Shutterstock / Viliam.M


Who would expect to find hundreds of modernist buildings, the second-largest such collection outside Barcelona, in North Africa? Yet here they are, along with one perfectly preserved medieval fortress, several fascinating museums and a wealth of tapas bars. The result is Melilla, a great place to spend the weekend.

Along with Ceuta, Melilla is one of two autonomous Spanish cities on the Moroccan coast. Its economy is rooted in cross-border commerce, and its population nearly equally divided between Spanish Christian and Berber Muslim, giving a strongly multicultural atmosphere. The enclave is tightly fenced and at the forefront of Spain's efforts to prevent sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees from the Syrian and Libyan conflicts entering the European Union.

Melilla is very easy on the traveler, and tourist infrastructure is excellent. While ferry-loads of visitors pour in during summer, in the low season you’ll have plenty of breathing room.

Explore Melilla

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Melilla.


Learn more about Melilla

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.