Once a glittering and debauched destination for the 1960s literary and artistic set, Tangier holds an evocative tinge of this racy past, even though it may no longer be the haunt of famed authors and painters. The medina area is the major point of interest and place to try and catch some of this atmosphere. The winding lanes here are the city’s prime tourist attraction.
Outside of Tangier, the coastline is dotted with picture-perfect seaside villages that make you want to break out your watercolor palette. Tangier is a great base for exploring this part of Morocco. Plan your trip with our list of the top attractions in Morocco
Geography fans won't want to miss this Tangier side trip. Cap Spartel, about 11 kilometers west of Tangier, marks Africa's northwest tip. The promontory projects into the water, marking the boundary of the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. For atmosphere, the best time to come here is at sunset, when you can see dusk settle over the Atlantic. The lighthouse here, at the tip of the promontory, is especially photogenic, and there's a great cafe next door where you can grab a coffee or a juice and take in the sea views
The Kasbah, where the sultan once lived, dominates the medina's northern section. The gate opens onto a large courtyard, which leads to the Dar el-Makhzen Palace and the modern-day Kasbah Museum. The palace was built in the 17th century and enlarged by each reigning sultan. The carved wooden ceilings and marble courtyard showcase the intricacies of Moroccan craftwork.
Also in the Kasbah is the infamous Cafe Detroit, which became a haunt for the visiting and expat writers, artists, and hangers-on in the 1960s
History lovers should definitely put the Kasbah Museum on their Tangier things to do list. The museum brings together an amazing number of exhibits tracing Morocco's tumultuous and complicated history. The Antiquities Collection brings together finds from the country's prime ancient Roman sites such as Lixus and Volubilis and includes a life-size model of a Carthaginian tomb.
There are also displays explaining Tangier's history and a large section devoted to Moroccan arts. The Fes Room is particularly interesting, containing silks and illustrated manuscripts, as well as centuries-old ceramics decorated from golden yellow to the famous Fes-blue.
Built in 1905, this Anglican church is one of Tangier's more relaxing spots and is a great place to visit if the hustle of the city is grinding you down. The still functioning church has a tranquil and rather stark interior, while the small cemetery outside contains interesting tombstones from the early 20th century. If you're in Tangier on a Sunday, you can catch a morning service here, or at other times simply knock on the door, and the caretaker will open the church up for you
Spain's little piece of Morocco, this oddity of a town, 79 kilometers east of Tangier, is a major transport hub with ferries across the sea to Algeciras. The old fortifications (built by the Portuguese) around the San Felipe Moat are the town's main sight, but the Ceuta Museum is also worth a look for its well-displayed collection of Punic and Roman finds.
Those with an interest in religious art and architecture should also visit Ceuta's main square, home to the interesting Cathedral Museum and the 15th-century Church of Our Lady of Africa