Tangier is located in the north of Morocco – only 10 miles south of Spain if you were to swim through the straight of Gibraltar. Tangier is a large city with many different cultural identities. While in Tangier you will find that most people speak 3 languages -French, Arabic, and Spanish. In most tourist areas, people will know and speak English as well. Being so close to Spain, Tangier will feel more European than any other city in Morocco and is a great starting point after a trip to Spain, or a great place to end your trip in Morocco and head to Spain. Flights from Madrid to Tangier cost anywhere from €15-€60 on Ryan Air. Read on to learn more about traveling in Tangier, and what to do while you are there.
Top Things to do in Tangier, Morocco
Visit Cafe Hafa
A beautiful little cafe set into the side of a cliff, this place is a MUST visit in Tangier. There are a few things you should be warned about before you go. Though beautiful, there is not much to be said of the service. Finding a waiter was almost impossible, as I think there was only 1 throughout the entire cafe (it’s a big place). Plan on going just for tea. The food was OK, but took forever – like for. ev.er – and if it’s hot there isn’t much shade at all. It’s difficult to find as well, so make sure to map it before you leave your hotel.
Hire a private Driver to take you to Cap Spartel, the Caves of Hercules, a hidden garden and (maybe) Assilah
Something which is definitely worth the time and drive is going on a little daytime adventure to some of the nearby areas of Tangier. Just outside of town are the Caves of Hercules, which is a cave with an entrance to the sea shaped like Africa. Not terribly exciting, but kind of cool and a great place to people-watch as well. Near the caves is Cap Spartel, a famous lighthouse on the coast. Beautiful views with dramatic cliffs leading to the brash African Atlantic. Also on the way, the driver may stop at a little garden park area. It’s a pretty little walk, and you will most likely sniff some hashish along the way.
A nearby town, Assilah, is only a short drive from these two places, ~45 minutes, and makes a nice little day trip complete. Assilah has a beautiful Kasbah (that we somehow missed) a great beach (I even ran into one of my followers here!) and a fantastic restaurant called PORT XIV. Our trip to Assilah was accidental – our driver thought we wanted to go there (we didn’t), we had a language miscommunication (shocking!), and 45 minutes later we were like…hmmm this isn’t Tangier. It all worked out though and ended up being very lovely. Except for the crazy tourist trap food street. You will see it, do not venture down it.
For the private driver, all day cost us about 600DIR ~ 60 USD. That’s 30USD each… not a bad day if you ask me.
Visit the Kasbah
Within the historic section of town is the Kasbah and the Kasbah Museum. This is the old Palace of the Sultan. For 10 DIR (1USD) at a student rate, we were able to walk around and see a beautiful old home and beautiful gardens. Worth it. For more info on the Kasbah Museum, visit this website. (Pro-Tip: Open the link in google chrome and it will translate French for you!!)
Basically what the title says. Before the Romans or the French or any of the other many people that occupied Tangier, there were the Pheonecians. These tombs, or graves, are a gathering ground for locals and tourists alike to sit and watch the sea. A beautiful location to watch the sunset, or just people watch – this is located about 5 minutes from Cafe Hafa.
Explore the Medina
One of the best things to do in any city in Morocco. Put on some good shoes, a pair of shades, and get lost in the Medina. Be sure not to make eye contact with anyone, or you may be coerced into buying something. (Hence the shades)
Places to Eat in Tangier
A very cute and very “Moroccan” feeling place. Beautiful tiles, lots of poufs, and delicious tajine. Go for a photo op, stay for the yummy food.
El Morocco Club
We happened to pass by here (we had planned on going for dinner) and decided we would stop for lunch and dine somewhere else. We ended up loving it so much we went back later after our dinner (at the place listed below) to grab drinks and listen to music. Great people. Really good food.
Le Salon Bleu
An adorable place near the Kasbah museum, this restaurant is 3 (4?) stories and very delicious. There is also an arrangement of ‘stray’ cats that live there and will beg for your food. One literally ate a chicken bone.
Tips for Tangier
Expect Higher Prices than The Rest of Morocco
Tangier is one of the most European cities in Morocco, therefore you should expect prices to reflect this. Restaurants will be priced about the same if not slightly cheaper than in Europe. Drinks will be equal to or more than you would find most places in Europe. If you are planning a road trip through Morocco and Tangier is just one of your stops, don’t buy your goods here. If you are wanting to buy trinkets, or do any shopping, it is best to wait until you get to Marrakech, as that is where we found the cheapest prices in Morocco for goods sold.
Alcohol Won’t Be Easy
Although Morocco is a dry country (no alcohol) due to the high Muslim population, there are still a few bars to be found in Tangier. If you go out, these places will most likely not be found in the tourist area (except for El Morocco Club), and certainly not found in the Medina.
Tangier has a beach, but it’s not the best. There are gorgeous seaside view though, especially if you head near Cap Spartel. Save the beach time for Essaouira or your day trip to Assilah.
Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, which means you should try and dress appropriately and respectfully. Check out my guide on What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman, and don’t forget to let me know what you think!
Need a place to stay in Tangier? All of our accommodations were arranged through Booking.com – whether you need a basic hotel or a beautiful riad – they’ve got you covered!
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