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Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet - advice please

Birmingham, United...
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Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet - advice please

hi to all i wanted some advice about this hotel but never got to speak to anyone who has stayed here or been to Tunisia

so would be very great-full for any help.

i want to fly to Tunisia in April this year for my honeymoon it will be our first holiday and we want to touchdown 4 days after our wedding.were both 24 years old

so basically somewhere to relax after a long wedding week and then a bit of sight seeing ,shopping, etc i am planning to stay for 14 nights

what kind of food is available ? is it halal?

also the price im getting is from "T" for half board is it really worth adding +400 for all inclusive?

can i get a rough idea of how much cash to take with me ?


London, United...
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for Agadir
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1. Re: Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet - advice please


I hope you will find the following helpful.


Great place. Clean spacious rooms, and some great members of staff. Location, however is a bit out of town. But the taxis are cheap. about 4 dinars (£2) to Yasmine Hammamet.

Most clientel seem to be elderly French and german, with the odd Tunisian families staying the week end. The Brits are vey much a minority in this hotel, and as such they tend to be ignored in favour of the other nationalities.

The beach is right on there, and this hotel has its own section of the beach for its own guests.

Food is very much varied, and yes most of it is halal. But having said that they have food to cater for all different tastes and prefrences.

No need to upgrade to All inclusive. Just stick to the half board as eating outside is much cheaper. It also gives the chnace to experiment with local restaurants. and there is no way tthat you possibly can spend all £400 extra to upgrade. Even at your hotel you can use the restaurant or .BBQ for your lunch reasonably cheap.


Obviously can't predict for April. But historically, April is normally a warm month. Not terribly hote, but warm enough for a splash in the pool/sea. Average temperature mid twentees degree day time with some good sunny spell. Slightly cooler in evenings/nigh time (12 degrees)


The first important thing you would need is to familiarise yourself with the local currency the Tunisian Dinar (TD). It is a closed currency which means it is only available inside the country. It also means that the exchange rate is determined by the Tunisian Treasury and not influenced by international monetary fluctuation.

What this means to you is that you take your sterling and change them inside Tunisia. Nowhere else. Keep the receipt every time you change the sterling. So on the way back home you can change any leftover TDs back to sterling at the airport.

The current exchange rate is £1 = about 2 TD. This rate should be the same anywhere you change money.

TD notes come in 30 dinars, 20 dinars, 10 dinars & 5 dinars.

Coins are 5 dinar, 1 dinar, 1/2 dinars, and other small coins (I think they are Mills)

The second important thing is to look after your money. Everything is negotiable in Tunisia. Good hagglers get bargains, bad hagglers get ripped off.


Hammamet old town boasts the Old Medina & the Kasbah, and its surrounding walls. Once inside the Kasbah you will find yourself negotiating a maze of very narrow alleyways, where you would pass some traditional white wall washed Tunisian homes with colourfully blue decorated doors and windows.

If you exhaust yourself going through the Kasbah, you could stop by the Cafe Sidi Bou Hdid and chill out with a nice cup of mint tea or cold soft drink while the admiring the beautiful Med sea.

In the new Hammamet Yasmine there is an artificial Medina, a shopping mall, Carthage Land theme Park and the Marina.

There are several places to drink and eat in both Yasmine and old town Hammamet. If you feel home sick go to the Shakespeare pub. It is run by an English lady called Dawn. Great grubs and prices are great, some evenings you get 2 pints for the price of one. If you are into sport, then there are 5 large TV screens showing live action from home. On Tuesday and Friday nights the pub hosts hilarious drag queen shows.

Nearer to your hotel there is another recommendable English pub called the Steakhouse. I understand it is also run by English from Liverpool, and the hospitality in there is just as good as it gets.


Pirate Ship:

A trip on a pirate ship would cost 45TD. For this you get 4 hours of sailing with free soft drink & pasta salad, and some entertainment aboard the ship

Friguira Park zoo

This is another attraction to see the other exotic part of Africa. The wild life of Africa in form of big cats.

Entrance fees to the Park: Adult: 7TD (Child: 4TD).

There are activities within the park that would come at an extra charge, like swimming with the dolphins or attending the Zulu night time party with all that music, dancing and feasting African style,

A taxi to the park would cost no more 30TD. Alternatively you can go by train from Bir Bourerba train station just outside Hammamet town centre

Nebul Market

Nebul town hosts a weekly market every Friday where the locals from outer regions descend with their goods to sell. Very ideal place to witness the exotic and colourful local way of life. A taxi ride should cost no more than 12 TD.


Further afield towards the South there is El Jem most famous for the Roman Coliseum. There are also some amazing sites of great archaeology interest. Many block buster movies were made in this area.

Another old place featured in movies (Notably the Monty Python’s Life of Brain) is The Ribat of Harthema in Monastir, south of Hammamet. The town is also known as Bourguiba city, named after Habib Bourguiba regarded as the father of modern Tunisia who was born in there and has a grand museum built in his honour. No too far from Monastir there is Sousse, the second largest city after the Capital Tunis.

Other cities of great historic connection are Carthage near the capital Tunis in the North. Carthage is mainly known for its Roman Empire past.

There are trains connections to most of these places. However, as a first time visitor I would recommend you go within an organised group should you wish to visit any of these sites.


Local beer and wine are cheap. Big name brands alcohol like Bells Whisky, Smirnoff, Gordon Gin, Heinekens or Carlsberg are seriously expensive. I would recommend you stock up at duty free shop at the airport and have few shots before going out.


As a first time visitor these are few things to be aware of

•If there are any females in your group, don’t let wander off alone. Local guys would try to chat them up. They should also dress up more conservatively when out in town or near religious sites

•The souvenir shops owners, who, once you enter their shops, they will use every trick to stop you leaving until you part with of your cash.

•Streets and beach hawkers

•Hotel staff who constantly looking out for tips. Also watch out for the damn right rude ones

•Taxi drivers ripping off passenger by not displaying the meter.

•Litter and stray cats all over the place.

•Dirt, pollution and chaotic traffic in some part

•Flies and other insects hovering over your dinner.

•Safety of drinking tap water

•Prices of alcohol

•Preferential treatment to Tunisians and French holidaymakers above other nationalities

•The cost and misleading itinerary of some excursions/trips

•The hypocrisy of some holiday rep


Prepare yourself for a culture shock. The way of life is very much different from ours. And also the Tunisians are much poorer, and they look at the Europeans as a rich picking.

Shopping can be a nightmare. When you go to shops just for browsing, some shopkeepers won’t let you leave until you buy something. They would do all the tricks and use all the charms to get you to part with your money. But if you stand firm, and say NO THANK YOU, they will eventually go. If you see something you like, then you must HAGGLE THE PRICE DOWN until at least they drop it by at least a half from the original quote.

When taking taxis insist the drivers display the meter. And always try to pay the fare in loose coins. Some drivers would pretend they don’t have change if you give them bank notes.

For preferential treatment, always have the odd loose dinars for tipping now & then. 3 TD can a mean a lot to a hotel worker. For that they would that extra mile to look after you well.

I would recommend avoiding tap water and drinking only bottled water purchased from shop. Very cheap, but most importantly is safe. When buying bottled water, always check the top is intact. Some shops and bars refill empty bottle from the tap and sell it bottled water.

Don’t buy anything or have any dealing with street and beach traders and hawkers.


Congratulations again, and I hope you will have a wonderful honey moon. Feel free to ask if you think of anything else you want to know about Hammamet or Tunisia.


2. Re: Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet - advice please

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