Tunisia Travel Information

Tunisia is a North African country with a rich history and a unique blend of Arab, Berber and Mediterranean cultures. It is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins and bustling markets. Visitors can explore the ruins of Carthage, relax on the white sandy beaches of Sousse or shop for souvenirs in the Tunisian Medina.

Visa Information

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Flights & Transportation

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Health & Safety

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Geography & Climate

Tunisia’s landmass comprises 155.354 square kilometres; the total area is 163,610 square kilometres. The country has three distinct regions: the northern Tell or high plains; the central steppes; and the arid south, characterized by date palm oases and numerous shatts (salt marshes), the largest of which is the Shatt al-Jarid.

The north and the Sahel are the most urbanized and most densely populated regions of Tunisia. Tunis is the largest city and the national capital. The second largest city, Sfax, has half as many inhabitants as greater Tunisia (2 million). Other important cities are Qairawan (an important religious center and the first Arab town in the country, founded in 670 c.e.), Sousse, Gafsa, and Bizerte.

Northern Tunisia has a Mediterranean climate with cool, damp winters and warm, humid summers. Precipitation declines south of the Dorsale along the coast and is minimal in the interior steppes and Sahara, where winter days are mild but nights can be bitterly cold. Summer daytime temperatures in the interior steppes and southern desert can be very high. Temperatures at Tunis range from 6°C  to 33°C. Precipitation averages 60 inches in the north and 8 inches in the Sahara.

History & Economy

Tunisia’s geographic openness has made its history one of periodic invasions. Berber peoples settled the country in the fifth and fourth millennia b.c.e. The first outside civilization to make an impact came from Phoenicia, when émigrés from Tyre founded Carthage in 814 b.c.e. Carthage developed a maritime empire in the western Mediterranean and in the third century b.c.e. confronted Rome for control of the western Mediterranean. Three conflicts ensued that came to be known collectively as the Punic Wars. In the final battle of the Second Punic War (Zama, 202 b.c.e.), Rome’s Scipio Africanus defeated Carthage’s Hannibal. Rome now supplanted Carthage as mistress of the Mediterranean and dominated North Africa until the Vandal invasion of 429 c.e. Following the Vandals, the Byzantines in 533 extended their hegemony over Tunisia.

The most enduring historical legacy for Tunisia derives from the Arab invasions of the late seventh century. From 643 until 698, the Arabs struggled to defeat the Berbers and impose the Arabic language and Islam upon them. Qairawan was the capital for most medieval Tunisian dynasties. Founded in 670, it survived for centuries as the main garrison town and political and religious center.

Ranked the most competitive economy in Africa by the World Economic Forum in 2009. Tunisia is an export-oriented country in the process of liberalizing and privatizing an economy that, while averaging 5% GDP growth since the early 1990s.

Tunisia has a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and petroleum products, to tourism, which accounted for 7% of the total GDP and 370,000 jobs in 2009. In 2008 it had an economy of US$41 billion in nominal terms, and $82 billion in PPP.

Language & Religion

Tunisia’s 12,2 million people are concentrated in the north, in the Sahel, and in regional urban centers such as Qairawan and Gafsa. More than half the population lives in the northern Tell and the Sahel, on about 20 percent of Tunisia’s total land surface. Many Tunisians engage in agricultural pursuits, but a growing number are in the tourist industry, humanities and professions, commercial sector, and government.

Tunisia’s ethnic base is primarily mixed Arab-Berber or Arabized Berber. There are a few Berber speakers in isolated regions of the south. A tiny Jewish minority still exists; most Tunisian Jews left the country after 1957. Some European Christians live in Tunisia, primarily in the capital.

Tunisia’s national language is Arabic (the first language of at least 98 percent of the people); French is the major second language as well as the dominant language of commerce and education.

Islam is the official state religion. At least 98 percent of the population are Sunni Muslims. The island of Djerba harbors many Khariji Muslims. In the 1980s the Islamic Tendency Movement (Mouvement de Tendance Islamique; MTI) was formed, with Rached Ghannushi and Abdelfattah Mourou as its ideological leaders. Observance of Islamic rituals increased considerably in Tunisia during the 1980s and early 1990s. In recognition of this fact, and to thwart the designs of Islamists, the government sought to control all mosque appointments and to encourage moderation in religion. The government has grown more outwardly Islamic, following such traditional practices as waiting for the new moon before announcing the start of the Ramadan fast, and the firing of cannon to herald the first and last days of Ramadan.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Slovak Republic does not have its own embassy in Tunisia. The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Cairo (Egypt) is in charge of the Tunisian agenda. Contact details can be found here

There is currently no embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Slovakia. Slovak affairs are handled by the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Budapest (Hungary). Contact details can be found here

The climate in Tunisia is Mediterranean-type in the north and Saharan desert-type in the south. From June to September there is usually a hot summer season. From December to February it cools down. Frequent showers and strong winds are to be expected.

You can only work in Tunisia on the basis of a contract with a local partner and a permit issued by the local authorities before entering the country.

No vaccinations are required to travel to Tunisia. Healthcare is of a much higher standard than in other countries in the region or in Africa in general, and the network is sufficient, especially in urban areas and in places with a high concentration of foreign tourists. Despite the above information, it is advisable to carry adequate medical supplies with you before entering the country. For those travelling alone as well as for tourists, it is strongly recommended to take out commercial travel medical insurance. It is also advisable to pay close attention to your personal hygiene, especially hand washing. Be careful when eating raw fruit and vegetables. It is also better to drink purchased bottled water. Remember to pack a well-equipped travel first aid kit containing common medicines.

There are no known specific prohibitions on imports into the country, even in relation to the stay of foreigners on Tunisian territory. It is permitted to import standard types of goods and personal effects in quantities appropriate to the length and purpose of the stay. The import and export of money is unrestricted. However, it is subject to notification requirements. Other products that a person may import duty-free, apart from personal consumption products, are 1 litre of alcohol and 200 cigarettes or the equivalent quantity of other tobacco products. However, it is always advisable to check the Embassy in Vienna, Budapest or the website of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Cairo for up-to-date information before travelling. Import and export of local currency is prohibited.

Slovak citizens do not need a visa to enter Tunisia, regardless of the type of passport they hold. The minimum length of stay must not exceed 90 days. However, the length of such a stay may be repeated if it is interrupted by leaving the territory of Tunisia.
The expiry date of the passport must be more than three months at the time of entry into the country.