Tangier, a Moroccan port on the Strait of Gibraltar, has been a strategic gateway between Africa and Europe since Phoenician times. Its whitewashed hillside medina is home to the Dar el Makhzen, a palace of the sultans that's now a museum of Moroccan artifacts. The American Legation Museum, also in the medina, documents early diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Morocco in an 1821 Moorish-style former consulate.
The medina also has dozens of outdoor cafes, such as those along the Terrasse des Paresseux balcony overlooking the Mediterranean. Palm-lined Grand Socco is the busy main square, which is bordered by gardens and colonial buildings. It marks the boundary between the medina and the Ville Nouvelle (New City), which features European architecture, wide boulevards such as Avenue Pasteur and 19th-century cafes that recall Tangier's past as an artists' hub. Regular ferries connect Tangier with Spain, 16km away