Hotels and alternatives
Courtyard of the simple but nice Hotel Regina.
There is a good selection of cheap hotels in town, even if many places mentioned in guide books have closed down. Value for money is very good, and some places have a charming old-colonial style and class.
There are only 2 up-market options, and value for money here is only limited.
Restaurants and alternatives
There are not as many restaurants in town as one could hope for, but still more than enough to cover your needs for a couple of days. There is a selection of cheap eateries along the Avenue de la République.
For those with more money to spare, Gabes has also a handful of classier places. like Restaurant el Mazar and Oasis (in the 3 star hotel of the same name).
Nothing, except the facilities found in the 2 better hotels.
No problems. Banks, ATMs and exchange service in the receptions in the better hotels. Many shopkeepers will accept to be paid by VISA or MasterCard, provided that you buy above 10-15 dinars.
It is almost impossible to travel between the south and north of Tunisia, without passing through Gabes. This is reflected in the quality of transportation services.
The train will comfortably bring you north (Gabes is the end station) to destinations like Sfax, El Jem, Sousse and Tunis. Getting to Tunis will take about 7 hr. In Mahres (2 hr north) you can change lines for Gafsa and Metlaoui, but this service is slow compared to buses and shared taxis.
There is a wide selection of bus connection and shared taxis covering every possible destination. These are normally faster than the train and have more departures per day. But they are a bit more expensive and far more crowded. If however, you're going south of Gabes, you have no choice but using bus or shared taxi. And if you're going to destinations beyond the train lines, you're better off with a direct connection with bus or shared taxi.
Remember that if you're going to Matmata, you're advised to take the bus, as few shared taxis do this stretch. Otherwise, you can freely choose between buses and shared taxis according to your liking. As always, shared taxis are faster, slightly more expensive, but do not allow as much luggage as the bus.