Posted by DAYS IN MOROCCO - January 12, 2021
Updated: February 27, 2021
Best places to visit in Morocco
Morocco is one of those countries that intrigues and excites. It's totally diverse with numerous unique and magical places to visit dotted across the country. Your trip to the north of the African nation will not be complete without visiting at least one of the three imperial cities of Morocco: Marrakech, Fes, and Meknes. Morocco is a country filled with unforgettable sights, smells, and sounds. It is one of those special places that will leave a permanent mark on your mind about the trip. Well-known for its natural beauty, experience the golden beaches of seaside towns such as Essaouira and Asilah to the arid landscapes of the Sahara Desert. Discover the best places to visit in this captivating country with our list of the top tourist attractions in Morocco.
Why Visit Morocco?
- Extremely warm, welcoming, with lovely people;
- Rich Culture;
- Exquisite accommodation;
- Exotic food;
- Largest desert in the world;
- Natural beauty with golden beaches sand dunes, Berber villages, waterfalls, oases, and valleys.
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Morocco
When you visit Morocco, make time to visit these charming locations in Morocco as well.
Lets explore the best places to visit in Morocco:
This imperial city is located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Noisy and brimming with history, the Medina sits at the heart of this ancient city. A labyrinth of ancient walls and narrow passageways is packed with historic sites, museums, enticing food stalls, and colorful souks, or markets. The focal point of the Medina is Jamaa El-Fna, the main square. See snake charmers, musicians, acrobats, storytellers, magicians, and stalls selling carpets, leather, pottery, hookahs, and spices.
Enjoy attractions like the Saadian Tombs, the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden that blends art deco and Moorish features, and El Badi Palace which gives an insight into the rich history of this city.
2- Fes or Fez
Fes (or Fez) served as the capital city of Morocco for more than 400-years and is still an important religious and cultural center. Today, the nation's third-largest city is better known as Morocco's handicraft center. The ancient walled part of Fes city is known as Fes El-Bali which was founded in the 9th century and is recognized by UNESCO for the important history of its Idrisid dynasty architecture. It is the best explored on foot and includes the mosque of Qarawiyyin and its associated university, which is the oldest university in the world. Other fascinating attractions are the Chouara Tanneries, the Merenid Tombs, and the Mellah or Jewish Quarter.
Another great attraction of Fes is the elegant boulevards of Nouvelle Ville or New City, which offers modern and comfortable accommodations for visitors to the ancient imperial capital. This is where the French created stunning palm-fringed avenues and refreshing fountains alongside lavish hotels and Parisian-flavoured streets.
Fes is the ideal destination for visitors who want to experience the heady and bustling ambiance of a Moroccan marketplace.
3- Merzouga Desert - Erg Chebbi
The village of Merzouga is situated on the edge of the Erg Chebbi dune sea. It is a small town that acts as a gateway to the dramatic wilderness of the Sahara Desert. Merzouga is set in a secluded spot not far from the Algerian border. Towering over it are the enormous dunes of Erg Chebbi, which in some places reach over 300 meters in height. It is these colossal sandscapes that most people come for, with hiking, quading, and camel trekking. Adrenalin junkies can also sign up for sandboarding.
The desert is absolutely a must-visit when you're in Morocco. From watching the stunning and gorgeous sunrise and sunset over the dunes to gazing at the sky full of bright stars, a visit to a traditional Bedouin camp is included. It is a must-see on your list of places you visit while in Morocco.
4- Chefchaouen the Blue City
Chefchaouen is a small town in a sweeping landscape. It lies nestled at the highest point of the Rif Mountains. It is a visual assault of beauty in this labyrinth of blue-on-blue buildings. It is incredibly photogenic, practically glowing as one of the most picturesque towns in the country. This city is a center for creativity, attracting painters and photographers world-wide with its calm, clear light.
Chefchaouen is known as the "Blue Pearl" for obvious reasons. The medina is undoubtedly Chefchaouen's main attraction. Explore the local arts and crafts in the quaint shops. Enjoy a drink amidst the architecture of Outa El Hammam square or sample Moroccan cuisine at a restaurant of (Riad or Hotel). There are surrounding mountains and hills which are worthy of exploring. They are home to some amazing scenery, waterfalls, and viewpoints. The people in Chefchaouen are also super friendly, so you will surely get to revel in some sweet hospitality here that makes this one of the top places to visit in Morocco. Don't forget to check out the secluded and quiet Ras El Maa, one of the most fascinating and secret places to visit in Morocco.
Chefchaouen is also one of Morocco's main hiking and trekking destinations and a starting point and organization center for Rif Mountains walks. If you're looking to explore the natural side of Morocco from a civilized base, Chefchaouen is the perfect place to do so.
It's easily one of the best places to see in Morocco.
Essaouira city is located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco; it's one of the top Morocco tourist attractions. And not just because it's a great place to visit and to get away from the heat and bustle of the bigger cities, it is one of the nation's most popular beach destinations.
In the 1960s, the seaside town was a popular beach hangout for celebrities like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. The beach itself is a well-known kite surfing hotspot, while the town charms with narrow streets, blue and red painted houses, and ramparts that overlook the busy harbor. In recent years, Essaouira has begun to gain a reputation as a cultural center too. Art galleries are appearing all over town, and each year, the city plays host to the Gnaoua Festival of World Music, a four-day event that includes multiple genres of music as well as the traditional Gnaoua African music.
The city's medina features crafts made using centuries-old techniques, including thuya wood carving and cabinet making. The argan oil trade is well established here as well, and the women cooperatives responsible for processing the argan nuts are instantly recognizable from their long white robes.
Essaouira, formerly called Mogador, is a natural port. Today, the port is one of the major fishing locations in Morocco, and the city's restaurants and seaside stalls offer an array of fresh seafood, from lobster dishes to grilled sardines.
6- Dades Valley or Dades Gorges
Another one of the best places to visit in Morocco is Dades Valley. Dades Valley runs between the Jebel Saghro and High Atlas Mountain with offering some of most spectacular views of Morocco. Its cliffs transition from ocher to rose to deep red with the changing light and in some places tower 1,000 feet above the verdant oases of the valley floor. Walking on foot is the best way to estimate the valley and its Berber villages.
Hikers, trekkers, and general nature lovers shouldn't miss a journey into the raw landscapes of Morocco's Dades Valley, its offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. There are dinky villages galore; exceptional bird-spotting opportunities; great day-walk options; and views of lush fields and orchards trapped between the orange cliffs of the gorge.
Tangier is among the most beautiful Morocco tourist places out of all the European-looking Moroccan cities. For those who are traveling from southern Europe by sea, Tangier is the gateway to Africa for them. This city doesn't have quite the fascination before but now there are many views and attractions to see. The Medina, the Kasbah Museum and the French-inspired Ville Nouvelle are included in highlights. The seaport also offers some interesting views of the Strait of Gibraltar and distant Spain, while a short drive away from the city center reveals some pretty beaches.
This fascinating city had played a major role in the literary history of Morocco in the 20th-century and is very much responsible for shaping this country as we know it today.
It's this very history and culture that attracts tourists here from far and wide. In fact, Tangier is what had inspired famous works like Paul Bowles "The Sheltering Sky as well as William Burroughs" Naked Lunch. Other than the historical vibes, you'll also find some remaining bohemian cafes and louche bars here to chill here located in the midst of the famous places to see in Morocco.
Casablanca, or "Casa" as the locals call it, is Morocco's largest city. The name was given by the Spanish, who set up trading basis here, but the city has been controlled by many different global powers over the centuries, including the French, the Portuguese, the ancient Romans and the Phoenicians. While Casablanca might not be as atmospheric as the other cities, it is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Morocco, and the ideal representation of modernity.
The city's stunning moresque buildings, which meld the French-colonial design with the traditional Moroccan style, is the best thing to admire here. Owing to its awesome food and architecture, it is definitely among the best places to travel in Morocco. The port city of Casablanca still reigns as the country's largest, and the largest in the entire region of the Maghreb besides.
Casablanca's major point of interest and landmark building, the Hassan II Mosque is a lavish symbol not only of the city, but also of Morocco itself. This modern mosque (finished in 1993) doesn't do things by halves. The decoration detail covering every centimeter of the mammoth two-hectare site took 10,000 artisans to complete. Most mosques in Morocco are not open to non-Muslims, but this one is an exception.
Intricately carved marble pieces, vibrant mosaics, and zellige tile details all pay tribute to traditional Islamic architecture ideals and the mastery of Moroccan craftsmanship and yet, at the same time, still manage to feel contemporary.
In terms of tourist attractions, there are the winding Corniche, peppered with super-clubs and chic hotels; the endless Morocco Mall - the second-biggest shopping center on the continent!
9- Rabat (The capital)
Situated on the northwest coastline and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Rabat is the country's capital and one of the top Morocco tourist attractions. Rabat is a popular tourist destination. It has two distinct main districts: the New Town and the Old Town. The city has a new portion, which has wide boulevards and outdoor cafes, and the old town or Medina, which has fortified walls.
Home to peaceful, palm tree-lined boulevards and an atmospheric old medina, Rabat is a lovely place to wander around, with interesting historical sights and cultural landmarks dotted here and there. While its massive Royal Palace and beautiful Art Deco cathedral look a treat, the main attraction is its well-preserved kasbah. From the kasbah, you can also enjoy astonishing views out over Rabat, its large public beach, and the ocean.
In terms of tourist attractions, there are the lively corniche that weaves along the shore, or see the sparkling beach that lurks beneath the tower of the great Almohadan Citadel. The earthy Berber heart of Rabat is really the place to be though.
Oudaias Kasbah, it's here that you'll find those much-photographed alleyways of blue-and-white homes, winding and weaving up and down stairs, through hidden squares, and down towards the historic medina center. Visit Chellah and explore some of the ancient Roman ruins. It's stunning.
10- Ait Benhaddou
One of the must see places in Morocco, Kasbah Ait Benhaddou is an ancient village that is home to a number of houses that have been built on a hillside. This destination happens to be one of the most beautiful places that one has ever seen. It's a fairy-tale place, and unsurprisingly the orange-hued turrets and curvy lanes inside have become a favorite film location for Hollywood due to the surreal beauty of the place.
It is always best to hire a guide when visiting this place. If you wish to witness the renowned "cafe view", take a trip deep inside the village. The whole scene is so perfect it almost feels like you are looking at a movie set rather than real life.
The UNESCO listed earthen fortress rises up from the eastern bank of the Ounila River upon a natural elevation in the land. The sea of palms surrounding it add to the exotic vibe as well as the occasional camel train that takes you back to the time when this acted as a stop on the Berber caravan routes.
The fortress is still inhabited by several families and you can buy handicrafts made by them within the walls. There is also a small museum set up inside one of the large towers, which has been decorated with old items to appear like it may have in past centuries. You can also climb to the top for grand views across the desert landscape.
Agadir is considered the regional capital of Morocco and lies on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean near the foot of the Atlas Mountains. It is the shortened version of the Berber word “Agadir n Irir” which means, the fortified granary. It is a favorite with holidaymakers due to modern construction and the open spaces. The beaches are serene and favorable for water sports. There are several resorts where you may have leisurely accommodation and experience the superb hospitality of the Moroccans.
A beach resort of many activities: golf, sailing, tennis, jet ski, scooters, windsurfing, surfing, and a beach of fine and golden sand which is over 10 kilometers long.
Discover the city of Agadir with a local tour guide. The city tour will include the most stunning sites in Agadir:
- The Kasbah was built in 1540 by the Saadians to protect the city against the Portuguese. The ocean looks splendid from a height of 240m cliff overlooking a panoramic view of the whole city and the port.
- The Ports:
- A fishing port, a shipyard, a large commercial port, and the marina.
- Ancienne Talborjt:
- Old Agadir town and constitutes a mass grave for all those who died in the 1960 earthquake.
- The city center:
- Agadir is a fine modern city now with wide avenues, blooming gardens, superb hotels lots of cafes, restaurants if you want to hang out with your friends.
- Great Mosque Mohammed V:
- The Talborjt mosque, the largest one in the city. only to take photos from outside, the access is reserved for Muslims.
- Cooperative of argan:
- An informative visit to the women's cooperative that produces culinary and cosmetic oils. Presentation of the argan and its products.
- The Souk El Had in Arabic means Sunday market:
- Stretched on thirteen hectares (it is the largest market in Morocco), with walls up to six meters and with thirteen gates. There are 2000 retailers selling food, and souvenir buying, the atmosphere here alone makes the trip worthwhile. It's total sensory immersion and a wonderful place in which to get lost for a while.
Zagora is located in the region of Souss-Massa-Drâa in southern Morocco. It lies on the slopes of the black sugar loaf hill that is called Jbel Zagora and is surrounded by some beautiful Kasbahs. The city's population is 65.000, where it borders with Ouarzazate to the north, Errachidia to the east, Tata to the southwest, and by the borders Algerian-Moroccan to the southeast.
Zagora is also famous as "The Gateway to the Sahara". It is the original desert outpost. In 1591, the Saadians set off on their expedition to conquer Timbuktu from here. In the centuries that followed, desert caravans made this isolated spot a trading post on the route between Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, giving it a cosmopolitan character that persists today.
Zagora is the site of the iconic "Tombouctou, 52 jours" sign featuring a nomad standing beside a smirking camel. The original sign, erected to tell traders they had a further 52 days of camel trekking to reach the fabled city, was destroyed in a town council clean-up, but convincing copies can be seen all over town.
There are a variety of things to do in Zagora. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful region starting from the splendid Sahara to getting introduced to the culture of the city. Reddish-colored mountains, oases, valleys, and the sand dunes of the region are also a pleasure to the eye. They can also, try the activities of camel trek and quad biking.
The city is surrounded by endless palm groves of the Drâa Valley which has one of the most breathtaking desert landscapes. The desert offers peace, holiness, and purity.
13- Meknes - Volubilis
Meknes (Arabic: مكناس, romanized: maknās; Berber languages: ⴰⵎⴽⵏⴰⵙ, romanized: Amknas) is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth-largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became the capital of Morocco under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672-1727), son of the founder of the Alaouite dynasty. Moulay Ismaïl created a massive imperial palace complex and endowed the city with extensive fortifications and monumental gates. The city recorded a population of 632,079 in the 2014 Moroccan census. It is the seat of Meknes Prefecture and an important economic pole in the region of Fes-Meknes.
Meknes was declared a UNESCO World-Heritage Site in 1996 and its beauty has been carefully and delicately preserved. Even the building of the urban parts of the city sees a blend of Islamic and European architectural styles.
Meknes is also renowned for other attractions such as Sahrij Souani, Place El Hedim, Bab Mansour, Medersa Bou Inania Meknes, Royal Golf Course, Dar Jamai, Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and Habs Qara. The magnificent Bab Mansour is the biggest of the gates in Morocco.
The city is also home to several historical monuments and natural locations. Meknes lies in close proximity to the remains of Volubilis. The Roman ruins of Volubilis have been acknowledged as a UNESCO world legacy location.