Guarding the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier has for centuries been Europes’s gateway to Africa. Its blend of cultures and influences is unique in Morocco – for much of its history it wasn’t even governed by Morocco.
Tangier has always carried a slightly seedy allure, in part because of its time as a semi-independent international zone that attracted eccentric foreigners, artists and spies. Officially sanctioned neglect later gave it a dismal reputation, and visitors were often quick to flee its sleaze and hustle.
Contemporary Tangier could hardly be more different. Investment has flowed in and the white city gleams with an air of confidence. The corniche bustles, entrepreneurs in the new business district have replaced the hustlers, and a new marina is under construction, along with the new TGV train line to Casablanca. Tangier’s cultural life is buzzing in a way it hasn’t done since the 1950s.