Tunisia in Ramadan
  • 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
  • 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.
  • I am going to skanes in may never been before could anyone tell me what to look out for
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • Hy am heading to tunisia now in nov. Do u need any vaccinations are anything before you go??
  • Hi Minnie - no you don't need any vaccinations before you visit Tunisia. Enjoy your vacatgion here - it's a great country
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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..
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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?
  • Any1 knows how much a taxi fare is from Enfidha to Skanes?
  • Nat - can please start a new post with this question? This thread is about Ramadan/culture. Thanks
  • Nat - I'm not sure how much it will be..........it's not so far but it will depend on what time of night and the amount of luggage you have. Shouldn't be more than TNd20.000 but check the price with the taxi before you get in and make sure his meter is on.
  • Hello, I am due to fly to Hammamet on Tuesday, but am very worried about the disturbances with Libya. Do you think we will encounter any problems. I am going with my 15 year old daughter and her friend. Please advise.

    Thank you
  • Bernie - the only problem you are likely to encounter is severe sunburn!! It is very, very hot here right now so make sure you are prepared. We think that Eid (the last day of Ramadan) will be on tuesday and it's a lovely time for you to arrive. Everyone is out and about with their children visiting friends and family and giving and eating (too many) sweet things!! However, you might want to ensure that you have transport from the airport to the hotel as it will be busy at night.

    We have many thousands of Libyans here now in Tunisia escaping the revolution there but we don't have any problems with them and there are no incursions over our borders from the pro-Gaddafi forces. They certainly won't be in Hammamet - it's a tourist town!!

    Enjoy your time with us and we wish you a great vacation
  • hello there,
    i just wanted to comment really quick that your comments and answered questions have been so helpful.
    i was looking to visit a friend in Tunisia some where in January, February, or March. Is there a certain time that is better then others to come in those months? I also heard rummer that Tunisia has its own agency that helps with booking flights and incoming and leaving people that wont try to pull the hood over your eyes, is this true?
    and when you say modest, just to specify, would sleeveless be okay? are people really touchy about actual sleeves or is it more of a so long as nothing's showing sort of idea?
    also if there any thing you would advise someone to know who has never been remotely near Africa or Europe to know about Tunisia?
  • Ash - wow, I've only just seen this post. We have a special section on Tunisia which is why I've only just noticed this one, apologies. It is really cold in Jan and Feb but March is starting to get warmer so my suggestion is March. I've never heard of the agency you mention, is it a government agency? Many travel agents can help with booking flights but they can't do it from here. There are lots of scams around, not just here but you should be careful and book with a local, reputable company that you trust or have been referred to.

    I'm not sure if you are a male or female but if you are female I would advise against sleeveless and besides which if you are coming in the first few months of the year, it is definitely too, too cold for that anyhow. You will find Tunisia relatively liberal in the capital of Tunis and in the tourist areas along the coast, however, in the smaller towns and villages they are traditional and conservative and it is better to cover with loose clothing. You will feel much more comfortable and so will the locals.

    My advice is to try to do some research about the country you are visiting, the religion, the customs etc and also to try to learn a few words of the language. These things will help you to understand the culture and will earn you respect which in turn will give you an advantage by being welcomed into the community giving you an experience that normal 'tourists' will not have.
  • hi everybody, iam going on holiday to Tunisia this year on July 2012 and right now i found out that 20th of July it will start Ramadan. I know everything about food, drinks, open restaurants, clothes but i would like to ask about having fun (disco, clubs...) how it is going with this? pls can u somebody write me about it? and what about shopping clothes....many thanx for ur comments
  • I am going to Sousse in August and I am speaking with a gentlemen from there and he is interested in staying at the hotel with me in the same room is it wise? I will aslo be going during ramadan
    Thanks
  • Hi guys!

    I'm off to Port el kantue (spelling?) at the end of July....I know its Ramadan then...is this going to affect any aspect of our trip?

    Also I have a small child... He needs his milk before bed time...is the milk at the hotel safe to drink and use on cereals etc?

    Bearing in mind we will have 2 young children with us are ther any trips that we could do with them or is it safer just to stay in the hotel with them? If we do go out... I know I would have to be wearing respectable clothes but are things like vest and shorts on my children going to attract unwelcome attention?

    I would be grateful for any advice!
  • Hi,

    I am about to book a holiday to hammamet in July. I've just realised that I will be travelling during Ramadan. I am going self catering so I don't see eating as being a big problem. My only concern is will there be things to do during the day? For example shopping and sight seeing?

    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Many thanks in advance
    Shreena
  • Mojo - DO NOT ALLOW A STRANGE ANYONE TO STAY IN YOUR ROOM WITH YOU EVEN IF YOU HAVE BEEN 'TOGETHER' ON THE INTERNET FOR A LONG TIME!!! Secondly just so you know - this guy is not a good person because Ramadan is the most important time and sex as well as food and drink is not allowed between sunrise and sunset. Also it is illegal for a Tunisian citizen to stay in the same room as a foreigner unless he/she is married to that foreigner.
  • Tina - everything is open after sunset when we can eat and drink. I am not sure if the discos operate but of course they will in the tourist hotels so don't worry.
  • Shreena - everything will be operating as normal during Ramadan in all the resort areas so don't worry you can sight see and shop until you drop the only thing I ask is that you do not eat and drink in the street and if you smoke perhaps you could do it where no one can see you. Also please have patience with us during this time, it is very hard for us not to eat, smoke and especially smoke during this period and we can all get a little 'tetchy' so patience and understanding is great
  • Hi Lesley,

    Thanks for all the info you are providing on these Tunisia threads. I hope to travel to Sousse this summer holiday with husband, son (9) daughter (16 months) and mum (70!). My query is a little unusual in that it is my intention to travel to Tunisia in order to fast! Are there any hotels that would cater for Ramadan and provide pre-dawn meals and Iftars yet be fun for the kids? Am I being too ambitious? I enjoy experiencing Ramadan in different countries and thought Tunisia near the Grand Mosque would be good.

    Many thanks

    Alia
  • Alia I suggest you go self catering. Or if you do stay in a hotel buy food for Zuhoor the pre dawn breakfast.

    Do you not think that Tunisian hotel staff have a hard time working in Ramadan and that maybe they would want to pray and eat the pre dawn meal with their own family before a long days work.?

    On a final note travellers are not required to observe Ramadan





  • We have a tendency to were there last year and the only thing that we have a tendency to noticed was a number of the bars closed for about 20 minutes at sun set to permit the workers time to eat.
  • Alethia, 

    Yes I could go self catering but going to a country for the first time one tends to feel it is easier to stay at a hotel. I find it unusual that in Tunisia they would not cater for Muslim travellers - after all most hotels are staffed 24 hours a day and workers have to stop for Iftar too. In Cairo and elsewhere we used to eat what the hotel staff were eating and the atmosphere was very welcoming.

    I know that I would not be required to observe fasts but it is a special time and I would want to be a part of it.
  • A77c ,
    The difference between Cairo and Tunisia is that the majority of hotels in the Tunisian seaside resorts eg Sousse, Hammamet,Monastir Skanes cater for non muslim European package holidaymakers.who are seeking a week or fortnights holiday and have no interest in Ramadan. The summer season is when the hotel workers make the majority of their income and are reliant on tips

    Cairo hotels cater for people from all over the world all year round ,who are passing through for a few days.

    Tunisia is also nominally Muslim whereas Egypt is completely Muslim.

    I hope you find what you are looking for.


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