Africa > North Africa > Morocco > Mediterranean Morocco > Tétouan
As a transportation hub in the north, Tetouan is very easy to reach by bus or grand taxi. Many travelers only see the bus station en route from Ceuta or Tangier to Chefchaouen, but it is well worth a longer visit.
The CTM bus station and the non-CTM bus station are located 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 located 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, they are notorious for running late and being filthy.
To get to nearby beaches, like Martil, Cabo Negro, Ricon, 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, some travelers choose to 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 up passengers after their day at the beach, saving travelers time as well as hassle.
Local buses are also an adventure and cheaper than taxis. 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 minutes). After the border there are buses to the city center (€0.80).
Tetouan 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 annual sunshine.
- The Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike any other Moroccan Medina, Tetouan 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.
- 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 a used book sellers, offering books in a wide variety of languages, and then the king's palace.
Arts and craftsEdit
- 1 Tetouan Centre of Modern Art (Centre d'Art Moderne), Avenue Al Massira (situated next to Aveue des FAR, Avenue Al Maki Al Nacin; coming from city center 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 (has its spanish names on the exterior in big letters), coming from the center, the entrance is one gate on the right back side), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Sa. This museum displays mostly current Moroccan artists, and also Andalusian ones. It is situated in the nicely renovated old train station of Tetouan and is worth a visit; it especially showcases the reciprocal influcences of Morocco and Spain and started as a cooperation between Andalusia and Morocco.
- 2 Ecole des arts et metiers de Tétouan (situtated at just opposite of Bab Okla, at the intersection of Avenue Mohamed Ameziane and Avenue Lamfadal Afilal, if you stand just 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 8:30-16:30, F 8:30-11:30 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.
- 3 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), ☎ , e-mail: 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.
- 4 Musée d’Art Marocain (in the medina near Bab Okla).
There is an old Kasbah on the top of the hill overlooking the town, with a good view of the mountains if you have a few hours to kill.
- Dar Loughat - Cross-Cultural Language Center, Place Moulay Mehdi 8, Rue M'hammed Benaboud, ☎ , e-mail: 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.
You will find some shops in the pedestrian area and around the city center. If you want to experience the local market feeling, go to the 1 central market square (around Place Hassan II and Place Al Jala). or the 2 central market building, rue Majliss Baladi. .
- 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. Brownies for 5 dirham; croissants 2 dirham; pot of (very sweet) tea 8 dirham. Small, somewhat dark seating area in the back, filled with both women and men.
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/night, 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), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: after 1 PM, check-out: before noon. Hotel Riad Dalia Tetouan 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. Prices 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.