TANGIER - NEIGHBORHOODS
Ville Nouvelle (City Center)
The Ville Nouvelle was built in the early 20th century, and is filled with Spanish and French influences, as these were the two colonial powers that had the most influence on the area during that time. The Place de France is one of the largest public squares in Tangier; the Avenue de Belgique takes visitors west from the square, and the Boulevard Pasteur is bidirectional and is the road on the eastern side of the roundabout. Other noteworthy streets in the Ville Nouvelle are the Rue Anoual, where you can visit the Sour Meegazine and the Gran Teatro Cervantes, and Rue de la Plage and Rue du Portugal, which connect the Ville Nouvelle with the Ancien Medina.
The Ancien Medina (`the Old Medina`) is the historic old town of Tangier, which dates from the time of the Phoenicians. It is a tenth of a square mile in area and is situated just to the north of the Ville Nouvelle and south of the Mediterranean coast and the Strait of Gibraltar. The Romans, Portuguese, Spanish, Moroccans, and French all have influenced the old town in their own ways. Even the Americans have influenced a portion of Tangier, specifically the Tangier American Legation, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
There are a number of squares inside the Ancien Medina, where you can orient yourself while finding the numerous tourist attractions which are located inside the Medina`s byzantine street layout. Place Petit Socco and Place Taqqadum are in the southern portion of the Medina, near the Central Market, the Fondation Lorin, the Tangier American Legation, the Grand Mosque, and the Moshe Nahon Synagogue. In the northwest, the Museum of Moroccan Arts and Antiquities and the Tomb of Ibn Battuta are on or adjacent to the Place de la Kasbah. The ruins of the Borj Dar El Baroud and a portion of the Tangier city walls are located just off Place Ben Daoud in the northeastern corner of the Medina.
For restaurants and cafés, visit Rue Dar Baroud on the eastern side of the Medina and the Central Market, near Place Grand Socco and the western edge of the Medina. Accommodation options are scattered throughout the Medina and all areas are considered ideal for sightseeing as you are in the thick of everything and close to numerous points of interest (as outlined above).
Tanger City Center (Hotel Zone) / Plage Municipale / Plage Malabata (Beaches)
King Mohammed VI, in the early 2000s, wished to improve Tangier`s infrastructure and add jobs to the tourism/service sectors. He reasoned that with Morocco`s own investment in Tangier, other countries would want to bring their businesses to Tangier and invest here also. So, a new shopping and hotel complex, Tanger City Center, was built between 2007-17. The project cost a total of two billion dirhams ($200 million USD) and includes a residential development, two hotels, and a large shopping mall with over 100 stores. Other hotels have opened in the area as well, creating a new hotel zone.
Tanger City Center is situated to the south of the two beaches closest to Tangier, the Plage Municipale and Plage Malabata. The Plage Municipale is the larger of the two beaches and was the first public beach open in Tangier. The second, Plage Malabata, is less busy but still popular with locals and tourists, as it is linked to the city and the other beach by Avenue Mohammed VI. There is a large cluster of restaurants and cafés in between the two beaches, at and just to the north of the Tanger City Center development. Just to the south of Tanger City Center, you will find Tangier`s main railway station and its bus station.