Many civilizations and cultures have influenced the history of Tangier, starting from before the 5th century. Between the period of being a strategic Berber town and then a Phoenician trading centre to the independence era around the 1950s, Tangier was a nexus for many cultures. In 1923, it was considered as having international status by foreign colonial powers and became a destination for many European and American diplomats, spies, writers and businessmen.
The Beat Generation was a post-WWII American counterculture movement that combined visceral engagement in worldly experiences with a quest for deeper understanding. Tangier was a key location in its development. Writer Jack Kerouac and poet Allen Ginsberg both passed through here, visiting the father of the movement, William Burroughs, who had moved here in 1953. The Inter-zone of Burroughs' most famous work, Naked Lunch, was written in and directly inspired by Tangier. Burroughs' writing utilized the cut-up technique pioneered by the multitalented Brion Gysin, who also spent a significant part of his life here. Burroughs, along with Paul Bowles, inspired a coterie of local artists.
The city of Tangier was most known to Americans by Paul Frederic Bowles, an American expatriate composer, writer and translator. He visited Tangier for the first time in 1931 where he was hooked on the spot. In 1947, Bowles settled down in the coastal city with his wife Jane where he produced numerous musical scores, novels, short stories, travel pieces and dozens of translations of stories by Moroccan storytellers.
Paul Bowles lived 52 of his 88 years in Tangier, the city he loved the most, even after the death of his wife. He became strongly identified with the city and was a magnet that made other American rising writers and intellectuals make the city one of their important travel destinations.
Paul Bowles was the influencer who persuaded the Rolling Stones to come to Tangier in 1969 and then again to Palais Akaaboune in 1989.
Today the city is a bustling tourist destination where you don’t really notice any tourists. Steeped in history and the ancient Medina and the Kasbah (where Palais Akaaboune is situated,) visiting Tangier is like traveling back in time. The people are friendly and welcoming and there are plenty of activities to do.
The new marina has just been opened with a plethora of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The Hilton built two brand new hotels here. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for recommends as to where to stay - from small charming hotels in the Kasbah, to large historic or modern hotels in town - Tangier now has it all.