Welcome to the ultimate Tunisia packing guide – your complete checklist to everything you need to pack for travels in this amazing country, plus some of your key questions answered about what to wear when you’re there too.
With sections about how best to dress as a women, especially given Tunisia’s surprising climate, through to packing for the desert, the beaches, the cities and the mountains, this complete packing guide will ensure you don’t forget a thing when it comes to prepping and planning for your trip to this amazing slice of north Africa.
This guide also includes some of my expert packing tips I’ve used the world over, in particular how to keep things light and flight-friendly, so here’s everything you need to know about packing for Tunisia…
- Travel in Tunisia: Top 11 Tips
- 21 Unmissable Things to Do in Tunisia
- Perfect 10 Day Tunisia Itinerary
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What to Wear as a Female Traveller in Tunisia?
The general rule for female travellers when it comes to what to wear in most places in Tunisia, is long or 3/4 length pants and tops that don’t reveal your chest, especially if you’re travelling alone.
This is true at least when travelling the major cities, mountain and desert areas of this country – the coast is slightly different and more relaxed in terms of dress code.
While no way near as conservative as other countries I’ve visited nearby, such as Sudan and Egypt, do bear that in mind that Tunisia does have an Islamic majority population and it pays to be respectful of that.
In the larger cities such as Tunis and Sfax, most Tunisian women do not wear headscarves and, while the numbers increase when you travel to smaller towns and villages, especially in more remote areas, still female travellers in Tunisia do not have to cover their heads.
That said, I’d certainly advise packing lots of clothes that extend below the knee and that cover the cleavage.
Having your arms exposed is ok, but you may feel more comfortable wearing sleeved garments that cover at least your shoulders – T-shirts are great as an example.
Sarongs or thin scarves are also a super option when travelling in Tunisia as they are so versatile, compact and light.
Sarongs or scarves can easily be draped over your head, shoulders or décolletage too for extra coverage.
Evening wear certainly isn’t that important in Tunisia – you’re unlikely to be going out or needing much specific evening attire – and even if you do head to a restaurant, you’ll find many Tunisian women dress quite casually.
Ditto heavy make-up, which is not common in Tunisia and will be a nightmare in the heat!
In terms of shoes, I really do think you can limit yourself to 3 pairs – 1x comfy trainers / runners that can be used for any long sightseeing trips or travel days, 1x good support sandals like Birkenstocks and perhaps 1x casual flats or pumps for city sightseeing and evenings.
In my opinion, dress sandals, or anything with a heel, are definitely not required when travelling here.
For more specific ideas about exactly what to wear in Tunisia, keep reading.
You can also download your own copy of my broader Middle East packing list (which also covers North Africa) by entering your details into the box at the end of this article…
What to Wear in Tunisian Cities?
When it comes to sightseeing in Tunisia, especially around any of the old souks and medinas, you’ll want to make sure you’re fairly covered up – not only for cultural reasons, but also to protect yourself from the sun.
A long skirt or thin, ankle-length trousers will be perfect for sightseeing in this country as they’ll allow you to stay fairly cool.
They also provide some warmth when its windy, which it can be a lot in Tunis and other coastal cities.
I’d advise a thin, long-sleeved bamboo or cotton shirt for the top half, so that you can ensure your chest and upper arms are covered.
Overall, you want to choose clothing that is loose and cool=, because you’ll want to be comfortable when sightseeing.
Ladies, I’d also take a thin scarf or sarong with you when in Tunisian cities, so that this can be placed over your head if you’re visiting any religious sites.
Sunglasses, a good sunhat and some sunscreen are also top items and I highly recommend bringing a good daypack you can put them all in and carry easily throughout your city time in Tunisia.
This Marmot Kompressor is ideal for the job as it packs down to nothing and is light, waterproof and comfortable.
And finally, you’ll also want to ensure you have some water with you for sightseeing days in Tunisia and that you drink a lot to stay hydrated.
Rather than constantly buying plastic water bottles, I highly recommend you take a filter water bottle with you to Tunisia, which will allow you to drink the tap water here (or anywhere in the world) safely.
An amazing piece of technology, I highly recommend the ingenious Water-To-Go bottles.
Great for the environment and your budget, these fantastic bottles allow you to water safely in Tunisia and across the world.
What to Wear at the Beach in Tunisia?
If you’re travelling to either Hammamet or Sousse, you’ll find that dress codes at these beachy resorts are more relaxed than in other Tunisian destinations.
That’s why I always think one of these coastal spots is a good place to finish your trip in Tunisia and spend a few days chilling before your flight.
With wonderful temperatures and sandy beaches, you’ll definitely want to bring your swimwear and a towel to enjoy these spots.
Sunglasses, sun hats, sunscreen and sarongs are also a good idea, as is a dry bag for keeping things safe and sand / water free at the beach.
Don’t forget a good book (or Kindle) and your bluetooth headphones too!
What to Wear in the Tunisian Desert?
Along with the beach, the desert is probably the second landscape most people associate with travel in this country.
Covering huge swathes of south Tunisia – from Libya to Algeria – the Sahara is a place many travellers want to visit thanks to its unique landscapes, towns and communities.
The desert in Tunisia is also strongly associated with Star Wars, so if you’re a fan of the films, you’ll certainly want to come here and see where some of them were shot!
And when it comes to packing for the desert, thin clothes, in light colours, are key.
While it can be very warm here, having longer-length items such as loose linen trousers and cotton shirts will help protect your skin from the strong rays.
Clothing that covers you well is also more culturally appropriate in this more conservative part of Tunisia and is also good for protecting you from the abrasive sand too.
Bringing a thin, wide scarf you can use to cover your nose and mouth is also a good idea in this arid landscape and don’t forget sunglasses and a hat.
Sand storms do occur, so its wise to be able to cover your eyes and hair.
And finally, it pays to know that while the desert can be really warm in the day, it can also get pretty chilly at night.
Bring some warm, comfortable, loose clothing for the evenings therefore, including socks and covered-toe shoes, a good sweater and appropriate nightwear.
What to Wear in the Tunisian Mountains?
And from one type of landscape to another, did you know that Tunisia also boasts some beautiful mountain scenery in the north?
Yes in complete contrast to the south, the north of Tunisia is lush green, hilly, forested and coastal too.
This makes it the perfect spot for a wealth of active and outdoor activities – from hiking and cycling to caving and climbing.
As such, if you come to the mountains in Tunisia, many of which are protected natural areas, you certainly want to pack comfortable clothing you can move in.
Hiking pants and leggings are great bottom-half options and quick-dry t-shirts, caps, sunglasses, a good backpack, a thin waterproof jacket, an active fleece and a pair of sporty trainers are all good ideas too.
What to Wear on Your Flight to Tunisia?
Surprisingly the flight to Tunisia is really quick from the UK – it only takes around 3 hours.
From elsewhere in Europe, it’s also quite short.
I always advise wearing comfortable, thin clothing you can layer on flights, as you never know how hot or cold a plane might be.
How to Pack Light for Tunisia?
And having the right bags is key to packing light for Tunisia or anywhere!
If you want a good, wheelie suitcase, then it’s hard to get better than the hard-shell, spinner wheel ones from American Tourister.
If you’d rather opt for a backpack, the 50l Atmos from Osprey is a winner.
And within both these bags, you’ll want to have series of packing cubes that help organise and condense your gear.
Honestly, once you start using packing cubes to keep your luggage light, you’ll never go back!
And finally, we come to the clothes that will help keep your luggage weight down.
Firstly, layers are the key, so that you can build clothes up to keep warmer, rather than bringing bulkier cold-weather gear.
You also want to make sure that the clothes you wear on the flight can be used and worn when travelling in Tunisia too.
And on this note, bringing some travel handwash, so you can wash some small items when you’re away, and avoid having to pack so many clean items is great idea!
Also key is limiting heavier clothing items such as jeans, jackets and boots – limiting yourself to only one pair of these.
And now I want to bring you a complete packing list for Tunisia – a handy item-by-item guide so that you’re fully prepared and packed for your trip here.
Clothes to Pack for Tunisia
Thin Windproof Jacket
Tunisia has a Mediterranean climate.
Warm summer, mild springs, wet autumns and cold winters, most nights it can get chilly if you’re out in the desert or the mountains regardless of the time of year.
As such, I recommend taking a thin windproof jacket with you to this country – something light, compact but practical would be ideal and this North Face Venture 2 is perfect.
A great item to have if you want a more casual overgarment to wear in cities or during the evening,
Thin Sweaters or Cotton Long-Sleeved Tops
Great for layering as, in certain parts of the country, you might not feel comfortable walking around with bare arms, which means some thin, light tops are crucial.
I always love a natural fibre long sleeve options to stop me sweating as much!
Cardigans / Denim Shirts
Helpful in the evening and / or if you want something a bit smarter during the day.
I’m loving the denim shirt look right now!
Singlets / T-Shirts
Choose a range of colours and styles that match the trousers / shorts you’ve selected.
I recommend loose ones that will keep you cool and aren’t too revealing.
T-shirts are best as they cover shoulders (good for avoiding sunburn), or go for my ventilation tactic, which is a singlet with a thin scarf or sarong draped around the shoulders and chest.
7 is a good number of tops as it means you have enough to survive without doing laundry for a week!
Jeans / Trousers
Great for going out in the evening or wandering around cities, you’re likely to feel very uncomfortable in anything short or revealing in Tunisia (outside of the coastal regions), so long-legged or 3/4 length pants are a must.
Just make sure they are thin and light!
One of my travel essentials full stop (not just in Tunisia!), leggings are especially ideal when you’re exploring the mountainous north areas of this country, because they are thin and breathable… if you get the right pair.
In fact, I strongly recommend bamboo fibre ones because they are breathable, hypoallergenic, soft, thin and compact down really easily.
In Tunisia especially, leggings are good under a casual dress or tunic when you need to dress modestly and are comfy to wear on any long bus rides you might have to make too.
Shorts are really only worn in Tunisia by travellers at the coast, which is why I suggest just 1-2 pairs.
Summery / Maxi Dress
Another great item for Tunisia beach times and / or to pair over leggings in the cities.
Those who aren’t a fan of dresses, may wish to double up on the shorts here.
You can’t take enough sarongs travelling in my opinion.
As they are so light, I recommend 2 as a minimum!
Perfect for using as a beach towel, a headscarf, a shoulder wrap, a bathrobe, a sheet, a laundry bag … the list goes on!
Check out my post about the 20 reasons why you should always take a sarong travelling for more ideas.
These ones from One World Sarongs feature some beautiful designs.
Ideal if you’re visiting any mosques and need to cover your head.
Also good to cover shoulders – see above in the T-Shirt / Singlet section for more info.
Small and compact, 7 pairs is a good number to save the hand washing duties!
Bras & Sports Bra
Make them comfortable ones in this heat!
Bikini / Swimwear
Well you need something to enjoy Tunisia’s fabulous coast with that’s for sure.
I always love Rip Curl’s offering.
Most days you’ll probably be wearing sandals in Tunisia, but this is for those exceptional days when you’ll wear trainers – like when travelling in planes or buses, when enjoying active adventures or at night in the desert – and socks are a must.
You can always double up on your daywear here to save room if needs be!
Sun Hat & Sunglasses
I’d bring a cap for the beach and any active days in Tunisia – walking all day in the heat here can be tough!
Shoes to Pack for Tunisia
Trainers / Runners
Versatile, comfortable and essential if you want to see all the sights in this epic country, I highly recommend New Balance who create stylish city runners that you can still wear in the evening too.
Flip Flops / Sandals
Personally, I love my Birkenstocks, which I basically lived in during my time throughout North Africa.
The support they offer means you can sightsee to your heart’s content and never get sore soles!
Flats / Pumps
A great addition to any Tunisia packing list if you want to go out for dinner at least a few times during your trip or sightsee in something other than running shoes.
Toiletries to Pack
Thin Toiletries Bag
This one is a great, affordable option.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
I always go for shampoo and conditioner bars when I travel to save the plastic and keep the space down. Although they are a bit pricey, they last for ages.
I always pack a natural crystal deodorant when I travel as they last forever and are free from many nasty chemicals.
Keep your soap in a ziplock bag to prevent soap slime leaking on to everything you own!
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
Facial Wash, Toner, Serum, Moisturiser
Cotton Buds / Pads
Hair Bands & Hair Brush
Glasses / Contact Lenses if you wear them
Razor & Spare Blades
Nail Scissors, Nail File & Tweezers
Medical / First Aid to Pack
Choose a 30 SPF or higher for those strong rays in Tunisia and go natural if you can to keep the chemicals out of your skin.
This doubles as a great moisturiser, soother and aftersun.
SPF Lip Salve
Very important for those UV conditions in Tunisia, Burt Bees are always my go-to brand, as they never dry out my lips.
Natural Bug Repellent
An ideal remedy for headaches, sore muscles and insect bites, tiger balm is a super versatile, travel essential for me!
Tea-Tree Essential Oil
A powerful antiseptic, anti-mould and anti-fungal treatment, tea-tree oil is also great to throw in with your washing, or you can use a few drops to freshen up smelly bags / laundry etc!
Get an organic tea-tree oil if you can.
Paracetamol, Antiseptic Cream, Antihistamines & Band Aids
The basic first aid kit you need.
The best way to deal with your time of the month when travelling ladies.
Check out the best prices for them here.
Electrical Items to Pack
Smartphone & Headphones
Taking your smartphone to stay in touch with those at home, check maps, book activities and upload some pics while you’re in Tunisia is a great idea.
I’d also download some audiobooks and music onto your phone before you leave home – a good shout for travel days.
I recommend Amazon Audible and Spotify Premium for these purposes and wouldn’t travel anywhere without either these days.
Portable chargers are great when travelling without a solidly reliable charging source.
I recommend the Anker PowerCore which allows me to charge both my phone and my camera no matter where I am.
Camera, Lens, Spare Battery & Charger
I love my Sony A600 mirrorless camera, which I’ve used across North Africa and beyond.
Light, compact and sturdy, it’s perfect for travelling.
I’d also recommend a GoPro for Tunisia if you want to capture some of that underwater, cave and mountain action.
Take a large memory card if possible – like this 64GB one.
High-speed memory cards are also a good idea for snappier processing times.
How are you going to charge all your devices without an adapter?!
Tunisia has the same type of plugs as continental Europe, so get a cheap adapter here.
Otherwise, you can splash out on a worldwide adapter – better value if you’re travelling elsewhere after North Africa or anytime in the future.Skross are a good, reliable brand I highly recommended.
Headlamp & Spare Batteries
Never travel in Africa without a headlamp and try to choose a product that uses commonly found batteries and has a red night light function.
I love my Black Diamond Storm, which has served me well during my time across the globe!
A VPN service is a must for me when I travel.
I love NORD VPN who offer a huge number of global servers for a quick and seamless connection.
Do Not Forget: Practical Items
This whole packing list should fit into a 50l backpack – I never travel with anything bigger and love this great example from Berghaus.
I recommend Latrek travel towels, because they are cheap, compact, soft and don’t smell.
Love, love, love mine! Read my review here.
Good for sightseeing and beach days, this one from PacSafe is perfect.
I also really like the Marmot Kompresser for its featherweight and easy pack-down features.
Eye Mask & Earplugs
Key for sleeping on overnight flights and in any Mosque-side hotels in Tunisia!
This eye mask from Alaska Bear is super comfy and a great travel treat.
Filter Water Bottle
Amazing pieces of tech, filter water bottles allow you to drink the tap water, anywhere in the world, safely.
My go-to brand are Water-To-Go bottles, which are inexpensive, but very reliable and will allow you to drink Tunisia’s non-potable tap water without any problems.
These great bottles also help prevent more unnecessary plastic waste from polluting our planet – double win!
Great for doing emergency washing such as underwear in a sink, travel handwash is always a must when I adventure anywhere.
Do Not Forget: Documents
Passport & Photocopies
Definitely take a colour copy of your passport with you to Tunisia and keep it with you at all times.
Flight Tickets & Visa Documentation
Many nationalities can get free tourist visas for Tunisia on arrival – hoorah!
Do check with your embassy before travelling however.
Always good to have with you wherever you travel.
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards
ATMs in Tunisia accept both Mastercard and Visa.
When it comes to using ATMs, or paying for things in Tunisia generally, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates, which is why I always take my Wise Card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card in Tunisia… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Get yours here.
Cash in Small, Thin Purse
Bring some Euros cash with you – it is most easily exchanged in Tunisia.
SAVE IT TO PINTEREST!
So that’s it, my ultimate Tunisia packing guide.
Have you been to this gem of a country?
What else did you pack that I might have missed?
Please let me know in the comments box below…