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.
Both the CTM bus station as well as 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-- as well as 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 eur).
Tetouan enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The average summer temperature is 35 degrees Celsius, while the average winter temperature is a wholly comfortable 22 degrees Celsius.
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 it's 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 crafts
- 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), ☎ +212-666 04 60 81, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue-Sat. "This museum displays mostly current Moroccan artists, but 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."
- 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), ☎ +212-539-97 27 21. Mon-Thu 8.30-16:30, Fri 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. 10 or 15 Dh.
- Saida Art Contemporain Tetouan, 9 Wazir Mohamed Seffar, Tetouan Victoria 93000 (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 50m), ☎ +212 539 716565, e-mail: email@example.com. a privately run gallery displaying modern art (current exhibitions can be found on website), also selling art; also contains a cafe/restaurant (called Club de Tapas)
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, ☎ +212 66 66 8 77 88, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 dh (unless you get a small), and paninis are about 20 dh. 13-20 dh for a sandwich.
- Blanco Riad, 25 rue Zawiya Kadiria, ☎ +212 539704202. Nice restaurant located inside hotel, but open to non-guests. Offers 3-course menu of delicious local foods for 160 dh. Need to order in advance, so stop by or call at least 30 minutes ahead of time. 160 dh for 3 course menu.
- Dallas, 11 Rue Youssef Ben Tachfine. Small teashop/patisserie with lots of sweets and baked goods on offer. Brownies for 5 dh; croissants 2 dh; pot of (very sweet) tea 8 dh. 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.
- Hotel Panorama
- Hotel Iberia
- Hotel Principe
- El Reducto
- Riad Dalia, Place El Ouessaa 25 (contact the Riad for pickup), ☎ +212 539964318, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-out: noon. Beautiful Riad that used to be the house of the Dutch consul. Rooms range from cheap singles to expensive palatial suites. Wi-Fi available. Beautiful terrace view. Right in the heart of the Medina. 200 MAD for a single with shared bathroom, many kinds of rooms including huge suites.
- El bico
- Blanco Riad, 25 rue Zawiya Kadiria, ☎ +212 539704202. Beautiful hotel in a restored riad with lovely touches, such as stained glass windows on room doors. Located just inside the Medina. Friendly staff, nice garden area with a resident turtle, and good restaurant. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Small double rooms are 60 euros/night, larger ones are 90 euros, and one large suite is offered at 160 euros. 60-160 euros/night.
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.