Tunisia travel info

Guide to Tunisia

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Tunisia travel facts

Tunisia map
Area (sq km): 155,360
Population: 10,276,158
Nationality: Tunisian
Local Name: Tunis
Language: Arabic,
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 dinar = 1,000 millimes
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Tunis
Dialling Code: +216
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .tn
Religion: Muslim,
Climate: Mediterranean,
Hot desert
Government: Republic
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 7.30-11.00
Major Airports: Djerba(DJE),

Shopping on Tunisia Holidays

When abroad we often look for something eye catching and totally authentic to bring home as a keepsake and a treasured memory and that is no more the case than when you are on Tunisia holidays. Here is what you need to know: what to buy and where to buy it.

Souk in Tunis
Souk in Tunis

What to buy

Many travelers look for something authentic and something particularly special to the region or country to buy. Buy Dom Perignon from Epernay in France, ceramics in Valencia or sand dollars from Florida. So what should buy on Tunisia holidays? You have many choices!

Silver crafts, especially jewelery, is favoured in Tunisia and is anything associated with the Berbers. The souks are the best place where very often quality is linked to weight. Many craftsmen will show you their silver stamp. If there is no stamp do not buy it! Pottery is prized. Look for pieces that are intact with good hand painted designs. The colours vary according to region, however, Guellela’s (Jerba) earthy tone is usually the most desired.

Brass and copper souvenirs are popular as are leatherworks; you may have noticed or smelled tanneries around. Tunisia is famed for its high quality, affordable carpets. Maybe you like wool, maybe camel hair or perhaps silk. The thing to know is this: quality is measured by the number of knots per square metre.

Topping them all is 250,000 knots of silk per square metre. You can barter at the souks or head to the artisanats shops that ensure the quality of the carpet and will package it and ship it anywhere in the world. You forfeit the chance to barter, but not to worry; the prices are still very fair.

Finally, look at the designs, be it on silver, leather or woven into the carpet. Traditional symbols and shapes include the hands of Fatma, triangles, fish and arches. These symbols have all sorts of individual meaning from protecting against evil to encouraging fertility.

Where to buy

During your Tunisia holidays you will find no shortage of places to buy things. Souvenir shops are generally over priced and you are almost guaranteed that the earrings actually came from Morocco or China.

The artisanats shops are great places if you are looking to get in and get out. The offerings will have a quality stamp, but will generally be a bit pricier without being over priced. Some people prefer these shops for larger items as they can always arrange shipping.

The souks in the Medinas (old town) are brilliantly lively and fun. They are a maze of buzzing activity, high energy and enthusiastic bargaining. You still aren’t guaranteed authenticity in the souks, but chances are ever penny you spend goes to a family or to a small local business.

Whatever you buy in the souks, be sure to inspect it for quality, you probably have a better eye for it than you think. Also always trust your instincts and start the bargaining at half of the quoted price. Aside from the wonderful souks, the weekly markets are a great place to shop whilst on Tunisia holidays. You never know the treasure you may uncover.

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