Official name of the state
According to areacodesexplorer, Tunisia lies on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and borders Algeria in the west and Libya in the southeast. It is located 130 km southwest of Sicily and 160 km south of Sardinia. The landscape is very varied, with cliffs on the north coast and forests inland as well as deep, fertile valleys and deserts, steep mountains and salty lowlands that lie below sea level. The Sahara begins south of Gafsa and Gabès. There are numerous small islands in front of the 1000 km long coast, including Djerba in the south and Kerkennah in the east. Hills overgrown with pine trees stretch from the northwest to the southeast, behind which are lush pastureland, orchards, wineries and olive groves.
Parliamentary republic since 2014. Constitution of 2014. Parliament: Newly elected on October 26, 2014 with 217 members. Independent since 1956 (former French protectorate).
Head of state
Béji Caïd Essebsi, since December 2014.
Head of government
Youssef Chahed, since August 2016.
230 V, 50 Hz.
Central European Time: CET +2
The official language is Arabic. Tunisian, a West Arabic dialect, and Berber languages are spoken as colloquial languages. French is widely used, but has not served as a commercial or educational language since the 1990s. English and German are sometimes understood in larger cities and holiday resorts.
Arabic is spoken by around 320 million people as their mother tongue worldwide, and another 60 million people speak it as a second language. Because of its importance as a sacred language in the Islamic faith, Arabic has developed into a world language. Along with Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. In addition to Tunisia, Arabic is also the official language in Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Israel, Iraq, Yemen, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, although the local dialects are sometimes very different from one another. The Cairo dialect is widely understood due to the large Egyptian film production. Standard Arabic is rarely used as an oral communication tool,
The written language for all dialects is written standard Arabic. It is written from right to left. In the Arabic alphabet there are only consonants and long vowels. Arabic is one of the current scripts, which means that the individual letters of a word are connected with one another.
- Hello = salaam
- Good morning = sbaah al-kheer
- Good evening = masaa al-kheer
- Goodbye = bi-salaama
- Yes = naam
- No = La
- Please = min fadlak
- Thank you = ayshik
- You’re welcome = blaa imzeeya
- What’s your name? = waash ismek?
- My name is = asmee
- How are you? = kee raak?
- I’m fine = la bas ilhamdulilah
- Where are you from? = minaan inta?
- I come from = ana min
Tunisia has around 160,000 hotel beds. There are also holiday villages everywhere. There is a luxury resort in Tabarka. A list of accommodation is available from the Tourist Office.
Categories: The hotels are divided into five categories, the spectrum ranges from deluxe (5 stars) to simple (1 star).
You can camp on the beach or in the parks with permission from the owner, the police or the National Guard. The largest campsites are Le Moulin Bleu in Hammam-Plage (20 km from Tunis); L’Auberge des Jasmins in Nabeul (65 km from Tunis), with showers, sinks, toilets, hot and cold water, shop, restaurant, open-air stages and a large orange grove; L’Ideal Camping in Hammamet (60 km from Tunis) with restaurant; Sonia Camping & Caravan in Zarzis (505 km from Tunis) and the youth center in Gabès (404 km from Tunis and only open in summer).
Other accommodation options
Group reservations in youth hostels should be booked in advance if possible. The Tunisian Tourist Office can provide further information (see contact addresses).
98% Muslim (Sunni). Jewish, Catholic and Protestant minorities.
Social rules of conduct
General: In Arab culture and tradition, Tunisia is a liberal and tolerant Muslim country. In the Tunisian constitution there are many laws on equality between men and women that Habib Bourguiba, the country’s first president, introduced. Polygamy is prohibited by law. Women are free to choose whether to wear a headscarf and have the right to file for divorce, work, run their own business, and have access to abortion and birth control. But even if cities like Tunis, Sfax or Sousse appear very liberal and modern, one should always take into account that the people in the rural areas lead a much more traditional life.
Manners: Shake hands to greet you. The kiss on both cheeks with which women greet each other is more personal. Even men who are friends kiss each other on the cheeks in greeting. It is customary to place your right hand on your heart after shaking hands; it is also a polite way of expressing gratitude. Sometimes this gesture replaces the handshake among very religious people of different sexes. Hospitality plays a big role. Small gifts of appreciation or as a token of friendship are always welcome.
Clothing: Well-groomed casual clothing is acceptable. In view of the predominantly Islamic belief of the population, women should neither show bare knees nor shoulders or a cleavage that is cut too low. Men should only wear shorts on the beach and in the touristy places. This rule should be observed, especially in the rural areas of the country. When visiting a mosque, women should also cover their hair. Swimwear belongs on the beach.
Smoking: In principle, smoking is permitted everywhere, some restaurants have separate non-smoking areas. During the fasting month of Ramadan, tourists are allowed to smoke, but out of consideration for believers it is better not to smoke in public.
Tip: If the service fee is not already included in the restaurant bill, a tip of 10-15% is usual. In a taxi, the fare is usually rounded up.
Best travel time
Warm all year round. The best travel times are spring and autumn. Temperatures can rise extremely in the interior of the country. Winter is usually mild with occasional rainfall.
Area code +216 Area (square km) 163 610 Population 11037225 Population density (per square km) 67 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 190