Places to visit in Morocco
Morocco is a land of great diversity and history, with something to offer everyone. From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the serene mountain villages of the Atlas Mountains, there is much to explore in this North African country. Here are just a few of the many places to visit in Morocco.
Fes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. The city was founded in the 9th century by Idris I and has been the capital of Morocco on multiple occasions. Fes is home to the world’s oldest university, University of Al-Karaouine, and is considered the spiritual capital of Morocco. The city is also a major economic center with a large number of traditional handicrafts being produced there.
Marrakech is a city in the western Moroccan region of Maghreb. The former capital of the Moroccan Empire, it is now the capital of the Marrakech-Safi region in the country. With a population of over 1 million people (2017), it is the fourth largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, Fes, and Tangier.
As the largest city in Morocco, Casablanca is a bustling metropolis with a lot to see and do. From its beautiful mosques to its vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Casablanca is the Hassan II Mosque, which is one of the largest mosques in the world. Visitors can take tours of the mosque and learn about its history and architecture.
For something a bit more lively, Casablanca’s nightlife scene is not to be missed. There are dozens of bars and clubs to choose from, so you can spend your nights dancing the night away.
If you’re looking for some culture, make sure to check out Casablanca’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum features works by local and international artists, making it a great place to learn about different cultures.
Rabat is one of the four Imperial Cities of Morocco and serves as the country’s capital. It is also the largest city in the administrative region of Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer. The urban area of Rabat spreads over an area of about 30 square miles, with a population of over 1.5 million people. The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. Rabat has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The average annual temperature is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rabat was founded in the 12th century by the Almohads, a Berber dynasty from Algeria. The city was originally called Ribatu l-Fath, meaning “Fortress of Victory.” It served as a strategic base for Almohad expansion into Spain and Portugal. In the 14th century, Rabat was captured by the Marinids, another Berber dynasty from Morocco. The Marinids made Rabat their capital and built a new citadel, which remains one of the most impressive landmarks in the city today.
Rabat is home to many historical and cultural sights, including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Medina (old city) of Rabat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as are the nearby ruins of Chellah and the 12th-century Hassan Tower. Other notable sights include La Tour Hassan, a landmark minaret; Mohammed V Mausoleum, containing the tombs of Morocco’s king and two sons; and Kasbah des Oudaïas, an 18th-century royal fort overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Tangier is a major city in northern Morocco. It is located on the African coast of the Strait of Gibraltar, with Spain just 14 miles (23 km) away. Tangier is the capital of the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, as well as the Tangier-Assilah prefecture of Morocco. The history of Tangier is very rich, due largely to the strategic position of the city overlooking the strait.
Ouarzazate (Berber: ⵡⴰⵔⵣⴰⵣⴰⵝ, ELF: ⵓⴰⵡⴻⵔ-ⵣⴰ-ⵙ, ⵡaru-zaratu; Arabic: ورزازات) is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region of southeastern Morocco.
Chefchaouen is a small town in northern Morocco, near the border with Spain. It’s known for its blue-washed buildings. Behind the grand Hassan II Mosque, the medieval kasbah has narrow alleyways leading to shops and workshops. The octagonal minaret of the Great Mosque has views of the city and mountains. A 17th-century red-walled Jewish cemetery is on Talaa Kebira street.
Merzouga is a small village in the southeast of Morocco, about 35 km from Erfoud and 50 km from Rissani. It is most famous for its proximity to Erg Chebbi, one of Morocco’s largest swathes of continuous sand dunes.
Agadir is a major city in Morocco, located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Agadir-Ida Ou Tanane Prefecture and of the Souss-Massa economic region. A majority of its inhabitants speak Shilha/Tashelhit, a Berber language of the Atlas branch, as their first language.
The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960, and rebuilt with concrete by order of then-King Hassan II. Today it is a popular destination for tourists seeking sun and sea. It has a reputation as a safe haven for Westerners and as a relatively relaxed city compared to other Moroccan cities such as Fez or Marrakech.
Essaouira is a Moroccan port city and fishing town on the Atlantic coast. Its ramparts, built by European engineers, surround the old town, medieval port and fishing harbor. This area is home to artisans making carpets, baskets, glassware and reluctant leather goods. Moorish architecture dominates the medina’s skyline of minarets and square towers, while the city’s Spanish-builtCGermansoldier fortress stands on a nearby hill.