Getting Around, Tunisia Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Tunisia, TN, North Africa)
Visitors to Tunisia usually arrive by air to one of its main airports. Once in Tunisia, the transport system comprises of networks of buses, trains and taxis.
Unlike many other African countries, such modes of transport offer a relatively easy way to travel around the country. Services are generally reliable and affordable.
If you are short of time, then it is possible to travel by plane between Tunis and larger cities in Tunisia. Visitors who wish to travel more independently, or venture into areas that are perhaps too remote to be served by public transport, can opt to hire a car.
Tunis Carthage International Airport (TUN) / Arriving by Air
Address: Boulevard Mohamed Bouazizi / 1080 Tunis Cedex / Lac Leman, Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
Tel: +216 70 102 100
The Tunis Carthage International Airport is the main international airport serving Tunisia. Located around 4 miles / 7 km from the city of Tunis, it serves passengers from Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Africa
. The airport has two terminals and offers restaurant facilities, as well as bars and shops. Bus transport to and from Tunis city centre is available, operating at 30-minute intervals. The bus journey takes in the region of 30 minutes, while more upmarket TUT buses can also be used, leaving every 15 minutes or thereabouts. Of note, the quickest way to head into Tunis city centre is by taxi, which takes just 15 to 20 minutes.
Other major airports in Tunisia include the Djerba Zarzis International Airport, situated around 10 km / 6 miles from Djerba and serving the Mediterranean coastal resorts, and the Tozeur Nefta International Airport, situated in the south of Tunisia and handy for travellers planning to head into the Sahara Desert. Of note, the main airports in Tunisia are listed below:
- Djerba Zarzis International Airport (DJE) - Medenine
- El Borma Airport (EBM) - Tataouine
- Enfidha Hammamet International Airport (NBE) - Sousse
- Gabès Matmata International Airport (GAE) - Gabès
- Gafsa Ksar International Airport (GAF) - Gafsa
- Kairouan Airport (QKN) - Kairouan
- Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport (MIR) - Monastir
- Sfax Thyna International Airport (SFA) - Sfax
- Tabarka 7 Novembre International Airport (TBJ) - Jendouba
- Tozeur Nefta International Airport (TOE) - Tozeur
- Tunis Carthage International Airport (TUN) - Tunis
All of the main car rental companies are represented in Tunisia. It is possible to pre-book a hire car in advance or book one locally, on arrival. The most convenient option is to rent a car that can be picked up at the airport.
Road surfaces are generally good. However, be prepared for the fact that driving around local cities may be a very different experience from driving in your own country.
Buses and Coaches
Visitors who prefer to travel around Tunisia independently will enjoy the fact that long-distance buses connect most large towns in Tunisia. On the whole, it is a fairly comfortable way to get around the country and connections are plentiful. In many cases, tickets can be purchased from the driver, although it is best to check this out in advance. Information on bus times and fares is widely available.
Local buses operate in larger cities, such as Tunis. Whilst they are the cheapest way to travel around, they are by no means the most comfortable.
Rail travel is a great way to get around Tunisia. Although the train transport network in Tunis isn't extensive, there are stations handy for reaching most of the major tourist destinations and larger cities. For example, visitors can travel by train to El Jem, Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, Touzeur and Gabès. The 'Lezard Rouge' is a particularly scenic route that operates in the south of Tunisia. In general, train tickets are reasonably priced, particularly if a rail card is purchased, and most train services are reliable.
Shared or collective taxis in Tunisia are known as 'louages'. Drivers operate using fixed fares for particular routes. Cabs tend to wait at main stations or 'pick up' points. However, it is worth noting that drivers don't depart at any given time, only when they have enough passengers on board to make the trip worthwhile.
If you have a lot of luggage, or need to get somewhere in a hurry, then it makes more sense to hire private taxi transport. Taxis can be flagged down on the street or booked by telephone, with cabs being more expensive to hire at night than during the daytime. It is recommended that passengers make sure that their journey is indeed being metered. All taxi drivers in Tunisia should be licenced.
Taxi transfers from airports in Tunisia, such as the Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport, can often be arranged in advance, so that a taxi will be ready and waiting when your plane lands. Obviously, this is a more expensive option than if you were to take a shuttle bus or similar transport.