Tangier is located on the northwestern coast of Morocco. It has been a gateway between Europe and North Africa for centuries. The multicultural port city has a rich history and is the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the north of the country and the beautiful Mediterranean coast.
On Ferryhopper, you can book cheap ferry tickets online to Tangier without any hidden fees! Keep reading to find the best tips about your holidays in the city as well as all the information you need about ferry routes and the ports of Tangier.
The old port near the Medina in Tangier
Vacation in Tangier
Tangier is situated on the northernmost tip of Africa, just a short ferry ride from Europe. The trip to Tangier from Algeciras and Tarifa is so short that you can even go from Spain to Morocco for a day trip!
Fascinating and uniquely alluring, Tangier was a favorite destination of many famous artists and writers of the last century. So it’s worth spending a few days to discover the storied Moroccan city and see for yourself what inspired the likes of Jack Kerouac and Henri Matisse.
Given its location at a crossroads between continents, Tangier has been a melting pot of different cultures throughout its long history. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an impressive rebirth, transforming into a fantastic holiday destination.
Fun fact: Tangier has been a filming location for two James Bond movies and Inception, the popular Christopher Nolan film starring Leonardo DiCaprio!
How to get to Tangier
You can get to Tangier by ferry from Spain, France, and Italy. Most ferries arrive at the port of Tanger Med, which is located about 40 km from the city. For more information about schedules and tickets, you can take a look at the ferry routes to Tangier.
From Tanger Med, you can reach Tangier by bus or taxi. The port of Tanger Ville, which is situated in the heart of Tangier, serves ferry routes from the Spanish city of Tarifa.
Alternatively, you can reach Tangier by plane. The Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport is approximately 10 km from the city serving connections from several European countries. Taxi services are available at the airport, but there is no public transport to Tangier.
View of the Spanish coast from the medina of Tangier, Morocco
What to do in Tangier
Apart from visiting the most popular tourist attractions, holidays in Tangier are all about discovering the city and unearthing its unique surprises. Go for a stroll to marvel at the impressive architecture and glorious views of the Mediterranean, sip mint tea at the legendary cafés, shop for arts and crafts at the traditional markets, and enjoy authentic Moroccan cuisine!
If you feel like taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, you will find many beautiful beaches close to Tangier. There are also great opportunities for exploring further afield, with popular nearby destinations including the picturesque towns of Chefchaouen and Asilah.
Sounds exciting? In our travel guide, you will find all the information you need about your trip to Tangier: most popular beaches, must-visit attractions, best day trips, food recommendations, nightlife, and ferry routes.
Beaches in Tangier
Overlooking both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, Tangier is a great place to enjoy the sea and soak up some sun. The best time to visit the beautiful beaches around the city is from June to September, when the water temperature is above 20°C and rainfall is minimal.
Here are some of the top beaches near Tangier:
- Tangier beach: conveniently located close to the city center, the vast municipal beach of Tangier is very popular with visitors and locals alike. Nearby, you will find many cafés, bars and restaurants, while there are also facilities for water activities.
- Dalia: it takes about an hour to drive to Dalia from Tangier, but it’s worth the trip. With its white sand and turquoise waters, this is one of the most impressive beaches in the area. The place is quite lively, with small restaurants close by and a wide range of water sports.
- Playa Blanca: situated about 10 km east of Tangier, this is a beautiful little bay with golden sand and calm blue waters. The beach has some umbrellas and sun-loungers as well as hotels, restaurants and a parking lot.
- Sidi Kacem: this is a stunning beach that offers amazing views of the Atlantic. The long stretch of golden sand is perfect for walking and sunbathing. The waters are crystal-clear, but currents can be strong, so be careful if you are an inexperienced swimmer.
- Achakar: this lovely family-friendly beach is only a 25-minute drive from Tangier. It is popular for its gorgeous sunsets and clean, shallow waters that are ideal for swimming. At the beach’s southern end, you will find the Caves of Hercules, one of the most famous natural sights in the area.
- Malabata: only 2.5 km north of the city lies this beautiful sandy beach that offers spectacular views of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bay of Tangier. There are also restaurants, cafés and hotels nearby.
The waterfront and vast municipal beach of Tangier
Sightseeing in Tangier
One of the best things to do in Tangier is to explore its lively neighborhoods on foot to truly experience a city that is awash with color, history and culture. The various influences that have shaped Tangier over the centuries can be seen everywhere, from the city’s architecture and historical monuments to the fascinating museums.
Some of the best places to visit in Tangier are:
- The medina: get lost in the maze of narrow streets of Tangier’s walled historic center and shop till you drop at the lively souks (traditional markets), selling everything from handmade rugs to spices and jewelry. For sweeping views of the ocean, head uphill to the top of the old city.
- The Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures: if you’d like to learn more about the local history, this is the place for you. The museum is housed in Dar al-Makhzen, the former sultan’s palace, and displays exhibits from prehistoric times to the 19th century (in French and Arabic only).
- Grand Socco and Petit Socco: Tangier's two most famous squares are ideal for people watching while drinking some mint tea. North of Grand Socco, you will find the Mendoubia Gardens. Flanked by a row of French colonial-era buildings, the lovely park is a popular meeting spot for locals.
- The Tangier American Legation Museum: housed in an elegant five-story mansion, this unique museum focuses on the fact that Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the U.S.A. Exhibits include an impressive range of paintings, the most notable being James McBey's Zohra, which has been called the Moroccan Mona Lisa.
- The beach promenade: located between the city beach and Ville Nouvelle - the new part of Tangier - the bustling corniche is perfect for a leisurely seaside stroll. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants nearby, where you can grab a bite and watch people (and camels) go by.
Tip: you should make a stop at Gran Cafe de Paris, the city’s most famous café. The almost century-old establishment was a favorite of the Tangier literati in the 1950s and a filming location for The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007!
Grand Socco, one of the best spots in Tangier
Food in Tangier
There are plenty of great places to eat in Tangier, serving not only traditional Moroccan dishes but also international cuisines, such as French and Spanish. The best cheap eats can be found in the medina, while seafront restaurants tend to be more expensive.
One of the most famous local specialties that you should definitely try is couscous, a North African staple usually served with stewed vegetables or meat. Don’t miss out on the traditional tagine (or tajine), a fish or meat stew slow-cooked with spices, vegetables and fruits.
Other popular local dishes and street food that you should try in Tangier are:
- harira (traditional tomato-based soup with legumes, spices and herbs)
- djaja mahamara (chicken stuffed with couscous, almonds and raisins)
- kalinte (chickpea pie sprinkled with paprika and cumin)
- b’ssara (fava bean soup drizzled with olive oil)
- bastilla or pastilla (filo pie with chicken, saffron, almonds, sugar and cinnamon)
- zaalouk (grilled eggplant salad with tomatoes, garlic and spices)
Nightlife in Tangier
Inextricably connected to Moroccan culture and served at all times of the day, mint tea is the most ubiquitous drink in the country. To embrace the beloved tradition, head to one of the city’s countless cafés.
Apart from Gran Cafe de Paris, other historic establishments are Café Central, Cafe Baba (where Keith Richards, Jim Jarmusch and numerous other celebrities have been served) and Cafe Hafa, offering the best view in Tangier.
If you’re looking for something stronger than mint tea or coffee, bear in mind that alcohol can be purchased and consumed only in places that have a special license. You will find several bars that serve alcoholic drinks in Tangier, mostly in Ville Nouvelle and close to the city’s corniche.
To follow in the footsteps of the Beat generation, have a beer in The TangerInn Pub. For amazing views over the city and the sea, we recommend Dar Nour rooftop bar and Nord Pinus Tanger. Disco Regine Club and 555 Famous Club are the best places in Tangier for a late night out.
Places near Tangier
If you want to escape the commotion of the city and discover more of northwestern Morocco, there are many amazing places to visit close to Tangier. Some bus services are available as well as organized tours, but you can also rent a car or hire a grand taxi to get there.
Our favorite day trips from Tangier are:
- Chefchaouen: famous for its stunning blue alleyways and buildings, this is one of Morocco’s most picturesque towns. The magical “blue city” is located in the Rif Mountains, about 100 km from Tangier.
- Tétouan: in no other place in Morocco is the Hispano-Moorish influence more pronounced than in Tétouan. The atmospheric city stands out for its gorgeous white houses, impressive architecture and beautiful medina.
- Cape Spartel: the promontory guarding the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar offers incredible views of the ocean, especially at sunset. The lighthouse built in 1864 adds to the beauty of the coastal scenery.
- The Caves of Hercules: just south of Cape Spartel, you will find one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. According to legend, this is where the mythical hero rested after separating Europe from Africa. You can go inside to see the fascinating rock formations as well as the cave’s opening, which is said to resemble the shape of Africa.
- Asilah: this popular seaside resort is best known for its picture-perfect historic center, gleaming white-washed buildings and imposing fortifications. The enchanting town used to be part of Spanish Morocco, so many of its restaurants still serve paella as well as delicious fish and seafood dishes.
The striking blue-washed houses of Chefchaouen
Tips for Tangier
Some useful tips to help you make the most of your trip to Tangier:
- The country’s official currency is the Moroccan dirham. Euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds are the most easily exchanged currencies in the country. While euros are accepted as payment in some places, you will probably get a bad exchange rate.
- Major credit cards can be used in big shops, hotels or restaurants, especially in tourist areas, but you’ll need to carry some cash with you for day-to-day transactions.
- The main languages spoken in Tangier are Moroccan Arabic and French. Due to the city’s close proximity to Spain, many locals also speak or understand Spanish.
- Haggling is part of Moroccan culture. Sellers will usually start off with an unreasonably high price. When you make a counteroffer, start very low and work up from there, so that you can eventually meet somewhere close to the middle mark.
Winding alleyways in the medina of Tangier
Useful information for Tangier
Tangier is a big city of almost 1 million inhabitants offering a wide range of amenities for visitors.
There are lots of shops and supermarkets in Tangier, but most locals do their everyday shopping from street-side markets and stalls. In the center, you will find many ATM machines. The city also has several hospitals and pharmacies.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds of tourists, the best time to go to Tangier is in the early autumn or late spring. For those who like warm weather, the hottest months are from July to September, while most rainfall occurs from October to February.
As for accommodation, Tangier has a wide range of options, from luxury hotels to affordable youth hostels. Most budget accommodation can be found in the medina. For a more authentic Moroccan experience, you can also stay in a riad (traditional house with an interior garden or courtyard).
Important phone numbers for your stay in Tangier
Here are some useful contacts to keep handy during your trip to Tangier:
- Tanger Ville Port Authority: +212539372424
- Tanger Med Port Authority: +212539337155
- Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport: +212539393649
- Tangier tourist office: +212539948050
- Mohammed V Tangier Hospital: +212539930856
- Al Kortobi Hospital: +212539934242
- Duc de Tovar Hospital: +212539932395
- Tangier University Hospital Center (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Tanger - CHU): +2120539392465
- Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF): +212537774747
- Emergency medical service: 150
- Tangier Police Station: 190 (landline), 112 (mobile phone)
- Moroccan Royal Gendarmerie (police outside urban areas): 177
Transportation in Tangier
There are public buses in Tangier (operated by the company Alsa), but since the city is quite compact, you can explore most of it on foot. For more information on local bus routes, visit the Alsa Tangier website.
You can also get around Tangier by taxi, one of the most popular means of transport in Morocco. There are 2 types of taxis in the country: petit taxis (“small taxis”) and grand taxis (“big taxis”). Petit taxis in Tangier are light blue with a yellow stripe.
Petit taxis have a maximum capacity of 3 passengers (plus the driver) and can only transfer you within city limits. There are taxi ranks for petit taxis, but it’s also very common for people to hail them on the street.
Most petit taxis do not have meters, so make sure that you agree on a price with the driver beforehand. If there are empty seats, the driver might pick up other passengers going roughly in the same direction. You can also hire the whole taxi for an agreed price.
If you want to travel outside Tangier, you can get a grand taxi. Grand taxis can accommodate up to 7 people, including the driver. Bear in mind that some grand taxis only travel on fixed routes.
Grand taxis are normally shared with other passengers going to the same destination or somewhere along the route. There is also the option to hire the whole vehicle if you’re willing to pay for all the vacant seats.
The port of Tanger Ville in the heart of Tangier
Ports in Tangier
There are 2 ports that serve Tangier: Tanger Med (the city’s new city) and Tanger Ville (or Tangier Ville). The port of Tanger Ville is in the city of Tangier, on the western edge of the harbor. The port of Tanger Med is about 40 km northeast of Tangier.
The passenger port of Tanger Med has several amenities for travelers: ticket offices, information desks, 2 parking lots, currency exchange offices, many restaurants and cafés, shops, a play area and Wi-Fi access. There is also a shuttle bus service that transfers travelers to the pre-boarding area.
The recently redeveloped port of Tanger Ville is located in the city of Tangier. It serves ferry routes from Tarifa, a Spanish port city located at the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
The port of Tanger Ville has a modern passenger station with waiting areas and is close to all the city’s amenities. You will also find currency exchange services as well as ticket offices and a parking lot.
How to get to the port of Tangier
You can access the port of Tanger Ville by car, bus or train. Expressway A5 runs along the western Atlantic coast, connecting Tangier to Asilah and Rabat. National Route 1 (N1) runs parallel to A5, passing through Casablanca and continuing towards the south of Morocco.
National routes 2 and 16 (N2 and N16) roughly follow the Mediterranean coast, connecting Tangier to important cities in the northeast, such as Al Hoceima, Nador and Oudja. Once in the city, you can reach the port of Tanger Ville via Avenue Mohammed VI.
You can also get to Tangier by train from Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat and other major Moroccan cities. The train station of Tanger Ville is located about 3 km from the port. You can find petit taxis just outside the station.
There are bus services connecting Tangier to some of the main urban centers in the country, such as Fez, Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Agadir. For relatively short journeys, grand taxis are also a convenient way to travel.
To reach the port of Tanger Med by car, you can take road N16 which runs from the west to the east starting from Tanger. Expressway A4 also connects Tangier and Tanger Med.
Buses run regularly from the train station of Tangier (Tanger Ville Railway Station) to the Tanger Med Port Center. A shuttle service transfers travelers from there to the pre-boarding area.
You can also take a grand taxi to the port of Tanger Med from Tangier or from other nearby urban centers and arrive in 1 hour.
The old town of Tangier in the sunset
Tangier ferry: schedules and tickets
The port of Tanger Med normally serves ferry routes from the Spanish cities of Algeciras, Motril, Málaga, and Barcelona, from Sète and Marseille in France, and from Savona and Genoa in Italy. The port of Tanger Ville serves ferry connections from Tarifa in southern Spain.
There are several crossings from Spain to Tangier:
- Algeciras - Tangier ferry: there are normally daily crossings from Algeciras to Tangier all year round. Ferries arrive at the port of Tanger Med and the trip duration ranges from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours. Ferry ticket prices from Algeciras to Tangier start at approximately €27-€38.
- Tarifa - Tangier ferry: taking the ferry from Tarifa to Tangier is one of the fastest ways to travel from Spain to Morocco. The shortest trip lasts roughly 1 hour long and the route is usually served daily throughout the year. Ferries from Tarifa arrive at the port of Tanger Ville.
- Motril - Tangier ferry: the ferry route to Tangier from Motril in Andalusia runs 7 weekly crossings. The journey takes approximately 8 hours and tickets start at around €34. Ferries from Motril arrive at the port of Tanger Med.
- Barcelona - Tangier ferry: ferries from Barcelona to Tangier normally depart around 3 times per week, arriving at the port of Tanger Med. The ferry ride from Barcelona to Tangier takes about 30 hours on average. Ticket prices start at approximately €77-€99.
- Málaga - Tangier ferry: there is usually 1 weekly crossing from Málaga to Tangier, arriving at the port of Tanger Med. The journey takes about 6 hours with tickets costing around €35.
You can also find below all the connections between the city of Tangier with Italy:
- Savona - Tangier ferry: there is 1 weekly crossing from Savona to Tangier, arriving at the port of Tanger Med. The ferry route is operated by Grimaldi Lines and the trip duration is about 47 hours.
- Genoa - Tangier ferry: there are normally 3 weekly connections to Tangier (Tanger Med) from Genoa all year round. The ferry trip takes about 50-55 hours and tickets start at €109.
Important note: ferry services from Savona and Málaga to Tangier are currently suspended.
As for the connection between Morocco and France, there is at least 1 weekly ferry crossing to Tangier from Sète throughout the year. The journey takes around 42-44 hours and ticket prices start at approximately €71. There are also 2 weekly ferry crossings from Marseille to Tangier, lasting around 40 hours.
Good to Know: there used to be a weekly ferry crossing from Gibraltar to Tanger Med, but services have been suspended. The journey duration was approximately 1.5 hours and the route was operated by the company FRS.
The passenger port of Tanger Med on the Strait of Gibraltar
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