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Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can I take Tunisian currency out of the country?

  • @SimonCalder

Q I'm travelling to Tunisia in September. Is it true that you are not supposed to take Tunisian currency in or out of the country?

David Strudwick, via Twitter

A Yes. Tunisia is one of a number of countries that makes a largely futile attempt to shore up its currency by seeking to ban tourists from moving money in and out of the country. Because the Tunisian dinar cannot theoretically be exported, no respectable bureau de change in the UK will supply it – or, indeed, exchange it from returning travellers.

The ban doesn’t present much of a problem, because you can change a small amount of money upon arrival at the airport, and then shop around for the best deal when you reach your final destination. Besides banks and bureaux de change, it is worth asking for the rate at hotels – unusually, those in Tunisia often offer competitive rates. The foreign currency of choice is the euro, but sterling is also happily accepted.

Because spot checks on departing passengers for Tunisian banknotes and even coins are not unknown, change little and often – that way you will not be left with a wad of cash to try to change back to sterling at the airport. 

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