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“Not as threatening as I had presumed”
Review of Tangier Casbah

Tangier Casbah
Ranked #6 of 62 things to do in Tangier
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 1, 2014

There are some great items for sale and euros are welcome. You have to run the gauntlet of street hawkers and it's better for women to have a man around. Some women may not like that idea but that is my advice. Also girls, remember to dress appropriately - short shorts and low cut dresses are just asking for trouble.

Thank Helene Christin... P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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229 - 233 of 565 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2014

My husband and I took a day trip from Tarifa in April. We arranged in advance via the internet to have a guide meet us at the ferry landing in Tangier. He made all of our arrangements. I now realize that arranging the ferry is very easy. The ferry station is not busy. The only thing to make sure is to take your passport to the Moroccan security guard on board during the crossing, as the line moves slowly. OUr guide forewarned us, so we were able to get off right away.

The guide provided a clean air conditioned van and a driver. They took us all over Tangier and pointed out many interesting historical sites as well as discussing the economy, the political situation and the customs. We made a few stops including to view a mosque (outside only). We then walked for 3 hours through the kasbah. It is hilly and cobblestoned. I do have serious mobility issues but managed it with slow walking and occasionally sitting down.

.Our guide was essential for several reasons. First, he spoke perfect English, and not many people in the kasbah speak English. Next, he knew every one and so we were introduced to several people, including an American living part-time in the kasbah who showed us the inside of his home. Next, he kept all the people selling things away from us. We were approached by some kids wanting money when we stopped for a juice, and he chased them away. Otherwise we were never bothered by any one begging or selling things at all. Finally, the kasbah is a helter skelter of twisting roads, and we would truly have been lost. We enjoyed seeing the homes, the school, the spices, the fish market, the squares.

While we arranged a guide in advance based on a recommendation in the Rick Steve's book, there are guides selling their services at the ferry landing in Tangier and they seemed reputable and spoke English very well. In fact, one guide helped us find our guide and driver. Our guide also changed euros for us at the bank and helped us order drinks and snacks and offered to show us restaurants, etc. We did not eat at any restaurant which was too bad as we had only a small sampling of delicious pastries. The guide was also essential to find restroom facilities.

We were not taken into any rug or other shops as some tourists noted. We asked to sit down in a shop once and my husband bought an inexpensive wallet, but that was it--absolutely no pressure.

We forgot to mention we wanted to go to the American Legation and only afterwards kicked ourselves for forgetting. We did get to see beaches, the Medina, the kasbah all in one day and our guide returned us to the ferry and got us aboard. It was all very reasonably priced and was an interesting day. We spoke with another couple who used our same guide the day before and stayed in his family's guest house and went to dinner at a restaurant with him and they said it was a tremendous experience. We wish we had more time to have done the same.

We were surprised at the amount of new construction and the modern feeling of the City outside of the kasbah. There were people in various religious garbs and many young people in western dress. Cell phones are everywhere just as in all cities now. While we enjoyed this visit, we intend to skip Tangier next time and go to other Moroccan cities--with a guide.

5  Thank Torte_Sue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2014

We took a day trip to Tangier from Spain fully organised by our travel guide. It certainly was an experience that we enjoyed but i would not repeat. The trip was everything i expected and although we had been informed we would be approached by the street sellers, I did not expect to be bombarded constantly by so many, even when a member of our group purchased something, they did not give up and only grew in numbers. They got in the way of my camera and ruined many shots. Now i know they have to earn a living and if it were a few individuals it would have been fine but at one time my sister counted 20 men all pushing and shoving to sell to our group. They do not take no for an answer and the best approach is to ignore them completely, avoid eye contact and pretend they are not there. I know this probably sounds rude and readers may think I am a snob that does not embrace other cultures, not true, it was seriously exhausting, do not go without a guide. Take the sellers out of the equation and the trip was really very good, the Kasbah, the Souk, the food, the spices, the architecture, the history and culture, brilliant. I will look at my little wooden camel and remember the day forever, started out at 10 Euros, finally bartered to 3, phew.......................

2  Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2014

Very near the Grand Socco square there are some colourful spice shops selling all kinds of spices, grind or whole. When standing on the square and facing the Medina Gate, in your far right is the Rue Salah Eddine Al Ayoubi which leads downhill to the port. Along this street on your right hand side is a series of three spice shops. If you want to try something unique, ask for some Ras El Hanut (a multi-spice mix), say 200 grs. The shopkeeper will prepare it in front of you, mixing all kinds of spices and powders (around 45!!).

3  Thank Kiros K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2014

I took a day trip via Intershipping to Tanger on May 9th, 2014. Price included fast ferry from Tarifa to Tanger, a guide and lunch.

I would not have done this without a guide. The casbah and the medina as so confusing you could get inside and never find your way out! The guide was included and i was very glad to have him. As a single female traveling by myself,( I was with two other single females in their mid 20’s) I never felt uncomfortable, afraid, or scared. I did not feel anyone staring at us because of the way we were dressed. (short sleeve tee shirts, 3/4 length pants) The guide assured us he would keep us “safe”. He knew many people in the city and kept greeting them as we walked past.

The tour involved a LOT of walking on cobblestone streets, so be aware. One girl had problems with her feet towards the end.

I was disappointed on the “tour” that I didn’t see some things - like the market that was in the brochure. We saw the mosques - we arrived during the “call” so everyone was going to the mosque. We did not go in, just walked past. The city is very, very, very old so all the white walls are kind of dingy. Some are very colourful. They are right next to each other which was interesting to see, and the streets became something more like a 5’ wide passage. Nothing looks much of anything until you go in, then they have very nice showrooms, or interesting fresh produce market, saw meat markets, basic groceries. The shops we went in were not that visible from the street, so if you didn’t know where you were going, I don’t know how you would find them.

Yes, we were taken to a carpet place, and they do try and sell you carpets, but I was firm, got up and went downstairs, kept saying no and we finally left. We only had a few people on the streets “bother” us, but I had expressed an interest in a leather bag and they weren’t going to leave me alone until I bought one or they gave up. I initially offered 8 euros, they said 40. That was a joke, I had seen these purses in the market in Fuengirola and was offered them for 18. I finally went up to 10 Euros, and as we walked away, again and again, he kept dropping my price. I ended up buying one for 12.50 Euros which I think was too much, but probably not too bad a price. This place is not as bad as being on the beach in Mexico! I thought it was kind of funny how they keep bargaining, a lesson on persistence!

It was very interesting and worth the trip to go. I have heard a lot about Morocco and this just gives you a taste. The old city is very unique, it has a lot of history, and probably not like any other place in Morocco. I wanted to stay for 2 or 3 days and visit some other places, but as I was traveling alone, it was too expensive with single supplements. I would not do this without a guide.

For the mobility impaired this would be very difficult, if not impossible. There are no elevators anywhere and many things are up stairs. LOTS of walking through narrow passageways. Even the ferry has a steep flight of stairs to get to the seating area. Ferry was really nice! two levels, they have drinks and sandwiches for purchase, three bar areas. It was far from full, but this isn’t peak tourist season yet.

3  Thank cockers2luv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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