Currency/ Spending Money in Tunisia

24

Comments

  • edited 11:52AM
    hi guys just had a read through some of the comments and see some great advice,

    was just wondering if anyone could give me advice on port el kantaoui, as me and my girlfriend are planning on going there in april for a little winter sun, could you please tell me about the local area i.e markets etc, my girlfriend loves that kind of thing,where is the local markets?, also the price of things like camel rides ect.

    thanks
    colin
  • edited 11:52AM
    Hi Colinmc,

    PEK is purpose built for tourists. However, it is lovely, there is a great marina area with lots of cafes, restaurants etc. there is a souk and also fixed price shopping but usually aimed at tourists. If you want loads of info on PEK then look on the internet.....loads of info, too much for me to write here.

    Enjoy your time
  • edited 11:52AM
    HI, I was just wondering about me and my fiance getting married in Tunisia? We are both British and have a holiday booked for August and would like to incorporate our Wedding during our stay? Could you tell me whether this would be possible and what sort of Wedding we could have? Would it have to be a civil one in Skanes? Do you know any good companies over there that we could try please Lesley? Thanks
  • edited 11:52AM
    Hi James - mabrouk on your impending marriage. To be honest with you, I have never heard of tourists getting married here in Tunisia. The country is 99.9% Muslim and the marriages here are according to Islamic law. I don't even think that there are any non-muslim notaires here. A Tunisian wedding, the actual marriage is basically signing of a contract between the two parties. After than there can be a very large party. Because of all the rules regarding marriage here (blood tests/birth certificates/carte d'identitie etc I would think that it will not be possible for you. However - why don't you turn it into a honeymoon instead.
  • edited 11:52AM
    Hi,
    My fiance and I have booked our honeymoon for 11th of April to Mahdia, although i'm starting to look into it and getting a little worried!! Firstly, what will the weather be like? Although we would like to do as much as we can, we would like to be able to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches we have seen! Also, with the counrty being mainly muslim i've read that women have to dress super conservative and may not be allowed in some restaurants? This is our firt time abroad together, and our first time away from our young daughter for any considerable time so i want it to be really worth it! Any help/advice etc?
    Thanks,
    Joanne
  • edited 11:52AM
    Hi Joanne - oh you are so, so lucky!! Mahdia is absolutely beautiful! It is almost as it was when it was founded in AD916 and you will find it's small streets very inviting. Walk along Ave 7 Novembre or rue du Borj for fabulous views of the mediterannean (very romantic at sunset). There is a lot to see there such as the medina, the Skifa el Kahla. museum and for coffee etc head to pace du Caire. Also the Borj el Kebir is the large fortress. Market day is Friday and is a good place to mingle with the locals and buy fresh produce. For day trips consider Kairouan (the original Islamic centre) and Sfax within easy reach. But of course, the beach is as you say gorgeous!

    tunisia is not super conservative, but I always offer the advice to foreigners to be conservative as it will help especially the ladies not to be subject to some forms of harrassment - but you will only be turned away from a restaurant if perhaps you are wearing a bikini but not otherwise!

    The weather is difficult to predict - it is spring which can be unpredictable but expect some mild days but cool nights.

    I do hope you enjoy your stay and I'm sure you will want to come back
  • edited 11:52AM
    Hi lesley, I found this forum totally by accident but i'm sure glad i did. both me and my wife are in our 50's and are hoping to get away from our 2 grown up children in about May time. I've read your replies to many of the questiopns and find your information both interesting and informative, thanks. My wife is afraid of going to Tunisia due to what she has heard about the poverty there. I am hoping that we can go and stay in Hammamet for a week in May. We would mainly stay by the pool, on the beach or go shopping as we both love wandering around seeing if we can grab a bargain.I wondered if you could tell me what I can expect from the weather please and is there anything inparticular we would need to know before going such as begging, approaching strangers, street sellers, shopping in general etc, any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Graham
  • edited 11:52AM
    Hi Graham - you made me laugh! Getting away from the children is such a great idea!! Tunisia is not a wealthy country, far from it, and for the most part, people don't have a lot of money but to be honest with you, you will not see any poverty. If someone is in trouble then family members usually come to the rescue and if there are huge difficulties, the Mosque is always there in times of dire need. So, please don't worry about this. There are no beggars in the streets, however, you may be approached by older women for a few coins. Of course we are used to this and good Muslims will usually give something. This of course is a part of the religion. We usually give 1/2 dinar so it is not very much to part with.

    Hammamet is lovely - it is very touristique but for your first time here, you will both enjoy it very, very much. There are some good resort hotels that offer full board if you wish but I advise you to take 1/2 board and then go try the local restaurants for some excellent and very cheap food.

    All Tunisians are hospitable and very, very happy to help foreigners. If you need for example to ask the way, or if you are a little lost, most in Hammamet will speak a few words of English and more often than not they will escort you to where you are going. If you have some French then so much the better. Try to learn a few words of Arabic - it always goes down well. eg. Thank you - shokran, please - eye shek (this is Tunisian dialect).

    You will find lots of bargains here - there is a lot of tourist tacky but searching out down little side streets is worth it. the medina is very nice and sell everything. there are markets which are open every day and buying some fresh fruit is lovely. Of course there are fixed price shops but to be honest, try negotiating with a stall holder - start at 1/2 the price and end up with a treasure!

    The weather in May is mild to warm and can get hot so you will enjoy being by the pool, the beach or just wandering around. Not too hot for long walks.

    If you want any more information please let me know, I am happy to assist in any way I can.

    Please re-assure your wife that she will love it here and will want to come back again and again...............this is my adopted home and I love it here.

    Enjoy your time here
  • edited 11:52AM
    I am a very fit and lively 68yr old going on holiday with my daughter and son in law early 40's and 16yr old granddaughter.We are staying at Royal Kendz PEK all inclusive.My son in law is disabled and uses crutches.I've read about building work at hotel,can you tell me anything about that.Travel agent omitted to tell us. Would you advise carrying plenty of 1 dinar coins to tip. thanks. babs.
  • edited 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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 11:52AM
    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
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