Tetouan, sometimes known by the nickname “the white dove” for its overall white appearance and for its affinity with Spanish culture, is a city in northern Morocco with a population of over 300,000 inhabitants.
It is characterized by having three clearly differentiated areas, each with its own style: on the one hand the medina, on the other the Ensanche outside the medina and finally the outskirts of the city.
Its medina is whitewashed and with narrow alleyways where the only means of transport is animals. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Its picturesque style, clearly reminiscent of traditional Andalusian architecture, contrasts with that of the Ensanche, with its straight lines in a Spanish colonial style. This also serves as a link between the medina and the contemporary outskirts of the city.
Its many cultural buildings, such as the Royal Palace, the School of Arts and Crafts, and the Ethnographic Museum make it an interesting place to discover.
The thing that makes Tetouan stand out most among Moroccan cities is its continuing connection to Spain, not only reflected in the Spanish you’ll see on some signs, but also in the influence of Spanish architecture on its streets.
Therefore, we can consider Tetouan a city of great contrasts and different areas, where in a single step we can go from the chaos of the medina to the clarity of the architecture of the Ensanche, all filled with various cultural buildings and a marked Spanish influence.
Its climate is characterized by mild temperatures throughout the year. In summer, although the temperature goes up, you won’t feel too hot because of the sea breeze from the Mediterranean.
Therefore, you can travel to Tetouan at any time with light clothing (only a jacket for the day and a coat for the night in the winter months). At the end of autumn there is some probability of rain (around 30%), so carry a small umbrella.
Tetouan has an airport, although it does not have many flight options. A nearby option with more possibilities is the Tangier Airport. From there it’s 60 kilometers (40 miles) to Tetouan on a good road, so it only takes 45 minutes to get there.
The most comfortable thing is to go by private taxi from the airport, with a price that should be around 300 dirhams.
Another option is to fly into a more central airport with more international traffic, such as Casablanca or Marrakech, and from there to head to Tetouan (roadway options are detailed in the following section).
There are very good transportation options to Tetouan from the rest of the main destinations in the country. The most common option is to take one of the available buses, which are linked to many surrounding cities but are not usually very regular and rarely on-time, so don’t be in a hurry if you plan to take a bus.
We can’t end this section without talking about trains. Currently, the closest station is located 60 kilometers (40 miles) away (although it has many connections with other train stations in the country), so for the final stretch we recommend you take a taxi.