Tetouan is a city in Mediterranean Morocco.
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. Given its connections with Tangier, Ceuta and Chefchaouen, Tetouan is a destination many simply pass through but if you have time you should try to spend part of the day there.
Alongside the existing bus, considering the general affordability of taxis in Morocco, a private transfer is also an affordable option. The route is quite scenic and gives you the opportunity to experience some of the Moroccan countryside. There are a few different private taxi companies in Tangier, offering one-way transfers and also day excursions booked in advance. A good idea is to incorporate time in Tetouan with a trip to Chefchaouen. Private Fares from Tangier to Tetouan can vary, but tend to hover around the €100 mark for a private day excursion and €60 for a one-way transfer.
- Tangier Taxi: 2 Route California, Tangier, Morocco. Private transfers, day trips and excursions to Tetouan. Slightly more expensive than the public taxis but still well-priced. English-speaking drivers and air-conditioned vehicles. €89 private day trip to Tetouan from Tangier.
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 differnt 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.
Tetouan enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The average summer temperature is 35 degrees Celcius, while the average winter temperature is a wholly comfortable 22 degrees Celcius.
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.
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.
- 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. edit
- Blanco Riad, 25 rue Zawiya Kadiria, ☎ 0539704202, . 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. edit
- 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. edit
Za3Za3 or ZaâZaâ 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, pension above a bank on Place Moulay el Mehdi, single 60 DH, double 100 DH, shared bathrooms, free WiFi
- Hotel Principe
- El Reducto
- Riad Dalia
- El bico
- Blanco Riad, 25 rue Zawiya Kadiria, ☎ 0539704202, . 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 wifi. 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. edit
- Dar Rehla, Derb Habibi 3 Niyarin, ☎ 539701150, . A typical guesthouse hotel in a restored house or dar . Breakfast included and free wifi available. 50-60 euros/night for a double room. edit
- Hotel Africa, Kaid Ahmed 17 (near Royal Palace), ☎ +212 (0)604 66 94 93, . Hotel Africa is a guesthouse located in a pittoresque street of the ancient quarter (medina) of Tetuan. Situated just few steps from Royal Palace it represents a perfect point of departure for your brownian-motion-like walks through the medina as well as a romantic port of your stay. The capacity of the guesthouse is 25 guests. There are 4 double rooms, the rest are rooms for 3-4 people. The bathroom with flush toilet and hot water is shared. For single travelers it is possible to rent a bed in a 3-bed room. 8 EUR/person and night. edit
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.