In almost every city they have Medina’s (Local markets). Be prepared to Bargain. The vendors will attack you into buying items from their stores.
TIPS – for shopping at the Medina’s.
Before heading to the Medina’s, go to your hotel shop and look around for prices.
Remember these prices, to compare them later on. The Hotel has fair prices for local merchandise, but can be cheaper at the Medina’s it could also be fun.
The vendor at first will give you a really high price. Just cut that price into 1/3, or more than half. They will try to bargain for a higher price. Stick to your price. If the vendor doesn’t want to agree, start walking away, and they will normally give in and sell you the item for 1/3 of the original price. Remember have fun bargaining. Don’t feel sorry for them and also don’t feel obligated to buy it.
Once again never pay for the original price. 100 % of the time its bumped up 3 times as much.
Unique Suggestions: If you’re stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in, just say no and walk away. Do not feel sorry for the vendors and don’t feel obligated to purchase anything.
- Family Travel
Hammamet's medina is awful
The medina is the name given to the old town where you can find lots of shop there and this is definitely a tourist traps. Everything you'll find there will be overprice and shop vendors where not that nice when I was there. We were taking in hostage in any shop we enter and every time they almost force us to buy things.
I remember we bought a bag of saffron in hammamet somthing like 20DT and we find out later that it should have cost us just 2DT
Unique Suggestions: Don't touch anything, just look at it from reallyyyyyyy far and if you really want it buy it. But before doing it go to the little shop in your hotel so you'll know the average price of products in Tunisia. They usually have fair price in hotel.
Fun Alternatives: Better take a bus to Tunis, where the medina is really beautiful and where people are really nice and if you don't want to buy they won't bother you for 20 minutes.
Don't even try to look
If you go to a Medina, prepare yourself to be almost dragged into the stores if you show a minimum of interest in any exposed goods. If you are not interested on shopping just stay away and look the goods from far enough. If this fails, well, you're trapped into the store and the storekeeper will invite you to a tea as the beginning of the bargain process and if you say no he will feel insulted and almost insult you.
Fun Alternatives: Stay away of the stores where you don't want to bargain goods. Look the goods from enough far away.
If someone offer you flowers it IS NOT AN OFFER
You arrive at the hotel for the very first time. Your contact to the emvironment begin. Suddenly, a guy with a strange local clothing with a nice face and a smile offers you the typical flowers from the city. You smile, he smiles to you and put the flower in your hair and offers some more flowers to your mates, always smiling. You are happy! Your holidays are beginning and you think: "How nice this people is!" ... Wrong: The typical guy simply changes his face and ask you fore a fee to pay his offeer. Bang! Your first night at Yasmine is spoiled.
Unique Suggestions: Never look right to the local people eyes. With this attitude you simply avoid most of the ways that people is trying to catch you some money.
Shopping in medina
"Dont have to buy, just have a look" The shopowner was calling us from the street..
Almost all prices in Medina are arranged for tourists and they are open for bargain.. But what a bargain.. Do not ever try to buy a souvenir for the first price that the shopowner tell you or a second, may be third and do not tell a price to the shopowner..
I have asked a price of a big coffee mug. The first price was 8 dinar (~6 USD), Than he told 6 Dinars and afterwards 5.. When I leave the shop he was asking only 3 dinars..
The next day we have visited a local fair in Nabeul and I bought the same Mug for 1,5 Dinars..
Unique Suggestions: Pottery is very cheap in Tunisia so make your bargains according to that.. All prices are tripled or quadrupled for tourists.. So start your bargain from the very least point..
Fun Alternatives: If you happen to buy something, do not ask the price of the same thing in another shop and do not ruin your vacation..
"Hey, remember me? I'm a waiter from your hotel."
Young men at the medina implying that you should know them because they work at your hotels. They use this to catch your attention and then guide you to their "family" stores. Yet another way to get you to pay attention to a sales pitch.
Unique Suggestions: Shopping is shopping, but don't expect any bargains just because "they work at your hotel." Bargain hard and expect them to use their new-found link to separate you from as much of your money as they can!
Fun Alternatives: Ask them lots of questions about what it's like to work at the hotel. Watch how vague their answers are and make them invent details. Try to ask questions that are general and don't give away too much information about you or your hotel. I liked asking them "Which hotel do you work at?" Don't let them avoid answering you. Keep it pleasant, but keep it up and tire them out. Then bargain as hard as you can.
A "Real" Tunisian evening
Billed a taste of Tunisia, well I would give this a miss. It a purpose built area with a few camels. They puy on a show of bellydancers, acrobats, horse riders etc
Fun Alternatives: Get out and about and do your own thing
- Family Travel
Waiters to cheat you
In Nabeul/Medina there is this little restaurant(forgot the name, sry), where the waiter cheated us. We had two coke, and his french was so little, that his boss came and said 3 Dinar and that we could pay later. We paid then to the waiter who brought us the drinks and he was asking for one more dinar. I thought, that maybe I didn't understand correctly and gave him one more.
Later, we came back for lunch and found out that a drink was 1,5 each. Quite stupid of me not to ask again, but of course too late.
Fun Alternatives: So be aware and always ask again, if you feel that sth. is wrong.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Went to Tunis on local bus and decided to go to Carthage using the metro. Wallet was stolen from zipped and bottoned pocket in seconds at the metro station. Police did not speak any English and were not really that interested anyway. No interpretor.
Unique Suggestions: Would never discourage anyone from independant travel as we have always negotiated our own way around rather than go on organised excursions. First time we have ever been robbed so please take care in Tunis
Fun Alternatives: maybe better to do the orgaised excusion in this case
- Historical Travel
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