What are the best places to visit in Morocco? If you’ve decided to visit this charming land this year, you’re in for a glorious trip.
What are the best places to visit in Morocco? If you’ve decided to visit this charming land this year, you might be wondering what the best Morocco tourist destinations are. When I visited Morocco in 2022, I spent over one month searching and exploring all of these places, and I know for sure these Moroccan destinations will not disappoint you.
Firstly, you need to know that Morocco is a country with a rich and diverse culture that has been shaped by centuries of history and tradition. It is located in North Africa, and it is a destination that offers a unique blend of ancient and modern, urban and rural, and natural and man-made attractions. From the bustling markets and colorful streets of Marrakech to the stunning landscapes of the Sahara Desert, Morocco has something for everyone.
In this article, I have listed the top 21 best places to visit in Morocco. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover like myself, a foodie, or simply looking for a new adventure, these destinations are sure to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.
So, without further ado, let’s begin our journey through the best of Morocco!
To make things easier for you and help you plan your next trip to Morocco, I’ve classified all the best places in Morocco as follows:
- Historical and cultural places in Morocco
- Coastal and beach places in Morocco
- Natural and scenic places in Morocco
- Traditional and rural places in Morocco
- Food and drink places in Morocco
Historical and cultural destinations in Morocco
Marrakech: the Red City
Marrakech is one of the most popular and best places to visit in Morocco. As one of the four imperial cities (the others are Fez, Rabat, and Meknes), this vibrant and bustling city that is known for its colorful souks, stunning palaces, and lively squares.
The city’s medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which comes alive at night with street performers, musicians, and food stalls.
Here are my personal recommendations for attractions in Marrakech:
- the Bahia Palace,
- the Koutoubia Mosque,
- the Saadian Tombs.
- Jardin Majorelle
- Tiskiwin Museum
- Dar Si Museum
- Ibn Youssef School
- Le Jardin Secret
I’ve posted a few different videos from Marrakesh on my YouTube channel:
- Top 9 THINGS TO DO in Marrakesh, Morocco
- A walk through the Marrakesh medina, Jemaa el-Fnaa square, restaurants and cafes
- Visiting Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco
Fes: the spiritual and intellectual capital
Fes is one of Morocco’s oldest and most historic cities, and it is often considered the country’s spiritual and intellectual capital.
The city’s medina is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys, and it was nearly impossible to get to where I wanted to go without the help of local vendors. So don’t be shy to ask for directions; it’s a very common thing to do, especially if you’re a foreigner.
Nevertheless, the Fes Medina is worth the time because it is home to a number of important Islamic landmarks, including the University of Al Quaraouiyine, the Bou Inania Madrasa, and the Al-Attarine Madrasa.
Here you will also find the famous Moroccan tanneries. Again, you will have to ask for directions. Note that you can’t visit the tanneries by yourself, and the vendors will offer to be your guide and try to sell you some of their leather goods afterward. You can politely refuse to buy any items, but it is customary to give a small tip to the guide.
I also recommend checking out Clock Cafe in Medina. I love their mint lemonade.
You can watch my vlog from spending a day in the old medina of Fez on my YouTube.
Meknes: the historic imperial city
Meknes is a historic imperial city that was once the capital of Morocco during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail.
The city is known for its grand monuments, including the Bab Mansour gate, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the Heri es-Souani granaries. I recommend exploring the vibrant market of Meknes and sampling its delicious cuisine.
Rabat: the modern capital with ancient roots
Rabat is Morocco’s modern capital, but it is also a city with ancient roots that date back to the Roman era. You’ll be surprised to discover in Rabat an amazingly old fortress called the Kasbah of the Udayas. I liked it so much I decided to visit it twice. You can also visit the Hassan Tower, and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. The city is also home to a number of museums and galleries, as well as a beautiful beachfront promenade, which was my favorite.
You can get a sense of what to expect from visiting Rabat by watching my Rabat travel vlog.
Volubilis: the ancient Roman ruins of Morocco
Volubilis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa.
If you decide to visit Volubilis, you can explore the ancient city’s well-preserved mosaics, public buildings, and residential areas and get a glimpse of what life was like during the Roman era. This Roman village is a bit North of Meknes.
Aït Benhaddou: the historic fortified village
Aït Benhaddou (or Ait-ben-haddou) is a historic fortified village located on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains and is often considered one of Morocco’s most iconic landmarks. This is definitely one of the most visited places in Morocco, and I went here both times I’ve been to Morocco. And I would go again.
Arguably one of the best places to visit in Morocco, Ait ben haddou has been featured in many films and TV shows, including Game of Thrones. Aït Benhaddou is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a glimpse into Morocco’s rich history and architecture.
With its stunning kasbahs, winding alleyways, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, Aït Benhaddou is a must-visit destination if you want to learn more about the Moroccan culture and history.
Coastal and Beach Destinations in Morocco
Essaouira: the windy city by the sea
Essaouira is a charming coastal city that is known for its laid-back atmosphere, windswept beaches, and colorful fishing harbor.
The city’s medina made it to this list of the best places to visit in Morocco, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside the medina’s wall, I found many historic buildings, art galleries, and craft workshops. Here in Essaouira, you will also be able to enjoy one of the best beaches in Morocco. The beach is the perfect place to enjoy a water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing.
If you’re short on time, I recommend visiting Essaouira on a day trip from Marrakesh with a guide. This will ensure transport, a local guide to explain some of the main spots in the Essaouira medina, and enough time to have lunch and explore on your own. Most of the time, it’s cheaper to go on an organized day trip than to take the bus by yourself.
Here’s my Essaouira day trip vlog.
Agadir: the sunny resort town
Agadir is a popular beach resort town that is known for its long stretches of golden sand and year-round sunshine. The city offers a range of activities and tourist attractions, from water sports and sunbathing to golfing and shopping.
Like most Moroccan cities, Agadir also has a historic kasbah which is worth visiting. But one of its selling points is the panoramic views of the coastline from its hilltop vantage point. Many digital nomads that come to Morocco choose this place because they also want to go surfing.
Casablanca: the cosmopolitan beach city
Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city and one of its most cosmopolitan, with a rich mix of French and Arabic influences. The city is known for its vibrant art scene, trendy cafes and restaurants, and stunning beachfront promenade. Some find it quite big and busy, less touristy, but still worth a visit.
Many travelers don’t see Casablanca as one of the best places to visit in Morocco, but I disagree. Besides that connection to the famous Casablanca film, the city stands as proof that Morocco isn’t just a collection of archaic medinas and traditionally clothed vendors.
The reason most tourists choose to stop for at least half of day in Casablanca is the famous Hassan II Mosque, which one of the largest and most impressive mosques in the world. It is also the only mosque you will be allowed to visit in Morocco if you’re a non-muslim tourist.
When I was here, they were grouping tourists in small groups and only allowed guided visits, which was probably the best way to visit this massive monument. The guide explained everything there is to know about the mosque, and I really enjoyed the tour. After I visited the mosque, I continued by exploring the bustling markets of the old medina.
The easiest day to visit Casablanca is by train, as there are direct connections between major cities. You can watch here my Casablanca travel vlog.
Tangier: the gateway to Europe
Tangier is a historic port city that has long been a gateway between Europe and Africa.
The city is known for its mix of European and Moroccan architecture, as well as its vibrant cultural scene. I truly love Tangier, and it really feels like it’s the closest city to Europe. There are direct daily ferries to Spain. Honestly, I loved exploring the city’s kasbah, and visiting the American Legation Museum. And if you have the time, you can take a day trip to the nearby Caves of Hercules.
You can easily reach Tangier by train from any of the other major cities in Morocco. Here’s my most popular travel vlog from Morocco – Visiting Tangier, Morocco, during Ramadan.
Natural and Scenic Destinations in Morocco
Atlas Mountains: the stunning mountain range with Berber villages and valleys
The Atlas Mountains are a stunning mountain range that runs through Morocco and into neighboring countries. Recognized as one of the best places to visit in Morocco, the mountains attract travelers from all corners of the world, and it’s featured as a destination in all great tours of Morocco.
The mountains are home to a number of Berber villages and valleys, as well as some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. In these famous Morrocan mountains, you will find Toubkal National Park, which is located 70 kilometers from the city of Marrakesh. The park is in central-western Morocco and is a protected area within the High Atlas mountain range. The park was established in 1942 and spans over 380 square kilometers of land. These are the tallest mountain range, and this is where you’ll find the tallest mountain in Morocco, which is Mount Toubkal (4,165 m). If you’re looking for new places to go hiking, then Morocco has a lot to offer.
Many tourists choose to come specifically to Morocco because of the Atlas Mountains. It’s a world-famous destination amongst hiking enthusiasts or mountain bikers. In these mountains, you can also learn a lot about Berber culture.
I recommend booking an organized tour with a local agency to explore the mountains. Here are some of the best-guided tours in the Atlas Mountains:
- 3 Days Trek Berber Villages of Atlas Mountains (from Marrakesh)
- Atlas Mountains & Agafay Desert & Camel Day Trip (from Marrakesh)
- Atlas Mountains Full-Day Hiking Trip (from Marrakesh)
- Mt Toubkal Ascent Express Trek 2 Days 1 Night
- Zip-Line & Hike in the Atlas Mountains (From Marrakesh)
- Atlas Mountains & 5 Valleys Day Tour with Lunch (from Marrakesh)
- Half-Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains (from Marrakesh)
- From Marrakech 3-Days Desert Trip to Merzouga Dunes – This is one of the most popular tours that everyone is doing on their first trip to Morocco, which also includes the Atlas Mountains. This is the tour I did.
- 2-Day Atlas Mountains Trek with Village Stay – I recommend this tour if you want to learn more about the Berber culture.
Sahara Desert: the vast and otherworldly sand dunes
The Sahara Desert is one of the world’s largest and most famous deserts and, of course, one of the best places to visit in Morocco, as it covers much of North Africa.
In Morocco, you can explore the desert on camelback or by 4×4 vehicle and experience the region’s otherworldly beauty and serenity. Popular desert destinations in Morocco include Merzouga, Zagora, and the Draa Valley.
I believe that it’s a matter of how much time you have and how far you want to go. I was delighted with the night spent in the Merzouga desert in the tent. And it seems that this still is one of the top tours to do in Morocco: Merzouga 3-Day Desert Safari with Food (from Marrakesh).
Ouzoud Falls: the majestic cascades
Ouzoud Falls is a stunning waterfall located in the Atlas Mountains, about 150 kilometers from Marrakech. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery and offer a refreshing escape from the desert heat. You can hike to the base of the falls, take a boat ride to the opposite side, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. There are also some restaurants to have lunch.
The easiest way to visit the waterfall is by booking a day trip – Ouzoud Waterfalls Guided Hike and Boat Trip.
Dades Valley: the picturesque canyon
The Dades Valley is a picturesque canyon located in the High Atlas Mountains, known for its stunning red rock formations and lush greenery. The valley is home to a number of Berber villages and kasbahs, and you can explore the region on foot or by car.
Popular sites in the Dades Valley include the Monkey Fingers rock formations and the stunning Dades Gorge. This is a stop which is included in the popular 3-day trip to the Sahara Desert, which I really enjoyed.
Todra Gorge: the spectacular rock formation
Todra Gorge is a spectacular rock formation located in the High Atlas Mountains, known for its towering cliffs and stunning natural beauty. You can hike through the gorge, climb the cliffs, or simply take in the breathtaking scenery. The nearby town of Tinerhir is also worth a visit, with its beautiful kasbahs and traditional Berber architecture.
However, if you just want to see it, the same 3-day road trip to Sahara Desert includes Todra Gorge on its itinerary. You can now understand why the 3-day tour is the most popular of them all – it includes all top attractions in a short time.
Traditional and Rural Destinations
Chefchaouen: the blue town in the Rif Mountains
Chefchaouen, often called the Blue Pearl of Morocco, is a charming and picturesque town located in the Rif Mountains, known for its blue-painted buildings and winding streets. To get here, you’ll need to take a bus from Tangier or Fes. Do know that the winding road will make you feel slightly dizzy on the bus, but most are ok in the end.
I especially enjoyed exploring the town’s historic medina. If you wake up early, you can have the streets all to yourself. Do know that there is another Clock Cafe in Chefchaouen, which is worth a visit.
If you’re staying in Fes, you might want to visit Chefchaouen on a day trip.
Here’s my Chefchaouen travel vlog.
Taroudant: the laid-back town in the Souss Valley
Taroudant is a laid-back town located in the Souss Valley, known for its historic walls and traditional souks.
The town is a great base for exploring the nearby Atlas Mountains, as well as the stunning beaches of the Atlantic coast. If you choose to visit Taroudant, don’t forget to taste its delicious cuisine, which includes the famous tajine, couscous, and pastilla.
Ifrane: the Moroccan Switzerland
Ifrane is a charming and picturesque town located in the Middle Atlas Mountains, known for its alpine-style architecture and scenic beauty.
The town is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, as well as hiking and camping in the summer. Here is where you will find the endangered Barbary macaque, special type of monkey. They are the same type of apes (but more like monkeys) that live wild in Gibraltar, the rock on the edge of Spain, on the European continent.
Ourika Valley: the scenic valley with Berber villages
The Ourika Valley is a scenic valley located in the High Atlas Mountains, known for its lush greenery and traditional Berber villages.
The valley is a popular destination for hiking and camping, as well as exploring the region’s waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs.
This is a must-see destination if you want to learn more about Berber culture and traditions. I recommend visiting one of the local workshops to get to talk to locals.
Zagora: the gateway to the desert
Zagora is a historic town on the Sahara Desert’s edge, known for its stunning sunsets and panoramic views.
Of course, Zagora also has a lovely historic kasbah. You can also visit the palm groves here. While camel trek is still offered as a touristic experience, I am not a big fan of any kind of animal exploitation, and I would advise you to refrain from booking such activities.
Food and drink destinations in Morocco
Fes Medina: the culinary capital of Morocco
Fes Medina is known as the culinary capital of Morocco, with its bustling markets and traditional food stalls offering a variety of delicious dishes.
In this medina you can taste local specialties such as bissara (a fava bean soup), harira (a tomato-based soup), and pastilla (a savory pie with chicken or fish).
Marrakech Night Market: the street food paradise
Marrakech’s night market, located in the Jemaa el-Fnaa square, is a street food paradise offering a variety of Moroccan delicacies. It’s arguably one of the best places to visit in Morocco, and probably the most famous place of them all.
The food stalls offer grilled meats, fresh seafood, and traditional snacks such as fried sardines, snails, and chickpea fritters. Note that most stalls have pushy vendors that will follow you around in their effort to convince you to eat at their improvised restaurant. Do know that eating there is at your own risk and some years ago I was one of the many tourists that got food poisoning after eating there. The locals call it the “tourista” food poisoning. You can read all about it here: Getting food poisoning in Morocco.
Even so, getting to experience this food market at night is an attraction in itself that you shouldn’t miss. Here’s my Marrakesh Medina (Jemaa el-Fnaa Square) in the evening travel vlog.
Casablanca Bars: the hip and trendy nightlife scene
Casablanca is home to a hip and trendy nightlife scene, with a variety of bars and nightclubs offering a mix of local and international drinks and music.
If you decide to visit Casablanca, you should enjoy a cocktail at the Sky 28 bar, dance the night away at the Pacha nightclub, or catch a live music performance at the Theatre Mohammed V.
Ready to explore the best places in Morocco?
Morocco is a country that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the bustling markets and ancient palaces of Marrakech to the stunning landscapes of the Sahara Desert, this North African nation offers a wealth of experiences for visitors to explore and enjoy.
In this article, we have highlighted 21 of the best places to visit in Morocco, including historical and cultural destinations, coastal and beach destinations, natural and scenic destinations, traditional and rural destinations, and food and drink destinations. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone to discover in Morocco.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Morocco today and experience the magic of this incredible country for yourself!