Melilla is a colourful slice of Spain in the heart of North Africa. The autonomous city is perched on Cape Tres Forcas and will captivate you with its unique blend of history, culture and architecture. Relax in palm-framed plazas, swim in the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and eat your fill of tapas, tagine and churros.
Things to do in Melilla
All roads lead to Plaza de España. The palm-lined square is the beating heart of Melilla and is anchored by a bubbling fountain. Historic buildings frame the plaza and create a beautiful backdrop. Street vendors will tempt you with freshly brewed coffee and sugar-dusted “rosquillas” fried donuts.
Alongside Barcelona, Melilla boasts one of the largest collections of modernist buildings in the world. Walking around the city, you’ll see striking facades designed by Enrique Nieto, a former apprentice to Gaudi. You’ll find some of the most beautiful buildings, including Art Deco-inspired Palacio de la Asamblea, in the Golden Triangle district.
Ancient city walls encircle Melilla la Vieja. Also known as El Pueblo, the fortress dates to the 15th century and is built with beautiful, honey-coloured stone. Explore the stronghold before walking down to Playa de la Ensenada de los Galápagos. The beach is set at the foot of the cliffs and features shell-strewn sand and turquoise water.
Enjoy a fusion of Mediterranean, European, African and Indian flavours in Melilla. Tapas bars will tantalise you with dishes like grilled squid and fried fish, while staples like lamb kebabs and tagine with couscous echo the North African influence. Mix things up with local specialties like “pastel de pescador” fish pie and “tortilla de colores” Spanish egg omelette.
Getting around Melilla
Melilla is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Local buses are a fast and affordable way to get around or you can use taxis. Ferries sail between Melilla and Malaga on the Spanish mainland in seven hours. Melilla Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre.