Tunisia Internal Travel and Local Transport Options

getting around tunisia

Traveling around Tunisia is convenient, comfortable, and relatively economical. Public transport in Tunisia is well-organized, frequent, and cheap, and there are other travel options such as domestic flights, car rental, and taxis.

However you choose to travel, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains, over 800 miles of coastline, and the vast Sahara Desert. This guide will explain the various options available to you including the pros and cons of each mode of transport in Tunisia and how you can access them.

Move Around Tunisia by Train

Trains in Tunisia run regularly from 5am to midnight and they are fast, cheap, and convenient. The biggest downside is that they can become very crowded. Particularly over the summer months, it is a good idea to book in advance (you can only book within 3 days of departure).

There are 3 classes of cars: classe confort, first class, and second class, although some express trains only contain one class of cars. Upgrades are worth it as the difference in price is quite small. Most trains have air conditioning and are very comfortable.

Popular Train Routes

  • Tunis-Gabes: This is the main north-south train line which runs via Sousse and Sfax. A branch line goes to Hammamet and Nabeul on Cap Bon.
  • Lezard Rouge (Red Lizard): This historic train is a must-see for all railway enthusiasts. The restored trains date back to 1911 and the route offers spectacular views of Selja Gorge.
  • TGM suburban line: Connects central Tunis with the beachside suburbs of La Goulette, Carthage, Sidi Bou Saïd and La Marsa. The trip only takes between 15 and 50 minutes depending on the destination.

By Bus or Coach

Yellow buses operate all over the capital but they are more popular with locals than tourists. One of the reasons for this is that on many buses the information (destination, point of departure, and the route number) is only displayed in Arabic. Information on more popular touristic routes is displayed in English.

SNTRI is the national bus company. It runs a fleet of modern, air-conditioned coaches between towns and cities throughout Tunisia. Booking ahead is a good idea during peak season.

By Tram

The tram network in Tunis is called the “metro leger”. There are 6 main routes that are easy to navigate as long as you have a clear idea of how many stops you need to travel before you get on.

You can buy tickets at small kiosks in each station entrance and you need to buy a ticket before you travel. The basic fare is 0.45DT.

By Car

Tunisia has an extensive network of high-quality roads that connect all major towns and cities. Driving around the country is a pleasure and road trips around Tunisia are a popular option.

Fuel is relatively economical in comparison to western prices. However, car rental is quite expensive. Packages generally include car insurance as well as breakdown cover. You need to be over 21 to hire a car.

There are 3 main motorways in Tunisia: The A1 (which links Tunis and Sfax, the A4 (connecting Tunis to Bizerte), and the A3 (Tunis to the city of Beja). Other major roads are designated with a ‘P’ (for A roads) or ‘C’ (for B roads).

By Bicycle

Hiring bikes is straightforward in Tunisia. Many hotels, guesthouses, and private bike hire companies operate in touristic areas such as Sousse, Djerba, and Tozeur. Though most of the bikes are not in perfect condition, they are good enough for short trips of a day or two.

If you want to go on a long-distance bike trip in Tunisia, you should either bring your own bike or find a specialist company. Cycling on the roads is safe for experienced cyclists as long as you stay alert.

By Taxi

Taxis in Tunisia are very cheap by European and American standards. They are all fitted with meters and journeys between 9 pm and 6 am carry a 50% surcharge. There is also an extra charge for each piece of luggage though drivers often do not add it on.

Make sure the driver uses the meter as sometimes drivers try to charge inflated fares. The base rate is 4.7DT which is displayed as “4.700” when you set off. Ask why if it appears differently.

By Plane

It is possible to catch domestic flights between a number of destinations in Tunisia, including Tunis-Carthage International Airport.

The domestic airline is Tunisair and their domestic and regional routes include Tunis to Djerba, Sfax, Gafsa, Tabarka, Monastir, Tripoli, and Malta.

You can’t book directly online but you can email to request a booking or pay on arrival. There are also travel agencies abroad which offer flight tickets.

Before planning to travel to the country,  remember to check visa requirements and to see if you need to obtain a visa for Tunisia before departure.