- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
High Degree of Caution
General Travel Advice
Since terrorist attacks on tourist targets and state security forces in 2015, the Tunisian authorities declared a state of emergency and put in place a series of measures to strengthen security. See further information on terrorism threat in the ‘Safety and Security’ tab. The state of emergency has been extended on several occasions and remains in force.
Demonstrations may take place in different parts of the country, especially in the centre of Tunis and other large cities. Unrest and clashes linked to the demonstrations are possible so they should be avoided and caution and vigilance are urged.
The Department recommends against all travel to the following specific areas:
- the Chaambi Mountain National Park area
- within 30 km of the borders with Algeria and Libya
- the town of Ben Guerdane and the immediate surrounding area
- the militarized zone in Tatouine Governorate that lies south of, but does not include, the town of El Borma
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Tunisia.
A valid passport is required for travel to Tunisia. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months at least from date of entry into Tunisia.
Passport Card not accepted for travel to Tunisia: A passport card is not accepted as it is only valid for travel within the EU, EEA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), Switzerland and the UK. If you seek to enter Tunisia on a passport card, you may be detained airside in the airport for several days until the next direct flight back to Ireland, or any other country listed above.
For more information on visa and passport, please see the Additional Information tab.
Visitors to Tunisia are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Citizens can also follow the Embassy on Twitter@irlembrabat to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.
The following websites may also be useful:
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Tunisia by the following emergency numbers:
- Police: 197/193
- Fire brigade: 198
- Ambulance: 190
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
In countries where Ireland does not have an Embassy:
As there is no Irish Embassy in Tunisia, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Embassy Of Ireland, Morocco | Ireland.ie | Ireland - this is Ireland
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Terrorists have carried out a number of attacks in recent years.
Since terrorist attacks in 2015 that targeted foreign tourists in Sousse, resulting in the death of three Irish citizens, and at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, additional security measures have been put in place to protect the country's major cities and tourist attractions. The risk of further terrorist attacks, or attempted attacks, remains high.
We advise Irish citizens in Tunisia to exercise a high degree of caution and a strong level of security awareness. You should follow the instructions of local authorities and keep yourself informed of the situation on the ground by, for example, staying in contact with tour operator or other local sources of information. It is important to avoid risky situations and unnecessary travel, especially at night outside urban areas. The border areas of the country should be avoided, in particular.
As crowded areas, transport hubs, and places frequented by foreigners could be targeted by terrorists, we advise particular vigilance in these areas.
Tunisia's borders with Libya and Algeria are open, but the security situation is very tense. Unrest in Libya continues to have a serious impact on the security of southern Tunisia, with a significant increase in cross-border trafficking and the availability of weapons, and occasional violent clashes between armed groups and the Tunisian security forces. Border crossing points can be temporarily closed without notice.
Do not travel to:
• The Chaambi Mountain National Park
• Within 30 km of the borders with Algeria and Libya
• the town of Ben Guerdane and the immediate surrounding area
• the militarized zone in Tatouine Governorate that lies south of, but does not include, the town of El Borma (Tunisia’s Greater South).
There is a risk of kidnap from terrorists operating in the south of Tunisia, close to the border with Algeria. You must get permission from the Tunisian authorities (National Guard) to enter certain desert areas near the border with Algeria. It is recommended that you do not travel to this region, but if you plan to do so, you are strongly advised to travel with a reputable tour operator or a licensed local guide.
State of emergency
Following an explosion in central Tunis on 24th November 2015, a state-of-emergency was imposed. It has been extended on a number of occasions and remains in place.
You should follow the instructions given by local security authorities and/or your tour operator. Carry a copy of your passport, or other form of photo ID, at all times as proof of nationality and identity.
Tunisia experiences frequent demonstrations and protests. Travellers are advised to avoid protests and demonstrations. It may be advisable to avoid the centre of major cities on Friday afternoons, which is when most demonstrations take place. Always keep yourself informed of what's going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour operator.
Incidents involving petty crimes do occur. Be aware that pickpockets operate in crowded marketplaces and bag-snatching does happen in tourist areas. You can minimise these risks by taking precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Be vigilant and do not carry all of your important documents and valuables in one bag.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations
There is a risk of kidnap from terrorists operating in the south of Tunisia, close to the border with Algeria.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Tunisia, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Tunis or the Irish Embassy in Morocco if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Tunisia, you should be extremely careful as traffic can be fast and erratic. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Pedestrians should also be extremely careful, particularly when crossing roads and regardless of whether there is a signal allowing pedestrians to cross – drivers don’t always stop.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
You should carry some form of photo ID (such as a copy of your passport) at all times.
Tunisia is a Muslim country and its laws and customs reflect this. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions. You should be aware of your actions and take care not to offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or other religious festivals, or if you intend to visit religious sites. In the main coastal resorts the dress code if often similar to any European tourist area, but in the cities, at religious sites and in more rural areas dress codes are conservative. It is advisable to dress modestly outside of the coastal resorts.
During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. It may cause offence to eat, drink or smoke in public during this time.
Homosexuality is a criminal offence and sexual relations outside marriage are also punishable by law. Caution and discretion should be exercised at all times.
There are harsh penalties (long prison sentences and heavy fines) for possession of illegal drugs, including small amounts of ‘soft’ illegal drugs.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Tunisia is in an active seismic zone and earth tremors do occur. You can get information from the Global Disaster and Coordination System and monitor local media carefully. If you’re travelling to or living in Tunisia, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake and always follow the advice of local authorities.
Tunisian summers are hot and humid on the coast, drier in the interior. Winters are cool and damp, particularly in coastal areas. Tunisia experiences frequent dust and sand storms.
Flying from Tunisia
Some countries do not allow electronic devices, larger than smartphones, to be carried in the cabins of aircrafts flying from Tunisia. It is recommended that before travelling you consult with your airline to establish what restrictions are being applied.
It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Tunisia and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay. Your passport must be valid for the full duration of your stay.
Check with your doctor at least 8 weeks in advance of travelling to see what vaccinations you need for Tunisia.
Before travelling to Tunisia you should ensure to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs.
We recommend that you drink only boiled or bottled water during your stay.
The export and import of Tunisian dinars is expressly prohibited.
When you arrive in Tunisia, you must declare any large amounts of foreign currency you are bringing with you. It is obligatory to declare sums greater than the value of 5,000 Tunisian Dinars. If you don’t declare it, you may have problems bringing it back out of the country. You could be required to show the currency declaration on departure, as well as receipts for any currency exchange operations made during your stay.
Please note that if you require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, you should call the duty officer on +212 666 933 599, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox is monitored regularly.
Embassy of Ireland
Centre Mahaj Riyad,
Batiment 8, 5eme Etage
Tel: +212 05 30 13 40 82
Monday to Friday 09:00-18:00
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Moncef Mzabi
Honorary Consul of Ireland
Rue Lac Lochness
Immeuble RAPHAEL 2ème étage (2nd Floor)
Les Berges du Lac
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.