Alcohol in Tunisia

Page update - Mar 2, 2023

Tunisians feel very tolerant about alcohol. They even have their own strong national drinks, and such a situation is rare in Islamic countries. The rules on alcohol trade in Tunisia are quite strict and confusing. We will talk about all this in detail on this page.

The prices and all the information on this page were updated in March 2023. The last increase in taxes (hence the prices) on alcohol was in the past 2022. An interesting point is that between 2010 and 2022, the price of alcohol in Tunisia has increased 3 times. We used to write, "Tunisian alcohol is quality and inexpensive". Now we write, "Quality and affordable". What will happen next? It is hard to say.


The tradition of alcoholic beverages in Tunisia goes back to Roman times. At that time, Tunisia was known as the "Province of Africa", and wine exports were an important source of revenue, along with olive oil and dates.

Tunisia was very rich at the time. To mention at least the fact that there was the third largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. It was second only to the Colosseum in Rome and the Arena of Capua in terms of seating capacity. This grandiose amphitheater still stands to this day in the town of El Djem. One of the reasons for this wealth was precisely the wine industry.

Tunisia continued to be a major supplier of wine to the entire Mediterranean until the 7th century when all of northern Africa was conquered by the Arabs. From then on, winemaking began to decline.

In 1881 (1,200 years after the Arab conquest), Tunisia became a French Protectorate. Wine making flourished again, and Tunisian wines began to be exported to France and other European countries.

Tunisia became a fully independent Islamic state in 1956, but the alcohol industry has not suffered. Tunisia still produces its own wine, beer, and spirits. Tunisians have acted rationally from an economic point of view. Time has only proved them right when tourism boomed in the 80s and quality alcohol has come in handy.

Tunisia's main feature for drinking tourists

The quality level of alcohol in Tunisia is at head higher than in Egypt or Turkey. Hard liquor in Egypt is difficult for most tourists to drink at all, unless it is diluted with a great dose of juice or soda. In Turkey, people get poisoned because of the methyl alcohol addition, a clear indication that some of alcohol comes from chemical factory tanks.

Tunisia has excellent wines, good spirits, and tasty liqueurs. The situation with beer is worse. We'll talk about Tunisia's national drinks and brands later on this page.

Rules for bringing alcohol into Tunisia

It is allowed:

One liter of spirits or 2 liters of other alcoholic beverages per tourist. Spirits are defined as drinks with more than 25% ethanol content. Read more in our in-depth review "What and how much you can bring into Tunisia".

Rules of the trade

Alcoholic drinks are not sold everywhere in Tunisia. Even beer cannot be sold in ordinary stores. Although non-alcoholic beer is sold everywhere and in many varieties.

The annual fee from retail outlets for the right to sell alcohol is 5,000 dinars (increased from 1 January 2023), and not all stores can afford the fee. In addition, the authorities can refuse permission without explanation.

Alcohol can be found in hotels, and there are no restrictions there. The second source is MG (Magasin General) shops. Every major city has one.

If you need to find MG, you'll have to ask at the reception in your hotel. Or ask taxi drivers, they will gladly take you there. Taxi rides in Tunisia are reasonably priced. Read about the cab fares in our review "Taxi in Tunisia"

Read our in-depth review "Magasin General".

Some restaurants serve alcoholic drinks, but only large and expensive restaurants. They need a special license to sell alcohol, and not all restaurants can afford this license fee. However, there are also small cafes with a license that manage to "win the money back" through high sales volumes. A prime example is the cafe at Port El Kantaoui (pictured near, click on the photo to enlarge).

Some large supermarkets sell beer and wine. For example, the Carrefour chain has alcohol departments in several of its supermarkets. But they do not sell hard liquor.

They are only allowed to sell alcohol between 12 noon and 6:30 pm. They do not sell alcohol on Fridays for religious reasons. Also the whole month of Ramadan there is no sale of alcoholic beverages, see the schedule in the review "Ramadan in Tunisia". Of course, all these rules do not apply to hotels.

National alcoholic drinks


Boukha is Tunisia's number one alcoholic drink. Some websites call it liqueur, brandy and even whisky. In fact, it is closer to vodka made from figs.

The name "boukha" is Arabic. It originates from the local Arabic dialect, it translates as "intoxicating vapors" or "alcoholic vapors".

Boukha has the taste of regular vodka but with a subtle citrus flavor. It has a very pleasant taste. We authoritatively declare that we have a staff taster - our editor-in-chief. He has even tried all the Chinese alcohol, which is a brave thing to do given the "infernal" smell of Chinese vodka.

Boukha is rarely drunk in its pure form, but is more often used in cocktails mixed with juices. The most popular brand is called Bokobsa (pictured near, click on the photo to enlarge), but hotels in Tunisia prefer to serve cheaper varieties.

Dat de liqueur.

Dat de liqueur is not a drink, just a name. It is the name given to all alcoholic beverages made from dates, from liqueurs to date vodka, in Tunisia.


Tibarine liqueur is Tunisia's second alcoholic pride. It is a date liqueur with an alcoholic strength of 45 degrees with the addition of herbs (pictured near, click on the photo to enlarge). The taste is pleasant, though a little sharp.

It is said to be named after Roman emperor Tiberius and the recipe is 2,000 years old. Of course, it is not true as such strong drinks hadn't been made back then.

Tibarine is an expensive drink. Not all Tunisian hotels offer it as an all-inclusive package. If you want to taste it, you will probably have to look for Magasin General. Tibarine liqueur is in demand among European tourists as a gift from Tunisia. It is very colorful with its dark color, slightly thick consistency, original taste and aftertaste. Read our detailed review "What to bring from Tunisia".

Tunisian beer.

Tunisian beer is not of very high quality, as most tourists say. The most common brand is called Celtia. Don't look at the European-style coat of arms on the label, and the name is consonant with the word "Celt". This is a purely Tunisian beer that has nothing to do with Europe.

Almost all beer in Tunisia is local. Imported beer is available in the hotels, but for a fee. Imported beer is also available at Magasin General.

A lot of beer is brewed in Tunisia - 1.5 million hectolitres. Given a population of 10 million, that's 15 liters per Tunisian per year. Arabs themselves do not drink alcohol for religious reasons, and tourists drink almost all of it.

According to a sociological survey, 85.5% of men and 96.8% of women in Tunisia claim they have never had alcohol in their lives.

Tourist flow to Tunisia is 9.4 million holidaymakers a year (figure for record-breaking 2019). This is a modest figure - twice as many tourists arrive in Egyptian resorts. If you take all these figures and take into account domestic consumption and exports, you get the following. The average tourist in Tunisia drinks around 20 liters of beer per holiday!

Now, many tourists will ask, "Why are we publishing all these figures?" We want to show our dear readers the attitude of Europeans towards Tunisia.

For many Europeans, Tunisia is an alco-Mecca. Affordable and high-quality alcohol coupled with cheap cigarettes have made the country a relax place for some Europeans who behave extremely decently at home.

If you see some Europeans in a hotel in Tunisia in a strongly drunken state, don't be surprised. That is what they mostly come there for. They do not cause a brawl, do not fight and do not use foul language. Quietly and peacefully get drunk and crawl up to their rooms. However, let us return to the topic of local drinks.

Tunisian wine.

Tunisian wine is the pride of the country. The number of brands comes to thousands and there is no point in describing them all. It is considered that white wine is very good and red is a little bit worse. Red Tunisian wines are considered too sharp in taste. Dry wines are considered the best in Tunisia. They even organize guided tours for tourists to the wineries. A photo from one of these tours is above, click on the photo to enlarge.

As for Tunisian wines, we have only one piece of advice: "Taste, taste and taste again!" Just don't go overboard with the tasting. Being on the street while intoxicated is punishable by law, as we explained in detail in our review "Dangers for tourists in Tunisia". In addition, travel insurance does not cover treatment for injuries sustained under the alcohol influence.


Find the current exchange rates in our review "Money in Tunisia".

- A bottle of wine - from 15 Tunisian dinars, we don't recommend tasting cheaper wine.

- A 0.5-litre bottle of beer - 3-5 dinars.

- Boukha - 80-120 dinars.

- Tibarin liqueur - 80-120 dinars.

If you buy a NOT All Inclusive tour, use these figures to calculate a budget for a trip to Tunisia.

It is important to know

- If you wish to bring some Tunisian alcoholic beverage home, you should remember about the restrictions at Tunisian border. Read about them in our detailed review "What and how much you can take out of Tunisia".

Have a great holiday in Tunisia and read our interesting pages about the country (find the pages list below). © 2020-2024