Often regarded as the gateway to Africa, the northern city Tangier is one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations. As one of the oldest cities in Africa, Tangier has retained much of its original charm which is predominantly encapsulated in its walled medina or old city. Today, there is also a burgeoning ville nouvelle with a distinct cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The best time to visit Tangier is either in the autumn between September and November or during the spring between March and May. During these seasons, the weather is warm but not overbearingly so. In addition, opting for one of Tangier’s shoulder seasons allows you to make some excellent savings on accommodation and flights.
Tangier is served by Tangier-Ibn Batouta Airport (TNG) which is conveniently situated about 20 minutes away from the city centre. On average, a flight from London to Tangier takes around three hours and there are 4 flights a week. From January to May, a return flight to Tangier will cost around £200. However, prices rise to around £250 during the popular July and August months. The cheapest time to visit Tangier is during the autumn is between September and November as a return flight costs around £170.
Things to Do in Tangier
While Tangier’s medina is not as large or famous as other Moroccan medinas, it is very walkable and well-preserved. Wandering through the maze-like streets of the medina you will find a number of stalls selling local products such as spices and crafts. While in the medina, be sure to check out the International Contemporary Art Museum. This small gallery features work from a number of renowned artists such as Picasso and Salvador Dali. After exploring the labyrinthine paths of the medina, head to the Zoco Chico wear you can unwind in one of the main square’s outdoor cafes with a cup of tea.
One of Tangier’s most prominent draws is the Kasbah. From the top of the Kasbah you can see Spain across the Straits of Gibraltar, giving you the unique opportunity to see two continents at once. Within the gates of the Kasbah is the stunning Dar el Makzen. Formerly the place of a 17th-century sultan, today the palace has been transformed into the Kasbah Museum. The museum has a number of exhibitions which explore pre-history through to the 19th Century.
Hotels In Tangier
Fortunately, Tangier has always had an excellent range of accommodations as old ones are refurbished and new options open up all the time. From super-cheap guesthouses through to luxury hotels, there is something to suit every taste and budget.
The cheapest places to stay in Tangier are the small hotels and pensiónes which are situated near the port gate or around the edge of the medina. If you travel to Tangier during a shoulder season, you may be eligible for even lower room rates. However, always remember to check your room before paying for as during the low season some rooms may have accumulated mould from the sea breeze.
If you are looking for something more luxurious, there are a number Riads throughout the city. These are boutique hotels housed in restored mansions. Two of the most highly rated Riads hotels are Dar Sultan and Dar Nilam.