Over time, the city gained fame as a pirate settlement. During the African War, the Spanish leader Leopoldo O’Donnell stormed the city and received the title of Duke of Tetuan. The new Spanish government began to improve the city in a European way. But success was short-lived, on May 2, 1862, Muslims rebelled, expelled the Spaniards and returned the city to its traditional appearance. Only in 1912 did the Fez Peace Treaty transfer the city of Spain. In 1913 the city was defined as the capital of all of Spanish Morocco, retaining this status until 1956. During the years of Spanish power, the city was also one of the Jewish centers of Morocco. After 1956, Jews emigrated to Israel, the USA, Canada, France (See Jewish exodus from Arab countries).
Interesting places Tetuan
The site contains the attractions of Tetuan - photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Tetuan, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Tetuan.
Ar-Reef mountain range stretching in an arc between the sea and the Atlas offers many opportunities for hiking enthusiasts. The routes here are relatively simple, but nonetheless not exhausted. Although Rif is not far from Tangier and Tetuan, it is still away from the main tourist routes. This is a very interesting destination for travelers craving for the unusual. The highest peaks of the chain rarely exceed 2,000 meters. The region also has a coastal strip 120 kilometers long, stretching from the bed of the Lau River to Cape Jebha. The starting point of the routes, as a rule, is Chefchaouen.
Medina at Kasba Square
The medina of Tetuan is protected by UNESCO, considered a World Heritage Site. Many experts call her the most beautiful medina of Morocco. The houses on its narrow streets bear a special imprint of the exquisite Andalusian style and make an extraordinary impression. The old city of Tetuan is surrounded by high walls erected at the end of the 15th century, and seven gates leading to the city. Inside, there are quarters belonging to different historical eras, which left their mark on their architecture. The earliest houses of the medina were built in the 12th century, the latest - in the 19th.
What sights of Tetuan did you like? Next to the photo area there are icons, by clicking on which you can evaluate this or that place.
Martila Beach is a paradise for lovers of fishing and a relaxing beach holiday.
There is a sea resort and a fishing port, so the fishermen on the beach are no less than holidaymakers. The beach is equipped with straw umbrellas and sun loungers. The turquoise waters of these places are great for swimming and sailing.
Nearby there are a large number of other beaches, equipped for a comfortable stay. If you arrive in July, you can plunge into the atmosphere of the festival of the great Mussem - the religious festival of water.
The most popular attractions in Tetuan with descriptions and photographs for every taste. Choose the best places to visit the famous places of Tetuan on our website.
Weather in Tetuan
The Mediterranean climate of Tetouan, as well as the whole of Morocco, allows many travelers to enjoy a fully wonderful holiday. Of course, in summer it is hot in it - + 25-27 degrees, and in winter it is relatively very warm - + 5-10 degrees. The city has rainfall, but most often in the cold season. In the summer, literally once a month, showers pour, and then again the sun warms its rays. In winter, once a week you can catch heavy rain.
What to see in Tetuan?
The city of Tetuan is located between beautiful gardens where oranges, dates, bananas, pomegranates and cypresses grow almost all year. Undoubtedly, you can visit these orchards and try wonderful fresh fruits. The Reef Mountains, not far from the gardens, are enchanting with their stunning views. Those who love an active holiday will probably enjoy a bike ride along the mountainsides.
In the city itself, the main attraction of all Morocco is located - the Medina of Tetouan. It is on the UNESCO list and attracts so many tourists with its elegance and pacification. Inexperienced travelers are advised to hire a guide before visiting this Tetuan attraction.
Above the city, at the very top of the hill, is the ancient fortified city of Kasbah. In it you can wander for hours and enjoy the beautiful scenery. In addition, Kasbah has a small local market where you can fully get acquainted with the amazing flavor of the country and even purchase small souvenirs from Morocco as a keepsake. Another attraction of Tetuan was the ancient watchtower of Al-Iskal. It is available for viewing to all tourists. Inside it you can see wonderful ancient mosaics and get a little more familiar with the architecture of the Middle Ages.
In Tetuan, you can visit several museums. The most significant in the city is the Archaeological Museum, which contains historical artifacts of the ancient cave inhabitants. At the Museum of Moroccan Art, you will find an amazing collection of musical instruments, clothes of ancient residents or elements of ancient mosaics. There is a Museum of Modern Art in Tetuan. It often hosts exhibitions of photographs and paintings of new talented creators.
Since Tetuan is a small city, the choice of hotels in it is poor. Basically, tourists prefer to rent small apartments or rooms from local residents. Not everyone loves this type of vacation, so we will tell you about the best places where you can stay and spend a great time. The best hotels in Tetuan include:
- Hotel Chams (4 *),
- Dreams Hotel (4 *),
- La Paloma (4 *),
- Hotel Al Mandari (3 *),
- Hotel Atenas (3 *),
- El Yacouta (3 *).
All of the above hotels are located in the center of Tetuan; accordingly, they are quite easy to get to. Near them there are many good shops with things and souvenirs, pubs and bars, attractions and entertainment centers. From the windows of the hotels beautiful landscapes open, and the rooms themselves are made in an elegant style. The smiling and friendly staff at Tetuan hotels will help you with any question and ensure cleanliness of the room.
Tetuan is located near the Mediterranean Sea, so the main ingredient of local cuisine is fish or seafood. Everything is done with fish here: fried, boiled, stewed, smoked, etc. Refined spicy Arabic seasonings make any dish special and unique, therefore, if you come to Tetuan, then you just need to try the masterpieces of national cuisine.
In Tetuan you will find Italian, American, Mediterranean restaurants. They follow all the traditions of cooking main dishes, and the quality of service is always at their best. If you just want a bite to eat, check out the local cafeterias: La Joconde, Restinga, Casa de Espana. In them you will be able to deliciously feed and cheer up with a pleasant warm atmosphere.
Among the restaurants of Tetuan, tourists distinguish the following:
- Blanco Riad Restaurant,
- Riad El Reducto,
- Restaurant Hala.
How to get to Tetuan?
Tetouan is located near the Mediterranean Sea, so it can be reached by sea transport, but still it will be faster and better to do this with the help of intercity buses in Morocco. Every day they run from Marrakesh (11 hours drive), Meknes (5 hours), Rabat (4 hours), Casablanca (6 hours). On average, a bus ticket costs $ 100-120.
Tetuan on the map
Its name (pronounced Tet-ta-van) means “open your eyes” in Berberia, which is an obvious reference to the hasty construction of the city by Andalusian refugees in the fifteenth century.
Refugees, both Muslims and Jews, brought with them the most exquisite and sophisticated Moorish architecture of Andalusia, which can still be seen in Medina.
Medina is the old part of the city, built during the times of Arab rule, in modern Arabic, the word simply means “city”.
Their houses, decorated with many beautiful details, are not at all like the houses of other Moroccan cities. With their tiled lintels and wrought-iron balconies, they seem much more like the old Arab quarters of Cordoba and Seville.
In the early years of the twentieth century, the Spaniards came to Tetuan, and it turned into the provincial capital of the Spanish northern protectorate, covering the Rif mountains.
Then the Spaniards left, but Spanish is still the second language of the old generation of the Tetuans, plus there are many other reminders of mainland Spain, especially in the kitchen.
City `s history
Before the current city was built, two settlements were laid and subsequently destroyed near Tetuan. Tamuda, whose rare ruins can still be seen on the south side of the Oued Martil, 4 kilometers southeast of the city, was founded by the Berbers in the third century BC and destroyed by the Romans in 42 AD.
The predecessor of Tetuan was built by the Merenides in 1307 on the same site where Medina is located today. Destroyed in 1399 by the Castilians, who raided North Africa.
The current city was founded in 1484 by Muslims and Jews fleeing the Christian conquest of Andalusia in southern Spain.
Jewish merchants, able to move freely between Muslim North Africa and Christian Europe, brought prosperity to the city, and the walls built in the seventeenth century under the leadership of Moulay Ismail defended the city for a long time.
Since then, Tetuan twice studied the Spaniards. He was briefly captured as an alleged threat to Ceuta, from 1859 to 1862. This is the period when Medina turned into a city with an almost European appearance and at that time rare full street lighting.
Then in 1913 a more serious colonial occupation began. Thetuan first served as a military garrison to subordinate Reef, later as the capital of the Spanish protectorate.
At the same time, it almost doubled in size, and it was here in 1936 that General Franco announced his military coup against the elected liberal socialist coalition government of Spain, thereby pushing Spain into a civil war.
After the declaration of independence of Morocco in 1956, Tetuan, along with the inner regions of the province, had to adapt to life essentially inside another state, in which the French dominated before gaining freedom. It even spilled over into anti-government riots in 1984.
Aware of the importance of increasing the loyalty of the rebellious region, the new King Mohammed VI visited the former Spanish protectorate almost immediately after he ascended the throne in 1999. He spent a lot of time here, participating in many meetings with regional leaders and ordinary citizens. With this gesture, he made it clear to Tetuan and its inhabitants that they were an integral part of Morocco. And he did it.
The study of Tetuan is best started with Hassan II Square - this is a place for walking and the former market square. Completely renovated in 1988, it boasts an extensive pedestrian area, minarets on every corner and the brand new Royal Palace, which replaced the old Spanish consulate and included parts of the nineteenth-century palace next door.
It is most convenient to get to Medina through Bab-Er-Roi (Gate of the Winds), an arch south of the Royal Palace. The lane on the right, right in front of the arch, leads to Al-Qods, Mellah's main street, the old Jewish quarter. This quarter was created back in 1807, when Jews were moved here from the area around the Grand Mosque.
Now there are very few Jews left in Mell. But despite this, many old synagogues have been preserved here, the oldest of which, Yitzhak Benahual of the eighteenth century, is still working.
Bazaars of Medina
Entering Medina through Bab Er Rua, you find yourself on the relatively wide Rue Terrafin Street, which crosses the entire city center right up to the eastern gates of Bab el Okla.
On the way from one gate to another, you will pass through a series of lanes that lead to most of the city’s food and craft markets.
Suk al-Houts is a small quarter located directly outside the territory of the Royal Palace, which is one of the most active and lively: in the morning fish is sold here, in the afternoon - meat and ceramics.
On the north side of Souq al-Houts is a small square of Guersa El Kebira. It mainly sells fabric and various textile products.
Also nearby are craft districts that sell various fruits of local artisans: copper and brass dishes and other items, famous grandmothers (pointed leather slippers) and carved wooden items.
If you have already visited Tetuan, be sure to leave a review in the comments. Our visitors will be interested to know your opinion about this city.
How to get there
Tetouan, as a transport hub in northern Morocco, can be easily reached by taxi or bus. Many tourists just drive past Tetuan when traveling from Ceuta or Tangier to Chefchaouen, but this city is worth lingering on and, if you have time, spend a couple of days there.
Transfer is also a good way to travel. The terrain along which the path will lie is quite picturesque; along the way you can admire the rural landscape. There are several taxi companies in Tangier that offer transfers to Tetouan, as well as day tours that should be booked in advance. It’s nice to drop into Tetuan on the way to Chefchaouen. Prices for a trip from Tangier to Tetuan may be different, but you should focus on a price of 100 euros for a day excursion and a price of 60 euros for a one-way transfer.
Tangier Taxi is located at: Morocco, Tangier, ul. California, d. 2 (2 Route California, Tangier, Morocco). Transfer, day trips and excursions to Tetuan. A little more expensive than a public taxi, but the price is reasonable. The cars are equipped with air conditioning, drivers speak English. A day trip to Tetuan from Tangier will cost 89 euros.
Medina (The Medina)
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike the medins of other Moroccan cities, the multinational history of northern Morocco left its mark on the Tetuan medina. It is difficult to get lost in the medina while walking around the city due to its small size. Medina is divided into three quarters: Andalusian, Jewish and Berber, which will be difficult to distinguish for an inexperienced traveler. Be sure to hire a guide to make the trip much more enjoyable.
Mohammed V Ave
The only street in the center, closed to vehicles. In the evenings, when the heat subsides, it becomes crowded. There are dozens of cafes, boutiques, restaurants, souvenir shops and street vendor stalls on Mohammed V Street. Further down the street you can find sellers of used books in different languages and a government palace.
- Restaurant Restinga.
- Restaurant Ali Baba.
- Restaurant El Reducto.
- Fast food restaurant Birjiss.
- Pannini Snack Bar is located at 5-6 Ave Mohammed Ben Aboud Avenue. A small snack bar where you can order sandwiches, choosing any filling for them: meat, vegetables, sauces, etc. Baguette sandwiches cost from 13 dirhams (small ones are cheaper), pannini costs 20 dirhams. 13 - 20 dirhams you will pay for a sandwich.
- Cafe Jenin.
- Restaurant Blanco Riad, located in the hotel at ul. Zawiya Kadiria 25 (25 rue Zawiya Kadiria), is not only open to guests. The restaurant offers a menu of three excellent local dishes for 160 dirhams.You need to book a table in advance, so if you want to have lunch in a restaurant, make sure that you have at least 30 minutes of free time. Phone 0539704202.
The Dallas Small Tea and Confectionery Shop sells a variety of sweets and pastries. Brownie costs 5 dirhams, croissants - 2 dirhams. A teapot of very sweet tea - 8 dirhams. In a small dark room in the back of the store, not only men, but also women are sitting.
One of the most famous local drinks is Za3Za3. This is something like a milk shake with avocado, banana, apple, almonds and other ingredients.
Security. What to watch out for
Be careful when buying a ticket at the bus station. Since some tourists just pass by, this is a popular place for scammers. When you buy a bus ticket, speak only with people at the racks, and not with those who are nearby. However, friends of many scammers can also work at the counter and help taxi drivers convince you to go with them, saying that there are no buses. Be persistent, show that you are ready to wait as long as necessary.
While some complain that there are some crooks in the city, others think Tetuan is a nice, wonderful place to make Moroccan friends, especially if you know Spanish.
How to get around the city
The CTM bus station, like the bus station not owned by this company, is located in the city center, which you need to climb along a rather steep slope.
The city center is quite small, but most of the attractions and hotels are located there, so there is no need to take a taxi. However, if you stayed in one of the hotels on the way to Martil, you can always get to the center at Grand (grand taxis) or Petite taxis. By the way, I usually look for hotels on booking here, and you can compare prices from different sites here. It happens that locals rent out private apartments to tourists, such offers can be found in this section of travellask.
Petit taxis are quite cheap, despite the fact that the price increases slightly if you are traveling with luggage.
The city has buses that run in different directions, but they are notorious for dirty salons and eternal delays.
At the end of Rue Moulay Abbas, you can easily catch a grand taxi to get to the nearby beaches: Martil, Cabo Negro, Ricon, Marina Smir and Kabila ( Kabila). The path lies through the park, you can admire the view of the Rif Mountains from the window. The price of a trip to Martil for one passenger is 5 dirhams, but if you need a little more space, pay for two seats.
If you need to go to less popular beaches, such as Marina Smir, or to beaches that you need to get to with a change, you can bargain with a driver to rent a taxi. This is usually more expensive, but comfort and time saved are worth it. Drivers like to pick up passengers in the evening from the beaches, thereby saving them time and effort.