The medinas of Tangiers, Tetouan, Chefchaouen, Asilah and Larache are beautifully kept and are monuments whose visit makes us experience unforgettable feelings. A true wonder. Some videos of the Medina of Tangier.
If you're in Tangiers and have time, I'd recommend visiting the Grotto of Hercules, only 5km from the gorgeous Cape Spartel and about 20km from Tangiers itself. The caves are a product of the waves pounding against the surf and the place is the center of many myths. Some say that the caves were left by indent when Hercules separated Africa from Europe. The entrance costs 10cents (euros) and there are lots of souvenir stalls in the area as well. It's popular among foreign visitors and it's not unusual to see big groups of Koreans and Japanese, as well as locals offering up their camels for photos.
The Tangier Souk Grand (Grand Socco) is the commercial centre of the city. It is one of the most frequently visited places by city dwellers and tourists. It is the gateway to the medina, and is chaired by the famous square Place du Grand Socco or 9 avril,linking the medina and the new town. Sidi Bou Abid Mosque, built in 1917, presides over this area and has a minaret with pretty polychrome tiles. It is a pleasure to walk through these streets, full of slipper shops, spices, bazaars with all kinds of fabrics, food markets, fishmongers, butchers and greengrocers ... You can not miss going into the shops to haggle with the locals. The most famous products are spices (especially saffron), the slippers, teapots, pottery and Arabic sweets. The atmosphere is lively and the Moroccans will help you in whatever you need. There are many people on the streets until eleven or twelve at night, although I was recommended girls go home at around 10pm. Anyway I felt safe and did not encounter any problems. Another thing that you can not miss in the Grand Souk is a mint tea in one of the teahouses. Also their popular fruit smoothies and juices, particularly orange.
If you are going to buy in the medina of Tangier I recommend avoiding the main streets, and I suggest you go in adjacent streets offer interesting and authentic things where locals shop as well. On the main streets they will surely offer you low quality items aimed at unsuspecting tourists at rather high prices. If you want to get slippers, teapots, fabric or you want to dig for a good price and compare prices you have to become an expert in the art of haggling. My advice is not to appear to be too excited when you see a garment or object you like, and do not believe everything they tell you, as they usually have a enviable persuasiveness. To get an idea about the craft fair prices guides usually recommend going to the Ensemble Artisanal (with Rue Rue Belgique M'sallah), which is a craft trade center funded by the Moroccan government in which prices are fixed. I recommend going here to enjoy all it has to offer and all of the things that are on sale.
Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport, located halfway between Tangiers and Asilah, is a small tourist-oriented airport with all the basic services for tourists: currency exchange, small bars (including a nice outdoor terrace), and some shops. In my experience, it's the best place to change money into dirhams, though you can always go to a bank or ATM in the city center if you run out during your trip (it will be a little bit more expensive). Europeans don't need a visa to visit Morocco, just a valid passport. There are low-cost carriers like EasyJet and Clickair which operate direct flights to Tangier from a lot of European cities (but especially Spain) for only 30 or 40 euros. To get from the airport to the city of Tangiers, you need to take a cab called a Grand Taxi. Grand Taxis are the cream-colored ones and you need to negotiate the price before you go. Most taxi drivers want you to pay 150 dirhams but you can usually haggle them down to about 100, which is a fair price.
The Petit Socco (also known as the Socco Chico) is a small square in the Tangiers Medina which you can reach by taking Rue Semmanne from the Grand Socco. It's a great place to hang out and observe the comings and goings of this enchanting city where artists such as William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Camille Saint-Sans all found their inspiration. The Petit Socco is surrounded by hotels and cafes and I'd suggest getting a mint tea on one of the outdoor terraces. It's fun to watch the older men playing backgammon while they chat and sip their teas. Any of the cafes are good, but I recommend the Central Cafe.
Tangier's Port is one of the key points of sea communication between Spain and Morocco. There are routes from Algeciras (one hour), Tarifa (35 minutes), and even from Barcelona (28 hours). This is Morocco's main seaport because of its strategic location between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It is the country's number one port for traffic and passengers. On leaving the harbour there are numerous hustlers trying to get a tip for taking you to the medina or to your hotel. They are generally harmless. The best way to overcome them is to take a taxi. If you go to downtown, to the medina, or the centre, you have to take a blue taxi, which are small and metered. They do not generally cost more than 1.5 or 2 euro. If you are going outside the city or to a town nearby, you can catch one of the bigger taxis, which are cream-coloured, not metered, and you have to negotiate the price before you get in.
On any highway in Morocco, you can always find stands set up selling all kinds of glazed and un-glazed Moroccan ceramics. Everything from household items like tagines to more decorative pieces. Really lovely stuff and a great souvenir in my opinion.
The imposing silhouette of Dar el Makhzen dominates Tangier's casbah. Formerly the governor's palace, it was built in the XVII century and stands around a splendid courtyard adorned with glazed porcelain. The Museum of Moroccan Arts is housed in the princely apartments, which honour its name with its painted wood ceilings, its sculpted plaster and its mosaic tiles. The Andalusian garden is a peaceful, fragrant haven that evokes scenes of a thousand nights. Unfortunately, some parts of it have begun to deteriorate, and it would be wonderful if it was completely restored in the near future.
Cape Spartel (Cap Spartel) is situated 14 kilometers west of Tangier, the far northwest coast of Africa. I recommend going from Tangier in a taxi. If you have time it is best to visit on the way to the coastal town of Asilah and the Caves of Hercules, because it is worth a visit and does not take more than an afternoon or a morning. This place is special because it connects with the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and has wonderful views, next to the lighthouse, where you can go up and take pictures from if the lighthouse keeper is there. The journey from Tangiers is very beautiful, with beaches and forests where birdwatchers can enjoy migrating birds heading to Europe or returning to Africa. The surrounding area is called Plage Robinson, and you have something to eat or drink there, as there are several terraces and a seafood restaurants to choose from. The other end is Cape Malabata.
The Museum of the Kasbah (also known as the Dar el-Makhzen Museum) is located in the Kasbah in the highest part of Tangier. The entrance is in Place du Mechoir which also has magnificent views of the Strait of Gibraltar with Spain in the background. The museum is in what was formerly the Sultan's palace and contains an interesting collection of Moroccan art spanning the entirety of Tangier's history. The palace was built by Moulay Ismail in the 17th century and was subsequently expanded several times. When you enter, the first thing you find is a lovely Moorish courtyard decorated with painted tiles and arches. A little further on, there is a larger courtyard which gives access to the exhibition rooms. This courtyard has a fountain, fifteen columns with plaster moldings, and a floor covered with Moorish tiles. The exhibits are of traditional Moroccan crafts including leather, carpets, weapons, jewelry and ceramics, all with small panels explaining their history and origin. There is also a very well-preserved Roman mosaic called the Voyage of Venus.
Located Boulevard Pasteur (center of the new part of Tangier), is the most famous perfume in town. Almost always crowded (tourists and tangerinos), this shop full of bottled of all sizes, with all kinds of scents and essences. There is a surprising menu of imitations of famous perfumes and very common scents such as, cinnamon or mint. The business is run by the Madini family. They have been distilling essential oils for 14 generations. Their motto is that they can reproduce any fragrance. Any perfume that comes to mind you can get a lot less than the original price in this shop. Some fakes are more faithful than others but worth a look. In the window are also displayed and other tolos for the craft.
Surrounding the Grand Socco, there are lots of smaller covered markets selling every good imaginable, including fish. When you enter the Tangier Fish Market, you'll find a hall covered in plastic tarps with lots of people haggling over boxes of freshly-caught fish. It's interesting...a lot of the fishermen use these ancient-looking nets like the ones many fishermen in Southern Europe used in decades gone by. Right behind the fish market, there's a fruits and vegetables market where you can often find Riffian women selling their goods.
As you walk around Tangier, one of the things you'll notice are the women with straw hats and dark clothing who look different from the rest of the inhabitants of Tangier. Curious, I went and asked a shopkeeper who told me they were Riffian people who came to Tangier to sell they fruits and vegetables they had grown themselves. They mostly congregate in one of the covered markets just south of the Grand Socco but you can find them all over the city. Word of advice: ask permission before you take a photo (which is usually denied) or do so with the utmost discretion if you insist on sneaking a shot in.
In the Rue Dar Baroud, near the Hotel Continental, in the medina of Tangier, there is a small Moroccan handcrafted furniture factory that people from Tangier, or tourists ve visit, go to to buy handmade products from this area of the country. Inside you can see how they work with the handcrafted materials: ceramic, iron, copper, wood ... and painted with the colors of the Quran such as green, yellow or blue. The best-selling items of furniture are tables for tea or to adorn the many inner courtyards that form part of Moroccan architecture. They also have numerous fountains of all sizes, also needed for the adornment of courtyards and houses.
Next to the square on April 9, in the Medina of Tangier, we found this indoor market which forms part of the Grand Souk, the largest market in Tangier. It is very interesting to visit and observe Moroccan tradition. There are numerous stalls selling chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables and very cheap fruit (1kilo of tomatoes costs approximately 10 cents and 1 kilo of strawberries 20cents). Another speciality are the spices, cloves, black and white pepper, curry, cumin, cinnamon etc. all at great prices. Green tea is also sold here, a favourite in Morocco. The best, according to several people told us, is the brand La Menara. The traditional Arabic pastries also have their place in this market, as do stalls selling olives, peppers and oil. In some places in this market you will see elderly ladies dressed slightly differently from the women of Tangier, with a very peculiar hat adorned with dark strips. These are peasant women ve come from outside the city to sell the products they grow themselves on their land.
This shop is on the Rue de la Liberté, between Souk and Grand Boulevard Pasteur (now in the new area of Tangier), and it specializes in caftans, a typically Arab garment that is part of the daily life of all Moroccans. A caftan is a garment that covers you from the neck to the middle of the leg. No neck and it is open at the front. They are short sleeve and there specific ones for men and ones for women. Well, if you want to buy a caftan remember this is the right store. Here they are in all sizes and colors: for children, ladies, men, young people, with embroidery, plain, striped. In addition they also have djellabas (long garments are sometimes also have hoods), scarves, caps and also things like necklaces. It is a good place to visit and buy typical things from this country.
Boulevard Pasteur is one of the key points of the new city of Tangier and an important street for getting your bearings in this often confusing city. To get there from the Grand Socco, take Rue de la Liberté until you reach the Place de France. This part of the city still retains some of the elegance and glamour which made Tangier so famous in the 30's. It's a place frequented by locals to have a tea (which they humorously call "Moroccan wine"), take a walk or just sit out and chat. The architecture of the area is heavily influenced by Western, and especially by French Mediterranean, design and it's where you're most likely to see women dressed in Western clothes. Two of most popular place on Boulevard Pasteur are Dolcy's Café, a trendy cafe with a large terrace, and La Giralda, where you can have breakfast for just one euro.
Start your tour of stuff to do in Tangiers at the gates of the medina, where you'll find the Grand Souk. You'll be greeted by aromas of spices, fresh fruit, candy, and handicrafts such as carpets and tea sets. This is one of the things to do in Tangiers that's not for the claustrophobic as you wander a maze of alleyways that enclose the essence of Morocco.
If you want to know what to do in Tangiers once you're inside the medina, the Great Mosque of Tangier, the Alcazaba, the palace of the Sultans, and the American Legation are other essential places to visit in Tangiers.
To the west, in the downtown neighborhood of Montagne, you'll find one of the finest things to see in Tangiers. Cape Spartel and the Perdicaris viewpoint are essential Tangiers activities. And if you're tired of the hustle and bustle of the medina, there are organised trips to take you to Tangiers attractions outside the city like the caves of Hercules and the fortified coastal town of Asilah.
Browse minube users' experiences and find many more attractions in Tangiers. Do not forget the beaches! On the coast of the Strait of Gibraltar they're quiet and warm while the Atlantic coast has colder water and stronger waves.