Is Tangier Morocco safe?

Is Tangier safe? (2024)

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Tangier is a port city in northern Morocco, known for its colorful markets, beautiful Medina, and spectacular coastline. Many travelers take a day trip from Spain to Tangier, and if you also want to do it, the main question on your mind is, “Is Tangier Safe?”

Located at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Africa from Europe, Tangier is different from the rest of Morocco.

The city has a rich history and has long been considered a cultural crossroads due to its proximity to Europe and its historical importance as a trading port. It’s a gateway to Africa, with many travelers starting their trip to Morocco in Tangier before continuing to Chefchaouen, Fez, and Casablanca

Is Tangier safe?

Tangier is relatively safe, but you should be aware of Morocco’s cultural norms and traditions to avoid misunderstandings or unpleasant situations during your trip. 

Morocco is a conservative Muslim country, and you should be mindful of the way you dress, speak, and conduct yourself in public. Popular destinations in Morocco like Marrakech, Tangier, and Casablanca might be more forgiving to tourists who don’t act their part, but rural places that see few foreign visitors are going to be very different. 

Is Tangier safe right now?

Is Morocco safe right now?

While Morocco is generally safe, the country has seen some cases of terrorism in the past, which is why you should monitor local news and travel advisories before taking a trip here. 

My take on safety in Tangier 

I visited Tangier as part of my solo trip to Morocco. While I mostly felt safe walking around the Tangier Medina and other parts of the city, I felt a big difference after coming here from Spain. Morocco felt like a different world, and one of the biggest things that became apparent quickly was that I needed to adjust to the cultural norms in Tangier. 

Tangier safety tips 

Morocco vs Turkey travel

Respect local customs

Morocco is a Muslim country with conservative rules that affect how people interact, dress, and carry themselves in public. Understanding and respecting local customs and customs can help you avoid unintentional misunderstandings that could lead to uncomfortable situations.

✅ Dress conservatively

Following the local dress code will help you to avoid unwanted attention, and get a better attitude from locals. It’s especially true for solo female travelers in Morocco, who could experience bad looks from locals and in some cases, even harassment, if they wear revealing clothing.

As a rule of thumb, always cover your chest, shoulders, and knees, and avoid baring your mid-riff or upper parts of your upper body. 

Always be aware of your surroundings

Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas like Tangier Medina that are busy until late at night. Keep an eye on your belongings and consider getting an anti-theft bag for your trip to deter pickpockets, because petty crime in Tangier is common. 

Stay in well-reviewed accommodations

Choose hotels or accommodations with positive reviews and good security in place. While you will find plenty of inexpensive hotels in Morocco, they are of lower quality and usually have less comfort and amenities. Research the area before booking your accommodation. The last thing you want is to end up in a sketchy area where you don’t feel comfortable walking alone. 

✅ Keep your valuables locked

If you have a safe in your room, lock your valuables like your wallet, passport, and other belongings before heading out.

✅ Avoid carrying your Wallet when exploring the city

Don’t walk around with your wallet, because if it gets stolen, you will have a tough time paying for things. Take some cash with you, but leave the rest in a safe place in your hotel room.

✅ Always carry cash

Morocco has a cash-based economy, and very few places accept credit cards. You might get lucky and be able to use your credit cards in high-end hotels and some restaurants geared toward foreign tourists, but most of the time, you will need cash to pay for things. 

Use reputable transportation

Stick to licensed taxis or reputable transportation services to ensure your safety while getting around the city. Take only licensed taxis and avoid unsolicited help from people on the street.

✅ Negotiate taxi fare

If you can communicate with your taxi driver, always negotiate your rate, to avoid getting scammed. 

✅ Be careful on public transport

When taking public transport in Tangier, always be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close. 

Cultural considerations 

Morocco dress code is something to be aware of when traveling to Tangier

✅ Be aware of alcohol rules in Morocco

While Tangier is different from the rest of Morocco, general alcohol rules still apply here. Alcohol drinking is not common in Morocco, and you will not find tons of bars and nightclubs here. Avoid drinking alcohol in public and if you go out, stay away from overconsumption. 

Avoid walking alone at night

I never felt unsafe walking around Tangier at night. But if you are on your own and have never been to Morocco before, it’s a good idea to stay on the cautious side. Avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas, and stick to well-lit parts of town frequented by other travelers. If you need to get around the city at night, take a taxi. 

✅ Learn a few words in Arabic

When I visited Tangier, I didn’t encounter many people who spoke English. Morocco’s official languages are Arabic and French. If you don’t speak either of them, you could also communicate in Spanish, which is spoken in many parts of the city, because of its proximity to Spain.

✅ Be aware of Ramadan

If you are visiting Tangier or other parts of Morocco during Ramadan, be aware that many businesses are closed or operate on reduced hours. 

Be cautious with street vendors

When walking around Tangier, you will see many street vendors selling a variety of things from fresh produce to crafts and jewelry. While exploring markets and talking to street vendors is a great cultural experience, some of them can be very pushy, especially when they see that you have some interest in their goods. If a vendor tries to talk you into buying things or being aggressive, walk away. 

✅ Be careful with street food

While walking around Tangier, you will find plenty of street vendors selling delicious Moroccan street food. Only buy street food that looks fresh and well-cooked. Avoid raw food or anything that looks like it’s been sitting out for a while. 

✅ Be extra careful when crossing the road

For me, one of the biggest culture shocks in Morocco was the fact that very few drivers let pedestrians cross the road. You could be standing at the pedestrian crossing, and still have to wait until there’s a driver who will let you get across the road without speeding past you. I struggled with crossing roads in Tangier, and other cities in Morocco when there was a lot of traffic, so always be careful. 

✅ Take a guided tour

Guided tours of Tangier are excellent if you aren’t comfortable traveling to Tangier on your own or walking around the city without a guide.

These tours are perfect for travelers who spend at least one night in the city. Your guide will pick you up in a designated spot, and provide an overview of Tangier and its highlights during a 3-4 hour tour. It’s a great option for solo travelers as it allows you to explore the city with someone who knows and meet other solo travelers. 

Book one of the most popular tours of Tangier 

Best Tangier tours from Spain

Dress code in Morocco

Dressing etiquette in Morocco is something you should be aware of when planning your trip to this country. Moroccans dress conservatively and this rule goes for both men and women. Although not all women wear burqas, most cover their shoulders and knees, while men wear long pants and at least short sleeves. 

How not to dress in Morocco

When visiting Tangier, and other touristy places like Fez, Casablanca, and Marrakech, you will likely see tourists wearing shorts and tank tops – which is a big mistake in Morocco. Depending on where you are in the country, deviating from Morocco dress code could lead to unwanted attention and street harassment, especially for female travelers.

What to pack for a trip to Morocco 

If you want to have a good time in Morocco and avoid unpleasant situations, here’s what you need to put in your suitcase:

  • Long-sleeve shirts – Wearing long-sleeve shirts is a good idea for both men and women, especially if you want to visit rural areas of the country or high-altitude places in the Atlas Mountains 
  • Long skirts – Long skirts are perfect for exploring Morocco, and will help you to cover your legs, which is advisable per Morocco’s dress code 
  • Long pants – Just like long skirts, pants will help you to cover up your legs.
  • T-shirts – Short sleeve t-shirts could work if you are going out in nature, or taking a tour of the Atlas Mountains or Sahara Desert. 
  • Jackets – Don’t forget to pack a jacket because it could be chilly at night, depending on where you are 
  • Headscarf – If you plan to visit rural areas of Morocco, which tend to be more conservative, pack a headscarf as it will help you to show more respect to the local culture. 

Get insurance for your trip to Morocco

Although you can follow safety precautions to ensure a safe trip, there are plenty of things outside of your control that could affect your trip. Morocco has a poor infrastructure and services are scarce here, especially in more rural parts of the country, so you should get health insurance for your trip.

Safety Wing is an excellent option for long-term travelers and digital nomads, which covers hospital visits, lost and stolen luggage, cancellations, and other unexpected events. They offer cost-effective plans for different durations, that cover in case something goes wrong, so you won’t lose thousands of dollars. 


Travel Insurance Master is a better option for long-term travelers that has several flexible plans

How to get to Tangier 

By Air

The most convenient way to reach Tangier from abroad is by flying to Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG). This airport serves domestic and international flights, with connections to major cities in Europe and other parts of Africa. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or shuttle service to reach the city center.


By Ferry

Tangier is well-connected to Spain by ferry services across the Strait of Gibraltar. Ferries operate from several ports in Spain, including Tarifa, Algeciras, and Gibraltar, to the port of Tangier-Med. The ferry journey usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the route and the type of ferry. From Tangier-Med, you can take a taxi or public transportation to reach the city center.

By Train

Morocco has an extensive railway network, and Tangier is a major rail hub. You can take a train from various cities within Morocco, including Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, and Fez, to reach Tangier. The train journey offers comfortable and relatively fast travel, with modern amenities available on many routes.

By Bus

Morocco has a well-developed intercity bus network operated by various companies. You can take a bus from major cities like Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, and Fez to Tangier. Buses offer a more budget-friendly option compared to trains, although travel times may be longer.

Where to stay in Tangier 

  • Barceló Tanger – A beachtiful beachfront hotel, Barcelo has an outdoor swimming pool, and modern amenities like spa and fitness center. It’s also located close to Medina and Tangier beach.
  • Marina Bay – One of the most popular hotels in Tangier, Marina Bay has sea views, great breakfast and 2 on-site restaurants.
  • Royal Tulip City Center – Royal Tulip had free breakfast, airport shuttle and spa. Parking is available on property.

Safety in Tangier: FAQ’s 

Is Tangier safe?

Is Tangier safe for Americans?

Tangier is a relatively safe destination for Americans. The city has a well-established tourism industry with restaurants, hotels, and cultural attractions and is well-connected to Europe and the rest of the country. 

Is Tangier safe to walk at night?

While Tangier is mostly safe to walk at night, you should stick to popular areas that are frequented by other tourists. If you are traveling by yourself and need to get around when it’s late, always use a taxi. 

Is Tangier worth visiting?

Tangier is one of the most unique places in Morocco, which is heavily influenced by its proximity to Europe. Tangier is worth a trip if you want to experience Moroccan hospitality and check out the city’s unique landmarks. 

Is Tangier safe for women?

Tangier is relatively safe for solo female travelers, but like in other parts of Morocco, you always respect local customs and dress conservatively to avoid unwanted attention. Stick to popular parts of town frequented by other tourists and avoid walking around at night. 

Is Morocco safe?

Morocco is overall safe, but you should always be aware of cultural norms and stick to well-traveled destinations because rural parts of Morocco have limited services and poor infrastructure. 

Is Tangier safe to live in?

Tangier is a popular destination for expats because of its proximity to Europe and more relaxed environment. Tangier is a great city that’s well-connected to other parts of Morocco and has daily flights to Europe. 

Tangier safety: final word 

Tangier is a gateway to Morocco that makes a perfect day trip from Spain if you want to see a different culture; and also serves as a starting point for your Morocco itinerary. While Tangier is relatively safe and sees many tourists, having a good experience requires following cultural norms and respecting local customs, like in the rest of the country.