Tangier, Morocco #CitySnapshot

 

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What: Morocco’s port city links Africa to Europe.

Where: North coast of Morocco.

Language: Moroccan and Standard Arabic, with significant French influence.

Currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD).

Highlights: the colourful Medina and the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures, seaside and promenade, the sailing port and nearby Hercules’s Grotto.

Snapshot: Tangier is principally the gateway from Europe to Africa, with its commercial ferry port (ironically located 55 kilometres east along the coast) facilitating the short journey across the Strait of Gibraltar. Its colourful Medina and ancient Kasbah provide a flavour of Moroccan heritage and culture, but the rest of the city is built up, along much of its coastline, for touristic purposes. That said, its expansive sandy beach, tastefully modernised promenade and close proximity to Andalusia make Tangier ideal for day-trippers visiting from the Spanish region.

Photos from top (clockwise): Boys on the promenade; Tangier Med ferry port; Hercules Grotto.

Travellers Tips:

  1. Hercules Grotto, though included here, is largely overrated. The cave is small, which is probably why entry is free, and transport is often expensive. However, if you do venture to the peninsula’s rocky west coast, its rough, turquoise blue seas don’t disappoint.
  2. Get to the ferry port for the right price. Considering that its ferry links with Spain are one of Tangier’s main draws, there’s surprisingly little information on how to get from the port to the city centre (and vice versa). The 55 km journey isn’t a short one. We took a Grand Taxi from the train station and, thanks to our hardened haggling skills (or instead, the fact we were almost completely out of Moroccan dirham), paid 60 dirham for the hour-long, scenic journey. It’s worth noting that the price started at 200 dirham for this ride (for two people) and that only a firm haggle will lower the fare this significantly.

This is part of my latest City Snapshot series. So far, this has included the other Moroccan cities of Marrakech and Rabat. Check them out by following the links. More to come…

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