A love letter to Tangier

The cafés of “Le Petit Socco” are buzzing as I enjoy my last glass of mint tea. I don’t want to leave Tangier, the city grabbed me from the moment I arrived! Is it its international past with its history of spies and brothels? Is it the friendliness of its inhabitants or the cosiness of my hostel? I don’t know, but the fact is: there are plenty of things to do in Tangier and it has totally won me over!

things to do in Tangier

Walking up the street towards the Kasbah, there’s a little eatery called “Chez Hassan”.  A few tables, no frills, no menu! Just Hassan, preparing me a lovely tajine and mint tea for a few euros! Further up the street, patisseries beautifully display their tasty-looking Moroccan delicacies.

things to do in Tangier things to do in Tangier

This is all part of the old medina, a labyrinth of streets that truly comes alive late afternoon when street vendors seduce the local women with their fresh fruit and vegetable stalls. It’s a great place to wander around and get lost.

things to do in Tangier

things to do in Tangier

Not that the medina is that big, you’ll eventually find your way back to Tangier’s main square: “Le Grand Socco”. It’s a perfect spot for people watching, but I am even more charmed by the cinema facing the square. Cinéma Rif is one of those old-fashioned movie theatres, where movie times are still handwritten on a chalkboard. A lot more charming than the huge popcorn-chains we are used to!

things to do in Tangier Le Grand Socco

The Kasbah of Tangier is walled off from the medina and was once the city’s palace and administrative district. Nowadays it’s an area of horseshoe-shaped Babs (gates), a few squares and empty little streets. The Dar El Makhzen, once the sultan’s residence, is now home to the interesting Museum of Antiquities, a good place to learn about the city’s history!

things to do in Tangier things to do in Tangier

Leaving the Kasbah I head for “Café Hafa”. The most famous café of Tangier is a ramshackle affair with steep terraces overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. A few months ago, I was standing on the other side of the Med, in Tarifa, Spain, looking towards Morocco. This afternoon I’m doing the exact opposite. The circle is complete!

things to do in Tangier things to do in Tangier

Have you been to Tangier?
What city do you have a love affair with?

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12 Replies to “A love letter to Tangier”

  1. TravelGretl

    Wauw… never thought about going here before but there are some things I really love! Like the friendly people, untouch by mass tourism. I definately should look into it more closely I feel 🙂

    Reply
  2. Andrea

    I agree, this is a place I too could roam around and get lost in; subject to its sites, sounds and tastes (the photo of the sweets yummmm)! Loving your raw footage, it’s almost untouched by mass tourism!

    Reply
  3. kim a hazel

    Great photos. I’ve always been interested in Morocco and Tunisia. Morocco is probably more likely in the near future than Tunisia — still looking for stability there. Please share your thoughts on women traveling solo in Morocco. I’ve heard mixed things; and then, there are those people who can never fathom women traveling solo anywhere. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Els Post author

      I was very pleasantly surprised! I never felt unsafe (didn’t walk around in the middle of the night of course) and the little “hassle#” I got was the occasional invite to go for a mint tea or dinner. A polite and friendly refusal did the job. I also heard some horror stories, but that was not at all the impression I got!

      Reply
  4. jaklien

    I went to Tangier a few years ago from Spain and I thought it was quite a nice intro to Morocco. Not so many tourists either. Worth the ferry crossing.

    Reply

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