Tétouan is a city in Mediterranean Morocco.
Tétouan's Medina has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city is an important transportation hub in the north.
Tétouan enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The average summer temperature is 35°C, while the average winter temperature is a wholly comfortable 22°C.
The city boasts an amazing amount of sunshine.
- 1 Sania Ramel Airport (TTU IATA). A small airport built by the Spanish colonial administration to serve Ceuta, it is served only by smaller planes.
- 2 Gare routière. Long-distance buses from the main Moroccan cities, including Asilah (2 hours). It also has service from some local destinations like the beach towns of Fnideq (70 min), Martil (25 min), M'Diq (1 hour). The Grand Taxi station is next to it.
- 3 CTM bus station. 5 daily buses to Tangier, 25 dirham. Seven buses to Fes (including 2 night ones), 100 dirham, passing Chefchaouen on the way.
The CTM bus station and the non-CTM bus station are in the center, though the walk from the CTM station to the center is a hike up a rather steep hill.
The city center is quite small and most tourist attractions and hotels are there, so there really is no need to use petite taxis. But if you choose to stay at one of the hotels on the way to Martil (Champs or Dreams) petite taxis and grand taxis are always available.
Petite taxis are very cheap, though the fare increases if you have luggage.
Though there is a decent-sized public bus system, the buses are notorious for running late and being filthy.
To get to nearby beaches, like Martil, Cabo Negro, Rincon, Marina Smir, and Kabila, grand taxis are easily found at a bottom of Rue Moulay Abbas (the road running along the park, beautiful views of the Rif Mountains). The fare for a single passenger to Martil is 5 dirham, but if you want a little more room, you should purchase two seats. For less popular destinations, like Marina Smir, or for a more direct route to beaches like Cabo Negro and Kabila which require two different grand taxi rides; you can bargain with the driver to purchase the whole taxi. This is often more expensive, but well worth it considering the time saved and the increased comfort. Drivers are often very happy to arrange to pick you up after their day at the beach, saving you time and hassle.
Local buses are an adventure that is cheaper than a taxi. For example, when heading to Ceuta, you can take bus number 35 from just outside the CTM terminal, takes about an hour and drops you in Fnidiq. You can walk from there to the border (~30 min). After the border there are buses to the city center (€0.80).
- 1 Medina. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike any other Moroccan Medina, Tétouan offers a unique perspective on the multicultural history of northern Morocco and, because of its relatively small size, it offers visitors a chance to explore without getting hopelessly lost. There are three distinct sections of the Medina, the Andalusian, the Jewish, and the Berber sections, though the untrained eye might have trouble distinguishing between the three. Be sure to hire a guide and you'll enjoy the medina that much more.
- 2 Royal Palace, Place El Mechouar. Palace is used by King Mohammed VI during his summer visits to Tetouan. It was built in 1988 in what was once Feddan Park. It is off-limits to the public as is the most part of adjacent Place El Mechouar square.
- 3 Kasbah. Located on the top of the hill overlooking the town with good views of the mountains. You can only be circle around it as it's under construction.
- Mohammed V Ave. A pedestrian-only road in the center. Filled with people in the evenings, after the day's heat has passed. Mohammed V is filled with dozens of cafes, teleboutiques, restaurants, tourist shops, and street vendors. Further down the street you'll find used book sellers, offering books in a wide variety of languages, and then the king's palace.
- 4 Archaeological Museum of Tetouan. W-M 10:00–17:30. Among other things, it displays items found at the excavations of Tamuda, Lixus and the Yebala region. 10 dirham.
- 5 Ethnographic Museum of Tetouan. Closed for renovation.
- 6 Museum of religious heritage (Musée du patrimoine religieux). It's on the premises of the Mosque of Laouk. It displays Muslim religious artefacts.
Arts and crafts
- 7 Tetouan Centre of Modern Art (Centre d'Art Moderne), Avenue Al Massira (walk to the lowest part of the park south of the medina (sometimes called 'Lovers Park') and you are at a big crossroads, the museum is clearly visible at the other side), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Sa 9:30–13:00 and 14:00–17:00. This museum displays mostly current Moroccan artists, and also Andalusian ones. It is in the nicely renovated old train station of Tétouan and is worth a visit; it especially showcases the reciprocal influcences of Morocco and Spain and started as a cooperation between Andalusia and Morocco. Free admission.
- 8 École des arts et métiers de Tétouan (opposite Bab Okla, at the intersection of Avenue Mohamed Ameziane and Avenue Lamfadal Afilal; if you stand in front of Bab Okla and look into Avenue Lamfadal Afilal straight ahead, it's the building at the right hand corner of the two streets), ☏ . M-Th 08:30-16:30, F 08:30-11:30 and 15:00-18:00. This is a school teaching classical arts and crafts which can be visited by the public and which is in a nicely decorated, interesting building with a nice garden. 10 or 15 dirham.
- 9 Saida Art Contemporain Tetouan, 9 Wazir Mohamed Seffar (coming out of the medina at gate Bab Okla, turn left into the street (Avenue Mohamed Ameziane); when the Avenue takes it first sharper turn left, don't follow it, but go in in the small road on the other side of the street, the gallery is on the left side after about 50 m), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A privately-run gallery displaying and selling modern art (current exhibitions can be found on website), and has a café/restaurant called Club de Tapas.
- 10 Musée d’Art Marocain (in the medina near Bab Okla).
Tétouan is surrounded by two mountains - Dersa and Ghorghiz - which offer splendid hiking opportunities.
- Dar Loughat - Cross-Cultural Language Center, Place Moulay Mehdi 8, Rue M'hammed Benaboud, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Dar Loughat is a professional language center in Morocco providing intensive courses in all levels of Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Moroccan Arabic throughout the year. Through various immersion and language exchange activities, Dar Loughat provides its students daily contact with Moroccan life, allowing them to expand their vocabulary, improve their spoken language performance and better understand the local culture.
- Restaurant Restinga
- Ali Baba
- El Reducto
- Pannini, 5-6 Ave Mohammed Ben Aboud. Small shop offering sandwiches made to order. Pick your fillings: meats, veggies, sauces, etc. Baguette sandwiches start at 13 dirham (unless you get a small), and paninis are about 20 dirham. 13-20 dirham for a sandwich.
- Dallas, 11 Rue Youssef Ben Tachfine. Small teashop/patisserie with lots of sweets and baked goods on offer. Small, somewhat dark seating area in the back, filled with both women and men. Brownies 5 dirham, croissants 2 dirham, pot of mint tea 8 dirham.
Za3Za3 is one of the most locally famous juices. It's a kind of milk-shake with avocado, banana, apple, some almonds, and some other ingredients.
- 1 Blanco Riad, 25, Rue Zawiya Kadiria, ☏ . Beautiful hotel in a restored riad with lovely touches, such as stained glass windows on room doors. Friendly staff, nice garden area with a resident turtle, and good restaurant. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Small double rooms are €60, larger ones are €90, and one large suite is offered at €160..
- 2 Hotel El Reducto, 38, Essaid Zanqat Zawya Kadiriya, ☏ .
- 3 Hotel Panorama Vista, Avenue Moulay Abbas, ☏ .
- 4 Hotel Principe.
- 5 Pension Iberia, Place Moulay El Mehdi, ☏ . relatively cheap, clean rooms, sink in the room, shared toilet, shower 10 dirham (warm)
- 6 Riad Dalia, Place El Ouessaa 25 (in the Medina), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: after 13:00, check-out: before noon. Dates from the 19th-century and used to be the house of the Dutch consul during the days of the spanish protectorate. The rooms range from cheap singles to expensive palatial suites, featuring antique furniture, elegant fabrics and a traditional decor. Wi-Fi available. Beautiful terrace view. Every morning, a continental breakfast is served on site. The restaurant offers traditional dishes and guests can relax in the lounge. From 250 dirham.
Be alert at the bus station here; since many travelers only pass through, this is a popular spot for touts. When attempting to purchase a ticket, only talk with someone behind one of the counters, not with anyone standing anywhere near it. Some even have friends working in the bus station who will back them up in their attempt to divert you into an expensive taxi by agreeing that there are no buses to your destination. Be persistent, and show a willingness to wait as long as it takes.
While some complain this town is filled with hustlers and hasslers, others find it charming and a perfect place to make some Moroccan friends, especially if you speak Spanish.
- Chefchaouen – A historic city also dubbed the blue city.
- Oued Laou – A coastal town on the way to Chefchaouen.
- Ceuta – Spanish semi-exclave.
- Tangier – Famous port city with ferry connections to Spain.
- Oujda – In the very east of Morocco, near the Algerian border.