If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, you’re in for a treat. With its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history, Morocco offers a unique and unforgettable vacation experience. From bustling cities to breathtaking natural wonders, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this North African country. I
n this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 15 best places to visit in Morocco, so you can start planning your dream trip.
Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, wandering through colorful markets, or simply soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach, Morocco has something for everyone.
From the vibrant city of Marrakech to the stunning Atlas Mountains, there are plenty of must-see destinations to add to your itinerary. So, if you’re looking for some Morocco vacation ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in!
15 BEST Places to Visit in Morocco
- Marrakech: Known as the Red City, Marrakech is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, historic sites, and colourful markets. Don’t miss the bustling Jemaa el-Fna square and the stunning Bahia Palace.
- Fes: Home to the world’s oldest university, Fes boasts a sprawling medina filled with artisans, markets, and historic sites. Explore the enchanting Al-Quaraouiyine Mosque and University and the beautiful Dar Batha Museum.
- Casablanca: This cosmopolitan city blends modernity with French colonial design. Visit the iconic Hassan II Mosque and the Royal Palace of Casablanca.
- Chefchaouen: Known as the Blue City, Chefchaouen is a picturesque town nestled in the Rif Mountains, famous for its blue-painted buildings and charming narrow streets.
- Essaouira: This coastal city on the Atlantic Ocean is renowned for its well-preserved medina, vibrant art scene, and fresh seafood. Wander along the historic ramparts and explore the bustling fish market.
- Meknes: One of Morocco’s imperial cities, Meknes is home to impressive historical sites such as the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and the grand Bab Mansour Gate.
- Tangier: This gateway to Africa offers a unique blend of European and Moroccan culture. Visit the historic medina and the beautiful Cap Spartel.
- Rabat: Morocco’s capital city is home to the impressive Hassan Tower, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, and the beautiful Kasbah of the Udayas.
- Ouarzazate: Known as the Hollywood of Morocco, Ouarzazate is home to the Atlas Film Studios and the Cinema Museum. Explore the nearby Aït Benhaddou, a stunning fortified village and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Merzouga: Located on the edge of the Sahara Desert, Merzouga is the perfect base for a camel trek and an unforgettable night under the stars in a traditional Berber camp.
- High Atlas Mountains: Ideal for hiking and trekking, the High Atlas Mountains offer breathtaking landscapes and the chance to explore traditional Berber villages.
- Draa Valley: This stunning valley is home to picturesque kasbahs, lush palm groves, and ancient rock carvings.
- Asilah: A coastal town with whitewashed buildings, vibrant street art, and a laid-back atmosphere, Asilah is perfect for a relaxing seaside escape.
- Volubilis: This ancient Roman city features well-preserved ruins, including beautiful mosaics, a triumphal arch, and a basilica.
- Dades Valley: Known for its dramatic landscapes and unique rock formations, the Dades Valley is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Morocco’s Imperial Cities
If you’re looking to explore Morocco’s rich history, you can’t miss its four Imperial Cities: Rabat, Marrakech, Fez, and Meknes. Each city has its own unique charm and offers a glimpse into Morocco’s past.
Rabat is Morocco’s capital and is home to many historic landmarks, including the Hassan II Mosque and the Royal Palace. The city is known for its French colonial design and is one of the safest cities in Morocco. Take a stroll through the old medina to experience local handicrafts and traditional Moroccan architecture.
Marrakech is one of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities and has been a key trading hub for many years. The city is famous for its vibrant souks, where you can find anything from spices to textiles to jewelry. Be sure to visit the iconic Koutoubia Mosque and the Bahia Palace, both of which are stunning examples of Moroccan architecture.
Fez is the oldest of Morocco’s Imperial Cities and is known for its well-preserved old medina, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to many historic landmarks, including the Al-Attarine Madrasa and the Bou Inania Madrasa. Be sure to explore the souks and try some of the local cuisine, such as the famous pastilla.
Meknes is the smallest of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities, but it’s no less impressive. The city is known for its grand architecture, including the Bab Mansour gate and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Take a stroll through the old medina to discover local handicrafts and traditional Moroccan architecture.
The Atlas Mountains
If you’re looking for breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor adventure, the Atlas Mountains are a must-visit destination in Morocco. The Atlas Mountains are a range of mountains that run through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The mountains are divided into three main ranges: the High Atlas, the Middle Atlas, and the Anti-Atlas.
The High Atlas Mountains
The High Atlas Mountains are the highest and most famous of the ranges, with several peaks over 4,000 meters high. The snow-capped Atlas Mountains are a sight to behold and offer a stunning backdrop for hiking, trekking, and mountain biking. The mountains are also home to several Berber villages and towns, where you can experience traditional Berber culture and hospitality.
One of the most popular destinations in the High Atlas Mountains is Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. The trek to the summit is challenging but rewarding, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The Rif Mountains
The Rif Mountains are located in the northern part of Morocco, near the Mediterranean coast. The mountains are known for their lush green forests, rolling hills, and traditional Berber villages. The Rif Mountains are a popular destination for hiking, trekking, and camping.
The town of Chefchaouen, located in the Rif Mountains, is famous for its blue-painted buildings and narrow streets. The town is a popular destination for tourists and offers a unique glimpse into traditional Moroccan life.
Overall, the Atlas Mountains offer a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to Morocco. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, or simply stunning natural beauty, the Atlas Mountains have something for everyone.
The Sahara Desert
If you’re planning to visit Morocco, you can’t miss exploring the Sahara Desert. It’s the largest hot desert in the world, spanning most of North Africa, including Morocco. With its vast expanse of sand dunes and unique landscapes, the Sahara Desert is a must-visit destination for any traveler.
Toubkal National Park
Located in the High Atlas Mountains, Toubkal National Park is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. The park is home to the highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal, which stands at 4,167 meters. You can take a guided trek up the mountain or explore the park’s many hiking trails, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The park is also home to several Berber villages, where you can experience traditional Moroccan culture and hospitality.
No visit to the Sahara Desert is complete without experiencing its famous sand dunes. The Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga dunes are two of the most popular destinations for tourists.
You can take a camel trek through the dunes or go sandboarding for an adrenaline rush. Camping under the stars in a traditional Berber tent is also a popular activity, giving you the opportunity to experience the peaceful silence of the desert at night.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a cultural experience, the Sahara Desert has something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this unique and awe-inspiring destination.
Moroccan Culture and History
If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, you’re in for a treat. The country is rich in history and culture, and there are plenty of things to explore and discover. Here are some of the highlights:
Ancient Roman Ruins
Did you know that Morocco was once part of the Roman Empire? You can still see evidence of this today in the form of ancient ruins. One of the most impressive sites is Volubilis, which was once a bustling city with a population of around 20,000 people.
Today, you can wander through the ruins and see the remains of temples, houses, and public buildings. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Morocco’s past.
Traditional Moroccan Culture
One of the things that makes Morocco so special is its rich cultural heritage. From the bustling souks to the intricate tile work, there’s so much to see and experience. One of the best ways to get a taste of traditional Moroccan culture is to visit a hammam.
These public bathhouses have been a part of Moroccan life for centuries, and they’re still popular today. You can relax in the steamy rooms, get a massage, and enjoy a cup of mint tea.
Another important part of Moroccan culture is the country’s cuisine. Moroccan food is known for its bold flavors and use of spices. Some of the most popular dishes include tagine (a stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices), couscous (a grain dish often served with vegetables and meat), and harira (a soup made with lentils, chickpeas, and spices).
Finally, it’s worth noting that Morocco is home to a number of important natural resources, including olive and fig trees. These trees have been an important part of Moroccan culture for centuries, and they continue to play a significant role in the country’s economy today.
Overall, Morocco is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture. Whether you’re interested in ancient ruins, traditional Moroccan culture, or just want to relax and soak up the atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.
The Atlantic Coast
If you’re planning a visit to Morocco, the Atlantic Coast is a must-see destination. With its stunning beaches, bustling cities, and picturesque landscapes, there’s something for everyone by the Atlantic ocean. Here are a few highlights:
If you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun, Paradise Beach is just a short walk from the capital city of Rabat. With its crystal-clear waters and soft white sand, this beach is the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.
The bustling city of Casablanca is a must-see for anyone visiting the Atlantic Coast. With its surrounding hills and stunning architecture, this city is a feast for the eyes. Be sure to check out the local art galleries and markets for a taste of the local culture.
And don’t forget to try some of the fresh seafood and produce in the city’s many restaurants and cafes.
One of the highlights of Casablanca is the natural port, which has been an important trading hub for centuries. Take a stroll along the waterfront and watch the ships come in and out of the harbor.
Overall, the Atlantic Coast is a beautiful and diverse destination that should not be missed on your visit to Morocco. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, there’s something for everyone on this stunning coastline.
Exploring the Medina
When visiting Morocco, one of the must-see places is the Medina. The Medina is the old town of the city, and it is full of narrow streets, outdoor cafes, and hidden gems that both tourists and locals alike enjoy exploring.
The old town section of the Medina is where you’ll find the city’s historic landmarks, such as the Koutoubia Mosque and the Saadian Tombs. You can also find traditional Moroccan architecture and design in the buildings and homes here. Take a stroll through the old town to get a feel for the city’s rich history and culture.
One of the most charming parts of the Medina is the whitewashed buildings that line the streets. These buildings are adorned with intricate tile work and colorful doors, making them a photographer’s dream. Be sure to look up and admire the beautiful architecture as you explore the Medina.
The fortified town section of the Medina is where you’ll find the city’s ancient walls and gates. This section of the Medina is also home to many shops and souks, where you can haggle for traditional Moroccan goods and souvenirs. Take your time wandering through the fortified town, and be sure to stop at one of the many outdoor cafes for a refreshing mint tea.
Exploring the Medina is a great way to experience the heart and soul of Morocco. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or just soaking up the local culture, the Medina has something for everyone. So put on your walking shoes and get ready to discover the hidden gems of this magical city.
Day Trips from the City
If you’re looking for a change of scenery from the hustle and bustle of the city, there are plenty of day trips you can take to explore the magnificent scenery and historic sites surrounding Morocco. Here are a few options to consider:
Get a glimpse into the local way of life by visiting one of the many Berber villages in the area. You’ll have the opportunity to meet local women and learn about their traditional crafts, such as weaving and pottery. Sample some delicious local food at one of the food stalls and take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Explore the rich history of Morocco by visiting some of the ancient ruins in the area. One popular destination is the Todra Gorge, where you can hike through narrow canyon walls and see the remains of ancient settlements. Another option is the Draa Valley, where you can visit the ruins of the ancient city of Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For a more adventurous day trip, consider hiking or rock climbing in the canyon walls surrounding Morocco. The Todra Gorge is a popular destination for rock climbers, with its sheer walls and challenging routes. If hiking is more your speed, there are plenty of trails to explore in the surrounding mountains, offering breathtaking views of the landscape.
Other Worth-Visiting Places
If you’re looking for a quieter, more traditional Moroccan experience, there are plenty of small towns worth visiting. One such town is Chefchaouen, known for its blue-washed buildings and stunning mountain views. You can spend a day wandering the winding streets and alleys, stopping for mint tea and admiring the local handicrafts.
Another charming town is Asilah, a coastal town with a rich history and a thriving art scene. Stroll along the ramparts and admire the colorful murals that adorn the walls, or visit the famous art gallery run by the local artist Mohammed Melehi.
Famous Art Gallery
The Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum houses an impressive collection of Moroccan and international contemporary art, including works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
If you’re in Marrakech, be sure to visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, dedicated to the life and work of the famous fashion designer. The museum houses a collection of his most iconic designs, as well as a rotating selection of temporary exhibitions.
For film buffs, the Cinema Museum in Tangier is a fascinating destination. The museum is housed in an old cinema and features exhibits on the history of cinema in Morocco, as well as a collection of vintage movie posters and memorabilia.
During your trip to Morocco, be sure to indulge in the rich and flavorful Moroccan cuisine. Start your culinary journey by trying some traditional dishes like tagine, a slow-cooked stew made with meat, vegetables, and a blend of spices.
]Also, taste couscous, a staple dish, often combined with vegetables and meat. In the mornings, treat yourself to harcha, a type of semolina bread usually enjoyed with honey or jam. To fully immerse yourself in Moroccan food culture, consider joining a cooking class that will guide you in preparing authentic meals from scratch.
Your journey through Morocco’s intriguing history can begin with a visit to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, an architectural masterpiece and one of the largest mosques in the world. Continue your cultural exploration by heading to the city of Marrakesh, where the Djemaa El Fna square offers a lively atmosphere filled with street performers, storytellers, and food vendors.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Tangier American Legation Museum, highlighting the enduring relationship between Morocco and the United States. Lastly, immerse yourself in the vibrant history of Morocco by wandering through its ancient medinas, where you’ll find a maze of narrow streets, colorful markets, and stunning architecture.
Arts and Crafts
Moroccan arts and crafts showcase the nation’s rich cultural heritage and artistic talent. While exploring the bustling markets and souks, you’ll come across a diverse array of handicrafts, such as pottery, textiles, and intricate metalwork.
Delve into the world of traditional Moroccan carpets by visiting a carpet cooperative where you can learn about the weaving process and browse through a vast selection of unique designs. In the city of Fez, known for its skilled artisans and vibrant workshops, pay a visit to a traditional tannery and witness the ancient process of leather-making.
For a more hands-on experience, participate in workshops that teach traditional handicraft techniques, such as pottery making or tile painting, allowing you to create your own unique souvenirs to take home.
Hiking and Trekking
Morocco offers a variety of hiking and trekking opportunities for all levels of experience. From the High Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert, you will find numerous trails providing stunning sceneries and experiences.
If you’re looking for wildlife, Roman ruins, or mountain summits, consider tackling the top 5 treks in Morocco. Keep in mind that after a long day of trekking, you can look forward to a tasty tagine waiting for you at your journey’s end.
Morocco is well-known for its Atlantic coastline, featuring world-class surf spots. Beginners and experienced surfers alike will enjoy exploring the waves at popular destinations like Taghazout and Imsouane.
You can book surf lessons or guided surf tours with local experts who will help you find the best breaks suited to your abilities.
Hot Air Ballooning
To truly take in the beauty of Morocco, a hot air balloon ride is a must-do. Witness breathtaking landscapes from above as you float through the sky, providing you with a unique perspective of the country’s diverse terrain.
You can incorporate a desert adventure into your trip by booking a hot air balloon ride in the vicinity of Marrakech, offering you unparalleled views of the stunning Moroccan desert-scape.
Types of Accommodations
When planning your Morocco vacation, consider different types of accommodations to experience the unique and diverse offerings of the country. This section will guide you through some popular accommodation options, including Riads, Desert Camps, Luxury Hotels, and Budget-Friendly Options.
Riads are traditional Moroccan houses built around a central courtyard or garden. These historic properties have been converted into charming guesthouses, offering an authentic Moroccan experience. Staying in a riad allows you to experience the local architecture and design while enjoying modern comforts and personalized service.
For a truly unforgettable experience, consider spending a night or two in a desert camp. These camps are set up in the Sahara Desert, offering you an opportunity to sleep under the stars, surrounded by stunning sand dunes. Many camps offer camel rides, traditional Moroccan meals, and live entertainment, adding to the magic of your desert adventure.
Morocco also offers an array of luxury hotels, providing world-class amenities and impeccable service. Some of the country’s best five-star hotels can be found in cities such as Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fes. These properties often feature beautifully landscaped pools, fine dining options, and lavish spas for a truly indulgent experience.
If you’re traveling on a budget, there are a variety of affordable options available across Morocco. Hostels are a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers, offering both dormitory-style accommodations and private rooms. Some budget hotels and guesthouses also provide great value for your money, without sacrificing comfort and convenience.
Make sure to research and book your accommodations ahead of time to find the best options for your unique preferences and budget. Morocco’s diverse range of accommodations is sure to enhance your vacation experience.
FAQs on What to See in Morocco
Which is better Casablanca or Marrakech?
Casablanca and Marrakech are both fascinating Moroccan cities with their own unique charms. Casablanca is the country’s economic centre, offering a blend of modern and French colonial design, while Marrakech is known for its vibrant atmosphere, historic sites, and bustling markets. The best choice for your trip depends on your personal interests and preferences.
What is the most visited place in Morocco?
The most visited place in Morocco is Marrakech, known for its lively atmosphere, historic sites, and colourful markets. The city boasts a rich history, captivating architecture, and a diverse range of cultural experiences, making it a popular destination for travellers.
What is 1 tourist location in Morocco?
One notable tourist location in Morocco is the city of Fes, home to the world’s oldest university and a sprawling medina filled with artisans, markets, and historic sites. Fes is an excellent destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture and history.
What should you not miss in Morocco?
There are many incredible experiences not to be missed in Morocco, such as exploring the blue city of Chefchaouen, witnessing the Todra Gorge’s dramatic canyon walls, wandering through the lively food stalls of Marrakech’s Jemaa el-Fna square, and discovering hidden gems in Morocco’s medinas.
What is Morocco best known for?
Morocco is best known for its rich history, diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. Travellers can experience the vibrant atmosphere of Moroccan cities, explore ancient historic sites, admire the grandeur of the High Atlas Mountains, go for a camel ride, explore historic city walls and narrow streets and enjoy the fresh seafood and local handicrafts at traditional markets.