Guarding the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier has for centuries been Africa's gateway from Europe. Its blend of cultures and influences is unique in Morocco – for much of its history it wasn't even governed by Morocco. Tangier has always carried a slightly seedy allure, in part due to its time as a semi-independent international zone that attracted eccentric foreigners, artists and spies. Officially sanctioned neglect later gave it a dismal reputation, and visitors were often were quick to flee its sleaze and hustle. Contemporary Tangier could hardly be more different. Investment has flowed in and the white city gleams with an air of confidence. The corniche bustles, entrepreneurs in the new business district have replaced the hustlers, and a new marina is under construction, along with the new TGV train line to Casablanca. Tangier's cultural life is buzzing in a way it hasn't done since the 1950s.
Sights in Tangier
Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures
This museum, recently refurbished, is housed in the former sultan's palace of Dar el-Makhzen. The focus is on the history of the area from prehistoric times to the 19th century. Exhibits are well-presented.
Tangier American Legation Museum
This elegant five-storey mansion museum is a must-see: Morocco was the first country to recognise the fledgling United States, in 1777, and this was the first piece of American real estate abroad, as well as the onl…
The medina is the top attraction of Tangier, a labyrinth of alleyways both commercial and residential. It's contained by the walls of a 15th-century Portuguese fortress, although most buildings are actually relative.
Officially named Pl Souq ad-Dakhil, this was once the most notorious crossroads of Tangier, the site of drug deals and all forms of prostitution. Today the facades are freshly painted, tourists abound and it’s a won…
The Grand Socco (official name Pl du 9 Avril 1947) is the romantic entrance to the medina, a large, sloping, palm-ringed plaza with a central fountain that stands before the keyhole gate Bab Fass. Once a major marke…
St Andrew’s Church
St Andrew's Church is one of the more charming oddities of Tangier. Completed in 1890, on land granted by Sultan Hassan, the interior of this Anglican church is decorated in high Fassi style, with the Lord’s Prayer …
Tomb of Ibn Battuta
This modest tomb is the purported last resting place of Ibn Battuta, who was born in Tangier in 1304 and became the greatest traveller of the period – outpacing Marco Polo at an easy clip. A scholar and judge, Ibn B…
Musée de la Fondation Lorin
This eclectic museum is housed in a former synagogue. Here you will find an open two-storey room with an engaging collection of black-and-white photographs of 19th- and 20th-century Tangier on the walls. Meanwhile t…
This large park is full of strolling couples and children playing football. The Mendoubia Gardens are flanked by an elegant line of colonial buildings,