Tangier Travel Guide
Introduction to Tangier
Located across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, Tangier is the first contact many Europeans have with Africa. Merely a 20-mile ferry ride away, this gateway city doesn’t disappoint, as its medina, museums, and natural attractions make it a worthy introduction to Morocco.
While it may not have the reputation of Marrakesh, the artistic flourish of Fez, or the package holiday beaches of Agadir, travelers arriving in Tangier will find plenty to love about this place.
Cultural Attractions in Tangier
Start by exploring the Medina of Tangier. Built in the 14th century, this walled old city will give fresh arrivals from Europe an introduction to the exotic atmosphere that is prevalent throughout Morocco.
With plenty of market stalls selling foodstuffs, textiles, and souvenirs, you’ll be able to see how locals go about their everyday lives. When you have gotten your fill of pictures, continue to explore its walls and arches, which offer incredible photographic opportunities of their own.
Additionally, there are also views of the Mediterranean from several parts of the Medina, so keep your eyes open for them.
Learn about the history of the Tangier area by dropping by the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures. Containing artifacts dating from the prehistoric period to the 19th century, it contains several gems like a map of the known world in the 12th century, as well as a mosaic of Venus.
The courtyard garden is a relaxing place to be as well, so be sure to spend some time refreshing your spirit there before heading back out into the busy streets of Tangier.
Travel is so simple nowadays, it can be easy to forget how much of an undertaking it was for our predecessors in past centuries. If you love wandering the world, pay your respects at the Tomb of Ibn Battuta while in Tangier.
Born in 1304, he was considered to be among the greatest nomads of his time, standing alongside Marco Polo in this regard. Over the course of his life, Ibn visited nations and kingdoms across North Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, Russia, and Sri Lanka.
This gave him a distinguished travel resume that garnered him a great deal of fame in his hometown after publishing works based on his adventures.
Other Attractions in Tangier
If you are from the United States, take some time to visit the American Legation while in Tangier. The first diplomatic mission built overseas by the then-young nation in the 19th century, this building served as a consulate, a headquarters for American spies in the Second World War, and as a Peace Corps office when it was actively used for official government business.
Operating today as an Arabic language studies school, it was recognized as a heritage property by the US government in 1982 (the only such designation outside the territorial USA). Built in the Moorish style, it is worth visiting for pictures alone.
Nature lovers looking for things to do in Tangier will want to pay a visit to the Caves of Hercules. A natural cave expanded by the Phoenicians for the purpose of creating millstones, it got its name by way of a legend which maintains Greek demigod Hercules spent time sleeping here before setting out to collect golden apples from the Garden of Hesperides.
Rigged with lights and with guides available for hire, this is a great place to learn about ancient legends, industry through the ages, and the ecology of subterranean spaces.
If the mid-summer heat of Morocco is getting to you, spend a day chilling out on Tangier Beach. A clean beach that is popular, yet not as crowded as the ones in resort towns like Agadir, it is a wonderful place to go for a refreshing swim, soak up the sun, or relax and curl up with a good book.
Families will love the fact that pony rides down the beach are available, while active travelers will have the opportunity to join the locals in a friendly game of beach football (soccer).