A million or so people call Tangier in Morocco, a sizable port city in northern Morocco, home. The Strait of Gibraltar, which separates it from Spain’s southern shore, is so small in this region that Tangier can be seen from Europe’s coast.
The city of Tangier in Morocco is typically split into four sections: the Medina, the historic core where historical structures and defenses have been preserved; the New City; the Malabata neighborhood; and the upscale Montagne neighborhood, home to one of the royal residences.
Due to its geographic location and extensive history, Tangier in Morocco is a multicultural city that is home to numerous enclaves, the largest of which are European.
Because it enables you to combine a beach vacation on the Mediterranean coast, discover the culture of the enigmatic Arab nation, and visit historical landmarks, Tangier is particularly popular with tourists.
Ways to travel to Tangier
Tangier in Morocco can be reached in a number of methods, including by ferry, overland vehicle, and airplane.
in a plane
Ibn Battuta Airport in Tangier in Morocco is a local airport that is 15 kilometers from the city center. Both domestic and international scheduled flights are accepted at the airport. There are no nonstop flights from Moscow; the flight takes 8 to 10 hours and connects at Madrid or Barcelona. Direct flights are available from Moscow to Agadir, from whence you can take a bus or train to Tangier.
You can take a taxi or, more conveniently, a pre-arranged shuttle from the airport to the hotel. A cab ride will set you back 200–250 dirhams (about 25 euros).
Almost every Moroccan city has a train station that connects to Tangier in Morocco. The ONCF, Morocco’s national train company, maintains a webpage where you may obtain precise information regarding departure times and prices (Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc). In Morocco, it is not common to follow a strict timetable, so it is preferable to arrive at the station sooner rather than later because the train may go much earlier but may also cause a delay.
With a train, you may travel in 4 hours from Rabat, the kingdom’s capital, to Tangier in Morocco for roughly 100 dirhams.
In Tangier, there are two train stations:
- In the heart of the city is Tanger Ville.
- Chang Morora
In Morocco, there are bus connections between all of the major cities. As a result, from any city, you can travel to Tangier in Morocco by intercity bus.
The Tangier bus station, which is situated in the heart of the city next to the Souria Mosque, is where intercity buses arrive.
Ferries to Tangier are available from Spain, France, and Italy. The ferry ride across the strait takes an hour and costs about 35 to 40 euros from the Spanish city of Tarifa.
When to snooze in Tangier
It is best to wait until May to visit Tangier for a beach vacation. May is a sunny month, and the sea temperature rises to a pleasant level. The swimming season gradually comes to an end, the sea cools, and the weather turns windy around the end of September and the beginning of October. Tangier does not permit swimming in the winter, but the season is ideal for touring, taking long walks and bike rides, and visiting museums. You may save a ton of money on your trip because prices are so much lower in the fall and winter.
Tangier neighborhoods. a place to live
Tangier as a tourist can be categorized into two categories:
- Medina is the city’s historic core, where visitors may stroll through winding lanes lined with modest homes and explore the Kasbah, an old military stronghold. You can stay at a modest private hotel or guesthouse in Medina.
- Between Avenue Mohammed VI and Avenue Mohammed V, near the coastline, sits the Ville Nouvelle Cultural Center. The ideal area to reside in Ville Nouvelle is in the center since you can walk to the beach and all the amenities are nearby. A hotel room or an apartment can be rented.
Beaches in Tangier
- From the harbor to the hotel district in the Malabat neighborhood, Tangier Beach, a city beach, covers the length of the entire city. The beach is incredibly long and wide, so there is always room, and it is never crowded. Although there are rental umbrellas and chairs available during the busiest tourist season, the beach is practically bereft of infrastructure, including restrooms and changing facilities. Soccer and beach volleyball courts are available, and camel rides are available. Numerous hotels, cafes, restaurants, and shops line the shore. Locals frequently crowd the municipal beach. Remember that Morocco is a Muslim nation with strong regulations, so lounging on the beach in a bikini and a topless bra is not advised. Furthermore, bathing suits are not permitted outside the beaches. Respecting another country’s laws and regulations is important.
- West of the harbor, in a canyon, lies a small, secluded sandy beach called Merkala Beach. From the center, a cab is available.
- Achakar is a town on the Atlantic Ocean outside of the city, 12–15 miles from Tangier. A lot of locals visit this wild, beautiful, isolated beach on the weekends. The sand is superb and fine. There are numerous eateries covered in a canopy across the street from the beach where you can get cheap food. Taxis are the best mode of transportation from Tangier to the beach. The ride costs 10 dirhams per person and takes around 15-20 minutes. They continue to park in the area close to the Garden of Iberia.
Transportation in Tangier
The most practical mode of transportation in Tangier is the taxi. The largest of the city’s cab companies, Petit Taxi, operates compact, turquoise-colored automobiles. The cars have meters; a trip will cost no less than 5 dirhams and no more than 20 dirhams at the most, allowing access to any location within the city. If the direction is the same, the driver might add another passenger. Such compact autos can only accommodate three passengers.
There is also a used Mercedes-based taxi service called Grand Taxi. Compared to tiny cars, the fare in such a cab is significantly higher. On the bright side, such a car may accommodate six or eight people. Therefore, a large corporation may profit from it considerably more.
The bus system Tangier in Morocco is rather well-developed. In the city and surrounding areas of Tangier, there are frequent ALSA buses that can be taken everywhere. It costs 3.5 dirhams. Additionally, walk minibuses, which operate on some routes instead of buses, will cost 4 dirhams to ride.
Things to Do in Tangier
Although Tangier in Morocco does not have many attractions, the size of the city itself will appeal to those who enjoy taking long treks through new places.
It is a labyrinth of old, winding alleyways with tiny, close-knit buildings.
- The Tangier airport is named after Ibn Battouta, the most well-known Moroccan traveler of the 14th century, whose tomb may be found here (Tombeau d’Ibn Battouta). He was born in Tangier and managed to tour the globe during his life.
- the Grand Souk, a market in the city where you can buy native foods, fruits, spices, cosmetics, apparel, footwear, and mementos.
- The Portuguese constructed the Kasbah Fortress atop Tangier’s highest point in the 18th century as a defensive structure. The fortification is encircled by a substantial, impenetrable wall. A mosque and the sultan’s palace are located inside the fortification.
The historic Bab el Assa gate, which was constructed under Portuguese administration, leads to the castle of Kasbah. There is a viewing platform right next to the gate from which you can see Gibraltar and the Iberian Peninsula.
The Sultan’s garden encircles the Kasbah Museum (Musée de la Kasbah), which is situated on Kasbah Square. There is a 1 dirham entry fee.
(Musée des Arts Marocains et des Antiquités) Museum of Moroccan Art and Antiquities.
The Saint Andrew’s Church
a 19th-century Anglican church constructed for the English residents of Tangier. Both Christian and Moorish architectural styles are present in the magnificent structure. Similar to mosque art, the interior of the dome is decorated with quotations from the Gospel. When there are no services, you can visit the church and have a close look at it.
Palace of Dar el Makhzen
The palace, an ancient white structure in the Arabian style with carved slender columns and arches, is situated in Tangier’s main plaza. The palace’s interior walls are decorated with oriental patterns and are lined with mosaics. The floor and ceiling are covered with vivid Moroccan tiles, and there are stunning marble fountains. The Sultan’s Palace and private mosque are right next to the Dar el-Mahzen Palace. There is a vast collection of national attire, antique carpets, weapons, and household artifacts at the palace-museum.
This mosque, which is the main one still in use Tangier in Morocco, is distinguished by a tall tower that can be seen from practically everywhere in the city. The location of the mosque was not chosen by accident; the site formerly housed a Hercules temple built by the Romans, a Catholic church, and now a mosque.
Forrest of Mendoubia
a historic park that may be found in the city’s north. There are many different types of trees, exotic flowers, and roses in the well-kept park. The dragon tree, which is the park’s major plant and is said to be more than 800 years old, is where the ghost of a wicked king of Tangier from the 13th century is said to be resting.
Socco Square in Grand
It is Tangier’s main central square and on Thursdays and Sundays, it plays host to the largest market in the city, bringing together sellers and consumers from all around Tangier and its surroundings. The Sultan issued a call for the nation to struggle for its independence on this area in 1947.
Museum of Old American Legation
Tangier’s museum and cultural hub is on Rue d’Amerique, not far from the Old Town. James Monroe, the fifth American president, received the building as a gift in 1821 from Sultan Moulay Salaiman. The only American national monument present outside of the country is this museum. The American Consulate once occupied the structure.
You may find out more about how the United States contributed to the history of Morocco in the museum and view old letters, maps, and pictures. Modern Moroccan art exhibitions are held in other rooms. This location frequently hosts academic conferences and government grant ceremonies. A guided tour costs 50 dirhams in addition to the 20 dirham entrance fee.
(Musee d’Art Moderne) Museum of Modern Art
situated inside the previous British Consulate. The artwork of contemporary Moroccan artists is displayed in halls.
Hotel Grand Villa de France
A must-see for Impressionism enthusiasts. Henri Matisse stayed at this hotel when visiting Tangier. In his painting “Vista from the Window. Tangier in Morocco,” he captured the view outside the window of his hotel room. This space is now a miniature museum that is freely accessible to everybody. You must request an escort there at reception in order to enter.
Dining in Tangier
Like any other Moroccan city, Tangier offers classic oriental food for you to sample. There are restaurants and cafes with the typical quick food for individuals who do not like it.
The most well-known Moroccan cuisine recipes are:
A stew of wheat, rice, or millet with meat, vegetables, and sauce is called couscous.
A tagine is a particular earthenware pot with a high lid that is used to cook a meat and vegetable stew. You can sample tagine in many locations, and it will always taste different because every chef cooks it in his or her own unique method.
A variety of herbs are added to chicken broth to make chorba soup.
The soup known as harira is a thick, hot dish that is made with beans, spices, and a lamb broth.
Burgers, pizza, shawarma, French fries, and paninis are the items that fast food restaurants most frequently serve. It is common to sip mint tea or coffee after a meal in Morocco.
Purchases in Tangier
There are numerous small, privately owned boutiques and shops in Tangier where you may get practically everything you need, including food, clothing and shoes, home supplies, and souvenirs.
There are two Marjane stores and three Acima stores among the main chain hypermarkets in Tangier.
Across from the train station lies MEGARAMA, a sizable modern shopping complex. It has a number of clothing, shoe, and cosmetics businesses, as well as a supermarket, kids’ play area, movie theater, and dining area. The mall is extremely packed on weekends due to the inflow of residents.
The Medina is home to the main market, which offers a wide range of items and attracts vendors from all around Tangier and its vicinity.
Another market in Tangier is Casabarata, which is reachable from the city center by taxi or bus. You can get food, regional spices, sweets, cosmetics, home products, and trinkets here. The Tangier Flea Market is another Casabarata where you can browse a variety of intriguing oriental goods.
While it is illegal to consume alcohol in Tangier’s streets and public spaces, it is sold in supermarkets and small shops.
Bringing from Tangier: what to pack
Moroccan crafts and handicrafts, such as traditional clothing, shoes, bags, scarves, carpets, ceramic dishes, local cosmetics, sweets, and spices, are traditionally brought home or given as gifts. Although Tangier may not have the widest assortment, the cheapest prices, or the best quality, all of these can be purchased there. Visit the well-known cities of Fez or Marrakech for leather products.
Merchandise from Tangier:
- Moroccan teapots for making mint tea, tajines with high lids, and plates and dishes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors are the ceramic items that are most in demand. Ceramics with Arabic and Berber designs are produced and decorated with vivid geometric patterns.
- You can bring Moroccan biscuits and a packet of spiced tea and coffee from Tangier.
- Babushi are the distinctive long, narrow Moroccan shoes. They are hand-stitched with embossed leather from Morocco.
- The national dress, known as jeloba, is embellished with embroidered designs, stitching, and beads.
- Moroccan cosmetics are widely used locally and abroad and are made of natural materials. Attention should be paid to argan oil, glycerine soaps, and aromatic oils.
- The native people of the Sahara, known as Berbers, produce the majority of the carpets in Morocco. Since carpet weaving is frequently a family craft, the knowledge of how to make it is passed down from one generation to the next. Women perform every task by hand, including shearing sheep and camels, winding thread, and weaving itself.
- Jewelry consisting of coral, amber, pearls, silver, and gold. To avoid dealing with con artists and fakes, it is preferable to purchase such jewelry from specialized retailers rather than from markets.
- Shoes, bags, belts, and accessories made of leather. The city of Fez has the broadest assortment of leather goods.
- Moroccan fixtures with openwork. They’re constructed of leather, colored glass, and metal.
Protection in Tangier
Tangier is no exception to Morocco’s general reputation for safety. However, you shouldn’t insult others by flashing your cash, jewelry, or other expensive items. Avoid bringing a lot of cash when going to the beach. Girls shouldn’t go on nighttime strolls by themselves, especially in the Medina.
You can ask the orderly machine gun patrols in the town’s medina and on the beach for assistance if you need it.
On the beach or around the town’s historic district, beggars occasionally exhibit aggressive behavior. The Arabic word for “enough is enough” is “safi,” which you can use to interrupt him in this situation. In an emergency, say “aled!” (à l’aide! in French), which means “help!”