If you never visited Morocco or haven’t had the time to visit it properly, you might wonder what the best things to do in Morocco are, in order to get the most out of your trip.
Many of my friends thought Morocco was composed of Saharien dunes, camels, and people drinking Moroccan mint tea all day long to forget the fact that there is no WIFI! Well, in some places, that is true (and by the way, people in these places might be having one of the healthiest lifestyles, relaxed and happy). This being said, some Moroccan cities can beat western cities in term of modernity and progressivity.
Morocco is a versatile destination which offers different vibes and so many things to do and explore. Most people don’t have the whole picture about this country, limiting it to the desert or food experiences. Well, luckily this post will highlight all the experiences that you can expect in Morocco, the basic ones as well as the little-known ones, and believe me, they are really worth the try!
The Best Things to Do in Morocco During Your Trip
Visit the Medinas (cities downtown)
Medinas are the heartbeat of Moroccan cities and the place where locals go find great deals on local products. It is also an attractive place for tourists as it offers a beautiful mix of colors and smells along with a unique and very ancient architecture.
In Moroccan cities, Medinas represent where the city historically started before expanding. And as Moroccan government tries its best to keep Medinas as authentic as possible, you can still find the very narrow streets like in the old days, making it nowadays hard and sometimes impossible for cars to enter.
Because the streets are very narrow, merchants inside the Medina use donkeys and bicycles to help transport merchandise. That is the reason why sometimes you may hear screams behind you, most probably a merchant trying to make some space to proceed forward.
Thanks to the narrow streets and the local lifestyle preserved throughout the years, Medinas do offer a unique and fairy atmosphere that let any individual get immersed in the culture of the city and its history.
And this is more than true in the famous historical cities like Marrakech and Fez. In fact, one of the best things to do in Marrakech, if not the best, is to visit the city’ Medina. The Medina of Marrakech is one of the liveliest places you can visit, full of gorgeous handicrafts, delicious street food stands, storytellers and snakes enchanters.
Besides, did you know that the Medina of Fez is one of the most well-preserved old cities in the Arab-Muslim world and a UNESCO World Heritage? Well, now you know what you should not miss 😉
Have a Henna tattoo
Henna is a big part of the Arabic culture. It is used by Arab women as a beauty product to color their hair or give their body a nice light tan. In Morocco, Henna is also used for tattooing body parts, like hands, feet or necks. The tattoo lasts weeks and changes intensity beautifully as days go by.
Henna tattoos design vary a lot. Traditionally, Henna tattoos design consisted of heavy mixes of flowers and lines, but nowadays, designs are getting lighter and more modern.
You can get a Henna tattoo in most touristic places. Women who offer the service will often come by you and show you their design book. You can take a look into it and see if there is a design you like. If so, negotiate the price, but don’t forget, Morocco is a very conservative place. That’s why most tattoos will be done in public spaces., Besides, only request to get tattooed on visible body parts, like hands, arms, shoulders, and neck.
Eat Local Food
Have you ever heard of the Moroccan Couscous, the Moroccan lamb tajine or the Moroccan pastries? Well, just writing about them now makes me feel really hungry. So I am probably going to make a Moroccan Mint tea later just to calm me down hehe.
If you tried Moroccan food somewhere where you live and didn’t like it, give it another chance in Morocco. In fact, many Moroccan restaurants in foreign countries are held by non-Moroccans and sometimes the experience can, unfortunately, be very deceiving.
Morocco is known of having one of the best, finest and most memorable dishes around the world. Those who tried Moroccan food once know probably what I am talking about.
Moroccan cuisine uses spices, fresh products, and slow cooking, which ends up creating a tasteful and really exceptional dish. So make sure to try a maximum number of dishes in Morocco, especially when changing cities. In fact, each Moroccan city has its own specialty. For example, Marrakech is very known of a meat tajine cooked in traditional oven ashes and called Tanjia, while Chefchaouen is known for its delicious goat tajines. So just be curious and enjoy your Moroccan culinary trip.
If you like cooking, check my mother delicious and easy Moroccan recipes. You will thank me later 😉
Have a balloon ride
Balloon rides are becoming a big thing in Morocco. Mostly concentrated in the Atlas mountains, balloon rides are a way to add to your trip a super-memorable experience for a very reasonable price.
Some service providers are even offering rides with specific themes. So if you want to, you can enjoy your Moroccan Mint tea before dawn watching the balloon inflating, then have a romantic ride with an incredible view of the sunset above the Atlas mountains or Sahara dunes, to finish the experience down with a Berber-breakfast followed by a relaxing SPA treatment or traditional Hammam. Yes, you deserve it!
Talking about Hammams…
Have a traditional Hammam experience
Maybe you already had an experience in a Hammam in your country, but chances are the experience you had is far different from the one you can have in a Moroccan traditional Hammam.
Most Moroccans go regularly to Hammams. While Moroccan Men only go to get themselves cleaned, Moroccan women have a whole ritual before, during and after their Hammam. It is for them like a beauty bubble where they can relax and take care of their bodies.
I can’t show you a picture of Hammam interior because there is steam everywhere, and more importantly, everyone is pretty naked inside, haha! But what you need to know is that it is often made of beautiful and colorful tiles and basins like in the picture below, with hot/cold water taps everywhere.
When I was young, I used to go with my mother and aunts to the Hammam once a week. That was a rendez-vous we couldn’t miss. Hours before going there, we had a ritual of preparing natural beauty mixes for our hairs and bodies: Henne, rose petals, chamomile, black clay and so much more.
And Oh! The feeling when you get out of a Hammam is really satisfying and one of a kind. So if you go to Morocco, make sure you schedule a traditional Hammam treatment on your agenda. You will love the experience, believe me! So, If you like nurturing yourself, I wrote a whole article about the Moroccan Hammam experience and some of the best Hammam addresses.
Hike the Atlas Mountains
If you like hiking, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco are perfect and will offer you gorgeous views from the bottom to the top. Covered with lacy cedars and scrubby pines, the peaks can be covered with snow even in the warm months.
With more than 4000 meters (xxx), you can climb the mount Toubkal, Africa’s highest peak. Besides the stunning changing views, you can meet with the locals living in the mountains and which still have a traditional and very simple lifestyle. Always interesting and mind refreshing!
Visit the Moroccan Desert
Exploring the Moroccan deserts is definitely one of the best things to do in Morocco. Once you have no clue of where you are and you are surrounded by gigantic dunes, then spend a romantic night under the stars and wake up on a stunning sunrise, you will feel so far away from all your problems and your everyday struggles.
The Moroccan desert is also great if you are an adventurous person or if you like discovering enchanting places. You can trek in camels or 4×4 cars, explore wild oases and fairy old town that inspired international blockbusters.
Check my Morocco best Desert spots guide.
Explore the Moroccan beaches
Morocco is very famous for its beautiful beaches, offering different beach opportunities from surfing, sunbathing to trekking in the Moroccan wild beaches.
There are really dozens of possibilities, depending on the experiences you are planning to have. In order to not feel overwhelmed, don’t forget to check my post about the best Moroccan beaches to visit.
Visit Morocco historical monuments
Morocco has a charged and rich history. If you travel to the country, you will notice the different architecture styles, showing ancient civilizations footprints, especially in historical cities like Marrakech, Fez, and Meknes.
The Arabs conquered Morocco in the 7th century. Islam had a big success in the country and found a great following. Many monuments in the country show how great the Arabic civilization was at the time.
In the early 20th century, Morocco was colonized by Spain and France during years. Some cities like Casablanca and Rabat still have European colonization footprint in many of its buildings.
Shop local handicraft products
Morocco is known for its very talented craftsmen who excel in their work and are real artists. Some families pass the talent from generations and it’s not rare to find families who have been in the business for hundreds of years.
Leather shoes, beautiful teapots, colorful rugs, spices mixes, perfumes … Morocco is a real treasure cave. Every time I go there, I spend most of my time buying things and stocking up.
The fact is that, if you know the prices beforehand or know how to bargain, you can really buy good quality products for very cheap.
So if shopping is your thing or if you like to bring back home some souvenirs, make sure to pack light your way to Morocco! Of course, you can also ship internationally but this can be quite expensive if you are from the other side of the Atlantic. What I do when I know I am going to travel back heavy, is purchase my flight tickets with additional luggage, which comes often cheaper than having to pay excess luggage at the airport or days before the flight.