Tunisia travel advice
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Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
TUNISIA - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Tunisia due to the nationwide risk of civil unrest and terrorist attacks.
Regional advisory - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the following areas, due to recurring counter-terrorism operations:
- the governorate of Kasserine including the Chaambi Mountain National Park area
- Mount Mghila, located between the governorates of Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid
- the forest located northwest of the city of Jendouba and the forest located west of Ain Draham, in the governorate of Jendouba
- Mount Orbata, located in the governorate of Gafsa (east of the city of Gafsa, between El Ksar and Sened)
- within 30 km of the borders with Algeria, except for the tourist cities of Tabarka, Nefta, Tamerza, Chebika, Mides and Ain Draham
- within 40 km of the border with Libya in the governorates of Medenine and Tataouine
- the militarized zone in Tataouine Governorate that lies south of, but does not include, the towns of Dehiba and El Borma
Regional advisory - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the following areas:
- the towns of Jendouba, Remada and Sidi Bouzid, as well as the road corridor from the town of Sbeitla to Sidi Bouzid
- Tunisia’s Greater South in all areas south of the Jebil National Park, excluding areas south of Dehiba and El Borma, where we advise against all travel
Safety and security
In March 2022, Tunisia's president dissolved the Parliament.
Demonstrations may occur. They could turn violent and lead to clashes between protesters and security forces.
If you are in Tunisia:
- avoid all demonstrations and gatherings
- monitor local media to stay informed about the situation
- follow the advice of local authorities
Mount Chambi National Park
There is a threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping in the area of Mount Chambi National Park in Kasserine Governorate. Ongoing Tunisian military operations against suspected terrorists occur regularly in the area. The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has been reported in the area.
Regularly review your security practices and remain alert to the changing situation.
Border areas with Algeria and Libya
There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping along the border with Algeria, especially in the mountainous areas in the northern half of Tunisia. The use of IEDs has been reported in the area.
Due to the flow of suspected terrorist cells and militants, as well as contraband, between Tunisia and neighbouring countries, the Tunisian government has increased its security presence at borders with Algeria and Libya. However, the threat of cross-border terrorist activity remains and attacks have targeted security forces.
Tunisian security forces regularly conduct counter-terrorism operations in the border areas of the governorates of Jendouba, Kasserine and Kef.
The border between Tunisia and Libya may close with little or no notice and for an unspecified period of time.
Tunisia’s greater south area
The deterioration in the security situation in neighbouring Libya has resulted in greater volatility in southern Tunisia, particularly in remote areas. Remote areas, including the area south of Jebil National Park and desert areas, can have unreliable cellphone reception and few resources for assistance.
Several attacks have occurred throughout Tunisia.
On May 9, 2023, a shooting took place near the Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, resulting in several casualties. This attack took place despite heightened presence of security forces during the annual Lag Ba'omer pilgrimage.
Tourist resorts and attractions, as well as Tunisian military and government institutions have been targeted. A number of suspected terrorists and arms traffickers have been captured in various regions of the country, including in Tunis. Extremist elements are present and the regional instability continues to pose a general threat to the security of foreigners, religious sites, and tourist facilities. Security forces are always on a state of alert and carry out anti-terrorism operations across the country to prevent attacks.
Despite these efforts, terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Be particularly vigilant during the following:
- sporting events
- religious holidays
- public celebrations
- major political events, such as elections
Terrorists could use such occasions to mount attacks.
State of emergency
The state of emergency has been in effect in Tunisia since 2015 and is regularly extended due to the threat of terrorism.
While a state of emergency is in effect, security forces have increased powers to:
- perform searches
- conduct seizures
- detain persons of interest
If you’re travelling in an area where a state of emergency is in effect:
- be aware that you may be subject to searches by security forces
- always cooperate with military and police officers
- carry valid ID at all times and be prepared for various checkpoints
- allow extra time to reach your destination
- follow the instructions of local authorities
- monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation
Kidnappings have occurred, along border areas. Kidnappings are not numerous and do not usually target foreigners but cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations and civil unrest
Political, social and economic tensions have caused civil unrest throughout the country, but mostly occur in central and southern Tunisia and in parts of Tunis. Some demonstrations and labour strikes have led to roadblocks, burning tires and have deteriorated into violent clashes between the police and demonstrators, resulting in considerable property damage, injuries and deaths.
There is an ongoing threat of a general strike in the field of transportation. Rail, maritime, air and public transportation could be affected on short notice. Occasional fuel and food shortages have been reported.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place or could occur as local conditions may change rapidly
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Avoid the crowds that can form at soccer matches, as such events have led to incidents of violence.
Street crime, including theft, pickpocketing, purse snatching and scams, has been much more frequent in Tunisia since the 2011 revolution.
“Drive-by” thefts by individuals on scooters and motorcycles have occurred in tourist areas.
Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Be aware that Tunisian men have targeted Canadian women for fraudulent marriages (see Fraud).
Young Tunisian men have pursued marriage with older Canadian women in coastal resorts, for financial gain or in order to gain entry to Canada.
Driving can be dangerous, particularly after dark.
Traffic signs and signals are routinely ignored.
Many roads in urban and rural areas don’t have adequate road lighting.
When walking, be especially cautious as cars don’t routinely stop at pedestrian crosswalks or stoplights.
Motorists sometimes drive on the wrong side of the road and ignore lane markings.
Bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles often operate without sufficient lights and reflectors, and regularly dart in and out of traffic.
Sidewalks are not consistently present and pedestrians are sometimes forced to walk on the street.
Pedestrians often cross the road while dodging traffic and ignore vehicles.
Police officers frequently stop cars for inspection, especially rental cars.
Taxis are available but may be scarce in major cities at peak hours. Most taxis are equipped with fare meters, which should be activated for all trips. Few taxis have functioning seatbelts.
Buses are crowded. Petty crime occurs in buses.
Rail service is generally safe. Petty crime occurs on city and inter-city trains. Be extremely vigilant with your belongings at all times.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Tunisian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave Tunisia.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required
Student visa: not required
If you intend to stay in Tunisia longer than 90 days, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Ottawa for information about visa, work permit or temporary resident status regulations prior to your departure.
In Tunisia, you must report to a police station or the Ministry of the Interior.
Tunisian authorities may ask Canadians with Tunisian citizenship to enter Tunisia on their Tunisian passports.
If Canadians with Tunisian citizenship are permitted to enter on a Canadian passport, it is likely that they will be required to obtain a Tunisian passport before exiting the country.
Dual citizens have been questioned at length and, as a result, have missed their flight.
If your Tunisian passport is no longer valid, contact the Tunisian embassy in Ottawa prior to travel.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.
Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.
Protect yourself from tick bites. The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
The flu occurs worldwide.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to April.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and October.
- In the tropics, there is flu activity year round.
The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.
The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are generally good in major centres, but are usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas.
Physicians and hospitals often require a deposit or upfront cash payment for medical care. Some clinics may accept private insurance coverage if they have a guarantee of payment from the insurance provider.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Those convicted of these offences are subject to heavy fines and prison sentences of up to life.
Cannabis-derived products, including those containing CBD, are illegal. Detection of illicit drugs, including cannabis, in blood or urine tests can also lead to a conviction.
Religious proselytizing is not permitted.
Tunisian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tunisia.
Both valid Canadian driver’s licences and international driving permits are accepted in Tunisia.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Tunisia.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Tunisia, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
A child born to a Tunisian mother or father can be considered by the Tunisian authorities as a Tunisian citizen, no matter where he or she was born and what other citizenship he or she has acquired.
In cases where one or more family members hold Tunisian citizenship, parents should consider the risks before their children travel to Tunisia, including that:
- at the request of family members, Tunisian authorities can prevent children from leaving Tunisia (a procedure known as a “stop order”)
- Canadian children who are identified as Tunisian citizens will be treated as Tunisian nationals
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Tunisia.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Tunisia by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Tunisia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Imports and exports
Strict regulations may be enforced on the temporary import and export of firearms, religious material, antiquities, medications and business equipment. Contact the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Dress and behaviour
The majority of the population is Muslim. Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when:
Taking photographs of military installations, government buildings and embassies is strongly discouraged. Ask permission before photographing individuals.
The currency is the Tunisian dinar (TND).
It’s prohibited to import and export Tunisian dinars (TND).
ATMs are widely available in tourist areas and can be found in all major centres. Credit cards are accepted at many establishments in urban and tourist areas.
Foreign currency declaration
Tunisian foreign exchange regulations are strict and complex.
There are restrictions on the import and export of foreign currency. You must declare all foreign currency in your possession equal to or superior to the equivalent of 20,000 TND:
- upon arrival
- upon departure
- in transit
However, if you entered the country with foreign currency equivalent to 20,000 TND or less without declaring it, customs authorities may still confiscate any sums exceeding the equivalent of 5000 TND when you leave the country.
In addition, you will not be able to leave Tunisia with the equivalent of 30,000 TND or more, even if you declared it upon entry.
These rules apply to non-residents.
Residents of Tunisia may obtain a conversion allowance of up to 6000 TND in foreign currency per calendar year under certain conditions.
However, in order to leave the country as a resident with foreign currency in your possession, you must:
- declare all foreign currency you are carrying
- provide official proof to the customs authorities of the allowance obtained
If you’re travelling to Tunisia, you should:
- familiarize yourself with the regulations before you travel
- declare any foreign currency in your possession upon entry
- keep your declaration until you leave
- exchange foreign currency at recognized banks or exchange offices only
- plan accordingly
Foreign currency declarations apply to:
- bank notes
- traveller's cheques
Currency and exchange - Tunisian Customs (in French and Arabic only)
Natural disasters and climate
Tunisia is exposed to various natural disasters, such as:
- bad weather
- sand and dust storms
Temperatures vary geographically and according to the seasons. In the north, summers are hot and dry and winters are rainy. In the south, the climate is semi-arid and it can be very hot in the Sahara, especially in the summer. Between June and September, temperatures can exceed 40°C and dust storms and sand storms frequently occur.
Severe droughts can last for several years reducing water supply.
In the event of a drought:
- plan accordingly
- always keep water supplies on hand
- follow the instructions of local authorities
In the north of Tunisia, the rainy season generally extends from October to May. In the south, rainfall is much less important and frequent because of the arid climate. In the winter, roads can be blocked by downpours.
Seasonal flooding can affect overland travel and the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
- Monitor local media for updates, including road conditions
- Stay away from flooded areas
- Monitor weather reports
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Sand and dust storms are common.
During a dust storm:
- stay indoors
- keep windows closed
- be prepared to change, interrupt or cancel your trip at any time
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
Although Tunisia is not in a high-risk earthquake zone, low seismic activity can occasionally occur.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 197 / 193
- medical assistance: 190
- firefighters: 198
Tunis - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Tunisia, in Tunis, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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