass of wine would be around TD6.000 - TD10.000. A bottle may cost you about TD30.000. The local beer Celtia is cheap perhaps around TD2 per bottle but the imported beers are more expensive. Good that you don't like spirits - a bottle of Vodka can cost TD100.000!!!

    I hope you enjoy your time here
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi Avee - with a warm welcome to Tunisia. I know that the research you are doing now will really help you to enjoy your time here. The Bardo (sigh) is absolutely wonderful and I always think "just an hour or so" and find myself there the whole day. You will really love it. If you want any tips just let me know......there are so many wonderful things here.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi Lesley,

    Just wondering what we should do money wise? We nknow we cant exchange it before we get there so what would you suggest, bringing british pounds to change or just bringing a bank card? We only have the basic debit cards, would we be able to use these? We are staying in Mahdia, are there plenty of cash machines around? I looked into travellers cheques but wouldnt know where to begin with them!
    Any suggestions would be very helpful!!
    Thanks,
    Joanne
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi Joanne, I would suggest you bring British Pounds and exchange at the bank where you will get the correct rate. You can bring a bank card to use at the atm but sometimes on Thursday they may not give you as much as you like - as Friday is a holiday here everyone runs to the atm's on Thursday to get cash LOL!! You should be able to use your debit card but cheque with your bank as you must be able to have international useage. Forget travellers cheques......to be totally honest with you, cash rules here and credit cards are usually only used in the hotels. I hope this helps.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Lesley i was just wondering wot happens for a uk citizen to get married to a tunisian.Me and me boyfriend av discussed thai but i just want to b a bit clearer on exactly wot u need to do and take....thankyou
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi I would just like to tell you a little bit about Skanes. I stayed at the Saadia Hotel in June 2008 and absolutely loved it. The Tunisians are lovely welcoming people and have to say it was one of the best holidays I have ever had and I have been to numerous countries. It is quiet there, but the Hotels there always have good entertainment. The Animation Team are superb and look after children brilliantly. I am going back in April this year and am so looking forward to it. Please do not be put off by scary stories about Tunisia, it is a lovely place and you will come back year after year. I wish I could of come back last year, but for the credit crunch!! Better this year! Cannot wait for my holiday in April, even staying in same hotel.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Loulou - there is a lot of documentation from both you and your b/f that needs to be completed before you marry. You can find out most of what you need from the embassies of both countries, their websites are extremely helpful. There is also a fabulous forum where this exact topic has been discussed frequently. www.tunisia.com and go to the forum page. I am sure you will find all the information you need.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Thank you 0151ducky - Tunisia is a wonderful country and I am glad that you enjoyed your holiday and will come back. I know you will enjoy your time here once again.
  • edited 9:18PM
    I just want to say thank you Lesley for your very informative and useful information. I have really enjoyed reading all your comments. My boyfriend and I are coming to your adopted country at the end of October for the first time. We are staying at Hammamet, and are very interested in spending a couple of days doing our 'own thing' (rather than signing up to package tours etc). We are looking at hiring a car and would appreciate any information regarding this. Also we would be interested in knowing some of the 'rules of the road'. Thanks again, and we are both very excited already!!
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi Sos - welcome and I hope you will enjoy your visit. Hiring a car can be a great way to get around. We have a lot of small companies as well as Hertz and Avis and Eurocar. However, the cars are very different to those in Europe. For example, do not expect your hired car to be cleaned (in or out). It will more than likely have a few scratches and dents. They will probably not fill it with petrol (lol). You should check that you have a spare tyre and all the tools you may need. October is a good time as it is cooler but the price of hire cars here can be quite expensive so shop around or alternatively book something on line before you get here. Ah, road rules???? I'm sure we have them, but nobody seems to know what they are. Please be careful and drive slowly. In fact you can't drive fast anywhere anyhow due to the traffic and the roads. You must have eyes in the back of your head, be alert for pedestrians as 'we' walk on the roads, donkeys and a few dogs. Of course then you have to be alert for other drivers!! But I drive here and have survived!! Everyone is patient, there is no road rage and if you make a mistake, you will be forgiven. In fact even though driving here is crazy everyone is very curteous, so take care but enjoy yourselves.
  • edited 9:18PM
    My husband and I are going to the Royal Kenzi in June. Please could you book some very hot weather for us - just longing for some heat on the bones.

    Great forum - thanks for all the information.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Xandy - LOL!! Hot weather is fairly norm for June so I have duly booked - but no guarantees............but I know the sun will shine every day for you.

    I so hope you enjoy your time.
  • edited 9:18PM
    My hubby & myself, son-16yrs and daughter-11 are off to Tunisia on 31 March. Staying at the Sahara Beach Hotel for 2 weeks, all inclusive.
    I believe Iberostar does not own it now as of 1 Jan 2010, so not sure what goes on there e.g.new owners,refurbishments. Can anybody shed some light. Quite apprehensive but excited about the holiday as I do not know what to expect. Always gone self catering and had quite independent holidays. I always keep an open mind when I visit a new country for the first time because each culture is different.
    Is it advisable to take Euros or Sterling to exchange into Dinars?
    What would the weather be like? What type of clothing to take? Tips for a first timer in Tunisia. Cheers
  • edited 9:18PM
    Twinkle - I'm not sure where your hotel is so I can't help you with that. However, if you have booked through an agent you should contact them and find out.

    Either Euros or Sterling is acceptable - depends on the exchange rate and you can check on www.x-rates.com to find out the latest. At the end of March the weather is starting to get warmer and if you are in one of the coastal beach areas, you will probably find it quite warm. I suggest that you take some modest clothing (for all) and use layers as it will still be cool in the evening. I find cottons and natural fabics do best in Tunisia due to the high humidity in the summer. But I am sure you are going to enjoy your time
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi I am thinking of going to Tunisa in June, with my partner and 18 yr old daughter, can you recommend a resort, cant decide between PEK, Hammamet or Yasmine Hammamet.
    Thanks
  • edited 9:18PM
    Algy - ok I'm going to try and help - PEK is gorgeous, purpose built for tourists, great marina area with lots of outdoor cafes, restaurants, bars, Hammamet is also lovely and quite lively so would suit your daughter, Yasmine Hammamet is quite upmarket but fairly quiet. So have I helped?? Remember that June is hot, hot, hot so you'll want a hotel with a pool and either on the beach or very close to it.

    Enjoy your vacation
  • edited 9:18PM
    hiya am going to sahara beach on the 5th of may i have been advised to take the thomas cook cash card but i am rather confused now as they say it can be used in any atm to withdraw cash but is it safe for me to take sterling as i am traveling with my partner an young son this would be great if u can advise me

    thanks x
  • edited 9:18PM
    Thanks for your great advise, im coming to hammemet but intend to travel to medjez el bab area for a few days, what is the price of cheap car hire, i dont mind roughing it in a beat up old banger. Ive been advised to hire a taxi but want to do my own thing, im visiting my uncle's grave at the war cemetry, and the battle site he was killed at so dont want the pressure of hurrying up for a waiting driver. any advice on weather last week in april for both locations thanks.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Samantha - I'm not sure about the Thomas Cook card - but we do have ATM (apart from small villages) and if they say it will work then it should. Of course you can bring sterling but of course you will need to exchange this at the bank for Tunisian Dinar. Just remember that cash is king here in Tunisia!!

    I am sure you are going to enjoy your vacation
  • edited 9:18PM
    Hi Gadgey - most of the hire cars here are beat up LOL!! Even those from the big companies. I am sorry but car hire here is not cheap and the price fluctuates depending on the season. We are coming into high season now and a car can cost from anywhere between TD45 ++ per day. It also takes a hardy person to drive here by themselves.....the roads are like a dodgem track. You must concentrate extremely well as you will find that our roads are not good, pedestrians tend to use them as well as herds of goat, sheep, cows and the odd camel. You can't drive fast and we have very few highways. Also drivers here are not as they are in other countries - you must be wary of eveyone car around you and have eyes in the back of your head LOL!! But if you feel confident then that's fine.

    You will find that the weather is warming up in April but not too hot, but the nights can still be a little on the cool side so something to wrap around you is a good idea.

    I hope you will enjoy your vacation
  • edited 9:18PM
    We are going to the Soviva Resort in PEK in July and have read on the tripadvisor site mainly bad reports. Do you have any knowledge of this resort and is it as bad as people make out or are they expecting far too much?
  • edited 9:18PM
    hi lesley

    another wee question just for us to be on the safe side would i be best to bring travelers cheques an just exchange them or just bring stirling as i have never been anywhere that has a closed currency hense my confusion lol

    thanks
  • edited 9:18PM
    Ketch - I've not heard anything about Soviva Resort. the problem of course is always that most people coming here don't realise that a 5* rating is more like a 4* in Europe. However, if this place is getting consistently bad reviews then perhaps you should look at another resort.
  • edited 9:18PM
    Samantha - travelers cheques are not easy here. My advice - bring stirling and change in the banks here. Or you can use the atm easily.
  • edited 9:18PM
    HI THERE ME AND MY PARTNER ARE STAYING AT THE HOUDA GOLF RESORT IN SKANES WITH OUR FOUR CHILDREN COULD YOU TELL ME IF THIS IS A SAFE ENOUGH FOR THE CHILDREN AND ARE THERE MANY TRIPS TO GO ON ? THANKYOU
  • edited 9:18PM
    thanks lesley al let you no how i go with my trip
  • edited 9:18PM
    Kirsty - Skanes is very, very quiet - apart from the pool/beach there is not much to do there. It is most definitely safe, all of Tunisia is safe. There are literally hundreds of trips - try a day in the capital Tunis and wander the old medina. Take a tour to Tataouine where Star wars was filmed - the children will love it there. Take a louage to sousse for the day, a very lively city with lots to see and do. So so much to do here and I am sure you will enjoy your holiday.
  • edited 9:18PM
    HI luv this forum loads of advice and info from you. I am going to Skanes sahara beach end of April and was unsure as I am a 70 yr old and on my own. Now i am looking forward to it. It is my first time abroad. Thank you for all the info
  • edited 9:18PM
    Guest - I am so glad that you have decided to come to Tunisia - it doesn't matter how old or young you are, you will fall in love with this beautiful country. Even you are on your own, people are friendly and welcoming and I am sure you will make friends in the hotel. Try to take a few tours around, the hotel will be able to organise that for you, and you can see a little of Tunisia while you are here - but be careful, once you have been here you will want to keep coming back.

    Have a great time and enjoy!
  • edited 9:18PM
    hi iam traveling to the houda hotel , in may 10 with my 3 children youngest 1yr and oldest 12 yrs .this is my first time to tunisia so not sure what to excpect if any one has been i would love some feed back plz ,i need to no as much as any one can help to what the hotel is like to the food and prices of things ,aslo can i change my money sterling to dinar at this hotel , also even tho iam allinclusive i have been told that you have to pay for ice creams ectr still so can anyone tell me how much things like this is , i need to get a idea of how much spending money i need for 2 weeks .also does any one no if the shops in this hotel cater for small children .any info would b a great help many thnx tori
  • edited 9:18PM
    sorry back agian i aslo forgot to ask what facilities do they have in the room ,and what sort of clothers to bring iam going may the 2
  • edited 9:18PM
    Tori - the Houda has just been renovated over the winter period so what it is like now I can't tell you. It was pretty tired. It is a 3* but don't expect the 3* experience of European hotels please. There are lots of sites that you can look at reviews of the hotel. they are mixed but it depends what you want from a hotel. Foreigners are charged more for everything than locals and alcohol here is pricey. I suggest you take only breakfast in the hotel and get out and about to eat elswhere on most days. Oops = I just read that you are full board - well maybe you could skip a few meals there. You are near to Monastir Sousse which are fabulous towns with lots to do.

    You can change your money at the hotel but you will get a much better exchange rate if you go to the bank or bureau de poste. The hotels tend to make a killing on the exchange rate.

    I don't know what extras you have to pay for - again, try looking at the hotel website or asking your travel agent who should have this information.

    If you want shops then I suggest you go to either Monastir or Sousse where you will get a variety and much, much cheaper prices.

    In May the weather is starting to warm up so I suggest cotton layers and something warm for the evening as it is still cool once the sun goes down.

    I hope you enjoy your stay
  • edited 9:18PM
    Coming to Skanes on 7th April. Weather reports seem to be mixed. Is it beach weather there?
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