While Tangier is not a city that we would consider one of our top must-sees of Morocco, it has its own attractions. Tangier has an interesting history as it has captured the fascination of writers and artists throughout its past. It has also been used in several films. Tangier will give you a different view of Morocco than the other imperial cities, one that is less polished.
If you are coming to Morocco from Spain, this city will be the easy way to enter the country. It is a port city that attracts a lot of tourists from Spain due to the short ferry ride.
Here are some things to do while you are in Tangier!
1. Visit the American Legation Museum
Do you know which country was the first to recognize the United States as an official country? That’s right, it was Morocco! Because of this, Morocco holds the only national monument outside of the United States. The American Legation Museum is in the medina of Tangier and is open Monday – Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM. Admission is 20 MAD a person (a little over 2 dollars). This museum tells about the history between the United States and Morocco and even has a tribute room to American writer Paul Bowles.
2. See the Grand Socco
The Grand Socco is the main square of Tangier. It used to be a thriving market place but now serves to connect the Medina (old city) with the newer part of the city. Have a seat on one of the benches and watch people go about their daily lives. It might feel like a bit of a clash of times…on one side you will see lines of cars and taxis and on the other side begins the entrance to the old city. If you want to go see a movie, check out the Cinema Rif!
3. Experience the Cave of Hercules
The cave or grotto of Hercules is located about 14 km outside of the city, so this will be a fun excursion if you have a little more time in the city. These caves get their name because legend has it that Hercules rested in these caves after completing his 12 labors that would give him immortality. A unique aspect of these caves is that they have a sea window that is shaped like the continent of Africa! It is a popular tourist attraction, so there will be an entrance fee of about 10 MAD.
4. View the Kasbah
The Kasbah is one of the three main sections of Tangier, the other two being the Medina and the New City. These ancient fortifications are located on the hill of Tangier, and provides a good overlooking of the water. Visit the Kasbah Museum, which is an 17th century palace. In this museum, there is a lot of Morocco’s history on display, including pieces from Roman ruins and special displays of Tangier’s own history.
5. Wander the Medina
The Medina is the old city of Tangier, and is another of the main sections of this city. Wander through the small streets and look at the different boutiques and shops. Enjoy the different architectural styles that you will see-the Andalusian influence will no doubt be present due to the history and geographical location of this city! The center of the Medina is the Petit Socco, a square where you can stop and get a cup of tea or coffee.
6. Walk on the Beach
Though the promenade is currently under construction, you will still be able to enjoy the beauty of the beach. Take a stroll and relax! If you are interested, there are camels available to take a camel ride on the beach.
7. Learn at St. Andrew’s Church
If you are interested in religious history, then you will want to stop at St. Andrew’s Church. This church’s construction was finished in 1905. It is a fascinating location because it is a worship place for Anglicans, but also marks the direction of Mecca for Muslim prayer. There are both carved quotes from the Quran and the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic. There are some interesting personages buried in the graveyard, including generals.
We hope that these are helpful ideas for your time in Tangier! If you are looking for a tour of Morocco from Spain, check out our itineraries that start in Tangier today.