As Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis is also the country’s main business, tourist and culture hub. French and Arabic culture cross paths here to create something you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in North Africa. The city has two parts – the Medina (Old City) and Ville Nouvelle (New City), both of which have their charms for new visitors. Aside from a number of skyscrapers and modern hotels, you’re likely to find a number of major historical sites such as the old city, Carthage, which has been a World Heritage Site for over 30 years. The Gulf of Tunis and the coast is also nearby, which means that a trip to the beach is something else you could do while visiting the city.
A typical saloon is ideal for driving both in the centre of Tunis and along its many motorways. It would also be perfect for driving along some of the bumpy secondary routes than using a smaller car.
Driving in Tunis
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Some of the road signage in Tunis is pretty erratic. Usually, only the major routes are signposted, so it’s worth bringing a map or having a satnav handy.
Many of the road signs you do come across in Tunis are written in both Arabic and French. They are usually easy to understand.
The best parts of Tunis to drive in at night are in the centre, as they’re the most well-lit by streetlights. In the outer suburbs, streetlights are either sparse or non-existent.
Highlights & Hotspots
Carthage should be the first port of call for history buffs. The site is composed largely of ruins which date back before Roman and Ancient Greek times, although their exact origin has puzzled historians for centuries. Well worth a look if you have a few hours spare.
The Bardo Museum, which occupies the site of a 13th century Ottoman palace, is the largest museum in Tunis. It has artefacts including Roman-era mosaics, pieces from Carthage and a number of pieces detailing early Arabic culture.
Zitouna Mosque is the principal place of worship in Tunis. Dating back to the 8th century, the mosque is partially open to non-Muslims, but only viewable from a platform inside the minaret. Nearby, there are three souks worth going to for a bargain souvenir.
The most prominent cultural venue in the city is the Theatre Municipal de Tunis. Here, you can catch a play, watch a ballet or opera performance or a number of other productions during most evenings, while admission is pretty cheap.
Tunis-Carthage International Airport is just under two miles northeast of the city centre, close to the historic city of Carthage. The airport has one large terminal for passengers, serving destinations across Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
The airport can be reached via the N9, which goes south onto the A1 road. The A1 has several exits to the west into the city centre.