I get questioned a lot about the best places to visit in Morocco. I have visited many cities around the world yet, some Moroccan cities remain unbeatable to my heart. In fact, every time I visit one of these places, I find myself in a happy bubble ready to disconnect and recharge my batteries. Certainly, it has to do with a combination of many ingredients. People sympathy, Moroccan sunny blue sky, the unexpected colors and scents, and the slow local lifestyle.
Best Places to Visit in Morocco: A Shortlist of Morocco Best Places to Visit
Ready to find out more? Fasten your seatbelt because I am going to take you to some of Morocco best places to visit, loved by both locals and tourists. In order to have a full knowledge of all the opportunities Morocco has to offer, don’t forget to check my guide about the best things to do in Morocco.
Marrakech or Marrakech al Hamraa (the Red Marrakech) as called by locals, is one of the most popular touristic places in Morocco. Located in the north of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is the city to visit if you want to enjoy Moroccan culture, food, and nightlife.
Marrakech is known for its red walls and buildings that look fairy and gorgeous in both sunrise and sunset. The Medina (downtown) of Marrakech is a must! Go there and you will enjoy getting lost in narrow streets while surrounded by traditional treasures like spices, natural oils, leather shoes, and bags. A heaven if you want to shop and bring back home authentic Moroccan products.
Besides, Marrakech is where you can find the famous place of Djemma El-Fna, the heartbeat of the city. This place has a mystical atmosphere where everyone enjoys their night listening to storytellers, snake enchanters and eating traditional local food.
Of course, if you are in Marrakech you should definitely try the most famous local dish, the Tangia. A meat tagine cooked the entire night in traditional oven ashes. The long slow cooking makes the meat tender, fondant, and the sauce divine. A real must!
Chefchaouen or Chaouen, known as the blue city, is a small town amidst the Rif Mountains.
Unlike Marrakech which offers a lot of tourist attractions, hotels, nightclubs, Chefchaouen doesn’t try much to attract tourists. And I love that.
Very calm, relaxing, with stunning blue flowery walls and sleepy adorable cats, visiting Chefchaouen is an immersion into locals’ down-to-earth lives. Definitely, one of the best places to visit in Morocco.
Being built on a mountain, the city is quite hilly so don’t forget to bring comfortable clothes and shoes. Besides, the countryside offers many activities in beautiful and wild nature, like picnicking, hiking or swimming. So, go there if you need to disconnect, take gorgeous pictures or just to enjoy nature and fresh air activities.
3. Essaouira (formerly Mogador)
It is the city where season three of Game of Thrones was shot! And that’s not all, Essaouira was a destination of choice for both Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.
The reason? It is a very calm historical city, with gorgeous views of the ocean and many possible outdoor activities. In fact, in Essaouira, you can enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing and horse riding.
The city is also known for it’s internationally famous Gnawa music festival that usually takes place during the month of June. So if you are interested, make sure to check the dates before buying your tickets.
Have you ever wondered where Hollywood gets some of her perfectly arid desert scenes? Do you remember those Sahara scenes from Cleopatra, Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven? Oh, and the famous series Game of Thrones? Well, several scenes from these blockbusters have been filmed in villages nears Ouarzazate, one of them is the gorgeous Ksar Ait Benhaddou (see picture below).
In fact, the city has been welcoming Hollywood directors since the ‘60. So, if you like desert scenes and nature or want to take tours through the sets of famous blockbuster, Ouarzazate is a great place to visit. Besides, Ouarzazate is an entry point to the Moroccan desert, as only a few hours car-drive will separate you from the gigantic sand dunes and dreamy oases.
I try to go to Fez at least once a year, even if it is for a day or two. The city is known for its traditional and very talented craftsmen who, for hundreds of years, transmitted their skills from father to son. In fact, Fez is one of the best Moroccan cities where locals love to stock up good quality products like beautiful leather shoes, gorgeous traditional clothes, rugs, spices, oils, perfumes and so much more.You will also find many tanneries in Fez, making leather items a little bit more affordable than in other cities. A small warning though, in case you don’t know, tanneries smell bad. But even so, I am almost certain that you will love the experience.
You will find all these products in the Médina, which is one of the most well-preserved old cities in the Arab-Muslim world and a UNESCO World Heritage.
Again, narrow labyrinthic streets with so many treasures to discover. I always get lost there, so if you do too, don’t be shy to ask a craftsman and stay safe with these recommendations.
Fez is also known for many historical and well-conserved monuments. There is, for example, the Karaouine Library, Bou Inania Medersa, Attarine Medersa and so much more. You will really have a lot to visit there. Oh, and make sure to go to Merenid Tombs on top of a hill near the Médina to see a gorgeous panoramic view of Fez.