Tetouan Sights: Guide to Tetouan Tourist Attractions
The main sight in Tetouan is its neat Medina, a Unesco World Heritage site. Quite unlike other medinas in Morocco, it has a strong aristocratic Andalusian imprint more akin to the old Arab quarters of Cordoba and Seville.
The town has also the usual mix of lively souks and craft shops for the avid shopper. The local specialty is leather work and elaborately carved and painted wood
The other sights worth exploring are the different museums showcasing traditional crafts, ethnographic objects and archaeological exhibits from the Roman ruins of Lixus.
The present Medina of Tetouan was built by Jewish and Muslim refugees from Andalusia in 1484. This is well illustrated in the art and architecture of houses and monuments in the medina which have a strong Andalusian influence.
Unlike other Moroccan medinas, the details in the houses reflect a rich aristocratic tradition. In fact, the tiled lintels, wrought-iron balconies and extravagant interior details have a lot in common with the old Moorish quarters of Cordoba or Seville.
Despite subsequent conquests of the town, the medina has remained largely intact and one of the most complete in Morocco.
Inside the Medina proper are most of Tetouan’s food and crafts souks.
The Souk el Hout is one of the most active. It is a small square dedicated largely to fish and meat, with a smattering of local pottery stalls.
Guersa el Kbira is the main textile and cloth souk with an array of stalls selling local clothes. One of the most characteristic is the so called “foutah” – a cloak or skirt made of rug-like cotton worn by local Berber Riffian women.
Most of the craft shops are situated in Rue el Jarrazin and focus on the tourist trade. They sell everything from the local babouches, famed Moroccan leather slippers, to elaborately carved and painted wood.
The Moroccan Art Museum
The Moroccan Art Museum in Tetouan has an impressive collection of traditional crafts and objects. The most interesting is enamelled tiled mosaics called “zellij” specific to Tetouan. In fact, unlike the designs of Fez, the tiles are cut before being fired: a technique owing much to the Andalusian heritage of Tetouan.
The museum is open from 10:00 – 11:00 and 15:00 – 18:00 Mondays to Fridays. Admission in 10dh.
The Ensemle Artisanal
The Ensemble Artisanal, just outside the Medina, is collection of displays and exhibits of local craftsworking. There is a fascinating array of every craft you could come across in Tetouan: carpet and embroidery, musical instruments, basketry, metalwork and much more.
It you’re shopping in Tetouan’s souks, it is a good idea to visit the Ensemble Artisanal to assess prices and quality before making a purchase.
Open 9:00 – 13:00 and 15:30 – 18:00 Mondays to Saturdays.