CITY GUIDE | SPENDING A WEEKEND IN TANGIERS, MOROCCO.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

I feel like this blog post in long overdue, as Morocco is pretty much a stone throw away from Gibraltar (or a 45 minute ferry from Tarifa). Last weekend I finally made the trip over to the tip of Africa and gained about 5kg in moroccan desserts. It was short, sweet and tiring as I was travelling with 3 women who could spend 20 hours in the Soco, but we also got the chance to see some great sites. If you're planning a trip to Tangiers here's what I got up to and some of my recommendations.


WHERE TO STAY


Most hotels in Tangiers are fairly cheap and high quality, we chose the Hotel Rembrandt which was situated a 10 minute walk from the Socco. I'd have no complaints about the hotel but we waited almost 2 hours for our salad starter at the hotel restaurant, and we all know how hangry I get so this was a deciding factor for me on its review. The rooms themselves are spacious and the location is good so it's a good shout if you're not looking to eat in the hotel, and just looking for a place to sleep and have an afternoon swim in. If you want to treat yourself to some luxury then the hotel Minzah is also a good shout.



GETTING AROUND


I always think walking around a city is the best place to see it and get your bearings, but apart from the Socco everything else is pretty spread out, and taxis will cost you no more than 10 euros per trip so it's easy to get around. There are two main taxi companies in Tangiers, the cream cars being the more expensive of the two (a 10 minute trip on the green taxi cost us 2 euros). It's also a good idea to arrange a tour with a local tour guide as they are relatively inexpensive and a great way to get an insight into the place and landmarks. Our guide operator was Ramdani Tours and he also offers trips as far as Marrakech and Casablanca.



WHERE TO EAT


OK so it took us about a 15 minute walk, my a-level French memory and a taxi man who didn't know where he was going to get to this restaurant, but Annejma is a very popular restaurant for locals and tourists a-like. We went twice and I definitely recommend the fish, cous cous or the beef tagine, I opted for the chicken tagine on the second day but was put off when I saw the neck of the chicken was still attached, I like my chicken not looking like a chicken. Cafe Hafa is also very popular and offers some great views of the city. For all your pastries, cakes and snacks head to Bab Al Medina in the '9 Avril' square does amazing 'mantecaus' and 'chebakia'. 


WHAT TO DO



I know a lot of people who take day trips to Tangiers simply to stock up on cheap fruit and vegetables, and get their fix of fake nike shoes. However there is more to the city than simply strolling around the petit & grand socco - although these are definitely worth exploring to immerse yourself in the culture and pick up your own Moroccan caftan and slippers. For your shopping needs there is also the shopping centre 'Socco Alto'.







We hired a tour guide that for 15 euros each took us on a 4 hour private tour around the city - covering the caves of Hercules, a visit to the camels, the socco and in-depth knowledge on the different areas of Tangiers. The caves of hercules features the man-made rock figure that showcases the map of Africa and looks beautiful when the sun is setting through. On my next trip to Morocco I'd love to venture out further and explore Marrakesh, Chefchaouen and Casablanca. All which can be done through the same tour guide with overnight stays in each area. It's also a good idea to have a look at what is going on in the area during your stay. There was a jazz festival taking place the night we were there so we went down for some live music and food.


TOP TIPS FOR TANGIERS


  • Tangiers official language is Arabic, followed by French and then the usually go on to choose between English and Spanish. 
  • The local currency is dirhams but euros are often widely accepted, however it's more beneficial to pay in dirhams. 
  • You're expected to tip for pretty much everything, just don't be an idiot and pay someone 50 dirhams for flagging down a taxi for you. 
  • September is probably the best time to go because it's still warm, but you're not melting in your caftan.
  • Most markets don't open until 11am, so there's no point being there for 9 in the morning. 

Have you ever visited Morocco yourself? If not what is next on your travel list!

G



for more ideas on what to do in Tangier head to my Morocco Pinterest board.







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