Tangier, Morocco tourist information.
Tangier is a fascinating city in northern Morocco and a popular spot on many Mediterranean cruise itineraries. Situated on the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier is just twenty miles from the coast of Spainand has been a strategic gateway between Africa and Europe since Phoenician times.
Tangier’s Medina (Old City) tumbles down the cliff towards the ocean in a labyrinth of narrow alleyways. One of the real treats of Tangier is strolling through the medina and noticing the differences between the Andalusian, Moorish, colonial and Moroccan architecture packed together. Its whitewashed hillside medina is home to the Dar el Makhzen, a palace of the sultans turned museum of Moroccan artifacts. The medina also has dozens of outdoor cafes, such as those along the Terrasse des Paresseux balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.
The central vortex of Medina life is the square known as the Petit Socco, where old men sit for hours drinking tea and playing backgammon. During its fast-paced past, the Medina was a playground for author Paul Bowles and America’s legendary Beatnik literary figures such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Wandering around this area is a must for Tangier visitors.
The Kasbah, where the sultan once lived, dominates the Medina’s northern section. Tangier’s Kasbah is located high on a hilltop, offering panoramic views over the medina, the city and the bay of Tangier. Head here if you’re feeling hassled from the touts in the medina – life is calmer in the Kasbah. Within the walls lies Dar el Makhzen, a former royal palace from the 17th century, which now serves as a museum. Inside, you’ll discover a selection of mosaics, Moroccan crafts, and artwork from across the country. Aim to spend at least an hour here, exploring the history, culture and art that helped form the Morocco of today.
Tangier’s beach side district is intrinsically linked to the city’s heady 1960s, when the beautiful and louche literary residents made this one of the world’s most famous strips of sand. Its hey-day is now long gone, but the beach area is still a good place for a stroll with plenty of locals promenading and playing football along its length.