Page update - Jan 3, 2023
In Tunisia, trade transactions are officially allowed only in the local currency, the Tunisian dinar. The refusal of traders to take dollars and euros surprises many tourists, accustomed to Egypt and Turkey where tourists often do not even touch the local currency. In Tunisia, you will have to deal with dinars. This page contains tips and most interesting things about the Tunisian currency.
Tunisian currency entered 2023 with a complete renewal of the banknotes. In the past year 2022, two new banknotes 5 and 50 dinar were issued.
WARNING! There are now two series of banknotes in circulation in Tunisia at the same time. Find the photos of all the banknotes (old and new series) below on this page.
Dealing with Tunisian money can bring an interesting experience. The first thing that surprises tourists is the Tunisian "pennies", which are called "millimes". There are 1,000 millimes in 1 dinar, not 100 as we are used to.
You can hold a 1/2 dinar coin in your hands. By our logic, it should be 500 millimes, but the coin is exactly 1/2 dinar.
The 30 dinar banknote is also interesting. Such an unusual denomination found nowhere else in the world. It's both fortunate and unfortunate to have such a banknote in your hands. The misfortune is that it is officially out of circulation, which means it is just a souvenir. The fortune is that it can be sold for more as a collector's item.
Some shops have a list of prices in millimes which leaves tourists in shock. Imagine a situation when you see the price of 2,500 for a can of soda. You realize that you don't have that much money in your pocket. It's funny.
Tunisian coins are very interesting. The 1 dinar coin comes in several designs, awakening in tourists a passion, as true numismatists do, to collect all variants in their pockets.
But first things first.
Take US dollars, Euros, UK pounds. These currencies can be exchanged at any bank or exchange office. Most exchangers in Tunisia also accept other currencies - Algerian dinars, UAE dirhams, Qatari riyals, Swiss francs, Swedish and Norwegian krones.
But remember! The more uncommon the currency, the worse the exchange rates.
See the current exchange rates of the Tunisian dinar in the table below.
Exchange rates at 02.03.2024
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,3211 US dollar
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,2537 UK pound
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,2964 EURO
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,4355 CAN dollar
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,4919 AUS dollar
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,5259 NZ dollar
1 Tunisian dinar = 26,6070 IND rupee
1 Tunisian dinar = 0,2837 Swiss francs
1 Tunisian dinar = 2,2835 Chinese yuan
1 Tunisian dinar = 48,2290 Japanese yen
1 US dollar = 3,1143 Tunisian dinar
1 UK pound = 3,9417 Tunisian dinar
1 EURO = 3,3738 Tunisian dinar
1 CAN dollar = 2,2962 Tunisian dinar
1 AUS dollar = 2,0329 Tunisian dinar
1 NZ dollar = 1,9015 Tunisian dinar
1 IND rupee = 0,0376 Tunisian dinar
1 Swiss francs = 3,5249 Tunisian dinar
1 Chinese yuan = 0,4379 Tunisian dinar
1 Japanese yen = 0,0207 Tunisian dinar
You will have to exchange money, as it is forbidden by law in Tunisia to trade in any other currency than the Tunisian dinar. There are very strict currency controls in the country. For example, the citizens are not allowed to change currency freely. Even if a trader takes currency from a tourist, it will be difficult for him to exchange it. Despite the ban, some traders accept foreign currency.
For more information on currency exchange, see our detailed review "How and where to exchange money in Tunisia".
The international designation of the Tunisian dinar is "TND". This abbreviation can be found on displays in banks or exchange offices and appears in official documents. In shops, you can see "DT" on the price tags. See the example in the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge. "TD" is also used but extremely rare.
As many Arabs, Tunisians love coins. The coin with the largest denomination is 5 Tunisian dinars, which at the exchange rate of early 2023 amounts to 1.6 USD or 1.5 EUR or 1.3 GBP. This means Tunisians use coins as often as banknotes.
It is forbidden to take out of Tunisia or to bring into Tunisia the Tunisian national currency. Any coin, even in the smallest denomination, must be confiscated by customs officers (if they find it of course).
Millimes are used frequently in Tunisia, but they round up all prices to 100 millimes. Coins of 5, 10, 20 millimes are officially in circulation, but tourists get them in their hands very-very rarely. Of the common coins in circulation, the 50 millimes is the smallest in denomination.
In 1881, Tunisia came under French rule, a period in the history of Tunisia known as the "French Protectorate". In 1891, the French introduced a new local currency, the Tunisian franc, equal to the French franc. The franc was divided into 100 santims.
After Tunisia gained independence in 1958, a new currency was introduced. The Tunisian dinar became one of the symbols of the newly independent republic. Money was exchanged in the country in 1960 at the rate of 1 dinar = 1,000 francs.
In effect, the old Tunisian franc became a millim. Tunisians say it like this, "A bottle of water is worth 1,000 francs" or "bread is worth 1,500 francs". This habit is particularly common among Tunisians of the older generation.
The 5 dinar coin is the largest in denomination, but not in size! Note that the 2 dinar coin is larger and heavier than the 5 dinar coin.
The weight is 10 grams, the diameter is 29 millimeters. The center is copper-nickel alloy, and the trim comes in two types: copper or brass. The obverse depicts the portrait of Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia and leader of its independence movement. The reverse bears the Tunisian coat of arms.
An interesting fact, this coin is officially considered commemorative, although it is used in everyday calculations by Tunisians. It was issued in 2002 to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Habib Bourguiba. It turns out that all 5 dinar coins in Tunisia are commemorative coins and there are simply no ordinary coins of this denomination. Funny but true.
The 2 dinar coin was issued relatively recently in 2013. The weight is 11.2 grams, the diameter is 29.4 millimeters. The material is copper-nickel alloy.
The obverse depicts the harbour of ancient Carthage. The reverse depicts an olive tree. The most remarkable thing about this coin is the shape of tridecagon. The Arabs see nothing wrong with the number 13.
The 1 dinar coin is found in three designs.
The first version was issued in 1976-1983. The obverse depicts Princess Dido, founder of Carthage. The reverse bears the portrait of Habib Bourguiba. These coins are still in circulation and may well be obtained for change in a shop. The weight is 9.75 grams, the diameter is 27.95 mm. The material is copper-nickel alloy.
The second version was produced in 1988-1990. On the obverse - Princess Didon, on the reverse - contours of the country of Tunisia. The weight is 9.85 grams, the diameter is 28.06 mm.
The third version was issued in 1996-2013. Naturally, this version is most widespread now. See this coin in the photo above, click on the photo to enlarge. On the obverse is Princess Dido, on the reverse is the coat of arms of Tunisia. The weight is 10.1 grams, the diameter is 28 mm.
The 1/2 dinar coin is very interesting. The weight is 8 grams, the diameter is 24 mm. The material is copper-nickel alloy.
These coins were also issued three times in 1976-1983, 1988-1990, 1996-2013. The obverse shows a hand with dates and a hand with a spike of wheat. The reverse is the same as the 1 dinar coins: a portrait of Habib Bourguiba, the outline of Tunisia and the coat of arms in the latest version.
The 200 millimes coins are made of bronze. It is difficult to find anything original in its design.
The weight is 9.4 grams and the diameter is 29 mm. The shape is a thirteen-sided coin.
The 100 millimes coin has the same design, also in bronze.
The weight is 7.5 grams and the diameter is 27 mm.
And the smallest one which tourists have to deal with is the 50 millimes coin.
The weight is 6 grams and the diameter is 25 mm.
Until 2014, the situation with banknotes in Tunisia was complicated. There were different series of banknotes in circulation there. Tourists could have three 10 dinar banknotes in their pockets, all three banknotes could be in different sizes and colours.
At the end of 2014, all the old banknotes went out of circulation. It became convenient, but not for long.
In 2017, the Central Bank of Tunisia again started "breeding a zoo" of banknotes. In 2017, a new 20 dinar banknote was issued, then in 2020 10 dinars and in 2022 5 and 50 dinars. Again, people have different series of banknotes in their hands.
However, people in Tunisia still have old series banknotes (before 2014) which are out of circulation. And tourists rarely get these banknotes for change. This fraud exist but is becoming more and more rare every year. Our advice! Look carefully at the year of issue of the banknote, compare with the data in the tables below. If the issue date is less, do not take such a banknote.
See the photos of all the banknotes below that are in circulation now. We do not publish photos of banknotes that are out of circulation (before 2014).
OLD 5 dinar banknote. Only banknotes issued in 2014 and later are valid.
The front side depicts Hannibal wearing his helmet, and the bay of Carthage. The back side depicts ships of Carthage.
Note the watermarks in the shape of an olive tree. Such interesting watermarks can be seen on all Tunisian banknotes.
Dimensions: 143x73 millimetres.
NEW 5 dinar banknote, issue 2022.
The front side depicts the famous agronomist and biologist Slaheddine el-Amami.
The back side depicts the Roman aqueduct in Zaghouan.
Dimensions: 143x73 millimetres.
OLD 10 dinar banknote. Only banknotes issued in 2013 and later are valid.
The front side depicts the poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi.
The front side depicts the arch of the Medesa Bacchia school in the city of Tunis.
Dimensions: 148x73 millimetres.
NEW 10 dinar banknote, issue 2020.
The front side depicts the country's first female doctor, Tewhida Ben Sheikh.
The back side depicts Tunisian ceramic.
Dimensions: 148x73 millimetres.
OLD 20 dinar banknote. Only banknotes issued in 2011 and later are valid.
On the front is Hayreddin Pasha, the famous Ottoman politician who was once the governor of Tunisia, on a horse and carrying a sabre. In his background we see Ksar Ouled Soltane, a fortified granary in Tataouine.
The back side depicts Sadiki College in the city of Tunis.
Dimensions: 153x76 millimetres.
NEW 20 dinar banknote, issue 2017.
On the front is Farhat Hached, the country's independence fighter who was assassinated by La Main Rouge extremists in 1952.
The back side depicts the amphitheatre of El Djem.
Dimensions: 153x76 millimetres.
OLD 50 dinar banknote. Only banknotes issued in 2011 and later are valid.
The front side features the writer and poet Ibn Rachik and the Museum of Numismatics in Tunisia.
The back side features the Palace of the Kasbah of Tunis.
Dimensions: 158x79 millimetres.
NEW 50 dinar banknote, issue 2022.
The front side depicts the first head of the Central Bank and second Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hedi Amara Nouira.
On the reverse is the headquarters of the Central Bank of Tunisia.
Dimensions: 158x79 millimetres.
Once again. We advise you to keep a close eye on the notes you get as change in shops. Check the issue date.
Many tourists want to bring coins back from Tunisia as souvenirs or for collecting. We need to inform you that it is forbidden to take coins and banknotes out of Tunisia.
We certainly do not recommend breaking the law, but if the reader has decided to bring Tunisian money across the border, here are some tips on how to do it successfully.
Never put coins in your pockets, as you will be caught at the first metal detector check. Put them in your hand luggage or general luggage. Security and customs officers check the luggage quickly so as not to slow down the queue. Be sure to mix coins with other metal items and put them in the biggest bag so that the customs officer has less desire to check your luggage deeply.
- The main safety rules for money in Tunisia are the same as in any other country. Keep money in inside pockets, don't carry large sums, and exchange money only in safe places. For safety, see our detailed review "What not to do in Tunisia";
- An important item of expenditure on Tunisian dinars is gifts and souvenirs. Read our review "16 best gifts from Tunisia" about this.
Have good relations with Tunisian dinars and read other useful reviews about this country and tips for tourists (find the pages list below).
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