Venue, Culture

The Grand Socco

Per: Julien ANTINOFF  

READ In the heart of Tangier, The Grand Soco, also called the Grand Souk, is a busy place filled with tourists, residents and vendors selling all kinds of products.

A trip to the Grand Soco is a load of the five senses, filled with intoxicating smells, dance music, colourful activities and so much more. This market offers everything from fabrics, spices, fruits and of course snake charmers, musicians and storytellers. Located on the border between the old and the new city, the Grand Socco is a must for all tourists. 

Sidi Bou Abid mosque was built on this site in 1917 and French novelist, Joseph Kessel, was so enamoured by the place that he wrote a book on it, "Au Grand Soco", released in 1952. The place is also historic because Sultan Mohammed V read his famous sppech on the independance of the Kingdom on 9th April, 1947. 

This souk is a perfect mix of cultures and languages, between Western tourists and local vendors. Shopping here does require some negotiation skills but the bonus is the free of charge mint tea offered! Finally a few meters away is the Petit Socco, a pretty square that is always busy and lively with crowds. 

Text Julien Antinoff

Translation Karen Athwal

Photo Eric Haas