Tetouan – the white city of Morocco: attractions, history of origin, how to get there

Tetouan

Tetouan is a city located in Mediterranean Morocco.

How to get there

As a transportation hub in northern Morocco, Tetouan is easily accessible by cab or bus. Many tourists only pass through Tetouan on their way from Ceuta or Tangier to Chefchaouen, but it is worth spending a few days there if you have the time.

A transfer is also a good way to get around. The area is picturesque and you can admire the countryside along the way. There are several cab companies in Tangier that offer transfers to Tetouan, as well as day trips, which should be booked in advance. It is not bad to stop in Tetouan on the way to Chefchaouen. Prices for a trip from Tangier to Tetouan may vary, but you should aim for 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 2 Route California, Tangier, Morocco. Transfers, day trips and excursions to Tetouan. Slightly more expensive than a public cab, but the price is reasonable. The cars are air conditioned and the drivers speak English. A day trip to Tetouan from Tangier will cost 89 euros.

By plane

When it’s in season. When best to go

Tetouan has the usual Mediterranean climate: summers are hot and dry and winters mild. Summer has an average temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, while winter has a comfortable temperature of 22 degrees.

Tetouan – Monthly weather

Main attractions. What to see

The Medina

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike other medinas in Morocco, the medina in Tetouan is imprinted with the multinational history of northern Morocco. It is difficult to get lost in the medina during a walk through the city thanks to its small size. The medina is divided into three quarters: Andalusian, Jewish and Berber, which inexperienced travelers will be difficult to distinguish. Be sure to hire a guide for a much more enjoyable trip.

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Mohammed V Ave

The only street in the center that is closed for cars. It gets very busy in the evenings when the heat goes down. Mohammed V Street has dozens of cafes, boutiques, restaurants, souvenir shops and stalls of street vendors. Further down the street you will find second-hand book vendors in various languages and a government palace.

Food What to Try

Recommended places

  • Restinga Restaurant.
  • Ali Baba Restaurant.
  • El Reducto Restaurant.
  • Birjiss fast food restaurant.
  • Pannini Diner located at 5-6 Mohammed Ben Aboud Avenue (Ave Mohammed Ben Aboud). A small diner where you can order sandwiches with a choice of toppings: meat, vegetables, sauces, etc. Baguette sandwiches cost from AED 13 (small ones are cheaper), pannini costs AED 20. 13 – 20 dirhams you will pay for a sandwich.
  • Cafe Jenin.
  • The Blanco Riad, located at 25 rue Zawiya Kadiria (25 rue Zawiya Kadiria), is not only open to guests. The restaurant offers a three course set menu of delicious local food for AED 160. Reservations are required so if you want to dine in advance, make sure you have at least 30 minutes to spare. Phone 0539704202.

The small Dallas tea and pastry store sells many sweets and pastries. Brownies cost 5 dirhams, croissants are 2 dirhams. A teapot of very sweet tea is 8 dirhams. In the small, dark hall at the back of the store, not only men, but also women are seated.

Drinks

One of the most famous local drinks is Za3Za3. It is a kind of milk shake with avocado, banana, apple, almonds and other ingredients.

Safety. What to watch out for

Be careful when you buy your ticket at the bus station. Since some tourists are just passing through, this is a popular place for scammers. When you buy a bus ticket, only talk to the people behind the counters, not those nearby. However, friends of many scammers may also work behind the counter and help cab drivers convince you to go with them by telling you that there are no buses. Be persistent and show that you are willing to wait as long as it takes.

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While some complain that the city is full of crooks, others find Tetouan a nice, wonderful place to make Moroccan friends, especially if you know Spanish.

What to do

At the top of the hill is an old fortress that overlooks the mountains and the city. It can be visited if you need to kill a few hours.

How to get around the city

The CTM bus terminal, as well as the non-CTM bus terminal, are in the center of town, which is reached by climbing a steep hill.

The city center is quite small, but most of the attractions and hotels are there, so there is no need to take a cab. However, if you are staying in one of the hotels on your way to Martil, you can always get to the center by Grand (grand taxis) or Petite cabs (petite cabs). By the way, I usually look for hotels on the hotel bookings here, and you can compare prices from different sites here. It happens, the locals rent private apartments for tourists, the offers can be found here.

Petite cabs are quite cheap, even though the price goes up slightly if you’re traveling with luggage.

There are buses that run to various destinations in the city, but they are notorious for dirty cabs and perpetual delays.

At the end of Rue Moulay Abbas you can easily catch a Grand Taxi to reach nearby beaches: Martil, Cabo Negro, Ricon, Marina Smir and Kabila. The way goes through the park, you can admire the view of the Rif Mountains. The fare to Martil is AED 5 per passenger but if you need a bit more room, pay for two seats.

If you need to go to less popular beaches, such as Marina Smir, or beaches you have to transfer to, you can negotiate with the driver to rent a cab. It’s usually more expensive, but the comfort and time saved is worth it. Drivers like to pick up passengers in the evening from the beaches, thereby saving them time and effort.

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