For decades, between 1920 and the late 1950s, Tangier was a playground for the rich and famous as well as artists and adventurers from all walks of life. Tangier attracted those seeking a tax haven or a mystic destination, from authors and artists, to spies and aristocrats. Regular visitors included the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton.
When Spain relinquished Tangier back to Morocco in 1960, its duty-free status went with it, and the city lost a great deal of its flair. However, tourism is on the up once more, with visitors succumbing to the city's proximity to Europe and discovering that its decayed grandeur still has much to offer, from its palm-lined promenade and sandy beach, to the old town and its outlying villages and resorts. Despite its fall from glory, a stylish cafe society has once again begun to build up in modern day Tangier's boulevards, and the merchants in the medina (old quarter) are doing good trade with tourists exploring its maze of narrow streets, all of which are within sight of the Spanish coast across the straits of Gibraltar.