Tunisia : Safety by City
Tunisia officially referred to as the Tunisian Republic is a country located in Northern Africa with a Mediterranean Sea coastline right at the heart of Mediterranean Africa. Tunisia is located immediately to the south of Italy and Malta and it also shares its borders with Libya to the south-east, and Algeria to the west. Even though Tunisia has much to offer, this country has lived through a major decline during the recent decades. Its economy is in major depression, infrastructure decaying and with it, the mass tourism lowering down.
However there are signs of renewal, especially in Tunis, and there certainly are many ways to enjoy Tunisia, the first one being enjoy your days on the gorgeous Mediterranean beaches. However, if you’re planning a circuit of Tunisia, it is highly recommended you get a reputable tour guide, since the regions adjacent to the Algerian and Libyan borders are very dangerous to visit, with kidnappings having been reported in this region. But with that in mind, Tourism is still well developed in Tunisia, although not as much as in other countries like Egypt and Morocco.
Warnings & Dangers in Tunisia
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Overall, Tunisia is a safe country, but there are extremely high rates of petty crime. You should be vigilant and take all possible precaution measures in order to minimize the risk of something going wrong.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to transport, it isn't very safe or reliable. You have to be very careful in public transport because there may be thieves lurking around, and sexual harassment toward women is common. Make sure that the taxi drivers aren't ripping you off under the excuse that their meters aren't working.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
There is an extreme threat of petty crime. Pickpockets are practically an everyday occurrence and you should be extremely careful when handling your valuables and never carry your money in a purse or a pocket. The most risky locations are crowded places such as markets, public transport and bus and train stations.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Tunisia is susceptible to natural disasters, particularly floods, earthquakes and droughts. In the past couple of years, various regions of Tunisia have been suffering from flooding.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
The chances of getting mugged or kidnapped are high around the border with Libya, and there are areas that are best avoided, such as poorly lit and deserted areas in the big cities.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Terrorists are likely to try and attack in Tunisia. Authority in Tunisia is alert at all times in Tunis and other regions of Tunisia. You should remain aware of your surroundings at all times, avoid protests and public gatherings and festivals.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Watch out for street vendors trying to rip you off and overcharge for their service, double check the authenticity of everything you want to buy as well as the change you receive and negotiate everything in advance.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Tunisia is not the safest choice for female solo travelers. Sexual assaults do occur occasionally, and women in general tend to attract unwanted attention.
So... How Safe Is Tunisia Really?
Tunisia is relatively safe to visit. It is a country where theft and petty crime is common. Be very careful with your valuables and keep them in a safe place with you, or better yet, just leave them in your accommodation and only carry enough cash to cover your requirements for that day.
Among dangers you can encounter on the streets of Tunisia is the harassment of women and of LGBT population. LGBT are not welcome here and homosexuality is punishable by low and illegal. Members of LGBT community are advised to stay out of Tunisia, though in the past couple of years more and more young people are gaining some understanding of this community and are becoming more accepting of them. Men in Tunisia tend to verbally harass western women on the streets, due to their image of western women they get over the media. They get truly stunned when they ask female tourists to kiss them, and they don’t do it. If you receive unwanted attention, just say ‘Harem alek‘, which, in Arabic means ‘shame on you‘. This usually works quite well.
Another issue you should be very aware of is that traveling to within 10km of the Tunisia-Libya border is strongly advised against, as well as traveling south of El Borma. Just generally be careful when moving around Tunisia, since there have been attacks carried out on the country by Islamic extremists recently.
- Visas - Many countries in Canada, U.S, and Europe don't need a visa in order to enter Tunisia. Your passport needs to be valid for the duration of your stay. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Tunisian dinar is the official currency in Tunisia. Bear in mind that you are not allowed to take Tunisian currency out of the country. Tunisian banks will probably ask to see your passport when you change money.
- Weather - Tunisia has hot-summer Mediterranean climate in most regions, with mild winters characterized by moderate rainfall and not too low temperatures and hot and dry summers. Temperatures during summer, in July and August can exceed 40 °C.
- Airports - Tunis–Carthage Airport is the biggest airport serving Tunisia. It is located in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. It is named for the historic city of Carthage, which is very near, just outside the airport.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Tunisia, since it covers not only the costs medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.