Tangier American Legation Museum

Top choice in Tangier

This museum, in an elegant five-storey mansion, is a must-see: Morocco was the first country to recognise the United States by opening its ports to the fledgling nation in 1777, and this was the first piece of American real estate abroad, as well as the only US National Historic Landmark on foreign soil.

There are some unusual displays, including a Moroccan Stars and Stripes carpet, and an 1839 letter from a hapless US consul who had been given two lions as a diplomatic gift. The museum also holds an impressive display of paintings that give a view of Tangier's past through the eyes of its artists, most notably Scotsman James McBey's hypnotic painting of his servant girl, Zohra, which has been called the Moroccan Mona Lisa. There is a small bookshop and a wing dedicated to American author Paul Bowles.