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the so called "Tangier is a dump"

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Tangier, Morocco
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the so called "Tangier is a dump"

I feel sorry for that guy who stayed in Continental Hotel last December a found Tangier was a dump city. Tangier looked for him like Tijuana, Mexico. But, Tangier, even so, is still visited by a lot of famous writers, cineasts, TV stars, businessmen and a huge number of books have been written about that city and lot of movies have been run and still and as dump as it is. He perhaps did not know where to go nor he knew what he was looking for. hope he will like Marrakech for his next trip.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

I have to agree, the fellow obviously didn't stay long enough to see more of Tangier so as make an informed judgement.

On my first visit to Tangier in 2003, I went across from Gibraltar for a day trip as part of an organised tour; I disliked it intensely as the party were unwittingly led into a herbalist and carpet seller which completely ruined the visit.

Returning subsequently as an independent traveller, I stayed at the Continental. Whilst it may have passed it's prime , it is still a hotel with lots of character and interior decor you do not find in regular tourist hotels. It just needs someone to clean it up and get all that great furniture on display.

People should not compare tourist hotels with Arab hotels; you will pay high rates in a tourist hotel which is soul-less or low rates in an Arab hotel with lots of character, as in the case of the Continental.

Rooms at the front have a good view of the Gibraltar Straits although the port can be a nuisance with the constant rumbling during the night; ear plugs are the solution to that.

If you do not like the look of a room, ask for another; you are not obliged to take what is on offer.

As for tour guides, again, if you do not like the look or manner of him, tell him you are not interested. There is a friendly chap just at the gates to the hotel Continental called Saeed who gives a good tour of the area at a rate which you decide, just discuss this in advance; I still owe him money as I had ran out and did not see him on my last day.

I'm sorry to say this but there is a particular breed of tourist who makes a habit of complaining, particularly as they easily part with their money and moan about it later.

Looking forward to my fifth trip to Morocco.

USA
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2. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

There is nothing to do in Tangier at night. Men-only drinking mint-tea in a dirty cafe is not really remarkable in any way. Is it?

I stand by my opinions about Tangier and the Hotel Continental. Just because something is not European, or First-World or Western, doesn't mean it's "better". Get real, that mentality amuses me, that people actually buy into it. Nobody from the West wants to move to Morocco, for good reason, but Moroccans are trying to move into the West. What does that tell you?

What is there for a couple or a woman to do in Tangier after the sun sets?

Anyone?

If the Hotel Continental is considered a top and civilized place in Tangier, then I simply cannot give credit where it isn't justified. Sorry.

Jerez de la Frontera
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3. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

I have met numerous foreigners who move to Morocco to take advantage of a number of things: the friendliness and hospitality of the people (you can't judge this based off your experience with one city, to rephrase what another poster mentioned here it would be like going to Tijuana and thus drawing your conclusions off the whole fo Mexico), the wholesome cuisine, the inexpensive lifestyle, traditional architecture, the beautiful landscapes, the mediterranean climate, etc.

Poverty is an inescapable aspect of Moroccan life. If nothing else, experiencing it can humble you somewhat and make you appreciate the things you have, including things most of us take for granted.

I do have to admit that walking into one of those cafés may have produced some adverse results for the OP, he may have actually met someone that wanted to have a conversation with him, thus leading to great insights on the country he was visiting. This for me is one of the real joys of visiting the country.

In Tangier, I remember one Friday night walking into one of those "dirty cafés" with only men (you appear to not have grasped the cultural significance of that phenomenon) and sat down (girlfriend was with me by the way). Tea was brought, and after a half hour or so, a few of the men gathered there pulled out traditional instruments and played for nearly an hour, of wonderfully melodic yet haunting music "andalusi"), for no one's benefit other than their own. As it turns out, these men enjoyed gathering in that small café from time to time to keep alive the music they learned when they were young, the traditional music of Morocco. No payment was demanded for the performance and we left, having felt truly welcomed and grateful for such an experience.

I'm not going to divulge the name or location of the place, but anyone intrepid enough would be likely to find it or other places like it. The OP would do well to take his opinions and cash to some sterile holiday destination better suited to his perspective of the world.

Andrésy, France
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4. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

For nightlife, go to Las Vegas. For culture go to Morocco (for example). Westerners are flocking to Morocco at the moment where they are buying and renovating properties. If one wants a higher class hotel in Tangier, there is the El Minzah - but it isn't the same price category as the Continental.

USA
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5. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

Chano, why are you so intolerant of other people's opinions?

I will post my opinions about Tangier, so other people can learn from them and not make mistakes with their valuable travel time.

I am not going to get into a contest about "who is the bigger and better traveller", that is nonsense. Not liking a dump locale like Tangier doesn't mean that one prefers sterile travel locations.

It means that I have a brain, and choose to use it. Let the sheep believe the travel brochures and travelogues written by journalists that seem to need to add drama and BS to get their columns completed.

USA
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6. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

PS Here is the original post:

Tangier is a dump.

I made the mistake of "being adventerous", and "thinking I know better than the average tourist", etc. and decided to stay for a night in Tangier to "really see more than the day-trippers", etc. A total waste of time.

Fortunately, I was there for market day on a Thursday which made the medina a lively place for food shopping and the rest of the hoopla. Friday is the day of rest or sabbath for Muslims.

Still, all one really needs to see the Tangier of the guidebooks is about 2-3 hours, including see this so-called market which is similar to European city markets, just less organized and dirtier. So, a day trip is what I would recommend.

The Hotel Continental just isn't worth even mentioning. It's run-down, has lousy service, had no soap, old furniture, and it overlooks the port. Whoop-de-do. I had to apologize for taking my grilfriend there and making a stupid decision. The running water and shower were hot, thankfully, but then I simply wanted to get the heck out of there.

There is no reason to linger.

Tangier really is like Tijuana, after about 2-3 hours how much more do you want or need to see? It gets repetitive. Seeing the food market is neat for only so long, after that it's just stalls and shops with guys selling hardware, tube socks and other junk, and beat-up CD's and pirate DVDs. Hell, I've seen that junk at the Canal/Maxwell Street market in Chicago, it's nothing different.

The Kasbah museum in the Medina is nothing worth traveling to see. The Real Alcazar in Sevilla puts it to shame. They aren't even in the same sport, let alone the same league.

It's still worth going to Tangier, but for a half day, and you have to go if you've never been to a Muslim country. Just like a day trip to Tijuana is definitely worth it, if you've never been to Mexico.

The calls to prayer from the mosques are actually really neat to hear, that's about the only redeeming thing I have to say about Tangier.

I was not impressed with Tangier at all. Maybe someday I'll go to Marrakech and give Morocco a second chance, but Tangier is just a dump.

PS The guide we hired, was a swindler and predictably took us to a shop full of tourists run by a Jewish guy who didn't even remotely look Moroccan. This same owner orginially told us his name was "Mohammed", and it was not true, so don't fall for any of it. When we decided not to "buy" anything from this shameless, irritating fella, our guide (probably realizing there was no commission coming) mysteriously "got called away by his wife", and that ended that tour.

Taniger is a dump and not worthy of much time.

USA
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7. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

And also, if you believe what you read from the journalist and guidebooks, one will get the impression that "Volubilis" is up there with the Roman Forum.

It's not.

Fes
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8. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

I have to agree with Chano. I do not think that one night in a city allows for a fair and comprehensive opinion.

I have visited Tangier half a dozen times and have still seen only a small part of it. And although Tangier is not number one on my list of places to see in Morocco, it still definately deserves a trip.

USA
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9. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

Tangier deserves a "day trip", as I mentioned.

Staying overnight, and especially at the overrated Hotel Continental, is a bad move.

That's my opinion, and I hope people can learn from it, and not be duped by all the BS travelogues and guidebooks.

Tangier, Morocco
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10. Re: the so called "Tangier is a dump"

Hi Everyone,

I went to Tangier 10 years ago and stayed a little over a month. My husband had a job and I joined him on the trip. We stayed at Hotel Salazur the whole time (company paid for it). Everything I heard about Tangier made me afraid to leave the room. I overcame my fear and started venturing out. I am glad I did. Everything is true about this city and all of its flaws. Since I was there for an extended visit I seen the good and bad of it and find that ten years later I still read forums of it and look at the pictures from our trip. I don't think the experience and the people will ever leave me. I had the luxury of having the people with whom my husband worked with show us around on weekends. After that my husband and I did our own sightseeing. Even if I had to pay my own way I would do it again. Maybe a different hotel.