Tangier

Intro

Morocco has rich and diverse political past, but its history as a travel destination is just as enticing. In the mid-20th century everyone from Beatnicks to Woolworth heirs came here for its magical mix of east and west, and the buzz was merited. Tangier in particular is easily accessible from other parts of Europe (RyanAir flies there), and is just 7. 5 miles from the southern coast of Spain.

Cultural Prep

Consider reading Paul Bowles. And learn a bit about the country's history; it's fascinating and will vastly enhance the experience. Know that meals and accommodations will be quite affordable, but tips will be expected for other services rendered (eg. someone offering to escort you to your B&B when your airport taxi drops you a few blocks away). 

Language

French, Spanish, Arabic, and English are generally spoken…take yo pick and teach yo self.

Packing Essentials

You can wear Western clothes, but be conscientious. Pants and long sleeves are preferred, t-shirt with short sleeves are passable if it is very hot, but certainly no cleavage or the like.

Eat/Drink

Food will prove quite affordable here, though note that alcohol is not sold or consumed by most locals. Some bougier restaurants that cater to tourists may serve it, but pack a bottle for your room if you'll want to be sure you can sip.

Be sure to try tagine, a popular local stew-type dish made with various meats and cooked in a specific cone-shaped dish. And stop in as many hole-in-the-wall bakeries you can. The products are cloyingly sweet, in the best way possible.  

  1. Café Hafa: drink some mint tea and enjoy the views of the Bay.
  2. El Korsan in the El Minzah Hotel: traditional fare with live music. A reliable option.
  3. Saveur de Poisson: affordable dinner of fabulous seafood. 200 dirham will get you a multi-course meal (that's less than 25 bucks...!)

Sites/Activities

Tangier is definitely a walking city. Meander through the windy medina, pick up a traditional tea kettle or hookah at the souks, and sit to enjoy the small bites you've picked up throughout the day in the Grand Socco or on the beach.

  1. Cinematheque de Tanger: cultural center with film screenings and events.
  2. Dar el Makhzen Museum: 17th century sultan's palace in the kasbah that is gorg itself, but also doubles as a museum.
  3. Grand Socco: a large square in the middle of town that houses the entrance to the medina.

Where to stay

  1. Dar Jameel Guesthouse: I stayed here several years ago and it is absolutely lovely.
  2. Dar Nour Maison d’Hotes: a traditional Moroccan guesthouse.
  3. This AirBnB guesthouse
  4. This AirBnB splurge at $224/night

Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.