Transport in Tunisia

holidays key facts Tunisia
I know this blog is about Libya but as i spent the last 3 months in Tunisia i thought i’ll share my experience there on a few topics and i’d like to start with Transport. How do you move around in Tunisia if you don’t have your own car? Tunisia is a small country and there is so much variety from North to South that it is totally worth travelling around to take in the whole range of spectacular landscapes and get a feel of this rich culture.

Holiday in Tunisia
Matmata is one of the most popular spot in Tunisia. Famous for its troglodyte dwellings
 as well as for being the film location of the Star Wars movie

On the road

If you like to drive, you can bring your own car or rent one. Driving is pretty safe compared to other countries such as Libya or Saoudi. All road signs are written in Arabic and French (european alphabet) so finding your way shouldn’t be too hard.
On the road (where you drive on the right by the way) you’ll find cars and trucks of course but also many many bikes, motorbikes (mobilettes in French) and also carts pulled by horses or donkeys. Beware of the bikes, they really are everywhere and can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to them.

Public Transports

In Tunisia you’ve got the choice between taxi, louage, bus or train to travel around.
* Taxis are yellow in colour and are used for short distance trips (within the city). You can only flag them down, there is no advance booking service but it’s usually pretty easy to get a cab when you need one. In the capital Tunis however taxi drivers are a bit strong headed and you may have to convince them to take you. We once waited for a really long time, they wouldn’t take us because it was rush hour and they didn’t want to be stuck in traffic which they would have to do to take us to our destination.
One thing you should know, taxis will not take more than 4 passengers, no matter the age/size of the passengers. So if you travel with an infant you have to count him in.
Price: a short taxi ride within the city would cost about 1 or 2 Tunisian Dinars.

* Louage are 7/8 seaters mini bus used for long distance travelling within the country but also to reach neighbouring countries such as Libya. They are usually white with a red stripe and have markings on them to recognise them.
How to take a louage? You cannot flag it like a cab, you need to make your way to a louage station then find the vehicle that goes to your destination. You book a seat for yourselft and then you have to wait for the louage to be full. This means that there are NO timetable for the louage, it leaves when it is full. Sounds difficult but it’s not that bad, louage is a very popular means of transportation so you usually don’t wait that long.
Price: it varies depending on the distance covered obviously and every passenger must pay the full price, including children if they take a seat. There is the possibility of buying off all the seats so the louage would be just for you and leaves immediately.

* Public bus: in large city, you’ll find a bus service. I haven’t yet tried one but from what i have been told, you sometimes have to wait a long time and obviously they don’t necessarily reach your destination. Not my favourite form of transport while on holiday but they are available.

* Trains: the railway system is unfortunately quite old and on some lines the trains are dirty and not very pleasant. However on lines around the capital Tunis, new trains are now being used and there are talks to replace old trains by new ones in the near future. Most of the big cities can be reaches via train. Night trains are available so you can travel at night and explore the country during the day.
Price: here again it varies on the distance. Young children do not have to pay though so it’s a good option for families.

Airports

Holiday in TunisiaTunisia might be small but it has long been a popular destination for tourists so there are many international airports all over the country. The main one is in the capital and you can fly to Tunis Carthage from most places in Europe.

The main national airline is Tunisair. I have used it many time to fly from the UK to Tunisia and the services and confort on board is just as good as on other airlines. It is actually better than some as you are often allowed more lugguage weight than with other companies.

Once you arrive in Tunisia, you’ll find taxis available to take you to your hotel or they can drive you to the nearest louage or train station if you need to travel further.

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