25 Best Things to Do in Tangier (Morocco)

Since 2010, change has swept this stupid city in the Strait of Gibraltar at a dizzying pace.

Heavy investment has moved the container port out of town, the impenetrable country feels safer, the beaches are cleaner and the cornice facing the bay resumed in 2018. There has never been a better time to delve into Tangier and reconnect to the city of Delcroix, Matisse and Paul Bulls, where William wrote S. Burroughs the lunch naked.

You can try to understand the country, sip mint tea at the Lush Cafe, stroll along the Cornish and battle as far as the 17th-century casbah and its magnificent Museum of Archeology.

Out of town you can warm up on the blue flag beaches and drive to Cap Spartel and Cap Malabata to spot Gibraltar and Tarifa across the Strait.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Tangier:

1. Country

Country, Tangier

The labyrinth-like country of the White City spills down the slope from the Casbah to the north, giving a brief glimpse of Tangier Bay through its canal-like alleys.

Market stalls in the country are packed with leather goods, rugs, spices, fruits, vegetables, fish and handmade copper and brass jewelry.

In this ancient city, which was previously forbidden to tourists, you will also feel the changing mood in Tangier.

Street vendors and young people in restaurants tend to get excited without being stressed, and you will always have a lot of tourists for company in the alleys leading to the Casbah.

The days of the international region are remembered in Petit Soko, with its cosmopolitan architecture on the terraces of cafes.

Recommended tour: A 6-hour private tour of the best of Tangier

2. Dar al Mahazan (Kasbah)

Garden at the Kasbah Museum, Tangier

At the top of the northern alleys of the country is the palace ordered by Ismail Ibn Sharif (1672-1727), after re-conquering Tangier after two centuries of English occupation.

Dar al-Mahzan, placed on the ruins of the English “upper castle”, was the seat of the sultans of Morocco when they were in Tangier.

Sultan ‘Abd al-Hafid (1875-1937), along with an entourage of 168 men, became a permanent resident here after being forced to resign in 1912 when the Treaty of Fez turned Yosef from Morocco into a sultan under French protection.

The palace is acclaimed as one of Morocco’s best man – made landmarks, and at its center are two exquisite arcade courtyards, adorned with intricate arabesques, carved cedar, marble fountains and columns, some carved by the Romans.

Dr. al-Mahzen owns the Museum of Moroccan Arts and Antiquities, also known as the Kasbah Museum.

Included in: Prominent Discovery Tour of the city

3. The Kasbah Museum

The Kasbah Museum, Tangier

The palace is a suitable place to browse the centuries of creation in Morocco until the end of the English period of Tangier in 1684. You will discover bronze and mosaics from the Roman cities of Volublis, Kota and Lexus.

There are also ancient works close to home, including finds such as urns, lead sarcophagi and a restored tomb, all from a Phoenician necropolis on the ocean side of Casbah Hill.

Elsewhere there are ceramics and coins from the Almohad and Marinid dynasties, silk from Fez, manuscripts, rugs and rifles with inlay decoration, when you can enter the former throne room with a sublime Artesanado box office ceiling.

From the Portuguese period there is an amazing Manueline window from the nearby coastal town of Qasr a-Sagir.

4. Caves of Hercules

Caves of Hercules

This cave, natural and partly man-made, is steeped in legend and is located on a headland between two epic Atlantic beaches.

The story goes that Hercules stayed here while preparing for his 11th birth.

It was to steal the golden apples from the Sephardic Garden.

Several ancient Greek writers placed the garden a little down the Atlantic coast in the ancient city of Lexus.

On his way to the cave, Hercules had to face Mount Atlas, and instead of crossing it he smashed through it, thus creating the Strait of Gibraltar.

There is a less absurd human history in the cave system, dating back to the Neolithic period: the spectacular opening of the cave on the ocean side is thought to have been cut by the Phoenicians, and is reminiscent of an unusual resemblance to the African continent.

Nor is it difficult to notice the many grooves in the walls left by the barbarians who carved millstones from the walls for centuries.

Included in: Full day tour of Tangier, Asilah and Cape Sparta

5. The American Representation

U.S. Representative, Tangier

In the south of the country is the first property purchased overseas by the United States.

The U.S. Representation was established in a Moorish-style building in 1821 and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The property, which contains a cultural center, library and museum all geared towards Arabic studies, symbolizes the Moroccan-American Friendship Agreement of 1786, which is still preserved today.

The building lost its diplomatic role after the capital moved to Rabat with its independence in 1956, and is leased from the United States government by a non-profit organization established in the 1970s to preserve this historic building.

The museum’s elegant galleries feature well-curated exhibits documenting U.S.-Morocco relations, interspersed with interesting documents, photographs, maps, paintings and correspondence.

One letter, written by a diplomat, describes receiving lions as a gift, and wonders what to do with them.

6. Cap Sparta

Cap Spartel

Up the coast from the Caves of Hercules is the cliff located on top of the vegetation that marks the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar.

Protected in the reserve, Cap Spartel rises to a height of more than 300 meters above the ocean.

The water near the Cape was a battlefield during the American Revolutionary War and during the Spanish Civil War, and is named after an archipelago that was thought to have sunk around 9400 BC.

Sparta remains as a sand legend with the highest point 56 feet below the surface.

The lighthouse that crowns the cliff dates from 1864 and was the first to be built in Morocco in modern times.

Included in: Full day tour of Tangier, Asilah and Cape Sparta

7. Achkar Beach

A beach is explored

Between the Caves of Hercules and Cape Sparta is a magnificent public beach that in recent years has won consecutive blue flags for hygiene, water quality, facilities and the supply of lifeguards.

But the main title is the natural wonder of this long and wide beach, which faces west and is backed by sloping cliffs and pebbles to a breathtaking view of the sunset.

This is the open Atlantic Ocean, so the surfing will be too strong for children, but the waves break a long way out, and there is a large shallow area where the little ones can paddle safely with supervision.

As with most Moroccan tourist beaches, camel rides are offered at Achakar Beach.

8. Cornish from Tangier

Cornish of Tangier

Another place where there is no mistaking the investment of the last decade is on the promenade facing the bay.

It curves around the whole of the Gulf of Tangier, from the coast of Merkala in the west to the Cape from Lvata in the east.

The section most people associate with the Cornish is between the new tourist port and Villa Harris, which encompasses two beaches on Plage Municipale and Plage Malabata to the east.

This promenade dates back to the 19th century but underwent a change in the 2000s, with smooth flooring, geometric lawns, clumps of palm trees and benches, following dozens of restaurants and cafes.

The views are stunning, across the clear sand out to the cape from Labata across the bay, and the contours of Tarifa on the other side of the strait.

9. Predikaris Park (Ramilat Park)

Predikaris Park (Ramilat Park)

On the way to Cap Spartel you will pass along the southern end of this happy coastal forest, at the western end of the city.

Predikaris Park amounts to almost 70 dunams and is named after the Greek-American consul and game boy Ion Predikaris (1840-1925) whose estate was on this land.

When Predikaris was abducted in 1904 it sparked an international crisis, and the response to Theodor Roosevelt’s Predikris affair helped him win the election that year.

Predicaris planted the exotic eucalyptus trees in the park alongside the local palms, oaks, laurel trees, pines, acacias and nuts in the 1980s for the health of his wife who suffered from tuberculosis.

There is detailed information on the lush vegetation of the park, and you can have a picnic on the steep slopes, and cast your gaze on the ocean.

Beginning in 2019, the romantic villa of Predikris at the top of the hill is now being restored after decades of decline.

10. Grand Soko

Grand Soko

The former central market of Tangier has been given a facelift and has become a transportation hub, between the country and Will Noble.

So where there used to be storytellers, musicians and snake charmers, there is a decorated space with palm trees and small lawns, all converging into a magnificent central fountain.

The name Grand Socco sums up the story of Tangier, being a Spanish corruption of “Sok”. The borders are lined with cafes where you can envision life at the point where old and new Tangier meet.

And even though large-scale trade has disappeared, there are still plenty of stalls in Grand Soko, for fruits and arts and crafts.

To the west are the Mandovi Gardens, the scene of an important event in the history of Morocco, which we will discuss below.

11. Petit Soko

Petit Soko

At one point Petit Soko in the country was one of the most important market places of Morocco, and attracted people from all over the region thanks to its food stalls and clothes.

The buildings on the facades of the square feature a combination of North African and European styles, which hints at the character of this place during the heyday of the early 20th century.

At that time there were offices for bankers and diplomats in Petit Soko, and the abundance of the period was reflected in its casinos, hotels and cafes.

In the days of the international area there were German, English and French post offices in this one square.

The glamor of that period faded in the 1950s, but the echoes remained in the cafes (Tingjis, Central, Tanger and El Menara), and in the plaster facades and iron balconies.

12. A prominent six-hour private tour of Tangier

Tangier

Even the most traveling visitors may feel overwhelmed by Tangier, and will need to consult a trusted professional guide.

This tour squeezes out all the essentials for just half a day, and combines it all with the perspective of a resident.

You will orient yourself in Cap Malabata and then move on to the Caves of Hercules, before diving into the casbah and the exciting alleys of the country.

The tour can be done in English, Spanish, French or Italian, and includes pick-up from the airport or from hotels around Tangier.

Book online: A prominent six-hour private tour of Tangier

13. Urban beach

Municipal beach, Tangier

Embraced by the Cornish, the most comfortable place to feel the sand between your toes in Tangier is the municipal beach, a wide crescent bordering the west of the port.

As with urban beaches around the world, water quality can negate swimming, and it may be some time before the Plage Municipale wins a blue flag.

But with the latest development of the Cornish the sand is now manicured, and a pleasant place to enjoy the sun and sea air.

Camel rides are available here as well, and these animals look healthy and well-groomed.

14. The Great Tangier Mosque

The Great Tangier Mosque

For non-Muslims, this is a sight worth visiting as you walk around the Grand Socco on a country tour, and get a picture of the impressive entrance and minaret along the way.

The Great Mosque is the largest in the city, erected in 1685 on the foundations of a destroyed Portuguese church, which had previously been a Roman temple.

The mosque received its present appearance in 1815 under Sultan Moulay Suleiman, and Sultan Muhammad V worshiped here on the way to deliver an important speech in Tangier in 1947.

15. Lorraine Foundation

Lorraine Foundation

At the southern end of the country, a few blocks in from the Jardins de la Mendoubia, there is a museum in the Lorraine sacred synagogue from the colonial period.

The Lorin Foundation has been documenting the social, political, cultural and sporting life of Tangier since the 1930s, with orderly displays of photographs, posters, newspaper clippings and programs.

The main focus is on the period of the international area, between 1924 and 1956. The museum also features permanent exhibitions of contemporary art, and there are permanent exhibitions.

16. Grand Cervantes Theater

The Great Cervantes Theater

A perishable Spanish artifact, the 1,400-capacity Gran Theater Cervantes was built in 1913, and in its day was one of the most important stages in North Africa.

Some of the leading performers in Europe, such as the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, marched on these planks in the early 20th century.

It is fair to say that the now empty theater, a short walk south of the American embassy, ​​has seen better days, as can be seen from its crumbling Art Nouveau front.

But in 2019 the property was officially transferred by Spain to the Moroccan government, which has pledged to restore and reopen the place as a theater and cultural center.

17. Stone tomb in Tota

A stone tomb in Tuta

One of Tangier’s most famous sons is the Arab world’s response to Marco Polo, a 14th-century explorer who embarked on a 29-year adventure in almost the entire Islamic world, as well as in China, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia.

Like any point in the country, his grave can be a challenge to find, and it sits on a tiny stone street in Tuta, a few minutes southwest of the Casbah.

Stop by and come across a sign and information board detailing the life of Ibn Batuta in French, English and Arabic.

Bab al Asa’s gate has a number that can be called.

Eventually a muezzin will appear and lead you to the sarcophagus, wrapped in a green cloth with verses from the Koran.

18. Mandovia Gardens

Mandovia Gardens

At the western end of the Grand Socco you can break into some open space in the area of ​​the Commercial Court of the city (Tribunal de Commerce). This mansion was established for the Mandov, the sultan’s representative, during Tangier’s time as an international region.

Pavilions from the Mandov also served as the headquarters of the German consulate during their occupation in 1941. At the main entrance you will be greeted by a large arch carved in Arabic script, behind which are palm trees, lawns and flower beds.

The park has 30 17th-century bronze cannons, and some of the oldest trees in the city, including a majestic building dating back to 850 years.

In this park in April 1947 Sultan Muhammad V delivered a historic speech calling for the independence of Morocco.

19. St. Andrew’s Church

St. Andrew's Church, Tangier

In 1880 Sultan Hassan I granted a strip of land to the British community of Tangier to build an Anglican church.

The present Moorish-style church was consecrated in 1905 after initial construction turned out to be too small for the community.

Visit the special look of a church tower shaped like a spire, the horseshoe arches of the face, and the Lord’s Prayer written in Arabic script behind the altar.

The most fascinating are the historical figures commemorated in the church, or buried in the cemetery next to it.

Inside is a plaque for Emily Cain (1849-1944), who married Sheriff of Ozan in 1873 and is credited with bringing the cholera vaccine into Morocco.

Among the travelers, writers and soldiers in the cemetery there is a plot of an almost legendary local bar owner known only as Dean and calling: “Died February 1963. Absent to all.”

20. Dalia Beach

Dalia Beach, Tangier

If you do not mind walking the extra mile for a perfect beach, you can head east along the rocky coastline, towards Ceuta.

Around a headland known as Point Cires from the container port of Tangier Med is Dalia Beach with the Blue Flag, held as one of the best beaches in Morocco.

In stark contrast to Achkar Beach, Dalia is on the Mediterranean side of the feature, retreating from the shore in front of a bowl of rocky hills covered with pines.

The water in this little bay is a magical shade of light blue.

There is a small white fishing village on the west side, and blue wooden boats have been towed to the sand.

21. Cap from the bath

Cap from Lvata

Closing Tangier Bay At the eastern end of Tangier Bay is the cliff, Cap Malabata.

At the top of the cliffs there is a lighthouse and a small castle, built in the early 20th century in the medieval style.

The reason to come is to visit the cafe, and contemplate the view as the sun sets with a cup of mint tea or a powerful coffee.

Near the point where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean meet, you can spot Spain and Gibraltar across the strait, or look back over Tangier Bay to see the city and port in the lights.

22. Lazy balcony

Lazy balcony

A little south and up the slope from the Gran Teatro Cervantes there is a neat paved promenade with spectacular views of the city, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Tarifa in Spain.

The Terrasse des Paresseux is armed with a quartet of historic cannons, and you can peek across the strait through binoculars.

For people trying to get to Europe, this is a place to stop and look longingly at a continent that is out of reach.

Pasteur Avenue next to the terrace is a popular place for “Passius” in the evening, and its daughter can be pampered with a pastry from one of the many nearby cafes and patisseries, such as Café La Espanaola and Gran Café de Paris, once a meeting place for the hit crowd of Tangier.

23. Bullring

Bullring

We do not approve of bullfights, but this sight, which hosted its last bullfight 50 years ago, is more of a monument to Tangier’s last mixed heritage.

It is one of eight bullring left in Africa.

You will find it in the southeast of the city, near Yaakov El Mansour Avenue.

This deserted area of ​​13,000 capacity, dating back to 1950, is more of a destination for fearless urban researchers sneaking in to photograph the decay.

At the time of writing in 2019 there were rumors that the bullring would be renovated and found a new role, but nothing was released.

24. Tangier

Tangier

It makes sense that a city associated with the Beat generation would have a successful jazz festival.

Organized by the Lorin Foundation, Tanjazz has been operating since 2000, and takes place in several stages across the streets and squares of Tangier over eight days in mid-September.

The festival contains all the many sub-genres of jazz, from big band to swing to bebop.

In the 2019 edition there was an international variety of shows, from France, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and the USA, but you could also hear jazz combined with African by Lidiop (Senegal), Fouad Hani (Morocco) and Geneva by Tangier himself. Express.

25. Manar Park

Manar Park

In Cap Malabata, about ten kilometers from Tangier, is a small resort furnished with a water park open to daily visitors.

This attraction has been upgraded in the last two seasons, and features large, interconnected pools, a shallow pool for smaller children and a small variety of slides, one with two-seater inflatable rings.

Tattered parents have lawn areas where you can lie on deck chairs under palm trees.

Manar Park is on high ground so when you climb the stairs to the slides you will see the Tangier skyline close to the west.

Where to stay: The best hotels in Tangier, Morocco
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