Yellow city buses run all over Tunis but aren't used by many visitors. The destination, point of origin and route number are displayed in Arabic by the back door, but routes of interest to tourists have the destination marked in Roman letters, too. Tunis Marine Bus Station is the starting point for bus 35 to the airport.
Taxis are dirt cheap by European and American standards and are all fitted with meters. Evening trips (9pm to 6am) carry a 50% surcharge, and there’s officially a small surcharge for each piece of luggage, although this is rarely charged. Other than at the airport, where drivers have formed an unofficial cartel and are usually intent on negotiating inflated set fares, most drivers will automatically use the meter. If they don't, request that they do so. Be warned that the occasional driver fiddles the meter to charge a higher fare; do always check it’s at the base rate (4.7DT, displayed as '4.700') when you set off. Taxis are generally plentiful, but during peak hours you may need patience and luck. They can be booked by phone – ask at your hotel’s reception desk – but the meter begins ticking when the taxi sets out to collect you, which can add up to around 10DT to a fare.
Note that the constant reality of traffic jams in Centre Ville and around the medina means that many drivers will try to drop you at Pl de la Victoire or even at the roundabout where Ave Habib Bourguiba and Ave de la Republique meet, rather than dropping you at any of the other medina babs (gates) or at Pl de la Kasbah.
The TGM is a suburban train line connecting central Tunis with the beachside suburbs of La Goulette, Carthage, Sidi Bou Saïd and La Marsa. It’s fast, cheap and convenient, though often very crowded, even outside of rush hour. The first train leaves Tunis Marine TGM Station at 5am, and the last train at midnight. Departure frequencies range from every 12 minutes during peak hours to every 40 minutes. First class is worth the extra cost at busy times, especially as the upgrade doesn't represent a great deal of money (1.25DT from Tunis Marine to Carthage as opposed to the usual 0.7DT, for example). Don’t let the lack of ticket collectors at stations tempt you into fare evasion, as inspectors do frequent the trains and are not known to be merciful.
The journey from Tunis Marine to Goulette Neuve takes 15 minutes. It's 30 minutes or so to Carthage Dermech, 35 minutes to Sidi Bou Saïd and around 50 minutes to La Marsa. A short trip between stations costs 0.44DT.
The métro léger is much easier to use than the buses. It’s not an underground train but a tram network. There are six main routes: look for route maps in Arabic and French inside the trams. Signage at stations can be easy to miss, so it’s best to have an idea of how many stations you need to travel.
Tickets are sold at the small kiosks at each station entrance. They must be bought before you travel. The basic fare costs 0.45DT.
Services using lines 3, 4 and 5 between République and Pl de Barcelone travel south along Ave de Paris and Ave de Carthage and north on Rue de Hollande and Ave Habib Thameur.