Tetouan Travel Guide

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For People Coming into Morocco through Ceuta, Tetouan is Most likely to be there first encounter with Morocco. Take a deep breath when you get out of the bus, because you will be besieged. Students and touts will try to get your attention, try to make you buy hashish and pickpockets are never far away. The people of Tetouan have a reputation of being influenced by the aggressive mentality of the Rif Berber tribes and thus the tourist hustlers seem even more assertive. Once you’ve gotten used to Moroccan street life, it can be a very rewarding city.

It’s a shame to just change buses here, because the medina is filled with beautifully white-washed and tiled buildings. It may be wise to employ an official guide from the tourist office to lead you through the medina. The tourist office is at 30 Rue Mohammed V. Much like Tangier and Chefchaouen, the architecture of the medina is dominated by an Hispanic influence, as it was built by Muslim refugees from Spain in the 15th century. The Mellah, or Jewish quarter, is an interesting place (south of the Place Hassan II on the Rue de la Luneta) with its tall, square houses and iron balconies with ornately decorated windows. The fascinating, winding disorder of the Andalucian medina contrasts well with the grandeur of the Spanish new town. 

Tetouan guides and taxi drivers are widely known to be informative and friendly. In fact, many of them think of themselves as unofficial ambassadors for their Country. many of the licensed taxi drivers are also excellent tour guides- Please Contact one of the excellent Tetouan Guides and Taxi drivers at: essentialmorocco@gmail.com to Set up your information tour of Tetouan before you arrive on the beautiful City of Tetouan.

The impressive and formal buildings built by the Spanish in the early 20th Century are set on broad streets and very easily navigated. Most of the hotels, banks and restaurants can be found here. The ramparts (the city walls) can be admired by walking down Avenue Hassan II, just below the bus station. There is a garden beneath the walls and a craft school (Ecole de Metiers d’Arts Traditionnels) opposite the Bab El Okla. Do not miss a tour around the Center where you can see traditional Crafts being taught like the Making of tiles and carpet-weaving. There is also a Folk Museum (Musee Ethnographique) south of the Bab el-Okla where there is a beautiful collection of Andalucian Jewish and Islamic embroidery and rooms displaying Pictures and Costumes of traditional Marriage Ceremonies.

There is a reasonable beach town 10 km from Tetouan Called Martil. Martil has a couple of waterfront cafes. There is a train station in Tetouan where you can get to most major destinations, the bus station is a bit frightening with buses downstairs and tickets upstairs. A grand taxi can be a good mode of transport to get to Tangiers or Chefchaouen after a bit of haggling.

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November 16, 2007 change by lbartes (1 point)