What to Know Before You Visit Tangier

Updated August 22, 2020.

The last stop on our grand tour of Morocco was the port city of Tangier. By then we had a good feel for how exploring the city would go, but there are still some things we wish we knew before we went!

A Manageable Medina

Tangier is the third largest city in Morocco, but thankfully its medina (or Old City) is one of the smallest we explored! That was a bit of a relief, because it’s not fun to get lost in a new place. We were never far from where we wanted to be, even if we weren’t quite sure where we were. Tangier would have been a good starting point because the medina was relatively manageable.

Relatively small medina
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An Alternate Spelling

We saw the name of the city spelled both “Tangier” and “Tanger,” so if you’re wondering if those are the same city, they are!

Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Morocco

It’s Home to the Only Building Outside the United States to be on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places

It’s is also a U.S. National Historic Landmark! This was also the first American public property outside the United States. Morocco was also the first country to acknowledge the United States of America as a new nation. The building was a gift to the United States from Sultan Moulay Suliman in 1821, and served as home to the American Legation and American Consulate for 140 years. During World War II it was the headquarters for U.S. intelligence. It’s a symbol of the 1786 Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship and is currently a museum and cultural center!

Don’t forget to stop at the American Legation!
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You Will Hear a Lot of Spanish

It’s so close to Spain, it’s inevitable that you’ll hear a lot of Spanish! We were a little surprised that Tangier was the city where the fewest people understood English. Even the manager at our dar (Moroccan guest house) had trouble understanding us, and we didn’t have that problem at all elsewhere!

Beautiful Moroccan Tile Work
More here: Words to Learn in the Local Language

Need more tips? Check out my Morocco Page and What to Know Before You Visit Morocco!

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