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Tangier, Morocco

Tangier (طنجة) is an important port city in Morocco.

Tangier is a fascinating Moroccan city to visit. It has many of the things that travelers love - a sense of exotic mystery, interesting history, beautiful vistas, unspoiled beaches Tangier is an uncontrolled mix of north Africa, Spain, Portugal, and France. It is located in northern Morocco and was under joint international control until 1956. Tangier is separated from Spain by the 20 miles of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Frequent ferries make the short crossing from Europe each day, and many cruise ships sailing between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic often include Tangier as a port of call.

Climate

Tangier has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with heavier rainfall than most parts of North Africa and nearby areas on the Iberian... Read more

Tangier, Morocco

Destination:
Tangier (طنجة) is an important port city in Morocco.

Tangier is a fascinating Moroccan city to visit. It has many of the things that travelers love - a sense of exotic mystery, interesting history, beautiful vistas, unspoiled beaches Tangier is an uncontrolled mix of north Africa, Spain, Portugal, and France. It is located in northern Morocco and was under joint international control until 1956. Tangier is separated from Spain by the 20 miles of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Frequent ferries make the short crossing from Europe each day, and many cruise ships sailing between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic often include Tangier as a port of call.

Climate

Tangier has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with heavier rainfall than most parts of North Africa and nearby areas on the Iberian Peninsula owing to its exposed location. The summers are relatively hot and sunny and the winters are wet and mild: frost is rare, however in January 2005 a low of −4.2 °C was recorded.

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Tangier, Morocco: Port Information


Cruise ships dock at the port located 800 meters (about 0.5 miles) from the center of Tangier. 
One can take advantage of shuttle service available in the port or take a taxi. 

Get around Tangier, Morocco


Walking is perhaps the best way to see the relatively compact Tangier. Petit taxis are common.
Tangier is very easy to navigate around; the two main roads are Boulevard Mohamed V which runs from near the Medina through the ville nouvelle and Boulevard Mohamed VI (formerly Ave des FAR) which runs along from the beachfront from the port to Malabata.
The Medina area is a complex array of alleyways some of which can only be accessed on foot. Mohamed V has a whole range of clothes shops, pharmacies, and cafes as well as Hotel Flandria, Hotel Rembrandt. Hotel Minzah lies just off this road. Mohamed VI runs along the beach front where you will find numerous hotels (Rif, Ramada, Sherezade, Solazure, Tariq, Movenpick, Hilton), bars, discos, restaurants, and cafes. Most hostels are situated on the roads heading uphill near the port area.
Most locals in Tangier will be unfamiliar with what we call the "ville nouvelle". To help with agreeing fares and generally with navigating using taxis - the central main thoroughfare is simply known as the "Boulevard", the beach area as "Playa", the port as "Marsa", the medina as "souk barra", the hilly area to the west of Tangier with the Golf Course and Race Track as "California", the residential area heading towards the main road to Tetouan as "Idrissia", the thieves market as "Casa Barata".

What to see in Tangier, Morocco


Take a simple walk along the beach (Ave Mohamed VI) to enjoy what the city is famed for.
  • The Kasbah
  • The tomb of Ibn Battouta, a 14th-century famous traveler who was born in Tangier. Pay tribute to a fellow traveler.
  • Teatro Cervantes

    , rue Salah Eddine et Ayoubi. Closed and falling to pieces but take a photo from outside the gates as you pass by on the way up to the

    Grand Socco

    .
  • The American Legation, 8, Rue America. The Tangier American Legation Museum (TALM), a thriving cultural center, museum, conference center, and library in the heart of the old Medina in Tangier, is housed in the only historic landmark of the United States located abroad. The museum exhibits a large collection of art and historical items. It also has a Paul Bowles Wing dedicated to the writer and composer who lived most of his adult life in Tangier.  
  • The Kasbah Museum, the former Sultan's palace deserves to be seen not only for its collection of artifacts from the Phoenician to modern times but also for the building and garden. There is a small entry fee and varying opening times winter and summer.

What to do in Tangier, Morocco


  • People watching on the Terrasse des Paresseux, boulevard Pasteur or on Sunday along the beachfront Avenue Mohammed VI.
  • Drink a mint tea at the Café Hafa and enjoy the view of the ocean.
  • Mnar Park aquatic park with a tremendous view of the coast. Has aqua slides, karting circuits, café, romantic restaurant. (Excellent pancakes!).
  • Get happily lost in the Medina, which is most active in the evening.
  • Visit the American Legation Museum in the walled city. (Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States, in December 1777 with the hope of promoting commerce with the new republic. This act by the Moroccan sultan was the first public recognition of the U.S. by a head of state.)
  • Go to the souk on Thursday or Sunday mornings to see the Rif mountain women in their colorful costumes selling their produce and dairy products all along the wall of the St. Andrew's Church(English Church).
  • Visit Casa Barata. You can take a shared grand taxi from the station just next to the English Church. It's just 5 minutes ride by taxi. It's a vast market which sells literally everything. You never know what you'll discover there.
  • Visit

    Hercules Cave

    (Grottes d'Hercules).The caves of Hercules, located just 14kms west of Tangiers, are a place of stunning natural beauty and great archeological significance. Apparently, this is where the mythical figure, Hercules, used to rest after finishing his 12 labors. The cave also bears a mirror image resemblance to the continent of Africa. Get there by taxi which takes about 15 minutes. Do not bother with a tour guide. The cave is within a kilometer of a beautiful sandy beach (Plage Achkar), great for sunbathing or swimming. Buy bread and fruit before you leave, pack a picnic, and make a day of it.
  • Trip Boat (Promenade en mer, Pêche), Port de Tanger ville, +212630551802. Trip Boat is a company that proposes boat trips from the port of Tangier, half day or full day, as well as fishing trips aboard an Italian boat propelled by its two engines 200CV each.  

What to eat and drink in Tangier, Morocco


Eat

There are many choices of different cuisine available. Many of the luxury hotels offer a good selection of both Moroccan and Continental Fare, though at prices much higher than what you will find elsewhere. There are also many restaurants along the Ave Mohamed VI (the beachfront) where one can enjoy a nice meal with a glass of wine on the beachfront.
In the evening, go to the plaza next to CTM bus station. There are several cafes and restaurants facing the plaza. The price and services are good because of the keen competition. Just wandering around in the medina will bring you across numerous Moroccan restaurants offering similar dishes, quality, and prices (main dish around 7 dollars), so you can basically just choose one at random and probably be satisfied.
There is also some fresh off-the-boat seafood restaurants for locals in the port. If you speak some French/Arabic and have a sense of adventure it's highly recommended. After the port entrance, keep to the waterside for a couple of minutes then go down the street with the bank on the corner. It's then along the docks towards the farthest point out behind the row of white warehouses. All outdoor basic seating outdoor seating and be prepared to be the only foreigner! No menus or prices but it's amazingly cheap and authentic. Huge platter of prawns, calamari and enough fish to feed a small army.
Some of the popular restaurants and places to eat in Tangier are as follows:
  • Cafe Restaurant El Teatro - located near Teatro Cervantes at rue salah eddine al ayoubi 108, a wonderfully decorated place with the best value for money food and drinks.
  • Cafe A L'Anglaise ( International Organic cuisine ) - located in the heart of the Kasbah, excellent cuisine
  • El Minzah Hotel (Moroccan) - located near the French Consulate at top of Boulevard Mohamed V, very expensive
  • Otori Sushi (Japanese) - located near the Grande Poste, Avenue de la Resistance
  • San Remo (Italian) - located near the town center
  • Pagoda (Chinese) - located near the town center
  • Continental Hotel (continental)
  • Marhaba (Moroccan)
  • Le Salon Bleu (Moroccan) - opposite kasbah museum, stunning views
  • Restaurant Al Andalous (Moroccan Deli & Fish Bar) opposite the Al Andalous Mosque, Lalla Chafia.
  • McDonald's located in the Dawliz complex and on the beachfront
  • Pizza Hut located near the beachfront
  • Oslo (Pizzas and snacks) located on the Boulevard and on the beachfront
  • Restaurant Populaire (Moroccan)
  • Brahim Abdelmalek (Fast food) - a fabulous and cheap sandwich of kefta, egg, fries on a baguette. It's located on Rue Mexique, just a block away from Terrasse des Paresseux
  • Many cafes also serve snacks and many bars on the beachfront serve tapas
  • Saveurs de poissons - Chez Poppeye, Escalier Waller, 2 (Close to rue de la Liberté and hôtel El-Minzah, GPS +35.78258°,-5.81247°), +212 5 39 33 63 26. Excellent seafood and fish restaurant. Fruit juice is also a specialty. 
  • Chez Mao, Complexe le Printemps (along the beach, just past the McDonald's on Ave. Mohamed VI, GPS +35.774807°, -5.784179°‎), 05 39 94 64 89. Vietnamese & Thai, with good options for vegetarians. The service is quite good.
Street Food
You may quickly bore of tagines and street food is a great option for snacking throughout the day.  Yogurt mixtures can be particularly creative, such as avocado and almonds, or fruit mixtures. Tiny stalls in the souk sell cooked vegetables like eggplant, with rice, and other tasty treats. In the early evening, you may find squares of chickpea cakes sprinkled with salt and paprika.

Breakfast
In the morning a "locals" cafe will give you a cafe au lait. Usually, there is a bread vendor at the cafe (by the port or the medina) who will serve you bread with cheese and honey for another 5D. It's perfectly okay to buy your bread/breakfast elsewhere and eat it outside at the cafe. If the bread guy is next to the cafe the waiter will often collect.

Vegetarians
  • Cafe A L'Anglaise: This charming sidewalk café is reminiscent of dining at a friend’s home. The owner gives each customer special attention by greeting them personally before preparing their meal. She also happens to be an interior designer, so the atmosphere inside is very welcoming and pleasing to the eye. Some walls act as a gallery and feature art from local Moroccan artists. Enjoy fresh juices, crispy, flavorful chicken dishes, and traditional couscous.
Price: Low Opening Hours: 10:00 am-10:30 pm Thursday-Tuesday Vegetarians will find plenty to eat in Tangier and Morocco in general, but vegetarian tagines can become boring after a couple of days and often contain lamb stock. Street food is a lot more creative and fun. If you've brought a camping stove, shop at the souk and make your own. Or you can opt for Pizza, Japanese, Chinese or Indian all of which are available in Tangier.

Drink

There are many places in Tangier to drink - people have their own favorite haunts. Much depends on the current owner who tends to give the place a certain ambiance. Favorite bars/discos with foreign (and local) clientele include Casa Pepe, Sable D'or, Morocco Palace, Marco Polo (popular with truck drivers) and hotel bars such as Ramada and El Minzah.
You could opt for a coffee instead - there is no shortage of cafes; some of which are the best in the country. Some have amazing views (cafe Hafa), some good coffee, some are popular (cafe Tropicana, cafe Celine Dion), some with music (cafe in the Dawliz complex), some have good cakes (cafe Oslo), some are places to relax after a hard day shopping (cafe Madam Porte, cafe Vienna), and some are just plain sleazy - the choice is yours.
Fresh fruit juices are sold by street vendors during the summer months. The cafes also serve fresh juices and often have what is called a panache - a mix of fruit juices often with milk, apple, and almond - try it - it's delicious.
  • Cafe El-Hafa, (Near avenue Hadj Mohamed Tazi, GPS +35.79133°,-5.82175°). Nice view on the Straits of Gibraltar. Drink tea while looking at boats passing by. Hard to find but worth it.  

Shopping in Tangier, Morocco


Most brasswork is made in other towns but is available here. Leather goods are also available. Stay away from the tourist traps and you may find the price quite agreeable. There is an infamous market in Tangier called "casa barata" (the house of cheap things) - there are bargains to be had here but be wary of forgeries and stolen goods (these are sold alongside vegetables, electronics, clothing, shoes, spices, carpets, ironmongery and everything else one can think of!). There are other markets notably the souk in the medina (mainly vegetables, clothes, and tourist items) and in Ben Mekada (vegetables). The latter does not cater to tourists at all and is known as one of the "rough spots" of Tangier and back in the 1980's, there were bread riots here.
Men's and women's clothing can be had for reasonable prices too, in the medina.

Safety in Tangier, Morocco


Tangier is a relatively safe and peaceful city. The only trouble you may encounter is the persistent touts whom you should ignore, or the con-men ready to overcharge you. You will encounter these characters mostly in and around the medina and along the beachfront promenade. Some touts are obvious while others may present themselves as friendly locals. The latter, referred to sometimes as 'false guides', will quickly begin to you give you a tour of the town and accompany you for as long as they can, then ask you for money. The longer they accompany you, the more aggressive they can seem if you do not want to pay them for their time.

Generally, tourists have every opportunity to firmly and clearly decline these touts straight away. Ceasing to engage and ignoring the touts is also highly effective, and can be done in a way that is polite. 'La Shukran' means 'No Thank You' and when said as if you mean it, is very effective in reclaiming your space.

Dressing like a local - as opposed to white shorts, shoes, and a backpack - will help you blend in and get good reception from merchants, who will often quote you actual prices instead of inflated tourist prices. Tangier is considered one of the more moderate cities of Morocco and it is quite normal and acceptable to see foreign women without head coverings. It is not usual, however, to see foreign women wearing revealing clothes in Tangier.

If you are lost in the medina, you can easily find your way out by going uphill (souk/English church/Nouvelle Village) or down (port). Kids and young men may ask you for money to lead you out, or to the Cafe Central, but if you are asked if you are lost and do not want help, say "Yes, but happily," and usually that gets a laugh and solitude.

Look out for a man named Richard/Rachid. He wears a purple scarf and claims to be a painter. He has swindled a number of young tourists out of money by inviting them to his house and convincing them to buy djellabas or having his daughter do overpriced henna tattoos. He is quite well-known around the community for this and locals find it both unfortunate and entertaining.

Tangier is a safe place for solo women travelers. Common sense is advised and personal safety precautions you would usually take anywhere apply in Tangiers too.

Language spoken in Tangier, Morocco


Most of the inhabitants of Tangier speak Darija, mainly influenced by Spanish. About 25% of the city inhabitants speak Berber in their daily lives. Tangerian, as the residents refer to their language, is different from the rest of Morocco, with a lexicon derived from Berber, Spanish, English, and old Tangerian words.

Written Arabic is used in government documentation and on road signs together with French. French is used in universities and large businesses. English and Spanish are well understood in all hotels and tourist areas.

LOCAL TIME

2:41 pm
October 18, 2019
Africa/Casablanca

CURRENT WEATHER

23.14 °C / 73.652 °F
broken clouds
Sat

20.28 °C/69 °F
moderate rain
Sun

17.8 °C/64 °F
sky is clear
Mon

17.42 °C/63 °F
sky is clear
Tue

17.3 °C/63 °F
moderate rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

MAD

1 USD = 0 MAD
1 EUR = 0 MAD
1 GBP = 0 MAD
1 AUD = 0 MAD
1 CAD = 0 MAD

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