Few port cities in the world have quite the allure of Tangier, with its magical literary past, historic tangle of streets in the Kasbah and its stunning Grand Mosquée. This gateway to Africa, barely an hour’s boat ride away from Europe, never ceases to mesmerise the many people who visit each year. Here’s our guide for the top things to see and do in Morocco‘s best-loved harbour town.
Fancy a trip to Tangier? Then book Culture Trip’s 13-day Moroccan adventure where you’ll be guided through this city by one of our local insiders.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Burgeoning tourism has meant much-needed funding for clean cities, sites and beaches around Morocco. The sands lining Tangier have benefited particularly well, shaded golden against the sparkling blue sea, and present a great escape from the busy city. It’s close to the bustling port – Tangier is a major African hub for maritime traffic from Europe – so you shouldn’t expect Maldivian levels of tranquillity. But the lively action, from braying camels to groups of young people parading, is what makes being by the sea such a special experience in Tangier.
You’d never guess that the Petit Socco used to be the haunt of drug dealers and prostitutes. Today, it’s now an innocuous pedestrian square – a place you plonk yourself to drink mint tea or orange juice outside one of the popular, buzzing cafes and watch the world go by. If you want to act local, order a procession of fresh mint teas over the course of an hour or so. Unlike the teabag version, in Morocco, the drink is made simply with boiling water, a handful of fresh mint leaves and a touch of sugar. The result is thirst-quenching and utterly delicious.
This lawned main junction, spiked with tall palms, is where new Tangiers flows into the old city. A mosque is on one side and a cinema on the other, with the wide road terminating in narrow cobbled streets. At this crossroads between the ages you can browse traditional market stalls to stock up on nuts, fresh fruit and even a flowing kaftan or two. The central fountain is surrounded by benches, and you can join the Tangier locals who converge here, shooting the breeze and relaxing in the balmy early-evening air.
While you’re in the Grand Socco, make a quick detour to this cinema, which screens mainstream and independent films. With its art deco-style good looks and origins in the late 1930s, this is an authentic Tangier experience. The cinema happily embraces its mixed cultural roots and, like Tangier, is a crossroad of cultures – showing films in French and Arabic.
Book-lovers of every stripe adore the Librairie des Colonnes, a Tangier institution that dates back to 1949. It evolved into a stomping ground loved by some of the 20th century’s greatest writers, including Paul Bowles, Samuel Beckett, Truman Capote, Jean Genet and Tennessee Williams. The time-warped exterior of the building is charming, while the inside is lined with shelves upon shelves of books – some in English – making for a fascinating place to while away a rainy-day hour or two.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.