The three countries that make up the North African Maghreb are Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. These countries have ancient histories, and their cultures are similar with a lot in common. Morocco is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit, while neighboring Algeria is effectively closed (or limited) when it comes to international tourism.
Tunisia is a friendly country with ancient history and plenty to see and do. Only a few people bother to visit - everyone just goes to Morocco instead, making it a great destination for the more intrepid of travelers. Tunisia is a great country to visit but be aware that the summer months can be very hot. Tunisians are very welcoming of international travelers.
What To Know About Visiting Tunisia
While Tunisia is visa-free, cheap, and backpacker-friendly, few people take the time to visit. It does attract some tourists from Europe - but these mostly just go to all-inclusive hotels along the pristine Mediterranean coast, and few bother to explore the country.
- Visa Policy: Visa Free For 3 Months
- Official Language: English & French
Tunisia is generally considered a safe country to visit. As of the time of writing (September 2022), the British foreign office listed it as Green (exercise normal safety precautions) except for some border regions.
Tunisia is a country where English is not widely spoken, but enough people speak it to be fairly able to get by. Arabic and French are the official languages of the country.
It is cheap and easy to get around the country if travelers are willing to use local transport (mostly van-buses that leave whenever they are full). Alternatively, many choose to travel with an organized tour of the country - this is a great option for the less-than-intrepid traveler who would like to travel to an intrepid destination.
Another popular option is to rent a car and drive around the country that way. Just be aware that driving in Tunisia is not like driving in Western countries (expect to be cut off, lots of honking, people running red lights, etc.).
Top Attractions & What To Do In Tunisia
Some of the main attractions in the country include the ancient Roman colosseum at El Jem, the many stunning beaches of the country, the ancient ruins of Carthage, the ancient Medinas & souks in every city, the national cuisine, the filming sets for the original Star Wars movies, and even the one hostel in the country that's a veritable museum.
Top Attractions In Tunisia:
- The Colosseum Of El Jem
- Beaches At Bizerte & Sousse
- Medinas In Hammamet, Sousse, Monastir, & Tunis
- Ruins of Carthage
- Performances In Roman Theaters
- Star Wars Movie Set
- Sahara Desert Tours
The colosseum at El Gem (or the Amphitheater of El Jem) is just as impressive as the vaulted Colosseum of Rome and is just as impressive. It is worth visiting Tunisia all by itself. Whereas the Colosseum of Rome is (at times at least) packed shoulder to shoulder with masses of tourists the colosseum of El Gem is almost deserted.
Visitors are free to explore the massive amphitheater and explore its tunnels to their heart's content unimpeded.
- Admission Colosseum: 12 Dinar ($4)
Plan one's trip right, and one can even enjoy modern performances in ancient Roman theaters like the colosseum of El Gem and the ancient Roman theater in the capital of Tunis.
Hostel Auberge El Medina - Meet Other Intrepid Travelers
Most backpackers in Tunisia will at least spend a night in Hostel Auberge El Medina. It is the only hostel listed on Hostelworld in the country and is a hub for the few intrepid backpackers who explore the country. Auberge El Medina is located in the heart of the old city of the capital Tunis.
The hostel has a selection of dorms and private rooms (with twin beds). It is a small hostel with four dorm rooms with four beds in each and three private rooms. There are two male dorms and two female dorms.
- Price: 50 Tunisian Dinar ($15.00) Per Night - Dorm
- Private Room: $25.00
The building of the hostel is historic, having stood for around 700 years, and has seen many uses over the years.
Backpackers planning to explore Tunisia should plan to stay at this hostel. It is a great place to meet other intrepid travelers from around the world. It is the location of choice for backpackers to meet and trade notes and even place trips together.