Ceuta or Sebta in Arabic is a fascinating city located on the Northern coast of Morocco. It’s one of two Moroccan cities that are still under Spanish colonialism (the other one is Melilla).
Ceuta has a lot to offer travelers, from its beautiful beaches and rich history to its unique culture and cuisine.
This unique Moroccan city is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an exotic travel destination with a European flair. And there are plenty of things to do in Ceuta.
This guide will show you how to wade through the visa requirements, the best place to stay in the city, and most importantly help you make the most of your time there.
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A little bit about Ceuta’s history
Ceuta’s strategic location has made it a target for various empires throughout history. Ceuta’s long and rich history dates back to the Phoenicians. The city was later occupied by the Romans, the Vandals, and the Byzantines.
Ceuta was then conquered by the Moors in the eighth century and became an important stop on the trade route between Europe and Africa.
Later the city was ceded to Portugal in 1415 but was recaptured by Morocco in 1694. And after the Spanish colonization of Morocco, the city became of Spain’s strategic outposts in North Africa, and even after Morocco’s independence in 1956, Ceuta remained under Spanish rule.
Map of Ceuta Morocco
How to use this map? Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.
Is Ceuta worth visiting?
Definitely! Ceuta is a fascinating city in Morocco with a unique blend of cultures. The city has a large Spanish and Moroccan population, as well as minorities from Sub-Saharan Africa and India.
This cultural diversity is reflected in the food, music, and architecture of Ceuta. Ceuta is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, with its beaches, parks, and hiking trails.
The city is also home to several important landmarks. The Real Bateria de Santa Maria is an 18th-century fort located on a hill overlooking Ceuta, the Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Victoria is a beautiful baroque church built in the 17th century and of course the 16th-century walls that are among the best-preserved city walls in Morocco.
So, now that you know a little bit more about Ceuta, let’s get into the guide!
10 best things to do in Ceuta Morocco
There are plenty of things to see and do in Ceuta, so you’ll never find yourself bored. Here are some of the best things to do in Ceuta Morocco:
Royal Walls of Ceuta (The Murallas Reales)
Probably the most famous attraction in the whole city of Ceuta, The Murallas Reales (Royal Walls of Ceuta) is definitely a must-see. I can think you can avoid them as they are in the heat of the city.
These 16th-century walls are among the best-preserved city walls in Morocco. The walls stretch for over three kilometers and there are several gates, including the Puerta de Africa, which is the main entrance to Ceuta.
The Murallas Reales is a great place to get a panoramic view of Ceuta. You can also visit the Plaza de Armas fortress, which is located inside the walls. There are also two restaurants
Ceuta has several beaches that are perfect for a day of relaxation or for enjoying the water sports Ceuta has to offer. Playa de la Ribera is Ceuta’s main beach and it’s a great place to swim, sunbathe, or try your hand at windsurfing. Or Playa del Chorillo is a smaller beach located in Ceuta’s old town.
Playa El Tarajal is another beach that’s popular with Ceuta locals. This beach borders Morocco so you may get a glimpse of Ceuta’s rightful owner.
Ceuta port (Puerto de Ceuta)
Whenever I travel to coastal cities, I love to walk around the port area. There’s something about the hustle, bustle, and the smell of the docks that I find fascinating.
The Puerto de Ceuta is a great place to watch the ships come in and out of Ceuta. You can also find some great restaurants and cafes with views of the port.
And if you are coming to Ceuta through Spain, the Puerto de Ceuta is where the ferry from Algeciras arrives.
Fort of El Desnarigado in Mount Hacho
The Fortress of El Desnarigado is an 18th-century fort located on the southern front of Mount Hacho overlooking the city of Ceuta. The fort was built by the Spanish to protect Ceuta from attacks by the Moors.
Well placed on a strategic hill location, the Fortress of El Desnarigado offers stunning views of Ceuta and its surroundings. The fort is now a military museum where you can learn about the history of Ceuta and see some interesting exhibits.
Park San Amaro
Nature lovers like me will enjoy a visit to Park San Amaro. This is Ceuta’s largest park and it’s a great place to take a stroll, have a picnic, or just relax in the shade of the trees.
The park is also home to Ceuta’s botanical gardens, which are definitely worth a visit. The gardens have a large collection of cactus plants, as well as other succulents and desert plants.
House of Dragons (Casa de los Dragones)
The House of Dragons (Casa de Los Dragones) is a 16th-century mansion that was once the home of Ceuta’s governor. The house gets its name from the four dragons that stand guard on top of the building.
The original dragons were actually made of bronze but they were removed in the 20th century and got lost (Probably sold in the black market :p) and then in 2006 fiberglass replicas were made and put back in their place.
Take a Day Trip to Tangier
Ceuta is a great base for exploring the surrounding area. Tangier city in Morocco which is located just across the Strait of Gibraltar makes for an excellent day trip.
Be sure to visit Tangier’s medina, which is one of the largest and most well-preserved medieval city centers in Morocco.
Before you leave Ceuta, be sure to check your visa requirement to enter Morocco.
Visit Ceuta’s Museums
Ceuta is home to several museums that are worth checking out. The Museo de la Ciudad de Ceuta is an excellent museum that covers the history of the city from its Phoenician origins to the present day.
The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo is Ceuta’s main art museum, and it features a wide variety of contemporary art from Morocco and Spain.
Shop at Ceuta’s Market
Ceuta is known for its markets, which sell everything from spices to leather goods. The Mercado Central is Ceuta’s main market, and it’s where you’ll find the best selection of goods. If you’re looking for souvenirs, head to the Mercado de Artesanía, where you’ll find a wide variety of handmade crafts.
Sample Ceuta’s Cuisine
Ceuta’s cuisine is a mix of Moroccan and Spanish influences. One of the most popular dishes in Ceuta is cocido sebta, a stew made with chickpeas, beef, and vegetables.
If you’re looking for something sweet, try alfajor de Ceuta, a type of shortbread cookie filled with almond paste.
How to get to Ceuta Morocco from Spain
The fastest way to get to Ceuta Morocco from Europe is through Spain. The Ceuta-Algeciras ferry route is operated by FRS Iberia and the journey takes around 45 minutes.
Ceuta is also accessible by air via the Ceuta Heliport, which has flights to and from Melilla, Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia. This means you can spend a day exploring Ceuta and once you are done, you can take a quick flight to enjoy Barcelona’s attractions.
How to get to Ceuta from Morocco
Visiting Ceuta from Morocco is very easy. You just need to go to Fnideq which is the small town bordering Ceuta. If you are in Tangier you can take a taxi or bus to Fnideq and from there you walk or drive (if you have a car) to the borders of Ceuta.
The process of crossing may take a while depending on how busy the border is. If you are walking, you should not have a problem as long as you are allowed to visit (depending on your nationality).
Anyone who needs a Schengen visa to visit Europe will need to apply for one before they go as Ceuta is part of the Schengen area.
We never tried it, but I have heard that taking crossing with your car may be a bit of a hassle. Fist because of the long waiting line ad second because of all the requirements a car needs to have in order to be allowed to Ceuta (given the car is registered with a Moroccan license plate)
These requirements may include having special insurance for Ceuta, so if you are planning on driving to Ceuta it is best to do some research beforehand or ask your rental company if they offer this service.
Best time to visit Ceuta Morocco
The best time to visit Ceuta is from June to September when the weather is warm and sunny. However, Ceuta can be visited year-round as the city has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers.
Where to stay in Ceuta Morocco
Ceuta is a very small city, and most of the accommodation is located in the city center. If you are planning on staying a night or two in Ceuta, we recommend booking a hotel in the city center.
If you want a hotel close to the beach, Ulises hotel is a good one to go for as Ribera Beach is just a few minutes’ walk only. The four-star hotel has a pool, good-sized rooms, yummy breakfast, and plenty of things to do around.
Also close to Ribera beach, Ceuta Puerta de Africa is a lovely modern hotel to stay in when visiting Ceuta. It enjoys the proximity of many popular attractions in the city including The Mediterranean Marine Nature Reserve and the port.
Parador de Ceuta boasts amazing views of the Mediterranean, Antísima Iglesia Cathedral and the Town Hall. The four-star hotel is located in a privileged spot in Ceuta, attached to Ceuta’s old Royal Walls. If you are staying in this hotel you can literally walk straight to your booked room from the ferry terminal.
On the budget-friendly side, Hostal Plaza Ruiz is a great option. Situated in Ceuta’s city center near the museum. The staff is super helpful and the value for money is excellent.
What to wear in Ceuta Morocco
Ceuta is a Spanish city, so the dress code is relatively casual like many other European cities.
What to eat in Ceuta Morocco
Ceuta’s cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Moroccan, and African influences. Seafood is a staple of Ceuta’s cuisine due to the city’s location on the coast. Popular Ceuta seafood dishes to try include fried fish, and paella.
Ceuta Quick FAQs
- Is Ceuta a Moroccan or Spanish city: Ceuta is a Moroccan city occupied by Spain.
- What currency is used in Ceuta: Ceuta’s currency is Euro
- Do you need an EU Visa to enter Ceuta: If you are allowed to enter Europe visa-free then you don’t need a visa to Enter Ceuta.
- Do Moroccans need a visa to enter Ceuta: Yes, Moroccans need a Schengen visa to enter Ceuta.
- Can I enter Ceuta from Morocco: Yes, you can enter Ceuta from Morocco if you meet the visa requirements.
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