It may not be the first place you think of when planning a trip to Morocco, but the port city of Tangier is the perfect gateway to North Africa for travelers crossing over from Europe. Overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier provides visitors with an appropriate introduction into what they can expect from the country. Nowhere near as polished a tourist destination as say Marrakesh, Tangier gives you a genuine gritty feel for city life in Morocco, flaws and all.
By exploring all the best places to visit in Tangier, you'll not only get a well-rounded look at the city, but you'll also find your feet, which will make exploring the rest of Morocco much easier. To make the most of your time there, it's best to follow our Tangier itinerary.
The natural place to start your visit is with the Medina of Tangier. If this is your first time visiting a medina in Morocco, it will give you an idea of what the walled historic center of Moroccan cities is like. A maze of narrow streets which lead up from the harbor to the Grand Socco market place, there's a high chance that you'll get lost many times as you explore this part of the city.
Wandering the Medina, you're sure to find plenty of stores selling all sorts of handicrafts. Don't be surprised if locals approach you as you wander about, asking if you're lost. They'll offer to help you find your way, only to insist on payment or bring you to their store instead. If you get tired from walking and shopping, head to Place Petit Socco where you can find cafes ideal for people-watching.
For tourists, the undisputed main attraction near the Medina is the Kasbah Museum inside the old sultan's palace of Dar El Makhzen. Though most of the information inside is in French and Arabic, you get to see this restored palace in all its glory. The museum's collection of detailed maps is a big hit, as are the beautiful courtyards and tiles throughout the palace.
As a port city, there's no way you can skip exploring Tangier's waterfront. While you may expect harbor docks, the sight of the city beach and Tangier Corniche behind it is probably more unexpected. Escaping the confines of the medina, you'll feel like you can catch your breath again as you stroll along the Corniche. With Ville Nouvelle, the new part of Tangier, on one side, and the city beach on the other, it's a refreshing look at what Tangier is like. While you can lounge out on the sand, it's also possible to go for camel rides along the beach, which is a great option if you can't make it to the Sahara.
Despite being many people’s first port of call in Morocco, Tangier isn’t a destination that demands a lot of your time. Rather than being a city full of unmissable attractions, Tangier is the perfect place to acclimate to what Morocco is like. With one day there you shouldn’t have trouble covering all the best things to do in Tangier and come away with some great memories.