Tunisia in Ramadan

edited December 2008 in - North Africa
Hi, we have just booked a holiday in Tunisia and have found out that we are going during Ramadan. Is this going to be a problem? Will shops and restaurants still be open? Can we still wear beach wear etc. Help! Many thanks, Jason
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Comments

  • edited May 2012
    Hi Jason we went in ramadam and had no problem.
    And yes you can wear beach wear shops and resturaunts are
    open so are all the bars have a nice time we did
    CHEERS

    See the wordtravels.com Tunisia Travel Guide
    for more information on what to see and do in Tunisia.
  • edited November -1
    I am going to skanes in may never been before could anyone tell me what to look out for
  • edited November -1
    Look out for the Noddy train to Monastir where you will find a Medina to go shopping in. Go in everyones shop and you will not get hassled although this is not a problem anyway. If you want a western shop for gifts, there is the Yasmine center.
  • edited November -1
    Going to Tunisia for 1st time soon. What is acceptable dress code both day and night? I know I'll have to respect Muslim culture so can anyone help?
  • edited November -1
    dress how you want even the local women vary from club going mini skirt wearers so wearing the headscarf tunisia is pretty liberal as the president wants to prevent extremism and likes to prevent women from wearin scarfs in schools that said you might get little hassle if you are particularly european level just stick tio wearin bikini on beach and pool area and wear regular clothes i recommend nothing low cut or above the knee if u want zero hassle .the people here are very open and have very european mentality
  • edited November -1
    Hy am heading to tunisia now in nov. Do u need any vaccinations are anything before you go??
  • edited November -1
    Hi Minnie - no you don't need any vaccinations before you visit Tunisia. Enjoy your vacatgion here - it's a great country
  • edited November -1
    We are looking to holiday somewhere in March where there are good standard of hotels, the sea is warm & temp generally warm. Where you can walk out to local bars & shops without fear. Also, where there are activities at the hotels. I have never been to Tunisia but have been to Agadir for a cruise stop & didn't like it there at all. We were worried in the markets & had an aggressive moment from a local. Is Tunisia similar to Agadir? What about weather? Are drinks & food expensive out of hotels?
  • edited November -1
    Hi scillylinda - there is some similarity between Morocco and Tunisia. Both were held by the French and both are Islamic countries. The sea temperature can be quite cold in March, we are still now very cold and wintry and the sea needs sun and warm temperatures for a few weeks. There is absolutely nothing to fear here in Tunisia, it is one of the safest countries and you can feel very comfortable to walk around any of the areas. Some local traders can be aggressive, but treat it with humour, learn a few Arabic phrases and you will be fine! they only want to sell you something - this is a poor country! It is a very cheap holiday here in Tunisia, prices are low for foreigners and you will find that everything is affordable. If you want an all inclusive hotel that offers animation (entertainment) then I would suggest that you stay at one of the more touristique areas such as Monastir, Sousse, Skanes or Port el Kantoui. You will find these are more than reasonable, however, like anywhere else, 5 star hotels can be expensive.

    Please come to Tunisia, we are welcoming, hospitable and will make you feel at home very quickly
  • edited November -1
    Hello

    I' am Travelling to tunisia in the summer with my partner. I was just wondering what information you could give me on clothes code for eating/shopping (no beach wear etc) also we are staying in Sousse any tips on where to go??

    Thanks
  • edited November -1
    Hi Claire and we look forward to welcoming you to Tunisia. You should always be modestly dressed outside your hotel. This means perhaps covering a little more than you would at home, such as long pants/longer skirts and looser tops. Believe me it will earn you more respect and will certainly make you feel more comfortable. Sousse is a great place to stay, it is a large city with quite a lot to do, the medina, markets etc. You can take louages to almost anywhere and I would suggest a day in the capital, Tunis especially in the old city. It is wonderful. You could also perhaps organise a tour to the desert and to Tataouine, famous for Star Wars movies. You may also like to visit Hammamet a very nice city not too far away and for more upmarket dining/shopping try Yasmine Hammamet or Port el Kantaoui.

    I hope you enjoy your vacation
  • edited November -1
    Hi,
    We're planning our honeymoon in Djerba (spelling?), Tunisia. The place seems positively lovely and we look forward to spending a couple of relaxing weeks there. My only concern is about Ramadan, since our trip overlaps with it. I read somewhere that more south you get, the more conservative the culture get (religious-wise, that is) and was wondering how strictly the fast is enforced (in the most positive sense of "enforce" :)? Will the restaurants or cafes be open during the day? Any other things we should prepare for during Ramadan?

    Thanks,
    Mikael
  • edited November -1
    Mikael - Djerba is very lovely. Don't worry about Ramadan, the hotel restaurants will be open and many of the cafes and restaurants in the tourist zone and elsewhere will be open. We don't enforce the fast on visitors, non-muslims and Tunsians do not expect you not to eat during the day. You will find it hard to get alcohol during the day but it is available at the hotels no problems. As it is hot during Ramadan I advise you not to walk around sipping your water bottle - it makes us thirsty!! Also, it can be a tiring time for many people who also have to work. Our fast begins at around 4.00 a.m. and finishes around 7.00 p.m. So your understanding that many of those you come into contact with maybe a little tetchy - hot weather, no drinking and no cigarettes makes some not happy! But once the cannon goes off to break the fast, well, we eat and go out, socialise, take coffee/tea and meet friends and family. Don't be surprised if you are invited to join in the joviality. It's not all that bad being here during Ramadan and I hope you will enjoy your 'special' honeymoon.

    Mabrouk and we welcome you to Tunisia
  • edited November -1
    Hi I am going to tunisia on saturday with my cousin we are staying in Hammamet and i was just wondering if this is a toutist place and is it expencive food drink ect. And what clothing is appropite?? thanks.
  • edited November -1
    Emma, welcome to Tunisia. Hammamet is quite touristique but it is an old city so you will find plenty of history along with the tourists. You can eat very cheaply if you wish by searching out small restaurants that are used by the locals. Tourist restaurants tend to be a bit more expensive, but overall it is very cheap for foreigners to eat out here.

    Outside of your hotel you should try to be more modestly dressed that you would at home. It is very hot now, however if you wear loose tops (not see through) and long or 3/4 pants or skirts you will be fine and much cooler. Be careful of the sun, it is very strong and many foreigners get burnt very quickly here.

    I hope you will have fun and enjoy your vacation
  • edited November -1
    Hi there, I have been reading a lot of the above information and have found it very helpful however I'd just like to clarify a few things...

    We travel to Yasmine Hammamet next Sunday for one week (I believe Ramadan finishes on the 9th or 10th of September???). In our all inclusive hotel will they allow alcoholic drinks to be purchased before sunset?

    I also see about females dressing more modestly out of the hotel resort but I wonder if there are any guidelines men should follow while being out in the towns/markets etc.

    I also have a question regarding value for money. Are souvenirs reasonably priced...in relation to the British pound do we get a lot for our money. I know roughly the exchange rate but just interested in how far it will go? i.e How much would it cost roughly to eat out for lunch in a nice tourist restaurant for two people with most likely just soft drinks? Just so we can plan how much money we should take with us for spending out of the hotel.

    My last question, are there any recommendations on excursions...I see about the desert where Star Wars was filmed...can these be booked in the hotels, also how costly are they.

    Thank you very much! We are really excited about our upcoming visit to your country!
  • edited November -1
    Lo, welcome to Tunisia and we wish you a wonderful vacation. You are correct, Ramadan will finish either 9 or 10 September. We don't know definitely yet. I think you will be able to purchase alcohol inside your hotel before sunset, tourists are not expected to conform to Ramadan and we are quite relaxed about this.

    this is the first time I have been asked about how a man should dress and I really appreciate this question.............in fact for a man and particularly a non Muslim you can really wear what you wish. Just don't go wearing speedos out and about LOL!!

    The Brit pound will buy you a lot here. I think the exchange right now is GBP1.00 buys TD2.000. Everything here is much cheaper than in the UK believe me. Souvenirs in general are cheap but that of course depends on what you are buying. If you want better value for your money get out of Yasmine Hammamet and go to Hammamet or Sousse for your shopping. Yasmine is a purpose built tourist resort and of course the prices are higher than in our other cities. I am only making a guess but if you eat at the marina, perhaps with 2 courses it can cost you up to around TND60.000 to TND80.000 depending on what you order etc.

    You should definitely do some excursions. All the hotels organise for you and it's an easy option to do this. There are trips to Tataouine (which is really wonderful), Douz and Tozeur the gateways to the desert and you can even organise to stay in the desert overnight in a Berber encampment. The prices are very reasonable and will include pick up and drop off at your hotel, lunch etc., but you can look up particular trips on the net and you will also find pricing there.

    Enjoy your stay with us
  • edited November -1
    Zekee
    hi there, me and my girlfriend are planning go to tunis, hammamet...
    We are from sweden, so is it okay that my girlfriend can dress in what ever she want is (reasonable clothing)?
    And are the tourist safe there, because i´ve heard that some places in hammamet the dont give a shit if you are an tourist or not they take your money, dont want to belive that because i do have alot of tunis....
    thank you
  • edited November -1
    Zeekee - If you stay in a resort in Hammamet then your g/f can really dress as she pleases but NOT TOPLESS OR NUDE!!! Outside these areas she should dress modestly - you must have seen what I have written in previous posts. Unless of course you wish her to be ogled and harrassed.

    Of course tourists are safe here - we are one of the top 5 tourist destinations in the world now. Yes, some will try to get more money from you than perhaps the locals will pay. No one will mug you or try to rob you or hold you up, that's not our style here. And believe me, every Tunisian knows a tourist from a local LOL!!

    Have fun, don't worry and I hope that you enjoy Tunisie
  • edited November -1
    Hello, myself, partner and 2 children are coming to tunisia for a week on 17th november and i have a couple of questions for you if you dont mind.

    I have a 4 month and a 2 and a half year old, i picked nov as i thought it would be warm but not to hot for them - am i correct?

    I am staying at the el mouradi skanes can i get a taxi and how much should i expect to pay - my holiday company were charging £268.00 return i thought this was far to much as it only around 10/20 mile from airport.

    Can i change GBP for TD in the airport in tunisia to pay for a taxi and are they easy to arrang ie. outside?
    Many Thanks Sarah
  • edited November -1
    Hi Sarah,

    Welcome to Tunisia. November is not scorching hot but still mild so it will be fine for the children and for you all to get out and about. Can you let me know what airport you are arriving into and what time? If you are arriving into Monastir Enfidha it should be cheap for you to get a taxi at the airport for your transfer to the hotel, however if you are coming into Tunis Carthage then you should organise your transport before you arrive. there are a couple of companies that are reliable here and you can organise it online - AtoB or holiday taxis.

    You can change your money at the airport on arrival it's not a problem.
  • edited November -1
    Hi Lesley,
    Many thanks for the info, i am arriving into Monastir. I am glad i went with my gut feeling rather than paid Nearly £300.00 for a transfer.
    Do you have a idea for me on the temp in Fahrenheit or Celsius?
    Thanks Again
    Sarah
  • edited November -1
    Hi Sarah - the temperature in November is cool to mild but the nights can be quite cold. Hard to give you an exact but the nights will be in the low teens C and the days can be up to around 25c. So bring layers and something warm for the nights.
  • edited November -1
    Lost a front tooth in Sousse, due to it being Ramadan..
    Harrased by three locals for smoking, I dont speak Arabic and didnt realise I was causing offence, let alone know it was Ramadan..

    Tried to point out that there religion was fine by me, will put my cigarette out, (many hand guestures gave me a clue as too why they were unhappy), but was still apparent that I was not welcome, even after I had wasted a cigarette LOL......

    Was kicked in leg and my girlfriend verbaly abused, then was punched in the mouth (front tooth gone sigh).....

    Despite fact I wont visit Tunisia again, I can report that a headbut acheived its desired effect (lost more teeth than I) and that a second pain in the arse, didnt take being hit in the gonads too well LOL..

    Not a place I would reccomend visiting, it's a shithole!

    If you feel im'e talking gonads, then fine, go visit and see for yourself..
  • edited November -1
    JR - is this a true story? this happened during Ramadan?? Hmmmmm............If this is true then I am sorry, it is not a true indication of how we are here in Tunisia. Although Ramadan can make us a bit tetchy after all we do not eat, drink, smoke etc etc from around 4.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. and during the hottest time of the year, so some empathy is always invited. Imagine having to deal with demanding tourists who are having a beer enjoying a cigarette without a thought to those serving around them. It is always a good idea to research your holiday destination before you go so that you are aware of religious festivals and the culture and what is expected during that time. However if you were assaulted then you should have gone directly to the police who would have been more than happy to assist you. Offences against tourists are very serious here. Hope you had travel insurance so you could get your tooth fixed.

    As for your comment that Tunisia is a sh......hole well I for one take exception to that. This is my home, my adopted country and I can assure everyone wishing to visit that it is historic, beautiful and cheap. For the most part we are welcoming and hospitable, however, like anywhere else if we are treated without respect then it's hard for us to give it back.

    I'm sorry you had a bad time, perhaps you should visit Ibiza next time.
  • edited November -1
    Hi Lesley

    We are travelling to Mahdia in August during Ramadhan - I have noted your previous comments regarding cafes/restaurants open during the day, however this appears to be in the more "tourist" areas of Tunisia. I have been led to believe that Mahdia has only a small hotel district and that the town itself is a more traditional Tunisian town (which I can't wait to see!). Is it likely that there will be more shops/cafes etc shut during the day than in other areas?

    Would appreciate any comments.
    Thanks
    Kim
  • edited November -1
    Kimbo, yes Mahdia is quite conservative and traditional, however the hotels will definitely be providing meals during the day so it won't be a problem. I have to admit that I haven't been to Mahdia during Ramadan so I am not sure if the shops will be open but I think probably yes, especially the markets as the women tend to buy food etc during the day for the end of the fast meal. It will be quite lively in the evening though as families get out after dinner and meet friends, take coffee etc.

    Just remember that if you are about during the day it will be very hot so be prepared for this and also don't drink/eat or smoke in public during this time.

    You will have a wonderful time I am sure
  • edited November -1
    Hi,

    Im going to Tunisia very soon. Im flying to Enfidha and staying in Skanes.... how much should I expect to pay for a taxi if i just get one at the airport?
  • edited November -1
    Any1 knows how much a taxi fare is from Enfidha to Skanes?
  • edited November -1
    Nat - can please start a new post with this question? This thread is about Ramadan/culture. Thanks

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