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Night view of Tangier

Tangier (طنجة) is an important port city in Morocco.


Tangier is a fascinating Moroccan city to visit. It has many of the things that travellers love--a sense of exotic mystery, interesting history, beautiful vistas, unspoiled beaches, and friendly people.

Tangier is an interesting mix of north Africa, Spain, and France. It is located in northern Morocco, and was under joint international control until 1956. Tangier is separated from Spain only by the 20 miles of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Frequent ferries make the short crossing from Europe each day, and many cruise ships sailing between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic often include Tangier as a port of call.

Get in

Regarding the Crossing: is best to take the FRS ferry from Tarifa port.the first ferry departure from Tarifa-spain To Tangier-Morocco is at 9.00 AM and every 2 hours. from Tangier, the latest FRS ferry run back to Tarifa is at 22.00 PM. is far better to take the ferry from Tarifa port in order to dock in Tangier port situated in the City. when you take the ferry from Algeciras you'll be arriving in Tangier new port(Tanger-Med) Situated in about 40 KM from Tangier(one hour each way from Tangier).

By plane

Tangier-Ibn Batouta Airport (TNG) is located 12 km (7.5 miles) from the city (travel time about 20 minutes). Taxi 100 Dh (10€) from Tangier, 150 Dh (15€) at night or from the airport to Tangier. At present Royal Air Maroc, easyJet, Ryanair, Iberia, Jet4you, Air Berlin, Amsterdam Airlines, Corendon Airlines and Air Arabia Maroc fly here. All persons entering or leaving Morocco are required to complete an entry/exit card and non-residents are permitted to remain in Morocco for a total of 90 days.

Coming in by plane is the easiest and hassle free way of coming to Tangier: there are no touts at the airport and the prices of the taxis are more or less fixed. Beware of long queues at passport controls before flights bound for the Schengen area.

By rail

ONCF opened a new train station, Tanger Ville, in 2003, which is now the end of the line. While it's closer to the city center than Tanger Morora, the original end-of-the-line, it's still quite a long walk so take a petit taxi for 15dhs or so.

The country has an excellent railway system with 1,893km (1,176mi) of track and a fine intercity passenger service. Overnight train services running throughout Europe can connect with Morocco. Most of the time, non stop trains are fine but those which are not direct sometimes make unscheduled stops en route but do not panic as you will reach your destination eventually.

There is a night-train leaving from Tangier to Marrakesh at 9:05PM costing 350 Dirhams for a couchette. There is a daily Train service to Fez for 155 Dirhams for a first class fare (5 hour journey)

When travelling overnight by train, it is usually cheaper to buy a couchette ticket than a first class ticket.

Notice If you are taking the night train, and not using the sleeper cars, you will probably not get a good night sleep. This is due to the lights being on, movement of people in the train, and conductors checking you ticket numerous times. It is probably a good idea to travel with someone who'll present your tickets, put on eye covers and take a sleeping pill.

By car or motorcycle

When coming into Tangier by car, be careful of hustlers on motorbikes who will ride alongside you and attempt all manner of dodginess.

By bus

Tangier has two long distance bus stations. The first, at the CTM offices near the port, is the arrival point of most CTM buses. Some other CTM buses, and those from other companies, arrive at the station on Place Jamia el-Arabia.

  • C.T.M. - Place d’ Espagne. Gare routière - Tel. 00212 (0)39 931 172 - CTM website [3]
  • TRAMESA , 29. Av. Youssef Ben Tacheffine. Tel. 00212 (0)39 943 348 - Tramesa website [4]

By boat

The port is located beside the Medina, and a few hundred metres from the ville nouvelle. Although the government has been partially successful in reducing the number of touts, money changers, taxi drivers and faux guides hassling people arriving by boat, expect to be mobbed. Look like you know where you're going, politely refuse any offers of help or ignore the "the fake guides" completely, or if you really feel like you need to escape jump in a taxi to escape the throng; just make sure that the taxi driver is no worse than the mob you are trying to escape. The taxi rank is inside the port area - you are likely to be mobbed by requests from many drivers. There is no queuing system - just take the taxi which you have agreed a fare with and are comfortable with. The blue coloured petit taxis are substantially cheaper and used more by locals and are preferable to the cream coloured grande taxis who are mostly unmetered. The grande taxis generally also will still try and charge you more even if you have agreed price, be insistent and get all your change back.

There are many fast hydrofoils daily on FRS Ferry Serice [5] from Tarifa in Spain for about 37 Euros one way or 67 Euros round-trip (as of November 2010). Several times a day there are also fast Balearia ferries [6] from Algeciras, Spain to the new Tangier-Med Port (25 miles from downtown Tangier) for 29.50 Euros one-way or 62.50 Euros round-trip (as of November 2010). Passengers should be aware that the boats often run slower than the advertized time (because they depart later than scheduled time or simply take longer to get across). So give yourself an ample time cushion (1 hour minimum) if you plan to catch another transportation after you get off the ferry. For example, one speed catamaran between Tangier and Tarifa advertizes one hour travel time between Tanger and Algeciras on their brochure (35-minute boat travel between Tangier and Tarifa, then 15-minute bus travel from Tarifa to Algeciras), but in reality, this trip will take over 2 hours. Example: the boat frequently leave later (by 15-30 minutes) than the scheduled time, then once at Tarifa, the bus does not depart until everyone on the boat clears customs (which takes 30-45 minute), then the bus will take 20-25 minutes to travel from Tarifa to Algericas.

Get around

Walking is perhaps the best way to see the relatively compact Tangier. Petit taxis are common, but if it is unmetered make sure you agree on a price first. Tangier is very easy to navigate around; the two main roads are Boulevard Mohamed V which runs from near the Medina through the ville nouvelle and Boulevard Mohamed VI (formerly Ave des FAR) which runs along from the beachfront from the port to Malabata. The Medina area is a complex array of alleyways some of which can only be accessed on foot. Mohamed V has a whole range of clothes shops, pharmacies and cafes as well as Hotel Flandria, Hotel Rembrandt. Hotel Minzah lies just off this road. Mohamed VI runs along the beach front where you will find numerous hotels (Rif, Ramada, Sherezade, Solazure, Tariq, Movenpick), bars, discos, restaurants and cafes. Most hostels are situated on the roads heading uphill near the port area.

Most locals in Tangier will be unfamiliar with what we call the "ville nouvelle". To help with agreeing fares and generally with navigating using taxis - the central main thoroughfare is simply known as the "Boulevard", the beach area as "Playa", the port as "Marsa", the medina as "souk barra", the hilly area to the west of Tangier with the Golf Course and Race Track as "California", the residential area heading towards the main road to Tetouan as "Idrissia", the thieves market as "Casa Barata".


Day view of Tangier

Take a simple walk along the beach (Ave Mohamed VI) to enjoy what the city is famed for.

  • The Kasbah
  • The tomb of Ibn Battouta, a 14th century famous traveller who was born in Tangier. Pay tribute to a fellow traveller.
  • Teatro Cervantes, rue Salah Eddine et Ayoubi. Closed and falling to pieces but take a photo from outside the gates as you pass by on the way up to the Grand Socco.
  • The American Legation, 8, Rue America, [1]. The Tangier American Legation Museum (TALM), a thriving cultural center, museum, conference center and library in the heart of the old medina in Tangier, is housed in the only historic landmark of the United States located abroad. The museum exhibits a large collection of art and historical items. It also has a Paul Bowles Wing [2] dedicated to the writer and composer who lived most of his adult life in Tangier.
  • Musée d'Art Contemporain de la Ville de Tanger
  • The Kasbah Museum, the former Sultan's palace deserves to be seen not only for it's collection of artefacts from the Phoenician to modern times, but also for the building and garden. There is a small fee for entrance (10 Moroccan Dirham or about $1USD) and varying opening times winter and summer.


  • People watching on the Terrasse des Paresseux, boulevard Pasteur or on Sunday along the beachfront Avenue Mohammed VI.
  • Drink a mint tea at the Café Hafa and enjoy the view of the ocean.
  • Mnar Park aquatic park with a tremendous view of the coast. Open in 2005 it costs 5€ for children and 10€ Adults has aqua slides, karting circuits, café, romantic restaurant. (Excellent pancakes!).
  • Get happily lost in the medina, which is most active in evening and night.
  • Visit the American Legation Museum [7] in the walled city. (Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States, in December 1777 with the hope of promoting commerce with the new republic. This act by the Moroccan sultan was the first public recognition of the U.S. by a head of state.)
  • Go to the souk on Thursday or Sunday mornings to see the Rif mountain women in their colorful costumes selling their produce and dairy products all along the wall of the St. Andrew's Church(English Church).
  • Visit Casa Barata. You can take a shared grand taxi from the staion just next to English Church. It's just 5 minutes ride by taxi and the fare is 3 Dhs each person. It's a vast market which sells literally everything. You never know what you'll discover there.


There are many choices of different cuisine available. Many of the luxury hotels offer a good selection of both Moroccan and Continental Fare, though at prices much higher than what you will find elsewhere. There are also many restaurants along the Ave Mohamed VI (the beachfront) where one can enjoy a nice meal with a glass of wine on the beachfront.

In the evening, go to the plaza next to CTM bus station. There are several cafes and restaurants facing the plaza. The price and services are good because of the keen competition. Just wandering around in the medina will bring you across numerous Moroccan restaurants offering similar dishes, quality, and prices (main dish around 7 dollars), so you can basically just choose one at random and probably be satisfied.

There is also some fresh off-the-boat seafood restaurants for locals in the port behind the warehouses. At the port entrance, walk towards the water and keep to the right. It's on the docks towards the farthest point out behind some buildings...all outdoor seating for the most part. Order a tray of shrimp, a (big) salad and the calamari and fish tray. No menus or prices but it's quite inexpensive and authentic.

Some of the popular restaurants and places to eat in Tangier are as follows:

  • El Minzah Hotel (Moroccan) - located near the French Consulate at top of Boulevard Mohamed V, very expensive
  • Otori Sushi (Japanese) - located near the Grande Poste, Avenue de la Resistance
  • San Remo (Italian) - located near the town centre
  • Pagoda (Chinese) - located near the town centre
  • Sable d'or (Indian) - located on the beachfront, Ave Mohamed VI
  • Continental Hotel (continental)
  • Marhaba (Moroccan)
  • Restaurant Al Andalous (Moroccan Deli & Fish Bar) opposite the Al Andalous Mosque, Lalla Chafia.
  • McDonalds located in the Dawliz complex and on the beachfront
  • Pizza Hut located near the beachfront
  • Oslo (Pizzas and snacks) located on the Boulevard and on the beachfront
  • Restaurant Populaire (Moroccan)
  • Brahim Abdelmalek (Fast food) - a fabulous and cheap sandwich of kefta, egg, fries on a baguette at around 14 Dhs. It's located on Rue Mexique, just a block away from Terrasse des Paresseux
  • Many cafes also serve snacks and many bars on the beachfront serve tapas

Street Food

You may quickly bore of tagines and street food is a great option for snacking throughout the day. Fresh orange juice costs about 5D; sandwiches of egg, peppers, and sauce are about 10D. Yogurt mixtures can be particularly creative, such as avocado and almonds, or fruit mixtures. Tiny stalls in the souk sell cooked vegetables like eggplant, with rice, and other tasty treats and a meal there can cost 10D or so. In the early evening you may find squares of chickpea cakes sprinkled with salt and paprika.


In the morning a "locals" cafe will give you a cafe au lait for 5D. (Cafes where tourists congregate will charge you 10D.) Usually there is a bread vendor at the cafe (by the port or the madina) who will serve you bread with cheese and honey for another 5D. It's perfectly okay to buy your bread/breakfast elsewhere and eat it outside at the cafe. If the bread guy is next to the cafe the waiter will often collect.


Vegetarians will find plenty to eat in Tangier and Morocco in general, but vegetarian tagines can become boring after a couple of days and often contain lamb stock. Street food is a lot more creative and fun. If you've brought a camping stove, shop at the souk and make your own. Or you can opt for Pizza, Chinese or Indian all of which are available in Tangier.


There are many places in Tangier to drink - people have their own favourite haunts. Much depends on the current owner who tends to give the place a certain ambiance. Favorite bars/discos with foreign (and local) clientele include Casa Pepe, Sable D'or, Morocco Palace, Marco Polo (popular with truck drivers) and hotel bars such as Ramada and El Minzah.

You could opt for a coffee instead - there are no shortage of cafes; some of which are the best in the country. Some have amazing views (cafe Hafa), some good coffee, some are popular (cafe Tropicana, cafe Celine Dion), some with music (cafe in the Dawliz complex), some have good cakes (cafe Oslo), some are places to relax after a hard day shopping (cafe Madam Porte, cafe Vienna), and some are just plain sleazy - the choice is yours.

Fresh fruit juices are sold by street vendors during the summer months. The cafes also serve fresh juices and often have what is called a panache - a mix of fruit juices often with milk, apple and almond - try it - its delicious.



There are an enormous number of small boats and hostels in or near the medina. (50 - 300 Dh)

  • Ave des FAR. Biarritz, Family and others.
  • Rue de la Liberation, between the Grand Socco and av. Pasteur: Pension Gibraltar (150 Dh the triple, free hot shower), just in front of the 5* boat El Minzah.
  • Rue Sahab Eddine El Ayoubi. Packed with them: Valencia, Madrid, Miami, Detroit, Atou and others.
  • In the medina go near the Zoco Chico, there are the Becerra, Fuentes and a whole lot more. Try also the street which starts on the stairs of the La Gitana restaurant, on the port entrance to the medina, and the area around the Petit Socco just in the center of the Medina.
  • There are also a lot of small hotels at the port, which is walking distance to both the medina and the new city. To find these little hotels you exit the port of Tangiers and in about 100 meters you'll see the Hotel Biarritz (white with hand-lettering in blue). Turn right up the rutted, dirty little alleyway next to it (yes, this is a street) and wind your way uphill to find several small hotels off the main drag on the unmarked Avenue Magellan.
  • Magellan Hotel is one of the hotels here, quiet and very basic, hot showers, has a garage for your car or motorcycle, and costs 150D/night w/20D for parking. Front rooms 2nd floor have Bay of Tangiers view and cooling breeze.


  • Hotel Continental, 36 Rue Dar El Baroud, Tel: 039 93 10 24. This hotel, situated in the medina and within easy reach of the port, is very much in the 'former glory' category, with past guests including Degas, Churchill, Kerouac and friends. Definitely spend extra for a nicer room if given the opportunity, it is not a lot extra and the best rooms were absolutely palatial. Get one facing the port if you can. It has a really nice terrace out front where you can enjoy mint tea with spectacular views of the harbour. Make sure not to confuse it with the Intercontinental which is a more modern hotel and not as central. The price of 365-420 dirhams for a double translates to around €33-38.
  • Hotel Sherezade, Ave des FAR - next to Ramada. On the beachfront, clean and comfortable, cheap and cheerful (30-35€)
  • Hotel Solazure, Ave des FAR. On the beachfront but caters mostly to package tourists. Poor service and not particularly clean or cheap. About 50-60€
  • Dar Jameel, No.6 rue Mohammed Bergach, Dar El Baroud, Tel: 00-212-61092780. This new guesthouse/ boutique hotel is a stone's throw from the Hotel Continental and needs to be seen. A former restaurant and gallery, the house has been amazingly restored with typical Moroccan style. The view from the large terrace and penthouse is 360 degrees, taking in the medina, the bay of Tangier, Gibraltar and Spain. The 8 rooms/suites vary in price from 45 euros to 120 euros a night.
  • Hotel Marco Polo, on the corner of Ave. d'Espangne and Rue Marco Polo. Clean, modern and decent sized rooms with air conditioning and satellite television. A double room will set you back around 600 DH although this can be negotiated down to 450 DH. The reception will let you use the spare computer for internet access free of charge. Breakfast is sadly not included.


  • Hotel Ramada on beachfront - 4 star hotel. Modern and reasonably priced with sea facing rooms (about 80-100€).
  • Hotel Movenpick in Malabata - Expensive but modern luxury hotel with an adjoining Casino. 5 star Hotel (about 160-180€)
  • Hotel El Minzah near the Medina - centrally located. Decor is traditional Moroccan arabesque. This is the most famous 5 star hotel in Tangier.
  • Hotel Omnia el Puerto opposite Ramada - not on the beachfront but is clean and comfortable 4 star hotel. (about 70-80€)
  • Hotel Intercontinental, Near the big Mezquita. Good service and clean. Not part of the Intercontinental chain. About 50-70€
  • Hotel Le Mirage in Cap Spartel. This is a 5 star hotel on the Atlantic coast. It is a little far from Tangier and an ideal secluded spot. Popular with Royalty and the discreetly rich
  • Hotel Rif on Ave Mohamed VI (on beachfront). Recently renovated and reopened. 5 star Hotel. Famous former guests include Winston Churchill and Jean Claude Van Damme.
  • Villa Josephine on the Old Mountain is an 11-room luxury residence with fine dining, bar and swimming pool. It is located away from the crowds downtown.

Stay safe

Generally, Tangier is a very safe city compared with many places in Europe. The only trouble you may encounter is the persistent touts whom you should ignore, or the con-men ready to fleece you, and you will encounter these almost exclusively in the medina. There are policemen everywhere and you will probably feel safer than at home.

Dressing like a local - as opposed to white shorts, shoes, and a backpack - will help you blend in and get good reception from merchants, who will often quote you actual prices instead of inflated tourist prices. There are lots of expats in this city that speaks Spanish first, then English and then French. A polite no thank you and then simply ignoring touts does get rid of them.

If you are lost in the medina, you can easily find your way out by going uphill (souk/English church/Nouvelle Village) or down (port). Kids and young men may ask you for money to lead you out (a couple of dirams), or to the Cafe Central, but if you are asked if you are lost and do not want help, say "Yes, but happily," and usually that gets a laugh and solitude.

Tangier is a safe place for solo women travelers.


Get out

You can buy train, bus and ferry tickets at the stations and ports listed above, although you may find it easier to purchase ferry tickets from travel agents rather than face the gauntlet of touts at the port. If you plan on leaving by ferry, it is important to note that the ferries to Algeciras often do not follow a set schedule, and departure times can change even within a day of having purchased tickets. One alternative is to take a fast ferry to Tarifa, because these are more likely to run on time and at least one of the companies provides a free bus to the port at Algeciras. You can also flag grand taxis at the major bus stations and ferry port.

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