Tangier City Cuide
A historic outpost of the Mediterranean and the gateway to Africa, Tangier has a rich and enigmatic past. At the very tip of North Africa, Tangier has always been an international town, home to many artists from across Europe. Tangier tourist information will tell you that it is a fabulous fusion of the old and new. Its traditional Medina shares the city with a new efficient port and 5-star beach hotels. Tangier’s famous white Medina looks over the sea where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean. Any Tangier city guide will tell you that this isn’t your average city break. After a morning of exploring the exotic alleyways and souks you can head onto beautiful sunlit Dalia Beach to enjoy a perfect view of the ocean. Although it’s just a short hop from Europe, there’s an immediate sense that you are on a new continent with an alluringly different culture.
Things to do in Tangier
There are many things to do in Tangier, but most visits will start with the Medina. Before the entrance of the Medina is the Grand Socco, a large and impressive palm tree lined plaza. Once inside the Medina it’s always worth a look at the older Petit Socco. Well-known for its nefarious past, it’s now just a good example of a traditional Moroccan square. The Great Mosque is also based in the Medina and is a fascinating ancient building. The Kasbah and Kasbah Museum, on the north side of the Medina, is a must-see. The building is a 17th century Sultan’s palace that now holds a museum dedicated to the Moroccan arts. There are also the beautiful Sultan’s gardens to stroll around.
Things to see in Tangier
There are also many things to see in the newer European side of the city. The Place de France and surrounding area holds many gems of Tangier’s artistic past, including the Grand Café de Paris and the Grand Hôtel Villa de France, which were graced by the presence of artists such as Matisse and Delacroix. St Andrew’s church is an interesting mixture of faiths, a Christian church designed in a Moorish style with carved quotes from the Quran. The Mendoubia Gardens sit across from the Grand Socco and are well worth a stroll around on a sunny afternoon. Tangier’s outskirts also have some interesting things to see. The cave of Hercules, legendary resting place of the Greek hero, is well worth a visit.
Travel to Tangier is fairly easy as it is a well-connected hub. You can fly into Tangier Batouta Airport and from there it’s a fairly cheap taxi ride into the centre. There is also the option of catching the ferry from Spain. You can catch the ferry from Tarifa port, make sure that your destination is Tangier-Morocco Port, as this is the port in the centre of town. Once you’re in Tangier transport is best accomplished on foot. Tangier is fairly compact and so walking around the city is the best way to see all its little alleyways.
Tangier is a historically artistic town and this is evident in the range of cultural events on offer. TANJAzz is held in September, hosting concerts by both local and international Jazz musicians. There is the Salon International de Tangier des Livres et des Arts, a week-long book festival held every April. Le Festival International de Théâtre Amateur is one of Tangier's events that celebrates a mixture of Arabic and French speaking theatre, usually running for a week in May. The Festival of Mediterranean Short Film is also held in Tangier every October.
Restaurants in Tangier
Tangier is the perfect place to sample Morocco’s aromatic traditional food with many courses! Due to its coastal position Tangier is also well known for its fresh seafood. The seafront cafes are overflowing with cheap and delicious fresh fish options, and seafood restaurants in Tangier are highly recommended. If you get the chance, head to the famous Café Hafa. It still retains its original 1920’s décor and has been visited over the years by famous writers such as William. S. Burroughs and bands like The Beatles. It’s a great place to get a traditional Moroccan mint tea.