How to Spend 24 Hours in Tangier

Tangier's medina is home to some of the city's most ornate mosques
Tangier's medina is home to some of the city's most ornate mosques | © Tuul and Bruno Morandi / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Yasmine
3 September 2021

With centuries of influence from Britain, France and Spain, Tangier has become symbolic of the unique mix of traditions in Morocco.

Culture Trip’s 13-day Moroccan adventure visits Tangier during one of its stops – book now to be guided through this city by our local insider who will share their knowledge of this enchanting country.

First, have breakfast or brunch at Le Salon Bleu, a lovely restaurant directly facing the Mediterranean, where they serve tomatoes with olive oil and goat’s cheese, couscous, fruit and other fresh and delicious dishes. It’s the perfect start to the morning, due to its peaceful location, where you can gaze out at the waves while enjoying your food.

Dar-el-Makhzen, or Sultan palace, with the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean cultures in Tangier | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

After brunch, stroll through the narrow streets of the medina, where you’ll find the Kasbah Museum within walking distance. There, you will be able to take in this former Royal Palace, with its detailed tilework from the Volubilis era, a traditional courtyard garden with a fountain and the incredible architecture that dates back to the 17th century.

From here, head into the medina to explore its narrow alleyways lined with spice merchants, butchers and craftspeople.

The mosque of Sidi Bou Abib in the Grand Socco of Tangier | © Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo

If you keep walking south, you’ll find the Grand Socco, a sprawling square that was formerly the biggest market in Tangier, located right in front of the famous Bab Fass gate. Today, locals come here to relax as the heat abates towards the end of the day, often bringing their children to play.

Further south, you’ll stumble upon the American Legation, the first American property built outside of the United States, celebrating the historic cultural and diplomatic relations between the two countries. The best part of this place, apart from offering a chance to learn about American and Moroccan historic relations, is the building itself. Moorish in style with an indoor courtyard, there is plenty of ornate tilework to admire here.

Tangier’s American Legation building is adorned with intricate wood carvings | © Andrey Khrobostov / Alamy Stock Photo

The best spot to enjoy the perfect sunset in Tangier is Café Hafa, around a 20-minute walk from the medina. Serving fresh mint tea and snacks since 1921, the epic view looking across the Mediterranean towards Spain.

For dinner, head next door to Restaurant La Posada del Hafa, which serves delicious fresh seafood dishes such as paella, fried calamari and spaghetti and lobster – the perfect way to say goodbye to Tangier.

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