Tangier Morocco: What To See, Eat, & do?

Fatima O.

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If you’re planning a trip to Tangier Morocco, this travel guide provides a detailed list of top things to do and see in the city.

Tangier is a marvelous city that has been occupied by many different cultures over the centuries including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Europeans.

This has resulted in a unique blend of cultures that you can see reflected in the architecture, food, and customs of the city.

In this guide:

Where is Tangier located in Morocco?

Tangier is located in the northwest corner of Africa on the Strait of Gibraltar. The city sits just 14 kilometers (about nine miles) from the southern tip of Spain.

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Top Things to do in Tangier

Explore Tangier Old Medina

Getting lost in Tangier’s Old Medina is absolutely one of the must-have Morocco experiences.

The old city is also home to endless winding alleyways and colorful tiny shops where you can find everything from spices to souvenirs.

The experience of Tangier’s old Medina is completely different from other Moroccan cities like Marrakech.

Medina Kasbah tangier morocco
The view from the Kasbah entrance in Tangier

You will begin exploration journey at the top of the Kasbah by Bab Haha, heading down through the Old Medina along the green passage in the map that leads to the central market on the other side of the Old Medina.

Throughout your journey, you will pass important historical sites in the old town, souvenir shops, and artisan stalls.

tangier old medina alleyway
Alley in Tangier Medina
map of the old medina in Tangier
Map of the Tangier old Medina

Unfortunately, we visited during the month of Ramadan, and almost all the shops were closed.

Also, we ended up losing our way inside the Old Medina and had to retrace our steps back to the starting point instead of making it to the other side. (Yes, even locals get lost!)

Tangier Old Medina Directions

Go back in time with the Phoenician Tombs

Our next stop was the Phoenician tombs. And it was an absolutely stunning location to visit.

These tombs date back to the 11th century BC and are some of the best-preserved Phoenician tombs in the world.

There are about 108 tombs that were carved directly on the rock of a gorge 

Phoenician Tombs in Tangier
Phoenician Tombs on the shores of Tangier’s coast

The tombs are located on a hill between Hafa cafe and the old Kasbah entrance. The location also offers stunning views of the city’s harbor.

Many locals love hanging out in this area especially in the evenings to enjoy the views of the sunset.

Phoenician Tombs Directions

Stroll in Grand Socco

Grand Socco also known as Place du 9 Avril (9 April Square) is the main square that connects the new and old city of Tangier.

It’s a great place to start your exploration of the city as it’s centrally located and there’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding area.

tangier morocco grand socco
Grand Socco
grand socco tangier at night
Grand Socco at night

In the center of Grand Socco, you’ll find a beautiful fountain that was built in 1912.

The square is also lined with cafes and restaurants where you can take a break, have a bite to eat, and people-watch.

It’s new name Place du 9 Avril was given to commemorate the speech given in the square by king Mohammed V on that date in 1947.

Shop at the Grand Socco Market

Given the name, the Grand Socco Market is located in the square of the same name (mentioned above).

Grand Socco Souk is the biggest indoor market in the city and it’s where locals come to pick up fresh produce, spices, and other daily supplies.

fresh produce at tangier indoor market
fresh meat sold at grand socco indoor market
Fresh meat and produce sold in the Grand Socco indoor market in Tangier

For you, this market is a great place to get a feel for the local culture and see how Moroccans go about their daily lives.

Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, it’s still worth browsing and taking in the sights and smells of the Souk.

Head to Cafe Hafa

No visit to Tangier would be complete without stopping by Cafe Hafa which means Edge Cafe in English).

This is one of the most popular cafes in the city and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

The cafe was established in 1921 and it’s been a popular spot for everyone’s visiting Tangier ever since.

tangier view from cafe hafa
View from the Hafa cafe in Tangier

Hafa cafe is always packed with locals and tourists, especially in the evenings. So, if you want to get a seat with a view, be sure to arrive early.

Getting to the famous cafe is so easy, just head to the hill where the old Kasbah is, then follow the Road Hafa and you will find it at the end.

Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures

When you want to learn more about a city, what you do is look for its local museum and in Tangier, you should visit the Kasbah Museum.

Built in 1151 of the Muslim era (1782-1783 D.C.) the museum is located inside the old city walls inside Dar El Makhzen palace and it’s one of the most precious tourist attractions in Tangier.

Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures in tangier
Entrance of Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures

The museum houses a collection of artifacts that date back to different periods of the region’s history. You’ll find a wide range of interesting exhibits including Roman mosaics, pottery, and even ancient weapons.

Visit Ibn Battouta Museum

We also visited the Ibn Battouta Museum.

We found it by accident while walking. It’s a small but interesting museum about Ibn Battouta, a famous traveler who apparently lived in Tangier.

ibn battouta museum in Tangier
Map of Ibn Battouta travel routes

The museum has two floors with many exhibits and teaches a lot about Moroccan history.

We didn’t plan to go to a museum that day but ended up liking it. It costs $6 to get in for tourists.

Get to Ibn Battouta Museum

Cinema Rif (Cinematheque of Tangier)

25 DH ($2.40) will give you access to Tangier’s historic movie house, Cinema Rif. This is one of the most popular places to see a film in the city.

The cinema was built in 1937 and it’s been a popular spot for locals and tourists ever since. The beautiful Art Deco building is worth a visit even if you’re not planning on seeing a movie.

You can also grab a coffee or tea at the cafe outside the cinema. The cafe offers a lovely atmosphere with its outdoor seating and views of the busy street where you can enjoy your drink and people watch.

Visit the port mosque of Tangier

My favorite part of visiting new cities even in my own country is to visit and pray in their famous mosques. If you are like me looking to discover these religious buildings, head to Tangier grand mosque.

tangier mosque exterior
tangier mosque
Grand mosque (port mosque)of Tangier

This mosque was established between the 13th-15th century and it went into multiple transformations and renovations since. The current design of the mosque dates back to the 19th century.

Like many mosques in Morocco, tourists are not allowed inside but you can still take pictures and enjoy its bright white and gold colors.

Marvel at Grand Teatro Cervantes ancient building

Gran Teatro Cervantes is one of the most beautiful and ancient buildings in Tangier. The building was constructed in 1913 by the Spanish and it was used as a theatre and opera house.

The theatre is near the Place de France and it’s just a short walk from the Cinema Rif. The theater is currently undergoing renovation by the Moroccan government after Spain finally agreed to donate it to Morocco in 2020.

I can’t wait for the grand opening to see the beautiful inside of the theatre but if you are visiting tangier now, you can still marvel at its beautiful exterior.

Relax by the waterfront in Tangier

After a busy day of sightseeing, head down to the waterfront to relax. This is a great place to people-watch or just take in the views of the sea.

I always enjoy an empty place by the sea, but keep in mind that the seaside in Tangier is usually crowded in the evenings.

relaxing waterfront of tangier city
A lonely bench by the waterfront in Tangier

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the waterfront where you can enjoy a light meal or drink. I prefer taking my own snacks, finding an empty bench, and enjoying the sunset.

Spend an afternoon in Cape Spartel

If you’re looking for some great views of Tangier, head up to Cape Spartel. This is the northernmost point in Africa and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Cape Spartel in tangier city

You can also visit Hercules Caves while you’re here. These caves are said to have been used by Hercules himself and are definitely worth a visit.

Go on a Tangier City Tour Bus

The hop-on hop-off city tour bus in Tangier is an affordable and convenient way to see the city.

There are two routes available: The Tangier Ville route, which is 1 hour long and passes by the city’s historical landmarks every 30 minutes.

And the Cap Espartel route, which takes 1 hour and 40 minutes and goes to most of the must-see sights outside of Tangier. But there are only two Cap Espartel tours available each day.

tangier city tour bus morocco
Tangier city tour bus (Hop on hop off)

Both bus routes start at Tangier’s port stop and have many stops for getting on and off.

A ticket lasts for 48 hours. It costs $13 for adults and $6 for kids. You can hop on and off the bus as much as you want with this ticket during the 48 hours.

>> Check more info on the routes stops and schedule

Try the Tangier city bike tour

Do you find the bus tour boring? Then try a bike tour. This was really a fun activity.

The tour starts at hotel Etoile du Nord and takes you to some of the most popular sights in the city, including the Grand Mosque, and the beautiful coast.

You’ll also get to see some of the less touristy parts of Tangier as well.

morocco tangier bike tour
Enjoy the sights of Tangier on a bike tour

MJ Bike have private and group-guided city bike tour that is perfect for those who want to explore Tangier at a leisurely pace.

The company’s founder Lahcen El Mejdoubi is a Moroccan and African champion in cycling, so you can be sure that you’re in good hands.

The tour costs $10 for adults and 80 dirhams $8 for kids and you can also choose a private tour which costs just a little bit more than the regular tour, about $15.

>> Contact Mj Bike for tour schedule and bookings

What to eat in Tangier

The Bocadillos sandwich is a must-try in Tangier. While exploring the city, you’ll see many restaurants specializing in Bocadillos. When you find one, go for it!

Also, your visit to Tangier wouldn’t be complete without tasting the city’s famous mint tea. Our tea was infused with fresh orange flower petals.

mint tea cups in Tandier Morocco
Tangier’s famous mint tea

We also had fish at the Bocamada restaurant, and it was probably the best meal we had in the city. We’ve heard that Saveur Du Poisson restaurant is good too.

Make sure to try traditional Moroccan dishes like Couscous, Tagine, and Pastilla at one of the city’s famous restaurants.

Where to stay in Tangier

Whenever I visit Tangier, I like to stay in one of the traditional Riads in the city.

Riads are Moroccan houses with an inner courtyard and they’re usually very beautiful and comfortable but if you’re looking for a more modern hotel, there are plenty of those in Tangier as well.

Dar Chams Tanja

This beautiful traditional Moroccan Riad is located just a few minutes’ walk from the beach and the Kasbah museum. The Riad has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city and sea. My second favorite part of Dar Chams after the stunning terrace views of course is the nicely decorated rooms and breakfast.

Mimi Calpe

Mini Calpe is what you need to go for if you want to spend a little bit more on a luxurious stay in Tangier. Mini cape hotel is beautifully set in a central location near the port. You can walk to almost all the famous attractions in the city. The hotel has a pool which is great and a panoramic terrace where you can relax and sip your Moroccan mint tea.

Grand Mogador Sea View & Spa

If you stay at the Grand Mogador hotel in Tangier you can enjoy direct access to the beach. In addition to their huge pool and views of the Atlantic beach, Grand Mogador’s rooms are spacious and comfortable with all the amenities you need for a great stay.

The Riad Hostel Tangier

The Riad Hostel is a great option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay in Tangier. The hostel is located in the heart of the old Medina. They have shared and private rooms to choose from. The rooms are super clean and the staff is just amazing and helpful. I definitely recommend this place if you’re looking for great value for your money.


How to get to Tangier

If you are coming from Europe, the best way to get to Tangier is by taking a ferry from Spain. The journey takes about 35 minutes and there are several companies that operate this route.

But if you are visiting from other parts of the world, you can take a flight to Tangier International Airport which is located about 15 kilometers from the city center.

And if you are already in the country, there are buses and trains that connect Tangier to other major cities in Morocco. We prefer the train over buses in Morocco because it’s more convenient and comfortable.

A train ride from Casablanca to Tangier will take about two and a half hours on the high-speed train (TGV) called Al Boraq. A first-class ticket to Tangier costs about 340 dirhams (Approx. $34). You can also take the same train Al Boraq from Rabat instead of Casablanca which will take about one and a half hours to reach Tangier.

If you are planning on taking a train ride from Marrakech to Tangier, you will go through Casablanca first so except the ride to be a long one with a travel journey of 5 hours or more. The best way is to divide your trip by staying a night or two in Casablanca and then heading to Tangier.

Check the availability and book your train ticket to Tangier

How to get around Tangier

Tangier city is very small and most of the famous attractions are within walking distance from each other. You can explore the city on foot and when you feel like you need a break from walking, take a petit taxi (Turquoise taxi).

Petit taxis are a famous way of transportation in Moroccan cities. They are small cars that can fit up to three passengers and they are relatively cheap.

how to get around tangier

If you have plans to venture outside of the city, there are plenty of taxis and buses that can take you to your destination.

Another best way to explore Tangier is by hiring a car. My husband and I always make sure to hire a car when we visit Morocco. We find it more convenient and it gives us the freedom to explore at our own pace.

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About Fatima O.

Fatima, born and raised along the foothills of the Atlas mountains, in the heartland of the indigenous Amazigh peoples. She loves Moroccan tea and travel. Now, she travels and writes about the beauty of her homeland.

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