Is Tangier, Morocco Safe to Visit? Essential Travel Advice for 2023/2024

Tangier is a vibrant port city in northern Morocco that attracts many travelers with its rich history, charming atmosphere, and proximity to Europe. However, some visitors wonder, if is Tangier safe to visit.

Here’s my essential Tangier travel advice after recently visiting this fascinating city.

Is Tangier Safe? An Overview of Crime and Safety

Is Tangier Safe: An Overview of Crime and SafetyWhile Tangier sees high volumes of tourism, it still has areas of poverty and unemployment. This means you may encounter issues like pickpocketing, minor theft, and petty scams – especially if you let your guard down.

However, violent crime is rare, particularly against foreign visitors. Locals are very welcoming, just be wary of anyone who seems overly friendly for no reason.

Compared to other Moroccan cities like Marrakech and Casablanca, Tangier has seen an increase in petty theft in recent years.

However, it’s still a very safe place overall. Violent crime is extremely uncommon. Exercise the same precautions as in any bustling tourist city and you’ll avoid problems.

Top Tangier Safety Tips: Avoiding Theft, Scams and Other Crimes

Be extremely vigilant of Pickpockets

Be extremely vigilant of Pickpockets in Corwded Spots

Pickpocketing is very prevalent in Tangier’s crowded spots like the winding alleys of the medina, packed market stalls, and congested bus/train stations.

Keep wallets, phones, cash, and other valuables in secure front pockets with zippers or a concealed anti-theft money belt under your clothing. Only carry the minimal amount of cash and cards absolutely needed for each day.

Use cross-body bags with anti-theft features like lockable zippers, RFID-blocking material, and hidden interior pockets.

Closely Watch Your Belongings at All Times

Never ever leave purses, cameras, luggage, or any other valuables unattended even for a moment in Tangier, they can disappear extraordinarily quickly even in seemingly “safe” spots with people around.

Distraction thefts are also very common, this is when a thief or group of thieves deliberately diverts your attention and focus to stealthily steal your stuff.

Keep all bags tightly closed, zipped up, and directly within your sight at all times. Avoid setting belongings down in restaurants, taxis, tourist sites, etc.

Use In-Room Safes at Hotels

Make diligent use of the lockable in-room safes or front desk safety deposit boxes offered by most hotels in Tangier.

Only keep the bare minimum amount of cash, credit/debit cards, ID, etc. actually needed for that particular day of exploring Tangier on your person when out and about.

Leave passports, excess cash/cards, jewelry, and other valuables securely locked in your hotel safe.

Avoid Openly Displaying Expensive Cameras, Jewelry, Phones

Flaunting expensive DSLR cameras, flashy jewelry, iPhones and other obviously high-end items openly make you a prime target for thieves and muggers in Tangier.

Keep all expensive electronics and accessories concealed in bags when not actively in use. Only take out cameras, phones, etc. when you need to directly use them, and put them away immediately afterward.

Apply the same discretion with jewelry, leave genuine luxury pieces at home or in hotel safes.

Thoroughly Research Any Local Guides Used

Only use fully licensed guides with established companies for any tours or trips in Tangier like our Great Desert Tours.

Independently verify credentials, seek out reviews from other travelers, and transparently agree upon all costs, activities, and terms upfront before booking.

Be very wary of any random local who approaches you out of nowhere posing as an unlicensed “guide”, this is usually a scam tactic.

Reputable guides will not pressure you or demand payment upfront.

Use Only Registered Petit & Grand Taxis

When in need of a cab around Tangier, use only licensed petit taxis (smaller cabs for 1-3 people) and grand taxis (larger cabs for 6-8 people) with proper registration paperwork and working meters.

Rather than hailing taxis directly on the street, ask your hotel or restaurant to call a reputable company on your behalf.

Avoid non-metered “private driver” offers which often overcharge. Never get into an unmarked vehicle claiming to be a taxi. It is recommended to always hire a car and driver from trusted sources.

Watch Out for Common Scams and Tricks

Be wary of seemingly friendly locals who conveniently appear and offer to “guide” you to particular shops, attractions, or hard-to-find sites, this is almost always a prelude to a scam.

Also, avoid street games like shell games where you are led to believe you cannot possibly lose, these are designed to con tourists out of money.

Real locals have no need to spend their time randomly guiding lost tourists around.

Carry Photocopies of Important Documents

Make multiple photocopies of your passport, travel visa, driver’s license, and any other critical documents.

Keep copies in your wallet/purse and luggage in case the originals become lost or stolen. The physical originals should be kept ultra-secure in your hotel safe.

If documents do go missing, immediately contact the local embassy or consulate to report and replace them.

Completely Avoid Dangerous Areas of Tangier

Exercise extreme caution by steering clear of isolated alleys, deserted beaches, abandoned buildings, and run-down districts of Tangier day and night.

Do not wander aimlessly “off the beaten path”. Stick only to well-populated and well-lit major streets and tourist zones, especially after dark.

Ask hotel staff to specifically outline which neighborhoods or areas to avoid for safety reasons.

Do Not Leave Food or Drinks Unattended

Do Not Leave Food or Drinks Unattended

Never leave food or beverage items unattended in restaurants, hotels, taxis, etc. to avoid tampering by individuals with malicious intent.

Only purchase water/drinks in factory-sealed bottles with unbroken seals.

Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and drinks with ice cubes that could have been made with unpurified water. Keep your eyes directly on drinks at bars and clubs.

Regularly Check in with Loved Ones

Give your detailed daily itinerary in Tangier to family members or trusted friends back home.

Create a shared digital calendar they can access, send daily email check-ins, etc. Copy your itinerary to leave behind with them as well.

Have a working mobile phone with an international roaming plan to call, text, WhatsApp, etc. with your emergency contacts.

Always Trust Your Intuition

Do not ignore your gut instinct if a situation or individual in Tangier seems suspicious or dangerous, listen to your intuition and promptly exit any scenario that does not feel 100% right.

Do not feel pressured or obligated to comply with demands from overly aggressive touts, con artists, or unverified “guides” approaching you. Leave immediately and head to a public place.

Top Things to Do in Tangier to Stay Safe

  • Visit attractions with guides/groups
  • Stay at secure hotels
  • Travel by ferry to/from Spain
  • Learn some Arabic phrases
  • Dress modestly and respect customs
  • Check travel advisories
  • Purchase travel insurance
  • Inform contacts back home

For more details, check our guide on the best things to do in Tangier.

Is Tangier Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Is Tangier Safe for Solo Female Travelers

Women traveling alone do not face any major safety concerns beyond regular precautions. Violent crime against foreign tourists is extremely rare. As a solo female, take these extra steps:

  • Dress modestly – shoulders/knees covered, nothing too tight
  • Avoid walking alone at night in isolated areas
  • Use only licensed taxis or travel with groups
  • Don’t accept food/drink from strangers
  • Use a fake wedding ring to deter harassment
  • Stay at hotels with good security features
  • Avoid too much alcohol/partying while alone
  • Connect with other female travelers if desired
  • Learn some Arabic phrases to better interact

While Morocco is generally safe for women, exercise caution as you would at home. Stick to well-lit areas, trust your instincts, and avoid solo hikes into the countryside.

With common sense precautions, you can have a great solo trip.

Is Tangier Safe to Visit Right Now? Latest Travel Advisories

According to Western government travel advisories, Tangier currently poses no major security threats beyond regular safety precautions.

Check the latest US and UK advice below for updates:

US Travel Advisory Level: 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions)

There are no US government restrictions on travel to Tangier/northern Morocco currently. Regular vigilance regarding petty theft is advised. Monitor this US Travel Advisory for changes.

UK Travel Advisory: Green (Exercise Normal Precautions)

The UK government also deems Tangier/northern Morocco safe for travel. Follow UK Travel Advice for updates.

No special precautions are needed beyond regular vigilance.

So, start your epic Moroccan adventure worry-free in Tangier. Its prime safety makes it the ideal launch pad for discovering incredible imperial cities, landscapes, and more across Morocco.

Let Tangier launch your epic Moroccan adventure! Captivating landscapes and cultures await.

What Tourists Should Know About Tangier?

What Tourists Should Know About Tangier

Tangier has long captured the imagination of travelers seeking a taste of Africa, only a short hop from Europe. Here are some things to know:

  • Tangier has an intriguing multicultural history influenced by Berber, Arab, Jewish, and European cultures over centuries. The medina and kasbah have a great historical and architectural interest.
  • Tourism is very important to the local economy. Locals are generally welcoming and helpful to foreign visitors, aside from some hassling to buy goods or services.
  • As a major port, Tangier has always attracted foreigners, especially writers, artists, and spies! Famous former expats include Henri Matisse, William S. Burroughs, Paul Bowles, and more.
  • Tangier is very easy to visit from Spain. Regular fast ferries run to cities like Tarifa, Algeciras, and more. Many visitors stay in Spain and do day trips.
  • While Arabic and French are widely used, English is fairly common in Tangier, especially in tourist zones. Communication is not too hard.
  • Women travelers should dress modestly and take usual solo female precautions, but Tangier is generally safe if these ground rules are followed. Violent crime is extremely rare.

So don’t let overblown safety concerns deter you from visiting this Moroccan gem! With sensible precautions, Tangier offers a magical taste of North Africa.

Summary of Tangier Safety Tips

Tangier is safe overall for travelers who take regular precautions. Minimize risks by:

  • Avoiding isolated areas, especially at night
  • Using registered taxis with working meters
  • Keeping valuables concealed and out of sight
  • Being wary of petty theft such as pickpocketing and bag snatching
  • Not flashing expensive items like jewelry, cameras, etc
  • Using hotel safes, money belts, and slash-resistant bags
  • Making photocopies of documents in case of loss
  • Booking reputable guided tours for sightseeing
  • Checking the latest travel advisories for any security updates
  • Purchasing comprehensive travel insurance
  • Staying vigilant of scams or overly “friendly” locals
  • Dressing modestly and not walking alone at night as a solo female
  • Trusting your instincts and leaving if you feel unsafe

While petty crime exists, violent incidents are extremely rare. Use common sense, take precautions, and don’t become a target. Then you can relax and soak up the magic of Tangier! Have a great trip.

Some related blog posts on visiting Morocco safely:


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