Magasin General in Tunisia

Page update - Mar 11, 2023

Magasin General is a retail chain in Tunisia, one of the largest in the country along with Carrefour and Monoprix. For simplicity, Magasin General is abbreviated as MG, and we will write it this way below on this page.

Among all the retail shops in Tunisia, only MG is fully authorized to sell all kinds of alcoholic beverages. They sell wine, beer, spirits, including the national ones - Boukha fig vodka and Tibarin date liqueur. We talked about them in our detailed review "Alcohol in Tunisia".

A little clarification! Theoretically, any shop or catering facility in Tunisia can obtain a license to sell alcohol. But! Firstly, it's expensive - 5,000 dinars a year (increased in 2023), and few stores are able to recoup that money. Secondly, it is difficult because the authorities are very reluctant to issue such licenses.

Therefore, in fact, only MGs sell alcohol. There are other shops that have obtained a license, but there are very few of them.

Important points

There is an MG store in every resort town. MG is the biggest chain in Tunisia, if you count the number of stores. At the moment (note: this page was updated in 2023), there are already more than 100. MG stores are located in all provinces of the country and their major cities, except for Tataouine.

The opening hours are from 8 am to 8 pm. This is a typical timetable, but each MG shop may operate at different hours.

Not all MGs sell alcohol! Usually, the retail square is divided into a grocery department and an alcohol department. Larger MGs also have an appliance department. Some MGs just don't have an alcohol department.

It is written on the internet that MGs are closed on Fridays and Ramadan. This is not entirely true. The stores are open, but the alcohol departments are closed, while the grocery section is always open.

It is also written on the internet that MG is the only source of alcohol in Tunisia. This is not true.

Firstly, even if you come without All Inclusive, you can always go to the hotel bar and buy alcohol. Prices will be very high, do not be surprised at the price of 10 Tunisian dinars for a can of beer 0,33l. For the current exchange rates, see our review "Tunisian Dinar".

Secondly, you can buy beer and wine in other shops. For example, in the Ice Mall in Hammamet or in a hypermarket Carrefour in La Marsa in the capital. Of course, it's difficult for tourists to seek out such places and it's easier to find the nearest MG.

What alcohol to buy

When you walk into the MG liquor department, you'll be amazed at the plenty of beer. The liquor department looks more like a beer warehouse (pictured near, click on photo to enlarge). This is not surprising, as beer is bought by the local cafe and restaurant owners by the crates. Many Tunisians drink beer despite the religious ban.

There's no point buying Tunisian beer and taking it home, as it doesn't shine in taste or quality. Beer is bought by tourists if they come without All Inclusive.

Tunisian wine is considered high quality, tasty, and inexpensive. Wine from Tunisia is exported to many countries including France.

Boukha fig vodka can be tasted at the All Inclusive. Taste it at the hotel bar and if you like it, go to MG, buy and take it home. On the other hand, Thibarine date liqueur is almost never included in the All Inclusive system and is often not available in hotel bars. You must go to MG for Thibarine. For Tunisian gifts and souvenirs, see our in-depth review "What to bring from Tunisia".

There are imported cognac, whisky, vodka, and tequila in MG but the prices are awful - 1,5-2 times higher than in European shops or Duty Free. If you want to drink imported alcohol in Tunisia, then do not rely on MG, and take it with you or buy it at Duty Free. Read about import regulations in our detailed review "What you can and can't bring into Tunisia".

You can see a mini photo gallery of the MG in El Kantaoui port below. You can see the store environment and see some prices for liquor and other goods.

Interesting about Magasin General

The first store of the chain opened in Tunis in 1883. This store was located on Avenue de France in the capital. In 1905, the chain was renamed to Magasin General. Since then, new stores opened, the chain changed hands, and it was effectively in the hands of the state after independence. The authorities actively used the chain to control and regulate grocery prices. In 1988, the joint-stock company Magasin General was founded and still exists today.

An important development came in 2012 when the French company Auchan bought a 10% stake and began to actively participate in MG stores. Auchan wanted to enter the Tunisian market for a long time, but they could not enter on their own, they could not buy anyone. It took Auchan 19 years to enter Tunisia.

Improvements started almost immediately. The range on the shelves expanded, new stores started to open, the premises became cleaner and more comfortable. MG obtained the new logo and signs with this logo outside each store (see photo of such signage at the beginning of this page, click on the photo to enlarge). Before 2012, some MGs had no signage at all, tourists could not even find them.

Now it is a full-fledged large retail chain with a turnover of about USD 350 million a year. MG is ahead of Carrefour and Monoprix in terms of sales.

How to find MG shops in popular resorts

The easiest way is to get in a cab and say to the driver the phrase "Magasin General". The location of the nearest MG is known to every taxi driver in every resort. The price of the ride will depend on the distance, read about the prices in our in-depth review "Taxis in Tunisia".

It may be convenient to go to the MG at the same time with the local sightseeing. We tell you where the MGs are located in the resorts.


MG is located next to the Hammamet medina. Walk from the Mermaids Fountain along the medina wall. Once the wall ends, there will be a large circle for car traffic. Go ahead, in the next block there will be an MG on the left.

Yasmine Hammamet

There is no MG store in the resort area of Yasmine Hammamet. You will have to go to Hammamet. We told you above about how to find it.

El Kantaoui

MG is located next to the entrance to the port of El Kantaoui. This entrance is stylized as a medina gate, it cannot be confused with anything else (in the photo on the near, click on the photo to enlarge). If you stand directly in front of the entrance, you have to go right and you will find the MG after 50 meters (150 feet). There is no need to enter the port itself.


From the Grand Mosque or Sousse Ribat, walk towards the port. Go past the Monument to the Freedom Fighters and you will see the sea on your right and some buildings in front. The MG shop is next block behind these buildings. There is also a second MG in Sousse, but it is very difficult to find on your own.

Djerba Island

On Djerba, the MG shop is located in the island's capital, Houmt Souk. It's a long way from the tourist area or attractions. The best option is to take a taxi, the taxi driver will show you.


The MG is located in the center of Zarzis town. Similar situation, far from hotels and tourist spots. Take a taxi.


In Monastir, the MG is right next to the Habib Bourguiba Mosque on the side of the medina center, i.e. on the opposite side from the sea. See a map showing the location in our great review "Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum".


In Mahdia, walk from the Black Gate along a large street. There will be the MG in 150 meters (500 feet).

Good to know

- We mentioned above that alcohol is not sold on Fridays (Muslim holy day) and during Ramadan (Muslim holy month). The dates of Ramadan change every year, for the exact schedule, see our review "Ramadan in Tunisia". For other Friday restrictions for tourists, see our review "Friday in Tunisia";

- MG only accepts Tunisian dinars for payment. Change money before you go to MG so you don't waste time looking for an exchange office nearby. Read our in-depth review "Money exchange in Tunisia";

- MG, Carrefour, Monoprix supermarkets are the best places to buy most gifts and souvenirs. There's a guarantee against counterfeiting, a guarantee of shelf life, and low prices. But not everything can be bought in supermarkets. What exactly you can and cannot buy, read our detailed review "Gifts and souvenirs from Tunisia".

Have no trouble finding a Magasin General while on vacation in Tunisia, and read our other informative pages about the country (find the pages list below). © 2020-2024