Tangier, the Gateway to Morocco

Tangier is a city in the north of Morocco, and is considered the Moroccan capital of the Strait of Gibraltar and a gateway to the African continent. It is a huge city of nearly 800,000 inhabitants and is undergoing a modernization to adapt to the transformation the country is experiencing, improving infrastructure and services for both locals and tourists.

It is the second economic capital of the country, after Casablanca and ahead of the capital, Rabat. It owes much of its economic strength to its proximity to Europe, the major Tanger-Med port, the free trade zone and a diversified and continuously evolving industry.

We recommend the colonial district , which was built at the start of the 20th century with modernist and art deco buildings. Tourist attractions in this area include Cafe de Paris in Place de France, where intellectuals meet; Place de Faro, a perfect spot to take photos with the sea in the background; and Avenue Pasteur, which is a lively shopping area.

Getting to Tangier

Most tourists arrive in Tangier through one of its two ports. The Tangier Ville Port is in Tangier itself and only offers connections to the Port of Tarifa. At FRS, we cover this route with daily departures. From Tangier Ville you can walk to the medina or take a taxi.

Tanger-Med Port handles most ferry traffic to and from Spain. It is 45 kilometres away from the city, and you can take a taxi, train or bus to get there.

 If you arrive in Morocco through the Port of Ceuta, after crossing the border, the trip to Tangier by car takes about one hour on the coastal road. Another option is to take the inland road, which passes through Tétouan, and take advantage of the opportunity to visit the city. This alternative route takes about 1.5 hours.

Places of interest

Tangier is a popular tourist destination. Many people spend a few days here experiencing Moroccan culture, while others, on their way to other destinations, use the opportunity to enjoy its attractions, cuisine and shops.

One attraction you definitely shouldn't miss is the medina, surrounded by walls built by the Portuguese with huge towers and 13 gates. Highlights in the medina include:

The Grand Socco

An ancient market of rural origin and officially known as Place du Grand 9 Avril 1947, is the nerve centre of Tangier. The square is surrounded by shops and craft stalls and is home to the Sidi Bu Abib MosqueThe Mendoubia Palace is also worth a visit, along with its magnificent gardens.

The Petit Socco

Is a square full of small cafes and houses. One of the streets that leads to the square, Mouahidine Street, is the main area for buying local products.

The Grand Mosque

To the south of the Petit Socco, is an impressive building occupied by different civilizations throughout history.

The Kasbah

Offers the best views of the city and boasts spectacular gardens and courtyards, as well as being home to the Museum of Moroccan Art and the Archaeological Museum.

The neighbourhood of Marshan

The most luxurious area of the city, where you'll find the city’s most impressive mansions. Of interest are the Royal Palace and Dar al-Mandub or Forbes Museum, with an excellent collection of lead soldiers that re-enact some of history’s most important battles.

Shopping in Tangier

There are several bazaars and shops in the medina where you can buy everything. One of the most commercial streets is Mouahidine Street, which ends at the Petit Socco. There is also a centre for traditional products near Place de France where you can see craftsmen at work.

Lose yourself in search of a souvenir to remember your visit. Don't forget to haggle and don't buy at the first place you see. You should compare prices.

What can you buy? Everything! Leather products such as bags, slippers and jackets; imitation jewellery and accessories with semiprecious stones; hand-made furniture; decorative items such as raffia rugs, lanterns and sculptures made from natural carved stone; tableware such as bowls, plates, exotic teapots and colourful tea glasses; textiles such as djellabas, handkerchiefs and kaftans; all kinds of spices; and beauty and herbal products, such as argan oil, henna, makeup and soaps.