Secret Tangier

Taking a day trip to Tangier in October. It seems pretty touristy, especially the medina section of town that we will visit. Any suggestions for something in the medina that isn’t seen or experienced so much? We don’t mind really weird or unusual or difficult. But something uncommon or different! Many Thanks for Any Suggestions! B & C

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Tangier´s medina can be quite touristy but for a day trip it is fine.

There is a cafe with a great rooftop view over the Atlantic called Salon Bleu (can be found on Facebook), another cafe with a view is Cafe Hafa. It can be found in some guide books so it is more popular but still worth a visit.

Another nice place is Cinema / Cafe Rif, it is on the main square (Grand Socco) in the medina. There are a few really different cafes in the medina, they are mostly filled with men, but the atmosphere is different. Can´t remember their names but one is called Cafe Baba.

If you are open to venturing to other parts of town there is a huge local market called Casa Barata, it is different and you will likely be the only tourists there.



And if anyone else is in need of advice regarding Morocco I am here to answer an questions you might have :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you, @pikslmakr! Morocco is such an incredible place!

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Wow! Many thanks for all your suggestions!
I was thinking about Casabarata to check out as a local souk, but now we may spend time there before the medina.
Thanks again! B & C


You said some of the Cafs are more male based could this be awkward for women or ( not acceptable )

I don´t see that it would be an issue, for a tourist it is certainly acceptable and Morocco is a safe country so don´t feel alarmed. It´s more up to you and your gut feeling if you would feel awkward or not.
There aren´t that many cafés in the Medina actually, so most you´ll find will be ok and certainly have a lot of charachter.
Enjoy your trip!

Awesome I’m a guy yet seen one or two things online seem to segregate didn’t want to be disrespectful Or make my friends feel too awkward.

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Tangier is a beautifu city; here is a short presentation of the city.

Thank You, Brahim. We did go to Tanger, a day trip from our coastal Spain vacation. We are a couple in our 70s and we had a great time! So here’s a rundown of what we did:

We drove early in the morning to Tarifa and took the ferry. Departure was “9AM” but it was really socked in with fog so we had a 1 hour delay, arrived to a sunny Tangier at about 11AM. The FRS ferry was delightful and pretty fast, a Morocco agent looks at your documents on the way there, they just want to stamp your passport. As expected the touts were out in full force as we were leaving the dock - obnoxious and intimidating, but the “don’t look at them or acknowledge them” tactic seemed to work. More of these at the entry to the Medina and a few times during the day (in Medina only) as we were taking in the sights, but they do seem to give up if you don’t look at them or talk to them. Pretend you don’t understand English. (If you don’t want to wing it then it’s probably best to arrange for a tour or tour guide before you go.) We walked to Cafe Hafa, a pretty long walk and a lot of hills, but worth it. Of course we got lost on the way, walking through the Medina, but we just went a very different route than we planned, and on the way saw a lot of “residential Medina.” Pretty cool!

We spent an hour at Cafe Hafa and we didn’t see a single tourist. Just a couple blocks from there is a main street and we caught a cab to Casabarata, a huge market with very few tourists. (I should mention that during the entire day we never got dirham (Morocco money) and we never needed it - the Euro was accepted at all the stores and restaurants and by the taxicabs - just give them 1 Euro for a 10 dirham charge. And have plenty of 1E, 2E, 5’s and 10’s.) The problem with Casabarata is that it is huge, with so many parts we couldn’t get to it all, but it’s an adventure to roam around the fruit and flea markets and candy stands and everything else. When done we got to compete with many a Tanger lady to get a cab. A little weird - when the cab stops you tell him where you are going and he either says Yes or No. There usually is already a passenger in the cab! If he says No to one of those ladies you can then ask if he’ll take you to where you want to go. We were headed back to the Medina to check out more of it, and the ferry terminal is at the edge of the Medina, so we just said “Kasbah” and eventually one said to get in. Both cab rides were a thrill - you get to see a lot of the streets, people and buildings but they are going pretty fast!

Our time in Medina was great. Most folks will find quite a few shops they want to look around at and we found it most interesting. There are hundreds of shops there and plenty of “made in Morocco” as well as touristy souveniers. We stopped for food at Chez Hassan Bab Kasbah and had chicken tajine and kebabs. Pretty Good! And superb people watching! There are a lot of restaurants and many are right out in the open and you can get a pretty good feel of whether or not you want to stop there. After our hours in the Medina we were exhausted and headed back for the 6PM ferry. I could have done another day, but it was not to be. The return ferry was also uneventful except for the sunset - spectacular!

If you don’t mind a little hassle, a little uncertainty, getting a little lost, and a lot of adventure, then a day trip to Tangier is highly recommended. Take a good look at a map of the Medina before you go and pick a couple of shops that intrigue you. You will love it!

Going to where the cruise ships/ferry drops off passengers in Tangier is akin to visiting Los Angeles, and hanging out in Compton. Tangier is fantastic! Wasn’t it Bowles who wrote about Tangier, where “everything is permitted…”? Do you smoke hash? Or want to? Tangier, Ketama, Chefchaouen there’s a lot of it and very cheap. Visit the pet stores in Tangier where monkeys are sold. They are so cute. The shopkeepers in the bazaars in Tangier are really friendly and personable. Most of them are Jews- which although Morocco is supposed to be a Muslim nation, most of it’s people don’t really practice it- just like USA is a “Christian” nation. Jews, just about every creed is accepted in Morocco, fundamentalist Christians excepted (I heard a rumor Christian missionaries were poisoned some years back, not sure if the story’s veracity but I wouldn’t doubt it). Steer clear of young men who approach you - the vocal ones shouting out to foreigners. Need I even warn you? Any sensible person would avoid any young man, in any country or locale who shouts out to them or tries to get them to talk to them. Use your mind and common sense the same way you would in any city in the US - Morocco is not magic, free from scams and theft. Tangier port area is a magnet for every small time crook in Morocco. See if you can get to Ketama or Chefchaouen, it’s a long bus trip from Tangier. If not, hang out in the city, and young girls and women would give their eyeteeth to hear English speakers talk, or for Americans to tell them what music is popular, what brands or fashions we were in US, anything pop culture related. By the way- even though we consider internet basically global, it isn’t in Morocco. It costs much more there, that’s why you almost never see videos on Youtube from Morocco- they don’t have reciprocal agreements with telecoms like we do- their infrastructure has to pay for the web traffic out of their country (unlike us- imagine having to pay for each email you get!) Tangier is fabulous and I have nothing but extremely fond memories of it. I stayed next to the woman who used to be the richest girl in the world, oh what’s her name??! Who married man after man- her house or riad, all the walls have broken glass on top of each wall to prevent burglars. Inlaws of mine own the riad next to hers, and we could see into her patio and into her yard, etc. I’d stay away from the McDonalds and other places that sell pizza, other "American"f oods- they’re terrible! The McD burgers tasted to me like lamb (yuck) the pizza was… sad. If you are a woman, don’t go to movie theatres or places were only men congregate, you’;ll be seen as loose and easy- or worse.