Just a few kilometres from Spain, set between Mountains and sea, a miniature paradise awaits the traveller, a shimmering white city framed by the brilliant blue of the skies above, the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean, and the blue green of the Mediterranean. At the crossroads of seas and continents, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic and Europe meets Africa, stands the city of fTangier, its face turned resolutely towards the sea. There is something altogether unique about the town, something impalpable, indefinable – a sense of freedom that hangs in the air.
The city has worked its magic on so many over the centuries, drawing artists and intellectuals, conquerors and beatniks, millionaires and eccentrics. This is the city that invented globalization. Tangier is above all an atmosphere.
Sights of interest:
Enjoy the sea, the camel rides and the great food and drinks. Tangier’s beach was the main attraction for its string of famous visitors and the large expatriate community. Today, the town beach remains a great attraction, with miles-long stretch across the coast.
The Grand Socco
The Grand Socco (or Zoco Grande) is the main market square in Tangier. It is the best starting place to rumble around town. The most pleasant of these markets is the Foundouk Market , which you can find just past El Minzah hotel when going towards Place de France. Everything is on display in the stalls here: from fruit and vegetables to pottery.
The Mendoubia Gardens
Worth visiting are the Mendoubia Gardens flanking the Grand Socco. These luxurious gardens offer a welcome shade from the midday afternoon sun and boast a fascinating banyan tree that’s over 800 years old.
Place de France
Place de France, as the name suggests, is a French-looking square market in the middle of the Ville Nouvelle. The main attractions are the many cafes, especially in late afternoons, where both locals and expatriates meet.
St Andrews Church
South of the Grand Socco is one of the city’s oldest churches: St Andrews Church. This English church, of the Anglican denomination, was built in the 19th century and is notable for its fusion of traditional Moroccan decoration with English country churchyard.
Contemporary Art Museum
Just south of the Grand Socco, on Rue d’Angleterre, is the Musée d’Art Contemporain – Contemporary Art Museum of Tangier.
The museum is devoted to contemporary Moroccan artists who showcase ordinary, everyday Moroccan life. Interesting exhibitions are periodically held, where permanent displays showcase the work of well-known Moroccan artists.
Old American Legation
The Old American Legation is a fascinating building that holds great historical significance. This is the first established American ambassadorial residence, in 1777, between Morocco and the newly independent United States.
Gran Teatro Cervantes
Another of Tangier’s great International landmarks is the old Spanish theatre - Gran Teatro Cervantes. The building has a remarkable Art Nouveau façade and an impressive glass dome.
Le Petit Socco
Located in the heart of Tangier’s old quarters, the Petit Socco is the Medina’s principal landmark and one of Tangier’s most picturesque sites. This is an interesting place to have a cup of mint tea in one of the many cafes.
Beyond the Petit Socco, the Medina proper starts. It is here that you find Tangier’s famous Kasbah, walled off from the Medina at the coast’s highest rise. The Kasbah consists of walled compounds, colonnades and a great number of luxurious villas built in the 1920s.
Dar Al Makhzen
The main attraction in the Kasbah is the Dar Al Makhzen or the Sultanate Palace. This was the palace of Moulay Hafid, the Moroccan Sultan exiled to Tangier by the French in 1912. Today, the palace has been converted into a museum, but retains much of its past glory. It is centred on two interior courtyards, with rich arabesque painted wooded ceilings and marble fountains. Part of the Museum is devoted to crafts and antiquities, including an exceptional ceramics collection from Fes and Meknes.