Unmarried couple sharing a hotel room in Tunisia?
  • Hi Lesley! I am very impressed with your dedication to all of us with such informative answers! You are a legion!!

    Anyway, I have yet more questions for you. My boyfriend (English) and I (Chinese) are visiting Tunisia at the end of June. We are going to stay at a hotel in Hammamet, half-board and then use that as a base to take some day trips to Tunis and surrounding areas. I understand from what you have posted that there would be no problems for foreign unmarried couples to share a room. Digressing from the topic a little bit but I am sure other tourists would like to know too, how strict is the 'no kissing in public' law? Hammamet is probably quite touristy. Will it be ok to kiss around the hotel area? What about the beach? Really want to know to what degree it would be different from being in the UK or other western countries and really do not wish to offend anyone (or get into trouble with the law even!).
  • hb - I sent you an email = I'll send it again because maybe you didn't get it and no, no, no I am definitely not against anything!! I have not the right to judge anyone
  • WY - It really is not respectful to kiss etc in public. I'm sorry but even tourists should respect our culture. Leave it for your hotel room. You won't get into trouble with the law but you will offend.
  • Hi Lesley
    Been reading all your responses and really glad to have found someone who is "in the know". I am disabled, not in a wheelchair (yet) but reliant on two crutches. Can you tell me please whether I will cope as a tourist in Tunisia as we are thinking of visiting for two weeks this October.
  • Hi Jeni - Tunisia is not totally disabled friendly, we are catching up but it is still taking some time. However, you can visit many of the sites without too much of a problem and in the tourist beach areas you will find it very easy. There the streets are good and of course if you get tired then there is always a coffee/juice bar to take a rest. Some of the areas will be difficult as they require some climbing and walking over uneven and rough terrain. But, I am sure the Sahara trip would be fine, a day in Tozeur which is a wonderful area, the capital Tunis the sites at El Jem, Sbeitla and Dougga also are not too bad.

    I would say come on over - you may not have the capacity to see it all but you will be able to see a lot and October is still warm enough for you to spend some time on the beach to relax.

    If you want more detailed information on any of the areas you are thinking of visiting then let me know and I can try to offer more advice
  • Hi Lesley,

    Thanks for your email and sorry for being late to reply back.. Hope to hear from you really soon.
  • Hi Lesley
    Thank you for your informative response. We are hoping to spend the last two weeks of October in Yasmine Hammamet. Any advice or recommendations would be really appreciated.

    Jeni
  • Jenni - Yasmine Hamnmamet is very lovely. It's purpose built tourist resort area but is well planned, laid out and very clean. You will find it very easy to get around (even with your difficulty) as the roads, streets and footpaths are even and well cared for. You can perhaps spend a day in Port el Kantaoui which is also a very nice area. Also I can recommend some time in Sousse which is quite an ancient area. It's not as easy to get around as the roads are a little rougher but try to get to the medina area and do some shopping as it's really good value for money. And don't forget to haggle!! It's a way of life and you can have a lot of fun doing it.

    I do hope you will enjoy yourself and I welcome you to my fantastic country
  • Hi Lesley,

    I just returned from a holiday in Egypt where i fell in love with a Tunisian man who was working at the hotel. He wants me to go and visit him in Tunisia to meet his family, and he says that we can be 'free' there because in Egypt we couldn't do anything at all, and he was working at the hotel so it made it even more difficult. Anyway, i've been reading all your responses and so i find it hard to believe that we can be 'free' if i see him in Tunisia? And what will his family think of me? I am a 20 year old blonde female from London, England and he is 23 and from Tunisia.
    I miss him so much and really want to see him but it seems like it will be difficult to be close to him in Tunisia.
    Also, as you have experience in this situation, is it normal for Tunisian men to tell you they love you? or do they just say it without meaning it? I find it hard to tell because of the culture differences and everything! Also, how long were you with your man before you decided to get married? and do you have to convert to Islam?

    Thanks so much if you are able to answer my questions, it's very kind.
  • Hi lesley
    Thank you for your advice - what can I hope of the weather towards the end of October?

    Jeni
  • Jeni - October starts to get a little cooler and is actually very pleasant during the day and cool in the evening. Very, very nice
  • Behappy - I've cut and pasted your questions so I can answer you properly

    I just returned from a holiday in Egypt where i fell in love with a Tunisian man who was working at the hotel.

    Are you sure you are in love (or is it lust) did you spend a long time with him??

    He wants me to go and visit him in Tunisia to meet his family, and he says that we can be 'free' there because in Egypt we couldn't do anything at all, and he was working at the hotel so it made it even more difficult.

    One word here CAUTION!! Reputation of Tunisians who work in hotels are that they are after foreign women for (and not in this order): Money, sex, visa. I presum he is Muslim and if he is a good man from a good family he shouldn't even be talking to you about sleeping with you. It is not permitted prior to marriage.

    Anyway, i've been reading all your responses and so i find it hard to believe that we can be 'free' if i see him in Tunisia?

    Nothing is for free! If you want to stay with him in a hotel then you should be aware that he will not be allowed to stay in the same room as you. You will have to book 2 rooms and I am sure that you will be the one paying for this.

    And what will his family think of me? I am a 20 year old blonde female from London, England and he is 23 and from Tunisia.

    If they are a good family they will be kind to you but as much as it may hurt you, they would wish that he chooses a good tunisian girl from a good family. Or...........they will encourage him as the money will be a flow on


    I miss him so much and really want to see him but it seems like it will be difficult to be close to him in Tunisia.
    Also, as you have experience in this situation, is it normal for Tunisian men to tell you they love you? or do they just say it without meaning it?

    Sometimes a man will tell you that he loves you in the hope that you will give him what he wants and that's usually sex. Muslim women won't western women will. Simple

    I find it hard to tell because of the culture differences and everything!

    I suggest that you try to find out as much as you can about the Tunisian culture and mindset before you decide on anything

    Also, how long were you with your man before you decided to get married? and do you have to convert to Islam?

    My husband and I knew each other for a few months before we got married. However, he is a good Muslim from a good family so read between the lines. I did not and have not (as yet) converted to Islam. I am educating myself but it will take me time to make a final decision. A muslim man can marry a christian/jewish woman as long as they believe in 1 god, a muslim woman may not marry outside the faith.

    I have been quite blunt with you but I have to give you the warning!! Be careful, you are very young and I would not want you to be taken advantage of. You may like to check out this website for some interesting stories: www.tunisianloverats.com

    Thanks so much if you are able to answer my questions, it's very kind.
  • thanks Lesley, yeah i feared you would say that. I feel like it maybe is lust.... but at the same time i had a boyfriend for 2 years and even though i have known this Tunisian man for far shorter than my ex i feel something for him way stronger than for my ex, whom i definitely was in love with. so that's why i am so confused...
    and no don't worry about being blunt, i am just grateful you answered my questions! i'm not about to go and do anything stupid, i just do feel very strongly for him.

    that website is terrifying though, makes me question everything. but surely they can't all be like this? after all they are still human!!

    anyway, thanks very much for your help
  • behappy - I'm glad you had a look at the website - it's a bit of an unhappy snapshot I'm afraid and just be warned that Tunisian men are involved in what we call the 'bezness'..............it's sad but it's a fact. They have all the sweetie words and the charm to pull you right in so be very aware. Good luck
  • Hi Lesly, behappy,

    I was really shocked and ashamed reading all the awful stuff on the website.. but sadly I have to admit that many Tunisian men are like that especially uneducated ones.. they think they can get "free" and "easy" sex and maybe even a visa as Lesley said.. it's sadly the truth of many stupid and hopeless guys.. but you know.. it's not a rule.. and it doesn't apply for everyone.. I know someone who got married to a Canadian just 3 weeks after they met.. n they were both young.. everythng went so fast that it sounded like he only married her to get to stay in Canada.. but that was 8 years ago... n they have 3 cute babies and they are just happy.. so really.. it doesn't apply on all Tunisian men.. despite being Tunisian, am not into Tunisian men but for other reasons.. surely your bf is going to be way different from your x's but that's normal.. you're from different countries and different cultures.. you just need to be aware that he might not be serious.. n I guess we are always suspicious in the beginning of a relationship.. we're never sure enough.. so just trust your heart n give urself time to know him.. time will help to find out his real intentions.. all the best!
  • Hi hb - I'm back and will email you in the next few days. It is sad that this happens here but it's not just here!! You are right, there are very many happy and successful cross-culture marriages. I have one 'humdu'llah! And you are also right that not all Tunisian men are bad - but I find it difficult to see some of the things that happen here and not warn caution.
  • Hi Lesley,
    I am an American who will be traveling to Tunisia to meet my boyfriend's family. After this trip we will be applying for a fiance visa for him to move to the US with me. I plan to rent a house as my accomodations during this visit. I know that in the hotels and resorts it is not permitted for a Tunisian man to stay with a foreign woman, but if I rent a place for the week, would my boyfriend be able to visit me there without a problem? Is there anyone to enforce that?
  • Firstly, I understand this thread is about Tunisia, but I've seen Moroccan cities mentioned a few times so would be greatful if anyone can shed some light on this.....
    I'm due to be travelling to Morocco (Marakech & Essaouira) next week with my girlfriend. I'm from Uk, she is Norwegian. I've read from the other posts that couples sharing should be ok in most places, however, she has an Arabic name as her father is a Muslim (from Libya). Is this likely to cause problems? We are in our early twenties.
    The hotels we have booked look quite large and fairly modern resorts, all 4* or 5*, but I am still a bit worried. Also, should we wear rings as a deterrent to any questions?
  • Flybaby - where are you going to rent? It will depend on the area and it may be more expensive, however, there should be no problems with your b/f visiting or staying with you in private accommodation. The only thing you may need to be careful of are your neighbours (Tunisian hobby is watching especially foreigners) and the landlord. Depending on where you are staying you may be able to have your b/f in a hotel room with you but you can check with the hotels etc. I can't give you a definitive answer as it can be very hit and miss here.
  • MDG - hmmm we are going exactly to the same places next week!! Maybe we'll see you. If your g/f is travelling on a Norwegian passport you should have no problems. If she was born in Libya and it states this on her passport it may be a little more dicey but I don't think you should have any problems. Rings don't mean too much in this part of the world but if you are questioned just say that you didn't realise you had to have your marriage licence with you!! Usually works - I hope you enjoy your time - Essaouri is my most favourite place!!
  • hi lesley.
    Me and my boyfriend are actually coming to tunisia tomorrow and I have only now come across your site which is typical of me lol. I have read all of your comments and it has put my mind at rest due to the fact we are both 20 and not married. However, as you have advised others that you should pretend your married which is fine by us what do we say about the booking names where mine is a 'miss' do they take any notice of this. Also, we are not a touchy feely couple in public anyway and i understand kissing is not really welcomed but what about holding hands and cuddling etc. (Just on our resort i mean) i dont think we will be going much further as we don't want to get into any trouble as it is just the two of us.
    A little advice would be lovely and I hope you get this before we go lol

    Thanks
    Loren
  • I am a white female and will be visiting Tunisia for the second time soon. I absolutely loved the country and its people during my first visit (organized trip). This time I am coming to spend time with a friend and do more sightseeing. I will be residing in a private home. However, I am a little concerned about telling customs officers in Tunis that I am visiting a private individual (rather than a hotel). Could you please advise what I should write on the entry card? I hate the idea of lying, but I also don't want to have to explain myself since I am not doing anything wrong. Thank you!
  • European - you do not have to give the full address. Simply state the suburb eg. Tunis, Bizerte etc. I doubt they will ask anything but you can tell them that you are staying with friends - it's not a problem.

    I'm so glad that you enjoyed your last visit and we welcome you back to this beautiful country
  • i m muslim gurl fm asia wearing hijab would like to travel to europe n frm there to tunisia.will it be safe to travel alone in tunisia?frm tunisia also i plan to go libya then egypt.i can travel without visa to tunisia n egypt but can i get Libyan visa at tunisia-libyan border?
  • Salem Nour,

    Firstly you cannot get a Libyan visa at any of the borders. you must get this before you leave your home country. You must contact a travel company in Libya and they will organise invitation and visa for you. You can also not travel around Libya by yourself. You must go with a tour company and/or have a guide and driver with you. I'm guessing that you are from Malaysia which means that you can have your visa on arrival in Tunis.

    Secondly, Tunisia is a safe country to travel around whether you wear the hijab or not. But you need to be aware that a woman wearing the hijab and travelling alone is a strange thing here - you will understand this better than most yes?? Young women here are not so conservative and you will see many in western clothing, however, they are local and know how to deal with situations. If you don't have the language (we use a mixture of dialect and French) then you may have some difficulties. We travel largely around the country by louage and I do not advise that a female foreigner do this!!

    If you wish to contact me for more information then i invite you to email me as below.
  • Hi, we are closing this discussion, which seems to have gone off message. Please start a new discussion if you have other questions about Tunisia.
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