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Overview

Tangier has long been renowned for its seedy side, for its hustle and its hassle. This legendary city of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll is still rough-and-tumble, but not really so glamorous as it once was. Nonetheless, the nightlife is vibrant; the population is cosmopolitan; and the cultural karma — which has attracted artists from Henri Matisse to Paul Bowles to the Rolling Stones — is infamous. Inland from Tangier, surrounded by the scenic Rif Mountains, Tétouan also exhibits Western influences. Its unique Hispano-Moroccan atmosphere is due to the 40 years that this city was the capital of the Spanish protectorate. This Andalusian ...

Tangier has long been renowned for its seedy side, for its hustle and its hassle. This legendary city of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll is still rough-and-tumble, but not really so glamorous as it once was. Nonetheless, the nightlife is vibrant; the population is cosmopolitan; and the cultural karma — which has attracted artists from Henri Matisse to Paul Bowles to the Rolling Stones — is infamous. Inland from Tangier, surrounded by the scenic Rif Mountains, Tétouan also exhibits Western influences. Its unique Hispano-Moroccan atmosphere is due to the 40 years that this city was the capital of the Spanish protectorate. This Andalusian heritage is most striking in the medina, a conglomeration of whitewashed and tiled buildings that have earned UNESCO World Heritage status. Like Tangier, Tétouan has a rough reputation; but if you can handle the hustlers, you'll find these twin cities to be likable, lively cities.

Mara Vorhees
About the Expert

Mara Vorhees has written or contributed to many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including Brazil and Morocco.

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Mara Vorhees for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Africa along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, with the cities on the northern-most tip.
  • Language: Arabic, Berber Dialects, French
  • Currency: Moroccan Dirham
  • Research: Tangier | Tetouan | Tetouan
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring or autumn