Shopping and Eating in Tunisia



The following items can be imported into Tunisia duty-free (people aged 17 and over):

200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 500 g tobacco;

1 liter of alcoholic beverages over 25% alcohol or 2 liters with less than 25% alcohol;

Valuables should be declared upon entry so that there are no problems when leaving.

Prohibited imports

Guns, explosives, narcotics, walkie-talkies, pornographic printed matter.

Export regulations

An export permit from the Ministry of Culture is required for antiques.



In the medinas of the big cities of Tunisia, such as Tunis, Kairouan, Sousse or Sfax, you will find a great selection of local handicrafts. Haggling is essential here. The shops and studios in the Société de Commercialization des Produits de l’Artisinat (SOCOPA for short; Internet: offer art objects at fixed prices. In the state-run ONAT stores (Office National de l’Artisanat Tunisien) tested goods are also offered at fixed prices. There are countless souvenir shops in the holiday resorts, but high-quality products are rarely found here.

Obese souvenirs are copperware, items made of olive wood, leather goods, traditional clothing (caftan, djelaba, burnous), perfumed oils, pottery, folklore dolls, embroidery, tiles, silverware, enameled jewelry, hookahs and carpets. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, paprika, anise, coriander, pepper or chilli are offered at colorful stalls in the souks at low prices. The artists’ village of Sidi Bou Said is known for its wooden bird cages. Nabeul is a production center for pottery, in many shops, besides the tiles typical of the region, other ceramic art objects are offered.

Tunisian rugs are typically unusually geometrically patterned and kept in more subdued colors than their Central Asian counterparts. The quality of the carpets is strictly controlled by the National Crafts Organization (ONAT), and a label attached to the carpet shows the seal of approval and the graduation. The city of Kairouan is Tunisia’s carpet capital, where a number of carpet dealers display valuable carpets and rugs. Many of the dealers are knowledgeable experts in carpet art and are happy to help with the selection. Unfortunately, there are sometimes people who are inclined to lie and cheat, which should be taken into account when buying carpets.

Opening hours

8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in summer, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in winter.



The Tunisian nightlife essentially consists of a distinct café culture. Even in the smallest of towns you can find at least one or two cafés where people come together after sunset. The good mood of these small bars often spreads to the sidewalks in front, where the café-goers smoke water pipes, play backgammon and drink coffee or tea until the early hours of the morning. An evening in one of these cafés offers a good opportunity to get in touch with the Tunisians and to get to know local life. In larger cities like Tunis, Sfax or Sousse, these traditional eateries are usually located in or at least near the medina. In the newer districts you can find modern variations of these cafés,

In areas that attract large numbers of international visitors, there are a few nightclubs that either attract more affluent young Tunisians or are geared towards tourists. Many of these night clubs belong to a hotel. Some restaurants and bars offer regular live music and belly dance performances from May to September.

As a country located in Africa according to a2zgov, Tunisia also has a lot to offer culturally: from October to June numerous theater and concert events by local and foreign ensembles take place across the country. International groups perform in the theaters of Tunis, Hammamet and Sousse.


Regional specialities

  • Tajine(lamb stew).
  • Brik(dumpling filled with egg, tuna, onions, capers and parsley).
  • Salade Mechouia(grilled salad with tomato and peppers).
  • Merguez(strongly seasoned beef sausages).
  • Filfil mahshi(peppers stuffed with beef and harissa).
  • Lablabi(chickpea stew with lots of garlic).
  • Marqa(slow cooked stew with meat and vegetables).
  • Ojja(egg dish with harissa, tomatoes, peppers and sometimes meat).

Useful information

Although Tunisia is a Muslim country, there is no alcohol ban. Alcohol is available in bars, restaurants, and some supermarkets.

For most Tunisians, a vegetarian diet is unimaginable. It can sometimes be difficult to find meat-free dishes. Although the Tunisian cuisine knows all kinds of salads, soups, stews and egg dishes, one should note that many dishes that are described as vegetarian have a chicken broth as a base or contain one or two small pieces of meat for taste.


Tips are not expected, but waiters and taxi drivers are usually given a few coins. In restaurants that are mostly visited by tourists, the waiters receive 10% of the invoice amount.

Regional drinks

Moorish cafés with traditional decor serve excellent Ahwa arbi (Turkish coffee) and Thé à la menthe (mint tea with pine nuts). Tunisia produces excellent table wines, champagne, beer, aperitifs and local liqueurs such as Boukha (distilled from figs) or Thibarine (Dattellikör with herbs).

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In Tunisia you can drink alcohol from the age of 21.

Eating in Tunisia