20 Things To Do In Tangier

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Although Tangier (or Tanger) is a city in Morocco’s northwesternmost point of Africa, it’s only a short ferry ride from Europe and is so close you can see Europe while standing in Tangier. British, Portuguese, Arabic and Spanish influences meld to form a mosaic of culture that gives this city a unique feel. Over 900,000 people call Tangier home but the city swells with visitors as each year, more than 12 million visitors are keen to explore its charms.

The city has been a popular destination for decades, and many famous writers, musicians and actors have spent time exploring. I visited in 2020 and immediately fell in love with this city. There’s so much to see and do here, so to help you plan your trip, here are my top picks of the things to do in Tangier.

Tangier, Morocco

Top Tours

20 Things To Do In Tangier

1- Wander the Medina

Tangier Half Day Guided City Tour

Like many Moroccan cities, wandering around the medina is an excellent way to get your bearings.

It’s especially enchanting to wander around Tangier’s medina as this is an old part of town with many of its buildings dating back to the 1600s or earlier.

The fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets are lined with shops and historic buildings but it’s small enough not to get lost.

If you lose your sense of direction while wandering the alleyways, just head to the outskirts of the medina and use the ocean views as a guide.

Locals live and work in the medina, so you’ll see firsthand life in full swing, with people selling fresh fruit and vegetables, handmade pottery and leather goods.

Look out for bargains as you wander around and take your time to enjoy the sights and smells of this special place.

Recommended tours:

2- Explore the Kasbah

Tangier: Bread Making Class, Tea Ceremony and Market Tour

While wandering around Tangier’s medina, you’re likely to find yourself in the city’s Kasbah without even trying.

The Kasbah is a walled part of the medina that was fortified hundreds of years ago and still stands today.

Small alleyways are packed with interesting stores, cafes, restaurants and historic buildings.

Like the rest of the medina, local families still live in the buildings, and there are also many boutique accommodation options here, so if you really love the atmosphere, book a room in this part of town.

Recommended tours:

3- Wander around Perdicaris Park

Perdicaris Park takes its name from the well-known Greek-American who lived there and was kidnapped in 1904.

The public park is now a perfectly safe and a good place to go for a walk or a run.

As well as impressive trees and plants, you’ll also find the old Perdicaris Villa built in the 1870s as the home of Ion Perdicaris and his family.

It fell into disrepair for a while, but it has been recently renovated as a heritage centre.

Perdicaris Park is several kilometres outside the city and stretches across more than 70 hectares at Parc Rmillate, Tangier, Morocco.

4- Visit the Cave of Hercules

Caves Of Hercules at sunset
Visiting the Caves Of Hercules is one of the things to do in Tangier Morocco.

At the foot of Cape Spartel lighthouse lies the Cave of Hercules, which is one of my favourite places in Tangier.

The cave was inhabited by humans as early as 6000 BC, and it’s been the subject of myths and legends.

You can find references to this cave in Roman and Greek mythology, and a local guide can tell you intriguing tales about these caves.

One story suggests that the cave stretches all the way under the Strait of Gibraltar to Europe.

The sea entrance to the cave is shaped like Africa.

You’ll find Hercules’ Cave at Rte des Grottes d’Hercule, Tanger, Morocco.

5- Take A Break At Cafe Hafa

Cafe Hafa first opened in 1921, and it quickly gained a reputation as a place for celebrities to visit.

Mick Jagger, the Beatles and Sean Connery have all been to Cafe Hafa, and you’ll occasionally hear it referenced in American music or literature.

The cafe has been maintained in the same style since it was first built, so you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time 100 years when you visit.

The mint tea is one of the best in Tangier.

Cafe Hafa is on Rue Hafa, Tangier, Morocco.

6- Visit the Tangier American Legation Museum

The Tangier American Legation Museum is the only recorded official United States of America National Historic Landmark outside the USA.

It was built to recognise the relationship between Morocco and the US and symbolises the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries.

These days, although the building is not used for diplomatic purposes, it serves as a museum and a cultural centre.

Inside, you’ll find a library and a space to take Arabic courses.

The American Legation Museum is at 8 Rue d’Amerique, Tanger, Morocco.

7- Relax at Tangier Beach

From Tangier: Full Day Trip To Paradise Beach

For a relaxing afternoon, head to Plage de Tangier and spend some time at the beach just outside this city.

Tangier Beach is an easy walk from the medina, and has golden sand and clear blue waters.

This is the perfect spot to swim, sunbathe on the shore or bring a picnic lunch and stay for a while.

There are some other beaches around Tangier, but this is my favourite.

Tangier Beach is at Ave Mohammed VI, Tangier, Morocco.

Recommended tours:

8- Go to Cape Spartel

From Tangier: Full Day Tangier, Asilah, & Cape Spartel Tour

When you visit Cape Spartel, you’ll be standing on the northwesternmost point of Africa.

The Cape is 300m above sea level, and there’s an ornate lighthouse situated there that dates back to 1864.

As well as giving you a great view over the Strait of Gibraltar, there’s also a lot of history to take in from this area.

It has been the site of naval battles involving the British, Dutch, Spanish, and French, all at various stages in history.

Cape Spartel is at 1.14km Achakar commun de Tanger, 90000, Morocco.

Recommended tour: From Tangier: Full-Day Tangier, Asilah, & Cape Spartel Tour

9- See the Phoenician Tombs

The 100 plus Phoenician Tombs are just outside the Kasbah and date back hundreds of years.

Many of them have been carved directly into the rock of the hillside and they’re still clearly visible today.

The Tombs were once filled with Roman artefacts, including tools, and they’ve been an important archaeological site.

You’ll see many of these finds in the Kasbah Museum now.

They are also in a spot with a great view of the city and the water, so take your time there to enjoy it.

To get to the Tombs, start on Avenue Hadj Mohamed Tazi, then follow the signs to the seaside Necropolis.

10- Shop at the Grand Socco

If the words “Grand Socco” sound familiar, it might be because they’re very similar to “Grand Souk”, a term used throughout the rest of Morocco.

Souk is Arabic for market or shopping centre, and “Socco” is the Spanish version of this word.

The Grand Socco is on the edge of the medina, and here you’ll find shops, restaurants, and a park to relax in.

It’s also close to several other attractions and it’s worth walking through as you explore the city.

Grand Socco is at Pl. du 9 Avril 1947, Tanger, Morocco.

11- See the Grand Mosque

When you’re in Tangier, it’s hard to miss the Grand Mosque in the middle of the medina with its distinctive white and green tiled minaret and ornately decorated gates.

This mosque was built in the early 1800s, but it’s undergone several renovations since then, and is well preserved.

The land it’s built on also has an interesting history and was likely a Roman temple dedicated to Hercules, long before it became a mosque.

The Grand Mosque is at 76 Rue de la Marine, Tangier, Morocco.

12- Visit the Gran Teatro Cervantes

The Gran Teatro Cervantes is a Tangier theatre built by Spanish occupants in 1913 in honour of Miguel de Cervantes, a great Spanish Author.

Cervantes was most well known for his famous book “Don Quixote”.

The theatre is closed now, and it’s not well maintained, however, it’s still interesting to see its ornate tiles and a beautiful art deco facade.

You’ll find Gran Teatre Cervantes on Rue Anoual, Tanger 90000, Morocco.

13- Explore Mendoubia Gardens

The Mendoubia was once the residence of the Sultan of Morocco, although the mansion began its life as the Swedish and German consulate buildings.

It’s named as it is after the “Mendoub”, whcih was the title of the Sultan.

There is a grand villa, a cemetery and a large public park.

Spend an afternoon wandering around the gardens, and look out for the ancient Banyan Tree, which is believed to be more than 800 years old.

Mendoubia Gardens are at Place du 9 Avril 1947, Tangier, Morocco.

14- Walk to the Terrasse des Paresseux

Terrasse des Paresseux translates from French literally as “Idler’s Terrace”, although in English, it’s simply called Place Faro.

Terrasse des Paresseux is has a viewpoint high up with a fantastic view of the Strait of Gibraltar.

From here you can see across the water to Europe, although a telescope or binoculars will help you get a better view.

You’ll see colonial-era cannons situated there, too, previously intended to protect the city.

Terrasse des Paresseux is on Boulevard Pasteur, Tangier, Morocco.

15- Visit the Kasbah Museum

The Kasbah Museum in the medina is set within the old Palace in a building that dates back to 1737.

Permanent exhibitions on display tell the story of Morocco and its people through the ages.

You’ll find artefacts and information on Berber history, the Roman occupation, and Islamic history.

All of the exhibition signs are in either Arabic or French, so be prepared to have a good translation app with you.

The Kasbah Museum is open weekly from Wednesday to Sunday (10 am to 6 pm) at 13 Rue Ben Abou, Tangier, Morocco.

16- Catch A Movie At Cinema Rif

Cinema Rif opened in Tangier in 1938 and quickly became a local institution.

It’s not actually called Cinema Rif anymore, instead, it goes by the name “Cinematheque du Tangier”, but it’s still a great place to catch a movie.

The cinema was renovated by a French architect, and the building is now home to two movie theatres seating up to 300 people.

It’s a brightly coloured building with iconic signage on the front, so it’s worth looking from the outside even if you don’t go in.

If you go in, however, you’ll find it’s a popular cultural space too.

Both classical and modern films are regularly shown there, and as the movies change periodically, there’s always something interesting.

You’ll find Cinema Rif at Grand Socco, Pl. du 9 Avril 1947, Tangier 90030, Morocco.

17- Drink Coffee at Gran Cafe de Paris

Ordering a coffee at Gran Cafe de Paris is a quintessential thing to do in Tangier.

This bohemian cafe first opened in 1927, making it nearly 100 years old.

Over the years, it’s been a favourite haunt of American writers such as Tennessee Williams and William Burroughs, so if you sit down with a pen and paper, you might also find some inspiration.

Movie buffs will recognise this iconic cafe from one of the scenes in the Bourne Ultimatum movie.

Gran Cafe de Paris is another Tangier icon with its distinct leather and wood-panelled interior.

Gran Cafe de Paris is on the corners of Rue de la Liberte and Boulevard Pasteur, Tanger, 90000 Morocco.

18- Shop at the Berber Farmer Market

Tangier: Food Walking Tour

Morocco is known for its food, including the steamed tagines couscous flavoured with locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.

If you’re looking to get your hands on some fresh oranges and dates, or perhaps some cheese and olives, then visiting the Berber Farmer Market should be on your must-do list.

The Berber Farmer Market is a hive of activity every Sunday, next door to Saint Andrew’s Church.

It’s full of stalls selling different types of food, fruit and vegetables, eggs, chickens and other local products.

It’s also a common shopping place for locals, so you’ll get an authentic Moroccan experience here.

The Berber Farmer Market is held on Rue d’Angleterre, Tanger, Morocco.

Recommended tour: Tangier: Bread Making Class, Tea Ceremony and Market Tour

19- Tour St Andrew’s Church

St Andre’s is among the oldest Anglican churches in North Africa.

Portuguese, French, Arabic, and Berber influences come together in unusual ways and the St Andre’s Church is an example of this.

It’s one of the oldest Anglican churches in North Africa, and it’s been standing for over 120 years.

Construction finished on this church in 1894, and you can still enter the building today.

Inside, you’ll find some interesting sights, including a copy of the Lord’s Prayer inscribed above the altar in Arabic.

It’s also worth wandering around the outside and speaking to the caretaker about the history of the church and graveyard.

St Andrew’s Church is at Rue d’Angleterre, Tanger, Morocco.

20- See the Tangier Ville Port

Ferries travelling between Africa and Europe stop at the Tangier Ville Port because it’s a short trip from Tarifa across the strait to Tangier.

At the Port, take some time to watch the boats cruising in and out, and then walk right into the city.

This port has helped Morocco to develop into the nation it is today, as it’s been essential for ocean travel and trade between nations.

Don’t confuse the Tangier Ville Port with the Tangier Med Port, however! The Tangier Med Port is the largest port in Africa, and it’s a lot busier and far less quaint.

You’ll find Tangier Port at Ave Mohammed VI, Tangier 90000, Morocco.

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Sarah Hyde was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. Now based in Innsbruck, Austria, she is getting out to experience Europe every chance she gets. When Sarah was in high school she spent a year living in Toronto, Canada, and hasn't stopped travelling since. She has explored India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and spent several months of 2020 in Covid lockdown in the village of Sidi Kaouki, Morocco. After hiking Te Araroa, New Zealand, in 2022 she developed a love for solo-hiking and thinks it's one of the best ways to really get to know a new country! Since then, she has gone on to hike Rota Vicentina in Portugal, and Haute Route from Switzerland to France, two incredible adventures. When she's not travelling, you’ll find her writing or reading. Sarah has a Bachelor of Communication Studies from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, as well as a law degree.