How to get around in Tunis: info, costs and advice

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The capital of Tunisia offers very interesting attractions, and it is located among other things in a strategic position to explore the surroundings, which include sites such as El Jem, Carthage, Keirouan and Sidi Bou Said. In the center of Tunis two parallel and opposite worlds coexist: to the west is the historic district with the Medina and mosques, while to the east is the modern metropolis, the Ville Nouvelle, art deco style buildings and even shopping centers.

For those who want to explore this wonderful location, here is one guide on how to get around Tunis: info, costs and advice!



Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Tunis
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

Tunis, unfortunately, is poorly organized, and it is difficult to find clear timetables, even for attractions. To get around the city, especially the center which is small in size, the best choice is to walk but accompanied by a guide. The advice is definitely to take a walking tour of the Medina, where you will be followed by a local guide, who will be able to give you valuable advice for the rest of the visit.

If you are in Tunis like stop on a cruise, opt for the special city tour for cruise passengers, or if you want to visit the Medina independently, you can take advantage of the private transfer from the port to the center to save time!

If you need to cover longer distances, you can rely on a really cheap public transport service, which includes the light rail as well as taxis. Buses are not recommended for various reasons: crowding, traffic, directions written exclusively in Arabic.



  • Recommended solutions and means: on foot with guide in the center, underground, taxi
  • Solutions and means not recommended: bus

How to get from the airport to the center of Tunis

Tunis is served byTunis-Carthage Airport. The airport guarantees a bus and taxi service to reach the city center, but there is no railway line. Keep in mind that for the taxi it is better to negotiate the price, or to ask for the taximeter. The bus instead is the cheapest solution, the departure is every half hour and it takes about 30 minutes. The best solution, however, remains the private transfer to the center to be booked online before departure (cost € 4,00 per person).

Tunis-Carthage Airport

  • Distance from the center: 9 km / travel time: 20 min;
  • By taxi: average cost 60,00 TND (€ 18,00) / travel time: 15 min
  • By bus: average cost 1,00 TND (€ 0,30) / line 35
  • Private transfer: Private transfer from Tunis airport to the city center

How to get around on foot

The center of Tunis is rather concentrated, so the best way to visit it is on foot. Furthermore, the Medina is closed to traffic and walking around it is a practically obligatory choice. Where the alleys widen the most, care must be taken as cars and scooters whiz by at full speed. For a first approach to this city, we highly recommend taking part in a guided walking tour of the Medina, so as to discover all the most important places in Tunis with a local guide, without risking missing anything!

The Ville Nouvelle, on the other hand, is practically constituted by Avenue Habib Bourguiba, which from Bab Bahr (Sea Gate) leads to the port where there is also the station. If you are in Tunis like stop on a cruise, opt for the special city tour for cruise passengers, in order to see all the main attractions even with little time available!

For others itineraries on foot and by public transport, download our Smart Guide for visiting Tunis for free.



Con i mezzi pubblici

All public transport in the city they are quite cheap, there is an efficient light rail (similar to our trams) that covers 6 zones. The bus service, on the other hand, is less effective because it is susceptible to the traffic factor. Alternatively, the certainly the most convenient means of transport is the taxi. They stop directly on the street and the cost could be really negligible if you don't bargain it.

There are also gods suburban trains used mostly to reach the surroundings of the city of Tunis. But if you have in mind day trips from Tunis to the important sites near the capital, we advise you to take part in organized tours, both for a matter of organization and because the transport is always included!

Metropolitan

Tunis is well served by 6 light rail lines, that is a hybrid between metro and train. The terminus are all quite far from the center, which is why it is a convenient travel solution even for those who choose to stay in the suburbs. The cost of a ride is calculated based on the distance, and also varies according to the number of sections (from 1 to 8) crossed by the route. All lines, with the exception of the 5, pass through the center, and the interchange stations are located exactly at Place de la République and Place de Barcelone.

  • Downloadable map: metro-tunis
  • from 3:00 in the morning to 24:00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 0,45 TND (€ 0,14)

Bus

The buses, despite being modern and in good condition, they are not one of the most comfortable choices to move as they are more crowded than trams. To complicate matters, there is the fact that number and direction are generally written in Arabic (as well as on the site), therefore it is necessary to ask on the spot. Tunis is divided into tariff zones, and therefore also in this case the cost of the ticket varies according to how many are crossed during a journey.



  • by 8: 00 21 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 0,40 TND (€ 0,12)

Taxi

Taxis are very cheap, but you have to make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter, because in general they tend to offer a fixed price which, however, is never convenient. You can easily stop one directly on the street, a lot of them go by all the time.

Alternatively, in the city it is possible also take advantage of shared taxis, the so-called louages. They are 8-seater minivans that leave only when they are full, they do not have a well-defined timetable and the prices are a bit higher than normal buses (starting from € 1,50, varying according to the route to go). The louages they usually stop where the buses stop, there are two types: the blue ones are local, the red ones can go around the rest of Tunisia.

  • 24 hours on 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 0,40 TND (€ 0,12)

TGM trains

At Tunis Marine station suburban trains stop (TGM) which connect the city center with La Goulette (the port area), Sidi Bou Said, Carthage and the beaches of Marsa. Beware of that some stations do not have a ticket office and therefore we advise you to buy tickets for your destination immediately.

  • by 4: 00 24 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 0,70 TND (€ 0,20)

By car

To move around the city the car is really not recommended, both for traffic and for the driving habits of citizens.

Furthermore, the Medina is a completely pedestrian area and the car would only be a burden in the center, and you would risk wasting time looking for a parking space or just getting used to it: we must not underestimate the obstacle of the language, even if everyone speaks at least French.

In any case, the car can be a good solution to reach Carthage or Sidi Bou Said in total freedom and autonomy. But even in this case, i road signs are in Arabic and French, and it's not worth renting a car for just one day. It is worth relying on organized tours with transport included!


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