Grand Socco

Top choice landmark

in Tangier
Image by Bruno Morandi / Getty Images
Image by Bruno Morandi / Getty Images

The Grand Socco is the romantic entrance to the medina, a large, sloping, palm-ringed plaza with a central fountain that stands before the keyhole gate, Bab Fass. Once a major market, its cobblestone circle is now the end of the line for taxis, the point at which the modern streets narrow into the past.

For the best ground-floor view, climb the steps at the highest point on the circle, across from the large tan building (the police station), to what locals simply call La Terrasse. There's a cafe up here where locals spend the day playing parchís (a widely popular Spanish board game). This is what you came for, one of those dreamy moments when you think you’ve entered a movie set.