We advise against all travel to:
We advise against all but essential travel to:
Latest Travel Alert
In consideration of the security situation, Irish citizens are being advised to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Tunisia. The Department also recommends against all travel, and all but essential travel, to specific areas (see above).
In early January 2018, a number of protests of a political nature were held throughout Tunisia, including in the capital Tunis, with some reports of violence. Further protests may occur. You should avoid all large gatherings and demonstrations, monitor local media and follow the instructions of the local authorities.
Following a bomb attack on a police bus in central Tunis on 24 November 2015, which resulted in 12 fatalities, a state of emergency was put in place by the Tunisian authorities throughout the country. This state of emergency has been extended on a number of occasions and remains in place. Tunisian security forces also appear to have been targeted in a more recent fatal attack that took place in Jendouba governorate on 8 July 2018.
The threat of terrorist attacks on tourists in Tunisia remains high. There have been several attacks in recent years in which tourists have been targeted, most recently in Sousse in June 2015. In response, the Tunisian government has improved security in major cities and tourist resorts. This notwithstanding, terrorists are still very likely to try to carry out further attacks in Tunisia.
The best help is often close at hand, so try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services by calling 197 (police), 190 (ambulance) or 198 (civil protection).
There is no Irish Embassy in Tunisia, so we are limited in the help we can provide in the event of an emergency. You can contact the Embassy of Ireland in Madrid, which is accredited to Tunisia, if you require assistance or advice. Irish citizens with a genuine emergency can leave a voicemail message on the Embassy answering machine outside of office hours. Make sure to leave your name, mobile number, current location and the nature of the emergency, and an Embassy Duty Officer will return your call.
Tunisia is undergoing a period of political change following the "Jasmine Revolution" in 2011. The assassination of a political leader in February 2013, followed by a second assassination of a leading politician in July 2013, led to a wave of unrest and violent protests. After a period of political stalemate, mediated negotiations between political parties led to an agreement in December 2013 for a caretaker government to run the country until new elections. Parliamentary and Presidential elections the following year passed off peacefully, as did municipal elections in May 2018. Tunisia's current President, Beji Caid Essebsi, was sworn in on 31 December 2014.
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 organiser.
In early January 2018, a number of demonstrations of a political nature took place throughout Tunisia, with some reports of violence and damage to property. Further demonstrations and rallies may occur, which should be avoided.
While demonstrations are not normally aimed at foreigners, international events can trigger anti-western protests. Violent protests took place in front of the US Embassy in Tunis in September 2012 resulting in several deaths among protestors and significant damage to the US Embassy and American school.
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's borders with Libya and Algeria are open but the security situation is very tense. Unrest in Libya is having 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. We recommend that you avoid all non-essential travel to Tunisia's Greater South and to the border areas with Algeria. Do not travel to the Chaambi Mountain National Park or within 30 km of the borders with Algeria and Libya. 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. You are also strongly advised to travel with a reputable tour operator or a licensed local guide if you plan to travel to this region, which you are recommended not to do.
There is a high risk of terrorist attacks in Tunisia. Irish citizens should maintain a strong level of security awareness, monitor the local media closely and follow the instructions of the Tunisian authorities. Terrorist attacks, in which foreign tourists were targeted, were carried out in two separate incidents in 2015 at the Bardo Museum (March) and in Sousse (June). See the 'Security Status' and 'Latest Travel Alert' sections in the Overview tab for our most up-to-date advice.
The level of theft and similar crimes in Tunisia is relatively low, but be aware that pickpockets operate in crowded marketplaces and bag-snatching does happen in tourist areas. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings:
There is a risk of kidnap from terrorists operating in the south of Tunisia, close to the border with Algeria. Two Austrian tourists were kidnapped in this area and held for several months in 2008.
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 Madrid 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:
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.
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.
Tunisia is in an active seismic zone and earth tremors do occur. You can get up-to-date information from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service 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.
From 1 October 2014, non-resident foreigners departing Tunisia must pay an exit tax of 30 dinars per person (about €13). To pay the tax you should buy an exit stamp, which will be on sale in hotels, travel agencies, finance offices, tobacco shops, banks and customs offices (including at the airport and other borders). The stamp will then be placed in your passport alongside your entry stamp.
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.
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 main Embassy number, +34 91 4364093, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox is monitored regularly.
Embassy of Ireland
Paseo de la Castellana 46-4
Monday to Friday 10:00-14:00
Mr. Moncef Mzabi
Honorary Consul of Ireland
39 Avenue Kheireddine Pacha
Email: Email us
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.