Things to Do in Morocco

Are you planning a trip to Morocco and need help figuring out where to start? This post will tell you the best things to do in Morocco.

Morocco is one of the most exotic and exciting destinations on the planet, and even more so when that country offers everything we like: rich gastronomy, street life, palaces that seem to come out of a story from The Thousand and One Night, amazing landscapes and the warm Muslim hospitality.

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Things to Do in Morocco

Morocco is not worth one trip but many, but we want to create a logical itinerary with the basics of visiting Morocco. This road, in which we referred to several stations, starts from Tangiers, ends in Dakhla, and follows a journey full of passion and natural beauty. We recommend that you explore these places on several trips.

Let’s Begin! So here’s the “epic trip” of the best things to see and do in Morocco.

Tangier, Morocco’s Mediterranean frontier

Tangier is a central entry point to Morocco, and this is also where our journey begins. Its cosmopolitan aspect dates back several centuries, as Arabs, Jews, and Christians coexist peacefully in the city. This international flair became even more visible at the beginning of the last century when Henri Matisse and other artists moved to the town to seek inspiration there. The Spanish influence is also evident in many Spanish signs and buildings, such as the Plaza de Toros or the Teatro de Cervantes.

It is worth dedicating a few hours to get lost in the alleys, sit in the Plaza 9 de Abril to enjoy its atmosphere, and visit the Sultan’s Palace (turned into a museum). Suppose you decide to spend more time in the city. In that case, you should also visit the picturesque Cape Spartel with its beautiful lighthouse and views of the Mediterranean or the Grotto of Hercules.

Tetouan, a small Mediterranean city

Getting lost among its white houses is akin to wandering through an Andalusian village. This is not a coincidence, as “the daughter of Granada,” as the city is known, has historically had strong ties to Andalusia, receiving Moors and Sephardic Jews displaced from Spain. This small city on the coast with miles of beaches is not popular with travelers even though its small Medina has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Chefchaouen (Chaouen), the blue town

Chefchaouen, this mountain town in the Rif mountain range, is undoubtedly the most beautiful in Morocco. It would be difficult to imagine a more picturesque place than this blue town. The colors also capture the imagination of many other places in the country. Still, the color blue is present in this country’s typically colorful doors or windows. However, here the walls of most of the houses have been painted blue. It is a treat for the senses to get lost in the narrow alleyways of the town’s Medina, where every nook is picturesque.

Every few minutes, you come across many cats or pots with a thousand hues that look adorable in the photographs.

The blue color has characterized the town since ancient times. According to legends, the Jewish refugees used this color to celebrate their freedom. Another more practical version is that blue was used to ward off mosquitoes. However, until a few years ago, the blue color was mainly seen on the ground floors of houses and doors, while today, it is everywhere. We have seen old photographs taken from the viewpoint where we also stopped; in those, the blue color was barely visible outside. At the same time, today, the whole city looks this color.

Asilah, a white town on the Atlantic

Asilah is another of the small coastal cities to visit in Morocco. It was also known as Asilah when it was an essential Portuguese port on the mainland. Walking through its walled Medina, you will still feel quite close to Spain since you will hear Spanish often while you get lost among the white houses with blue doors. Of the most important attractions, you should take advantage of the Sidi Ali den Hamdush square (the most important in the Medina), the Torre El-Karma (a Portuguese tower), and the Raisuni Palace.

Rabat, the quiet capital of Morocco

Rabat is one of the most petite touristic capitals we know. It doesn’t have the magic of Marrakech nor a sprawling medieval quarter like the Medina of Fez. It needs to be addressed by most travelers. It is not the most important place to see in Morocco, but you could spend some time there. Suppose you’re looking for an authentic Moroccan medina. In that case, you’ll find it in Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas, the Hassan Tower (an incomplete minaret), and the Chellah cemetery, which dates back to Roman times.

Casablanca, the most impressive mosque in Africa

Casablanca is one of the cities whose name immediately makes us travel to a distant time. A time that Ingrid Bergman had perfectly captured in her film. Although apart from a replica of Rick’s Café (scene of the movie) today, there is almost nothing left of this atmosphere. It would help if you did not leave out the largest city on your route. The main reason is the fabulous Hassan II Mosque with spectacular dimensions. It has a 172-meter minaret and a surface holding about 100,000 faithful. It is not only the second-largest mosque in the world (behind Mecca), but the only one non-Muslims can visit (guided tour only). I don’t think we should convince you that seeing the Hassan II Mosque inside is one of the most essential things to do in Morocco. This private tour of Casablanca is an excellent option to get to know the best of the city.

Marrakech, the most magical city in Morocco

The Red City, the walled city of Marrakech, is known as the leading tourist destination in the country. Suppose you have only one weekend available for a first trip to the country. In that case, it is undoubtedly the place to see in Morocco. Although it has become relatively touristy and many things have deteriorated in the city, such as people riding motorcycles in the crowded souks, it still has charm. Jemaa el-Fna Square, a World Heritage Site, is the most fascinating square globally. It’s vendors, snake charmers, and preachers by day and a fabulous atmosphere with food stalls by night.

We recommend spending at least 3 days in the city to soak up its unique atmosphere. Marrakech’s must-see attractions include the mesmerizing Koutoubia mosque, the Bahia Palace, and the nearby Saadian Tombs, which can be found in the city’s central plaza. You can also relax with a cup of mint tea while watching a show on the square’s upper terraces. Get lost in the Medina and admire the colorful doors and the small enclosures that smell of spices, tiles, or lamps, and stay in a luxurious riad that will take you to the land of the thousand and one nights.

Essaouira, a haven of peace in the Atlantic

Marrakech is also the perfect destination for the first trip to Morocco due to the great excursions you can do. For example, the beautiful Essaouira is about 3 hours away on the Atlantic coast. Centuries ago, it was an essential Portuguese port. Still, it lost its commercial importance, which today is centered much more on the city of Agadir. However, Essaouira is the most beautiful coastal city in the country. Its Medina of white houses is in excellent condition. Its port is always full of life and has a much more relaxed atmosphere than the main tourist cities.

Its beauty (the Medina is a World Heritage Site) has captured the imagination of many cinematographers. It has become primarily known for appearing in the Game of Thrones series. The fishermen’s daily haul of fresh seafood should be sampled in addition to a stroll through the Medina or along the wall as you take in the ocean vistas. On the way between Marrakech and Essaouira, you can see the curious scene of goats in a tree.

Kasbah Telouet, a magical palace

You can follow the way to Ait Ben Haddou, the main stop from the mountain pass. If you have more time available, consider the detour to Kasbah Telouet, one of the most beautiful kasbahs (old fortifications). This was the fortification and symbol of the power of one of the most powerful families in the area. Still, after the independence of the country, the kasbah was abandoned. Luckily, it was decided to restore one of its most beautiful rooms that will leave you speechless with its plaster arches full of small details.

Aït Ben Haddou, the most photogenic Ksar in the country

Undoubtedly one of the most emblematic images in Morocco is the postcard of the Ksar Aït Ben Haddou. Many refer to this fortified Amazighcity as a kasbah when kasbahs are fortified palaces. The correct term is “ksar.” Aït Ben Haddou is one of the places that has probably appeared in more epic films. It is only necessary to mention Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, or the Kingdom of Heaven. Recently, it seemed to be several times in Game of Thrones.

A few families still live inside this incredibly photogenic place with the adobe houses between the town walls. It is a World Heritage Site, and just admiring it from the outside, you feel transported to another distant time in the past. It is worth exploring the interior and going up to the old kasbah that crowns the town. The views from above are also very nice.

Ouarzazate, the Moroccan Hollywood

The city of Ouarzazate is a standout in this section of Morocco. From Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars to Gladiator and Babel, Atlas Studios is a kind of Moroccan Hollywood where numerous films have been shot… The Kasbah Taourirt, with its fantastic size, is also located in the town.

 Kasbah Amridil, a really authentic kasbah

If we had to highlight the most exciting kasbah in Skoura and all of Morocco, we would probably think of the Kasbah Amridil. In this beautiful kasbah that appears on the 50 dirham note, in addition to contemplating the fortification, you can learn a lot about the life of its ancient inhabitants. This kasbah was inhabited until the middle of the 20th century and only recently became a museum.

Dades Valley landscape of thousands of colors

After several cultural visits, nature awaits you again in its purest form. The Dadès Valley is one of the areas with the most variety of landscapes in this part of the country. Although red dominates, this beautiful valley has spectacular rock formations and colors. Stunning canyons and gorges surround the small Amazightowns with kasbahs, farm fields, and traditional houses. The views from the winding road with the white peaks of the High Atlas in the background are spectacular.

Finally, after savoring the sunset from the top of one of the sand dunes, the best part of the trip ends: sleeping in the desert… Sleeping in a khayma (an Arab tent) in the middle of the desert is unforgettable. However, we guarantee that you won’t feel like closing your eyes. Looking at the thousands of stars and enjoying the silence of the desert is something that we will never forget and is very difficult to convey with words. It is essential to know that it is much more relaxed in the desert at night, and in winter, it is freezing, so do not be fooled by the daytime temperature.

Ifrane, the Switzerland of Morocco

If you think you need help finding more amazing places in Morocco, then here comes the European town of Ifrane. It is a vacation town created in the 1930s for the rich who started coming here to ski. The streets are immaculate, the houses are reminiscent of the Alps, and the poshest university in the country is located here. Therefore it’s known as Moroccan Switzerland… The curious attraction of the town is the statue of the Lion of Ifrane, which refers to the lions that formerly inhabited this area.

Meknes, an amazing imperial city

Meknes has been the most pleasant surprise we have known on our last trip to Morocco. Meknes is the least known of the country’s four imperial cities. Sultan Moulay Ismail moved his capital here at the end of the 17th century, and most of the city’s main attractions are from this glorious era. More than 40 kilometers of walls with impressive gates, of which the great gate of Bab Mansour will leave you more amazed.

The city is a World Heritage Site, and its quiet Medina is worth getting lost in. Of the city’s main monuments, its 3 madrasas (although much smaller than those of Fez) and the mausoleum of Mulay Ismaíl also stand out. However, the place we loved the most was the palace’s stables, where tens of thousands of horses came to be housed.

Volubilis, the most spectacular Roman site in North Africa

Although we have already mentioned other sites, the leading archaeological site to visit in Morocco is the ruins of Volubilis. Founded by the Carthaginians, this city became one of the most prosperous in the region when it belonged to the Roman Empire. Although an earthquake destroyed a good part of the Roman city, the Arch of Caracalla, the Basilica, and the Temple of Jupiter were preserved quite well.

It’s essential to recognize the fantastic mosaics while walking inside the enclosure and admiring the structures that have been preserved for more than two millennia.

Fez, the cultural capital of Morocco

There are a thousand and one ways to experience it. The imperial city is the capital of the traditional culture of Morocco. Cradles of knowledge and its superb medersas are striking symbols.

This fortified city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will take you back to the Middle Ages.

Located inside the Medina, the entrance to the Bab Bou-Jeloud district is through its massive 1913 door, decorated with blue and green earthenware, the city’s colors.

Inside this district, visitors can visit the Bar Bath museum, bringing together the Arts and Traditions of the city.

The latter took place in the palace of the same name, erected during the 19th century.

The Bou Inania medersa Koranic school has architecture filled with various ornaments.

Built-in the middle of the 14th century, this medersa is part of revitalizing Fez initiated by the Merinid dynasty.

Tourists can also stroll along Talaa Kebira Avenue, one of the longest in the city, dotted with shopping boutiques.

Agadir, a spa port

Agadir is one of the country’s most important cities on the Atlantic coast. It is not one of the important places to visit in Morocco, although it has several particular things. First is a trendy seaside resort with the locals. Its beaches (which are not particularly attractive) are often packed with locals. The city has a marina where the wealthy park their yachts; the atmosphere has nothing to do with the port of Essaouira. Finally, Agadir has a few friendly mosques and quiet gardens where you can rest outside the typical tourist routes of the country.

Sidi Ifni and the beautiful beach of Legzira

Sidi Ifni is a small town in the south of the country. It is a city without unique tourist attractions. Most come here to use it as a base to discover the beautiful beaches of this area. Of the beaches, the most spectacular is Legzira Beach, with its reddish hue that is especially attractive at sunset. Pity! One of the beach’s photogenic arches collapsed a few years ago. Still, it is the most beautiful beach to visit in Morocco.

Zagora desert, if you can’t go to Merzouga.

Among the stone deserts of Morocco, there are two places where you can find the dream of many: the Sahara sand dunes. The best option is the Merzouga Desert (Erg Chebbi), which we have presented in our itinerary with the essential things to see in Morocco. However, for those who need more time to reach Erg Chebbi from Fez or Marrakech, the Zagora Desert (Erg Chigaga) is a good option. The sand dunes are lower and a rockier desert, but it is relatively close to Marrakech. Also, you will visit the beautiful Draa Valley on the route to the Erg Chigag desert.

Dakhla ,Kitesurfing and sahara

This city in the Moroccan Sahara is about 550 kilometers south of Laayoune. It is a protected nature reserve with its original charm, endless views, a beautiful blue sea, hills of dunes that end in the water, and spectacular sunsets.

This place is ideal for sports, adventure, and rest holidays. Dakhla offers the possibility of living a different experience every day, whether at sea or in the desert. It is one of the paradises for kitesurfing and other water sports. It can be combined with camel excursions, 4×4 excursions, etc. The average temperature is 28 ºC.

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