Melilla, Spain The Newcomer's Guide to Melilla Mini Guide by Lauren Stevens

The purpose of this guide is to provide newcomers with practical information and to recommend places to go and things to do. It has been written for people who are planning to settle in Melilla for a significant amount of time, but can also be used by visitors and tourists.

 
You can fly to Melilla from Madrid, Málaga, Almería or Granada, but until you become a resident this is very expensive. It should cost about 5 euros to get to or from the airport by taxi during normal hours. The airport doesn't open until 7:00, so I wouldn't recommend arriving much earlier than that. It's cheaper to get to Melilla by flying to Nador (closeby in Morocco) and crossing the border, although this isn’t a particularly pleasant experience. If you have a residency card, you can get a certificate that entitles you to half price tickets for planes and boats. Go to the Ayuntamiento de Melilla (the town hall, just behind Plaza de España, on the corner of the end of the road leading to the sea from Plaza de las Cuatro Culturas). You will need your residency card, passport and house contract.

Melilla Airport

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Melilla Port

 
There are ferries from Málaga, Granada and Almería, but these tend to take a long time and can be expensive depending on the time of year. If you have a residency card, you can get a certificate that entitles you to half price tickets for planes and boats. Go to the Ayuntamiento de Melilla (the town hall, just behind Plaza de España, on the corner of the end of the road leading to the sea from Plaza de las Cuatro Culturas). You will need your residency card, passport and house contract.

Melilla Port

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Hotel Anfora

 
It's not always easy, reliable or cheap to find a place to live online (If you want to try, I would suggest http://www.milanuncios.com/), especially in a small place like Melilla. As Melilla is so small, information isn't always posted online and news is often spread by word of mouth or posters on the streets, so it's worth asking around. It may be easier to just book a hotel. Hotel Anfora is probably the most reasonable hotel in Melilla. If not, try the student residence.

Hotel Anfora

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Hotel TRYP Puerto

 
This is probably the most well-known hotel in Melilla. It is quite pricey, but has modern rooms and an incredible buffet breakfast. It is very close to the beach and the port.

Hotel TRYP Puerto

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Oficina de Extranjeria (Migrant Office)

 
This is where you go to get your residency card. Arrive early to queue because it opens at 9am and you probably won't get let in after 12pm. Expect to be queuing for several hours. Take the EX-18 form here to be processed, along with your passport and photocopies. Then take the 790 form to pay the fee at the bank. I would recommend BBVA, because there are several branches across the city and cuenta blue is a good account to have because its free for people under the age of 30.

Oficina de Extranjeria (Migrant Office)

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Ayuntamiento de Melilla (Town Hall)

 
If you have a residency card (which you can get from the Oficina de Extranjeria), you can get a certificate that entitles you to half price tickets for planes and boats. Go to the Ayuntamiento de Melilla. You will need your residency card, passport and house contract. Don't use the main entrance on Plaza de España, use the entrance on the corner of Avenida General Macías and Calle Pablo Vallesca.

Ayuntamiento de Melilla (Town Hall)

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source: Triposo

 
Melilla la Vieja is a large fortress which is north of the port in Melilla. It is probably the best spot to see the whole of Melilla by day or night; there is a panoramic photo point near the military museum. There are some interesting museums and art galleries and nice restaurants and bars around.

Melilla la Vieja

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Surrounded by monumental buildings such as the town hall, the Bank of Spain and the Casino Militar. There's a lovely water fountain and its a nice place to sit.

Plaza de España

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Plaza de las Cuatro Culturas (Four Cultures Square)

 
Named after the mix of cultures that exist in Melilla (Spanish Catholic, Moroccan Muslim, Jewish and Hindu), this square has a variety of bars and restaurants. There is also a pharmacy (where you can buy mosquito repelling bracelets, which I recommend for when it's hot!) and the tourist office.

Plaza de las Cuatro Culturas (Four Cultures Square)

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Oficina de Turismo (Tourist Office)

 
The tourist office has some information about events in the city, although not all of the staff speak good English. Here you can buy tickets for the tourist train for 3 euros, which usually leave 2 or 3 times a day when it's fairly warm and take you around Melilla la Vieja and the city centre.

Oficina de Turismo (Tourist Office)

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Parque Hernandez is a park near the centre with lovely plants and water fountains.

Parque Hernandez

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The border

 
This is the main border crossing into Morocco. I would really recommend visiting Morocco during your stay in Melilla, especially as accommodation, food and transport are all very cheap. Crossing the border is not the nicest experience, but it is worth it. People may try to sell you the papers you need to fill out, but don't buy them, because you can get them for free at the desk. Beni Ansar train station is close by, just go left at the roundabout opposite the border crossing. There is no ticket office, but you can buy your tickets on board (See http://www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx). There is also a nice train station with a ticket office in Nador, a nearby city. Go right at the roundabout and there is a taxi rank that locals use. A trip to Nador should cost 5-10 dirham if the cark is packed tight, but don't be surprised if you're charged more because you're foreign. In Morocco haggling for unfixed prices is normal. The trains are incredibly slow and it takes a long time to get to anywhere worth visiting, but there is a train hotel for long journeys. I especially recommend Fes, Marrakech and the desert.

The border

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Gastrobar Le Dillon's

 
This isn't a particularly busy or central place, but the tapas is amazing, the atmosphere is great and the staff are really friendly. This is one of the few places where it isn't too difficult to get vegetarian food. Sometimes they give you several free shots before you leave.

Gastrobar Le Dillon's

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Pizzeria Anthony

 
Probably the nicest restaurant in Melilla. Amazing stone baked pizzas, a little pricey, but an amazing atmosphere. It does get busy often.

Pizzeria Anthony

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Sala Manhattan

 
The night life in Melilla isn't up to much, but Manhattan is probably the most popular club. There are also several other bars and clubs around the port, which seems to be the main clubbing area.

Sala Manhattan

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La Cervecería

 
Really unique, nice decoration, delicious tapas, central location. Gets busy often.

La Cervecería

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A central location and one of the best bars in town.

Entrevinos

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Really nice views of the port, lovely at sunset. Great drinks and nice fish, which are a little pricey but large. Gets busy often.

La Pérgola

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Heladería California

 
Probably the best out of the few ice cream parlours in Melilla. A big variety of sizes and flavours and there's slush puppies (granizados) too! Only open from about May until the end of September.

Heladería California

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El Caracol Moderno II

 
A great variety of Moroccan cuisine. A bit pricey, but well decorated and excellent service. It doesn't look great from the outside and the entrance isn't that obvious. On the corner there is a run down entrance, but walk a little further down and you will find the much nicer main entrance.

El Caracol Moderno II

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Parque Forestal Juan Carlos I Rey

 
A large park with several parts and is separated by a road. One part has a animal area with tortoises, horses, birds, sheep and goats and a desert fox. The other part has a lake, river, playground and snack kiosk.

Parque Forestal Juan Carlos I Rey

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Los Pinos (The Pines)

 
A forest in the north near the border. It is great for barbecues or picnics and interesting because you can see the border itself. To get there it would be best to drive or take a taxi.

Los Pinos (The Pines)

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