Tripadvisor is a great service no doubt, but Tripadvisor rates only attractions (things to do). It is also based upon tourists doing tourist things. With that said, the true charm of Tangier city and the Tangier-Tetouan region is not based on single attractions, but experiences with the locals. Here are some experiences, that I found better than the attractions located in the grimy medina (the top 3 attractions on tripadvisor). The locals and culture is what keeps me coming back, not the medina.
1. Goto a cafe. Have a cigarette, mint tea, good conversation, good company, and people watch. City Center is best for this or on the beachfront.
2. Have good company (families, don’t invite the random street hustler) over at the apartment. Hospitality is a normal part of Moroccan/Islamic culture, just keep in mind be respectful. You will learn a lot from the locals.
3. Get the best sandwich you will ever eat at the blue sandwich shop (still open) across the street from the bars /club (now under construction) between Mc Donalds and the Atlas Rif hotel on the beachfront. The way you know your are in the right place, is the entrance has a large display case of the fresh items they can cook for you and a fish tank near the back.
4. During the day go on a walk, by yourself (even Rick Steves did this), anywhere in the city center near the beachfront. Go for a walk on the conriche (beach front) around sunset. This is when all the locals go out for walks and meet friends.
5. Hire a local to cook for you, so you get authentic Moroccan food made fresh. Typically this costs about (200 mad) and you will need to pay for the ingredients as well (about the same price as American supermarkets). Overall this was great, as we had leftovers for 4 people the next day and a nice relaxing meal overlooking the city from our apartment. The cook also cleaned the apartment and did our laundry.
6. At night goto the cafes near Hercules cave that over look the beach for hookah, tea, and hanging out with friends. (Near Plage Sidi Kacem)
7. Goto Asilah for a day trip. It’s a cross between Morocco and Greece, with a spotless, safe ,and friendly Medina. Shopping here is cheaper, better, and less stressful than the Tangier medina. Asilah is also a great place to pick up some local art.
8. Goto M’Diq for a relaxing afternoon drinking tea at a nice cafe, overlooking the Mediterranean.
9. Go to the Tangier fish market restaurants at the port. It is fresh, cheap and a lovely experience with a group.
10. Goto Chefchaouen for a one night to experience the city properly. Wake up early to experience the Medina and a nice breakfast at the cafes. It’s a completely different place without the afternoon day trippers.