Just nine miles from the southern
coast of Spain, this cosmopolitan
city boasts beautiful views,
untouched beaches, and friendly
people. Check out why we love its
warm, multicultural vibe.
constructed to provide shade from the hot African sun.
The old walled city embodies Tangier’s
vibrant spirit through the hustle and
bustle of its marketplace.
As the first public property acquired abroad by the United States—and the only listing on the US National Register of Historic Places outside the country’s borders—the American Legation served as a consulate until 1956, but it’s now a free museum, cultural center, and research library concentrating on Arabic language studies. Inside its stuccoed Moorish structure, you’ll find paintings by American artist Marguerite McBey and a gallery devoted to expat writer and composer Paul Bowles. 8 rue America, +212 5 39 93 53 17; legation.org
and local artwork in
the city’s medina.
Bleu de Fes
Its selection of high-quality Moroccan specialties (rugs, pottery, and textiles) at reasonable prices makes this one of our favorite shops in the city. Owners Abdul and Atil are ready to bargain and aim to please. 65 rue les Almohades, +212 5 39 33 60 67
in the villages and the Rif mountains surrounding Tangier.
For up-and-coming artists, the Galerie Conil is the city’s taste-making showcase, serving as a venue for top international talent (whose work is often available at a fraction of Paris exhibition prices). In addition to admiring the art, visitors will also be grateful for its relaxing atmosphere, a welcome break from the commotion of the medina. 7 rue du Palmier, +212 6 55 64 10 14; conilgalerie.com
Ancient architecture, old-world charm,
and undeniable mystique make it the
most beautiful part of Tangier.
element of Islamic architecture.
them from the city’s pollution—are
transformed into unexpected works of art.
Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus
A stylish alternative to the casbah’s other boutique options, this intimate retreat was once a pasha’s palace. Designed with a French twist by hotelier Anne Igou, the accommodations feature luxurious four-post beds, bathrooms with wild geometric tiles, and a shaded courtyard. An added bonus: the building sits at the highest point of the rue Riad Sultan, with views of the Spanish coast from its rooftop terrace. 811 rue Riad Sultan, +212 6 61 22 81 40; nord-pinus-tanger.com
Le Salon Bleu
For a tea break from a day spent sightseeing or a leisurely late-afternoon lunch, this picturesque café’s view, decor, and service will make it a go-to favorite. Try the chicken tagine and the chocolate torte—to die for! 71 rue Amrah, +212 6 62 11 27 24
in the casbah offers everything
from handmade ceramics to
custom fashions and jewelry.
exotic views of the Northern Moroccan desert.
A much-frequented stop among the cognoscenti while abroad, this chic shop isn’t to be missed. Owned by Laure Welfling, a Parisian ex-pat, and her artist husband, Guidi de Richemont Salvy (who designs many of the store’s wares), the boutique trades in everything from caftans to original watercolors. (We stocked up on ceramic plates and artwork!) Afterward, stop in for a mint tea next door at the couple’s Cercle de Musique Arabo-Andalouse, where you’ll be serenaded by traditional Moroccan lute players. 3 place de la Kasbah, +212 5 39 94 97 89
This romantic hotel is known for its cozy guest rooms and spacious terraces with glimpses of Tangier’s maze-like medina. The classic Moroccan interiors feature patterned textiles, plush loomed wool rugs, and colorful hanging lanterns. 20 rue Gourna, +212 6 62 11 27 24; darnour.com
of pottery from Fez, and panoramic views of the Strait of Gibraltar.
reigned over casbah society.
Joséphine overlooks the
sprawling Rif mountainside.
Located on the Sidi Kacem beach, this lunch spot and beach club is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. In addition to feasting on terrific seafood, guests may (weather permitting) enjoy sand yachting, surfing, or merely soaking up the spectacular scenery. A 20-minute drive from the city, it’s the closest thing to the South of France you’ll find in Tangier. Plage Sidi Kacem, +212 5 39 33 81 37; oceanplagetanger.com
From posh resorts to a
demigod’s grotto, Tangier
teems with historic sites
and picturesque pleasures.
the North African coast.
The Muslim holy man after whom this beach is named may well be spinning in his grave over the easygoing lifestyle of this untouched playground. A few kilometers south of Tangier, this local treasure is a peaceful gem.
With 45 deluxe bungalow suites and wide picture windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Le Mirage boasts the best view outside the medina. Its posh amenities and direct access to the beach make it a perfect spot for celebrities traveling incognito, as well as vacationing families. Just eight kilometers (five miles) from the Royal golf club and 15 kilometers (about nine miles) from the Spanish coast, its location is pretty sweet, too. Les Grottes d’Hercule, BP 2198, +212 5 39 33 33 32; www.lemirage.com
Looking out over the Strait of Gibraltar, this sublime grotto—with its famous sea window shaped remarkably like the continent of Africa—is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. According to legend, the demigod spent the night here before performing his 11th labor (retrieving apples from the Garden of the Hesperides). Located just 14 kilometers (about nine miles) from the city, it’s an easy, inspired afternoon jaunt. Cap Spartel
Caves of Hercules
English, French, and
Librairie des Colonnes
For more than 60 years, the Librairie de Colonnes has been the city’s hip hub for urbane bookworms. Frequented by a long list of famous literary travelers, and now owned by Pierre Bergé—the longtime romantic partner of the late Yves Saint Laurent—the shop hosts author signings, has an active literary review, and keeps Arabic, French, and English texts in stock. 54 boulevard Pasteur, +212 5 39 93 69 55; librairie-des-colonnes.com
Matisse and writer Tennessee Williams
once called the historic Grand Hôtel
Villa de France home.
vu d’une fenetre, was inspired by
the view from his window at the
Grand Hôtel Villa de France.
worth a trip...
You’ll think you’ve departed Morocco and been whisked away to a Greek isle.
At the east end of rue Tijara, it’s an insider spot for scoring well-priced ceramics and rugs (the domino staff bought seven!). 25-90050 rue Tijara, +212 5 39 41 78 64
Restaurant Al Alba
Although it’s a short trek out of town (about five minutes from the medina), the personable staff and chic blue-and-white interior make the trip well worth it. Lot. Nahil 35, BP330, +212 6 13 42 91 90; hotelalalba.com
For a dose of vitamin D, head straight to Paradise Beach, about three kilometers (nearly two miles) from Asilah. Enjoy a stroll down the coast, or lounge beneath the beach’s plentiful umbrellas. Looking to make some romantic memories? Hop into one of the horse-drawn carriages that traverse the shore.