Tunis is a fascinating city, housing a unique mix of cultures and offering a truly diverse international flavor. With just under 700,000 inhabitants in the city itself, Tunis may not be the most teeming of capitals, but Tunis still bustles with the best of them. Around the city, you will find 28 municipalities, in which about 1.2 million people live. Of these, the most populated are Ettadhamen-Mnihla (118,487 people), Ariana (97,687 people) and La Soukra (89,151 people).
Located at the northern tip of Africa, it is unsurprising to find that Tunis is one of the parts of Tunisia most affected by French and Italian culture, with signs and menus regularly displayed in both Arabic and French script. Geographically, the city itself is divided into two distinct halves: Medina, the old city, and Ville Nouvelle, the new. Inside Medina, you will find most of the famous landmarks, including ez-Zaytouna Mosque and the Place du Government.
Tunis has a climate that should be agreeable for many expats. If you are moving to Tunis, you can expect a long, hot, dry summer, followed by a cool (though never too cold) winter. While you should prepare for plenty of rain during this latter season, bitter winds and frosts are extremely rare occurrences.
As you might expect, the summer months can be sweltering, with July and August averages of about 34.4°C or 93.9°F. The main influencing factors on the city’s climate are the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the hills to the south. Though the winds coming in over the sea can help cut through the highest temperatures, the Mediterranean Sirocco wind often counteracts this effect and restores the heat.
If you are about to move to Tunis, finding an apartment can be a tricky task. Though more and more expats are now choosing this destination, and there is a pretty large community of foreigners working and living in Tunis, trying to arrange an apartment, particularly from abroad, can be a very frustrating process.
Regardless of where you search, you will be very lucky to find listings in English. Every major accommodation search platform will list places only in Arabic and French. The best place to look is probably Tunisie Annonce (website in French), which offers a wide range of classifieds from all over Tunisia. For a comfortable one bedroom apartment in the city center, you should expect to pay about 413 TND, but if you are prepared to live out in the suburbs, you can probably halve that amount.
Be warned, however: landlords in Tunis are not shy about using aggressive sales tactics to push you into signing your contract as soon as possible. Haggling is par for the course in Tunis, so they will expect you to ask for a lower price than the initial quote. If you’re not used to bargaining, a good tip is to always start much lower than you are willing to pay.