Set atop the town's tallest coastal promontory, the kasbah has served as Tangier's military and political center since the Roman era. Within its walls, the former royal palace, or Dar El Makhzen ; open Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Sun 9am-12:30pm and 3-5:30pm, Fri 9-11:30am; admission 10dh/$1.25/60p), houses a museum of mosaics from the Roman city of Volubilis, as well as a fine selection of Moroccan crafts. A room dedicated to Fes includes some superbly bound manuscripts with exquisite calligraphy, as well as examples of the city's famous ceramics. Other regions and cities are also represented, while the building itself is a display of Morocco's renowned zellij, hand-carved stucco plaster work, and painted ceilings.
I would, as I usually did go through to Asilah and stay the night there - its a beautiful, small clean, hassle free, whitewashed fortress town beside the sea - only 45 minutes from Tangier - you can catch a taxi straight from Tangier port
(dont catch the train to Asilah as then you arrive a couple of miles from ASilah and not so easy to get taxis from there to town)
- not the ones that first confront you as you come out of the terminal, but walk past the 2 money exchangers (which are the best place to exchange money if you are doing it that way, otherwise use the ATM thats there also and keep your money for ATM backup) and you will see small taxis come, if theres 4 of you and luggage you probably wont fit but often grande taxis come to there too and get one of them, shouldnt be more than 20 or 30 dirham to the main bus and grande taxi station and catch a grande taxi to Asilah -
if you catch a grande taxi from the ferry to the grande taxi and bus station and he says to you he can take you to asilah then the prices are only about 25 dirham a seat x 6 seats in the taxi so thats how you know the price - otherwise go to the station and then get a grande taxi from there - buy all the seats so its more comfortable for you and you dont have to wait or maybe theres a taxi waiting already with 2 people/seats taken waiting for 4 more - bit of a cram but its ok if 2 of you take the front seat tickets....
or catch a local bus from the station for about 20 each and see what its like to travel with the locals!
You dont need a travel company at all to do this - your info you need is here on VT, go to our Asilah and Tangier pages and even Tetouan and Chefchouen and get info, also its worth getting a Lonely Planet for Europe/Western Europe (they changed the country layouts so you have to see what you want included in your book - but the LP is good because it gives you enough on many countries aruond Europe and includes Morocco)
otherwise invest in the latest Footprints guidebook for Morocco or the latest Lonely Planet. and you will see info in them for accommodation in Asilah
you can also just turn up in Asilah - theres a hotel there anyway so you will find somewhere to stay whatever you do - but its better to find an apartment and if you turn up and anyone will come up to ask if you are looking for somewhere to stay, or go into a shop or cafe where you get off at from the bus or taxi and ask that you are looking for an apartment and all the locals that work around there will know who to send to go find who has an apartment - this is a normal way of doing it for Moroccans and its reliable too - you can say no the first one or any if you think its too expensive too and they will keep looking for you - you didnt say when you are going to be there but generally peak season is not until Spanish and French school holidays or August when the international arts festival is on.
You will find that it is well worth staying the night there and seeing the sunset from the fortress walls etc!!
if you have energy you could get up to catch the 1030 am bus to Tetouan and go and see TEtouan about an hour away - its a direct bus, otherwise other times the only way is to catch minibus or taxi back to Tangier bus station and see Tangier, or then catch another bus or grande taxi to Tetouan which that way takes a bit more of your time
if you caught the 1030 am bus to Tetouan you would have time to have at least a couple of hours in Tetouan, unesco old city and medina, walk around the medina up to the fortress on top for good views, around the souk - best place to buy babouches ie leather shoes and slippers, maybe go to a carpet ccoperative, see my tip on the rip off herbalists that are the biggest hustlers in town, even catch a taxi to Martil for a nice fish lunch only a few kms away, definitely go to the archeology museum with its famous mosaics from the roman city of Lixus, and then catch bus or taxi back to Tangier - there is luggage place at bus station for a few dirham.
and then see a bit of Tangier before a late ferry back - catch the fast ferry back when you go from Tangier to Tarifa - its much faster, only 35 minutes and they have a bus waiting for you at the boat when you arrive to take you to the Algecrias ferry terminal - across the road from the Algeciras ferry terminal are the buses to Marbella which last ones leave fairly late....get timetable on your way to Morocco so you know for the way back, same for the fast ferry back to Tarifa, i think the last one is late but get a brochure from their shop acorss from the ATM and money exchangers at Tangeir ferry port.
Have a very good trip - oh and Tangier - see the Anglican/Church of Eng church, the grande souk, the american legion, and go up to the fortress for good views. if you decide to stay in Tangier and not do what Ive suggested then experience staying at the Hotel Continental for a night.
all the best, and drop me a line if you need anymore help - before you go or when you are there
The best way to get a ferry from spain to Tangier is from Tarifa but not to med-port because then you will be about 40 km far from the town of Tangier but if you take the ferry to madina-port then you will be in the center of the town.
There's a ferry office at the port where you can buy your tickets nearly ever 60 mn.For any other informations please don't hasitate contacting me.
We only had one evening in Tangier and that was taken up with a group dinner.
However I did manage to take a fine photo of Tangier port at Night. I am sure if I had walked the streets near our hotel I would have obtained many more photo opportunities.
This was a fun hour, the location was beautifully decorated in Moroccan style, the local entertainers excellent and allowed one of our group to join in and share an instrument.
The mint tea was nice, however I must confess I have never had another since I left Morocco.
Parchi is a slightly simplified version of an ancient board game, originating in India (Parcheesi), and found in a very debased form in the game of Ludo. It's all the rage in the cafés of Tangier but I haven't encountered it elsewhere in Morocco. A game of Parchi over a mint tea is a great way to meet ordinary Moroccans.
Hi; Yep I vote for it too; The first thing to do when the ferry get into Tangier"s Port; is to walk straight the exit; and then (Stop) there is a court on the right side, there you'll see some old buildings (in Andalsian style) I would advice on having a meal there; this will be just one of the great points to start your day around and in Tangier- I mean the buildings really worthwile- I wound't advise on taking a taxi to downtown, walking from the Port to the down town is the main idea!.
You better take the earlier ferry; in order to save time for Tangier. it take atleast 40/45 mn!!!
Place de France, is found in the Ville Nouvelle and is well known for its cafes. One in particular is Café Paris which opened in 1920 and was also a favourite during World War II as a haunt for international agents with their wheeling and dealing. It was also a favourite place of Tennessee Williams, Jean Genet and Paul Bowles.
Rue as-Siaghin (or Silversmith’s street) leads first into a small central square. There are shops either side as you descend down towards the Peiti Socco (also known as Socco Chico or Place Souq ad-Dakhil). I was suffering toothache at the time and found a very clean and well equipped pharmacy here where it was very easy to get something for the pain.
In the Medina you will find a covered market place. Under glaring light bulbs you will find fresh meat hanging from hooks, fish and neatly stacked vegetable stalls. It all looks clean and well organised.
Ave Mohammed V, Place de France and Blvd Pasteur are all part of the heart of ville nouvelle. The main post office, banks and many restaurants, bars and hotels are within these streets. The avenue was formally named Ave des Far, there seems to be a Ave Mohammed V in every city in Morocco.
Off the Grand Socco is the entrance to the Medina through the gate as well as the Sidi Bou Abib Mosque. On the northern side is the Mendoubia Gardens which also houses the residences of the offices of the Mendoub. There is a Banyan tree within the gardens which is reported to be more than 800 years old. There are also some 30 canons which originate from old fleets sunk in the Mediterranean.
In the centre of the square is a large marble fountain which is surrounded by palm trees and benches. It is still a popular gathering place and a central point which connects the newer districts of Tangier to the old Medina and the busy Rue Es-Siaghinie.
In the past the square was a significant market and meeting place for drug dealers and criminals. The square has since cleaned up its act and while there are small market stalls still there you can now find banks, hotels, many restaurants and bars and the post office. This is also a good point for picking up taxis.
In 1471 when the Portuguese occupied Tangier, the mosque was converted into a cathedral. It was until the 17th century when English forces withdrew from the country that Moulay Ismail rebuilt a mosque on the site. Unfortunate non-muslims cannot enter.
We enjoyed our overnight stay in this old hotel which was being refurbished. Our room was...more
This hotel, set n the Medina, on a cliff top (small cliff top) overlooking the port, is a grand old...more
The hotel is a little old, but it's got a nice location away from too much traffic and across the...more