Most people coming from Europe (and beyond) begin their travel in Morocco by landing in Tangiers; it can be daring or an adventure, depending on what way you look at it. Good or bad, it's certainly a place that will leave a lasting impression on you. Come and explore North Africa.
Tangiers being a port city, you will amongst others also find scoundrels and petty thiefs, therefore, do watch your belongings. However, this is the portal to the orient and it will give you a pre-taste, -smell and -experience of enchanting places to come in Morocco and the rest of this country located in nothern Africa. Day trips are also available if you are interested in just that.
It was once considered to be one of the most stylish resorts of the Mediterranean, packed with wealthy Europeans and Americans searching for business opportunities, excitement, and that 'special something' the other resorts couldn't provide.
Up until Morocco's independence in 1956, Tangiers was classified as a free port, with laid-back taxation laws and a backwards system of law and order. A place where "anything" could be bought if you were willing to pay the right price.
Tangiers is synonymous with such literary greats as Paul Bowles, Cecil Beaton, William Burroughs, Joe Orton, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, Tennessee Williams and Brion Gysin. They all arrived here searching for cheap thrills, freedom and a way of life impossible to find in Europe or the States.
Eventually, the authorities decided to clean up the city and clamp down on the foreigner's "hedonistic lifestyles"
During a period known as "The Great Scandal" many ex-pats were arrested for sexual and narcotic-oriented crimes, resulting in most of the brothels and 'houses of ill repute' being closed down. After this, most of the ex-pat community left Tangiers for Spain and France.
Nowadays the police don't tolerate westerners coming to Tangiers for cheap drugs anymore. You even hear stories of predatory officers tricking visitors into buying small amounts of hash and then leading them off to the local prison (which is meant to be no better than the one in the film Midnight Express!).
Tangiers today Tangiers's definitely not the city it used to be. If you're just looking for cheap drugs and sex you might end up either disappointed or, worse still, in jail.
On the other hand, if you're looking for something different - something with a little more edge, this could be the place for you. Tangiers is certainly not your average Mediterranean holiday destination.
It's a dynamic city with an intense atmosphere and very strong sense of character. There are not many places you can visit (on a budget) that are as interesting and exotic as Tangiers at such a short distance to mainland Europe. Go with an open mind and the right attitude and you'll love it!
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