6 things to do

Overshadowed by neighboring Chefchaouen with its pristine blue walls, Tetouan is rarely on tourists’ radar. Indeed, it may lack the accommodation and dining options of Chefchaouen, but the gleaming whitewashed medina with the backdrop of the Rif Mountains is just as beautiful. Plus, the town’s strong Spanish influence makes it particularly appealing, and families will appreciate the long stretch of sand and warm Mediterranean Sea at Martil, just 10 minutes away by car.

So what to do in Tetouan with children? Well, read on…

1. Eat pancakes near a Spanish cathedral

Tetouan is perhaps the only Moroccan city with a Spanish Roman Catholic cathedral at its center, whose bells ring on the hour. The warm yellow walls of Church of Bacturia Browse Place Moulay El Mehdiand on the other side of the roundabout are large buildings also recalling the Spanish history of the city.

Just across the road Church of Bacturia are a few cafes serving ice cream and pancakes. A good place for kids to refuel before going to play at Feddan Park.

2. Play at Feddan Park

Playground in Feddan Park in Tetouan

This beautiful open space at the foot of the medina is a popular meeting place for locals. The view of the whitewashed buildings perched on the hillside is stunning.

You will find a good playground for the little ones, including swings, a climbing frame and two trampolines. There is a small supplement to use the playground (we paid 15 DH for two children, with no time limit).

Next to the playground is a café serving hot and cold drinks, as well as snacks. It’s a great place for parents to sit and catch up while your kids burn off some energy in the playground.

3. Walk through the medina

The old medina of Tetouan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you ascend and descend its narrow steps, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’s one of the best medinas in Morocco for kids to explore as it’s moped-free, relatively quiet, and very few street vendors. Compared to the medina of Marrakech with children, it’s a dream!

There are a lot of stairs and steep alleys through the medina. So to get the most out of your visit to the medina with children, take a taxi to the viewpoint at the top of the medina. The views over Tetouan here are incredible.

Then descend on foot to the Kasbah by the road. To the left of the Kasbah is another beautiful viewpoint, and children will enjoy the grassy bank to play. Then continue through the medina to the right, taking steep steps and tiny alleyways, finally reaching the souk at the very bottom and Feddan Park.

4. Play along the Corniche

Descend towards the Corniche Oued Martil. Here there are small electric cars for young children (5DH per 5 minutes) and a few playgrounds also for young children.

electric cars at the corniche of Tetouan

For older children there is a basketball/soccer court.

It’s also a nice open space for a walk in the evening.

5. Admire the view from the hills across the river

Take a grand taxi to cross the river and up into the hills to Parque Ain Boenan. Use this Google Map point. Here there are a few local cafes to admire the view. But we recommend going up in the woods behind, following the small path (ask a local to point you in the right direction). The trail runs alongside the road and up into the trees, with the road on your left.

Children will love playing in the woods and climbing the rocks. It’s a short walk to a good vantage point from where you can even look out over Spain and Gibraltar on a clear day.

It’s also a great vantage point for the sunset.

6. Go to the beach

If you need to escape the heat of the city, or just need a big space for the kids to play, hop in a Grand Taxi (30 DH, but you’ll probably be quoted 60 DH from Tetouan ) from the city center to Martil Plage (the Grand Taxis are the blue cars). Perched on the Mediterranean Sea, a long stretch of sand and calm waters awaits.

The sea here is much gentler than the eastern coast of Morocco, like in Essaouira or Casablanca, and beautifully clear. The beach is reasonably clean.

It’s a very local beach and you’re very unlikely to see any western tourists. The ladies here swim in their abayas and hijabs, but moms, you’ll be fine swimming in a normal cossie (maybe leave the thong at home and don’t go topless). The local men are all wearing swim shorts so no problem for the dads there.

Head toward Cafe El Dorado for pizzas, panins, crepes and ice cream with excellent service and a beautiful view of the beach.

Where to eat in Tetouan with children

The restaurant choices in Tetouan are rather disappointing and perhaps reflect how few foreign tourists visit. There are a plethora of local fast food restaurants and tearooms with men (rarely women) sitting outside drinking tea and watching the world go by.

However, there are a few restaurants worth checking out. These include pomegranate coffee near Feddan park playground and also Restinga, which is located in a shady courtyard off the main pedestrian street, and also serves alcohol. There is also diamondd on the main road out of town.

Vegetarians, and most certainly vegans, can struggle in Tetouan. However, if you are independent, there is a Carrefour supermarket on the outskirts of Tetouan.

Accommodation in Tetouan with children

The lack of foreign tourists in Tetouan also means that there are few good accommodations, especially for families.

We stayed at this Airbnb. The hosts are extremely charming and the three bed apartment is spacious and airy. There is a good kitchen (like Moroccan kitchens), ok WIFI, a washing machine and even a bathtub. However, there is no air conditioning, so in the morning we closed the shutters to keep the apartment cool, and traffic from the road below can be noisy.

But it’s a great space, well located for exploring the city, and the views from the master bedroom balcony of the Rif mountains on one side and Tetouan’s medina on the other are incredible.

Sunset in Tetouan

Getting around Tetouan

If you are based in the city center it is quite easy to get around on foot. However, if you want to go up to the Kasbah and don’t feel like climbing, or if you want to head towards Carrefour, hop in a Petits Taxi.

Petit Taxis are yellow taxis and drivers must use the meter. But the downside is that they are legally only allowed to take 3 passengers. So if you are a family of four plus you need to take two.

To travel further, such as to Martil Beach, you must take a Grand Taxi, which are the slightly larger blue taxis. There are Grand Taxi stations dotted around the city. Just ask a local to point you in the right direction. There is a fixed price for the journeys.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Tetouan with Kids

If you’re short on time for your Morocco adventures with kids, Tetouan is unlikely to make the cut. But if you have the time and are looking to venture away from the tourists (and perhaps an alternative to Chefchaouen), we highly recommend a visit to Tetouan with kids.

Accommodation and dining options are lacking, but the quiet medina, interesting Spanish influence, and fun play areas for kids more than make up for that.

You may also like to read:
Casablanca with children: top things to do and tips
How to spend a day in Rabat with children
Chefchaouen with Kids: The Best Things to Do in Morocco’s Blue City

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