A guide to 3 days in Tangier
Staying at the wonderful Saba’s House, one of the newest boutique riads in Tangier, is a perfect place to base yourself to explore this fascinating city. Wander the maze of the Kasbah before retreating to the comfort and glamour of its unique interiors as your sanctuary when you need it. Patsy, part of the team at Saba’s House, helped us put together a wonderful itinerary for this insider’s guide to 3 days in Tangier:
Day 1 in Tangier
Arrive into Tangier on the morning ferry from Tarifa or by train or plane and head straight to Saba’s House. Once you’re checked in head upstairs for lunch on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Take in the view of the city as you sample local dishes and orientate yourself with the city’s landmarks.
After lunch Saba’s House can organise a short walking tour of the Medina and Kasbah to get a feel of the place. Highlights include Petit Socco; officially named Place Souq Ad Dakhil, this was once the most notorious crossroads of Tangier, the site of drug deals and all forms of prostitution. Today the facades are freshly painted, tourists abound and it’s a wonderful square for people-watching over a mint tea.
As you wander the streets you’ll see evidence of the city’s transformation to cultural hub with wonderful venues such as Cinema Rif (below). The brightest light on Tangier’s cultural scene, Cinema Rif is a combination of art-house cinema, cafe and archive, and the focal point for anything to do with film. There’s also the Librarie des Collones, a famous landmark boasting wonderful architecture, which is Tangier’s best bookshop and was once the haunt of Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Samuel Becket and William Burroughs, and is an institution in Tangier.
Tour done, head back and get ready to experience the other side of Tangier; its vibrant and colourful nightlife. Start off with drinks on the terrace at the Riad and we’d suggest trying out the wonderful skills of the in-house chef.
If you feel like carrying on the the party head to TangerInn, an historic nightclub, with a 1950s vibe and decoration of American beatnik writers, it’s in the heart of Tangier, directly by the sea.
Day 2 in Tangier
Breakfast on fresh fruit and pastries on the rooftop of Saba’s House, or in your room if you prefer of course. Then, this morning is about getting to grips with the commercial hub of Tangier. Your first stop could be Las Chicas concept store (https://laschicastanger.tumblr.com/). It’s just outside the Kasbah and is an eclectic mixture of a shop, stocking art pieces, home ware, cosmetics and some exquisite designer clothes, alongside a cafe.
From here head to Les Tisserands (The weavers market) an interior courtyard in the Medina which is home to dozens of small weavers workshops. Men work on old traditional looms to weave cotton, linen, silk and wool into beautiful scarfs, throws, cushions and clothes. They can create anything and one often sees buyers from New York and London stores here! Patsy can also suggest amazing places for shopping dependent on what you’re looking for, so just ask.
Take some time out from the hustle to visit St Andrews Church, a wonderful Anglican church with spectacular garden in the middle of the Medina.
For the afternoon think about a tour of the Old Mountain area by car. The Beverly Hills of Tangier it’s home to numerous palaces of the King, his Brother, Mother and also the Saudi King. Once you’re done head back to the private Hamman at Saba’s House to cleanse away your day of exploring… just in time to head out again. Tonight we’d suggest perhaps popping out for dinner, so if that takes your fancy then chat to Patsy or one of the team for the best insider tips on where to go.
Day 3 in Tangier
Today you’ve got the choice of city or beach. For more shopping and people watching head to La Casa Berata market for antiques, textiles, etc. It Literally means ‘the cheap house’ and this large flea market carries everything you can imagine, from vegetables to electronics to carpets. The best opportunity to find real treasure it’s an experience unto itself.
Or take a taxi out to the beach at the iconic Chez Abdou restaurant or maybe visit the Cap Spartal (below) where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic and the Caves of Hercules.
After a sundowner at Saba’s House, for your final evening we’d think about either sampling dinner on the rooftop or if you still want to explore head to Casa D’Italia. It’s part of the Italian Consulate and on Italian territory – huddled against sultan Moulay Hafid’s old palace it’s a private club whose restaurant opened in 1950 and cheerfully welcomes the public for meals.
After breakfast it’s time to take the swift ferry to Tarifa or head to the airport. Even better jump on the train to Marrakech and stay at our wonderful partner hotel RIAD DAR ZAMAN for a few days. Peter has written about some of his favourite things to do in Marrakech too.
There is no better resource than a local and Patsy is more than happy to help plan your stay at Saba’s House. Once you’re booked in she’ll happily advise on restaurants and sight seeing.
Further Afield has always been about finding places to stay which share our fundamental belief in inclusivity and welcome to all. Some travellers feel Morocco as a destination might not be so welcoming, but if you’re respectful of local beliefs staying in one of its cities is a rich cultural experience with a wonderful blend of East and West. If it’s relevant check out our Advice for gay travellers visiting Morocco