Why go to Tunis (La Goulette)?
Sidi Bou Said, coined the Tunisian Santorini, is home to some of the area's best views
Some cafes will voluntarily bring treats to the table, then try to charge; kindly decline if you don't want to pay
Tunis and its suburbs each offer a unique experience, and are all easily accessible from port
Tunis (La Goulette) Cruise Port Facilities?
The docks are only about half a mile from downtown La Goulette; though the port once catered only to cargo ships, an upgraded terminal building at Goulette Village Harbor welcomes cruise passengers with a souk. In addition to its shops, the facilities are also home to a Hammam (Moorish bath), where you can opt for a scrub-down or one of several other interesting treatments, including one where fish eat dead skin off of your feet.
The town of La Goulette itself features some of Tunis' best seafood restaurants. Otherwise you're better off heading to Tunis, about eight miles from the port, or to attractions just outside of La Goulette, like Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. Three phones for public use are available inside the cruise village; they accept both dollars and euros.
Good to Know?
Heed local customs: Do not wear clothing that is overly revealing. Knees and shoulders should be covered. Pickpocketing is not a major problem here, but we did hear of a few instances (including one passenger who asked a local for directions and found the guy's hand surreptitiously in his pocket). Also, Tunis can get very hot. Pace yourself, and stay hydrated.
By Taxi: Cabs are available at the gate to the port. Fares are fixed by the number of seats (four, six or eight) and by destination. It can be difficult to find a cab back to port, though, so you might want to make arrangements with your driver to stay with you or come back to pick you up later.
By Train: There are also electric trains from La Goulette to downtown Tunis.
By Bike: Bikes are available to rent inside the cruise village. Guided tours by bike are also provided for affordable rates.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The official currency is the Tunisian Dinar (TND). (Current conversion rates can be found at www.xe.com.) U.S. dollars and euros are usually accepted. There are banks downtown, as well as ATM's.
The official language is Tunisian Arabic. Children learn French and another language, generally English, in school. In the souk, we heard a lot of "Hey, lady" and had no problem conducting negotiations in English.
Where You're Docked?
Some ships dock at the commercial pier in La Goulette, a fishing port eight miles north of Tunis, but a new wharf was recently completed, adding two new docks and corresponding cruise terminals. The 2,165-foot-long quayside area also includes a tourism and recreation complex, Goulette Village Harbor, which offers everything from shopping and dining to banking services and spa treatments.