Grand Socco, Tangier - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

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Welcome to Grand Socco

The word 'socco' is the Spanish version of 'souk', or market, which has stuck to this square in the heart of Tangier because of its Spanish heritage. The square is, however, no longer a marketplace, but rather a city crossroads and huge taxi rank, fronted by cafes, outside the walled in, old part of the city. The Grand Socco has developed something of a reputation for being a meeting place for criminals and drug dealers, but it is still an interesting spot to spend time watching the passing parade and the Rif women in colourful traditional costume touting vegetables and fresh mint. It is also the jumping off point for entry to the medina, and for admiring the luxurious Mendoubia Gardens on the north side, and the mosaic-studded minaret of the Sidi Bou Abid Mosque to the west.

Arabic is the official language, but eight other languages are also spoken including Berber, French and Spanish. English is generally understood in the tourist areas, but French is the most widely spoken.

The unit of currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), which is divided into 100 centimes. ATMs are available in the larger towns, but can be unreliable; currency can be exchanged at banks or official bureaux de changes, which are also widespread in major towns. Dirhams cannot be obtained or exchanged outside Morocco and receipts must be retained as proof of legal currency exchange, as well as in order to re-exchange money when departing. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops, hotels and restaurants. Travellers cheques can be used in tourist areas, but are not prevalent; they are best taken in Euros or Pounds Stirling.

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