Discover the real colors of Tangier with the experts.

Discover the real colors of Tangier with the experts.

Rely on UPMARKET to connect you with both cultural face and historical facts of Tangier 


The history of Tangier has been shaped by the sea and by its strategic location on. The Straits of Gibraltar. The Phoenicians established a port here in the 8th century BC, and it was later settled by the Carthaginians, in 146 BC, Tangier, known as tingis, became a Roman town and the capital of Mauretania, to which it gave the name Mauretania-Tangitana. In 711, Arab and Berber forces gathered here to conquer Spain. By the 14th century, the town was trading with Marseilles, Genoa, Venice and Barcelona; Tangier was captured by the Portuguese in 1471, by the Spanish (1578-1640) and then the English, who were expelled from the city by Moulay Ismail in 1684. In the 19th century, Morocco was the object of dispute between European nations. When, in 1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II denounced the entente cordiale between France and Britain, the stage was set for Tangier’s transformation into an international city.


This was sealed by the Treaty of Algeciras (1906), after which the diplomatic corps in Tangier took over Morocco’s political, financial and fiscal affairs. When colonial rule was established in 1912, Spain took control of the northern part of the country. Tangier, however, remained under international administration. This was the city’s heyday. Its image as a romantic and sensuously exotic place was made in literature and on the big screen.

After independence in 1956, Tangier was returned to Morocco, but suffered political ostracism. However, the city became industrialized, and new districts sprang up. Mohamed VI now includes it in his royal visits, and this has given a boost to the City.



The Tangier medina has always fascinated artists. Eugène Delacroix, Henri Matisse,  Paul Bowles, Tennesse Williams, Jean Genet…. The list can be continued. All have fallen for the charm of petit Socco Square and its cafés, especially the famous Tingis, despite the nefarious reputation acquired during the period when casinos and dance halls abounded. The old Mendoubia Palace, built in 1929, situated to the north of the medina, in now a mansion for foreign VIPs. The Museum of the old American legation in the Southern extremity. Paintings are on display and one room is dedicated to the American Writer Paul Bowles. You should leave the Medina by Grand Socco Square, a lively spot in the evening, and enter to new town.



You can enjoy a pleasant walk in the Mendoubia Park situated north of Grand Socco Square. A giant banyan tree and a dragon tree, alleged to be 800 years old, highlight the visit. Take rue de la liberté, a shopping thoroughfare, to the place de France which is the heart of the modern twon. There you will find the celebrated Grand Café de Paris and the El Minzah hotel which both were haunts of the famous names of arts and literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This spot is still very fashionable. You will have an amazing view of the medina and the port and bay of Tangier from faro Square with its canons. The Mythical HAfa café overlooks the Strait of Gibraltar from the top of the Cliff.