15 Best Places to Visit in Morocco (2019 Edition)

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Planning a trip to North Africa? Don’t miss our complete list of the best places to visit in Morocco!

Some of the best Morocco destinations are already world-famous, though you may not realise.

Morocco is full of rich history, intense culture, breathtaking natural beauty and endless opportunities for travellers to excite the senses. 

Walking through any Moroccan destination, you can smell fresh mint leaves, incense, perfume, leather and smoky coals sizzling underneath a roasting tagine.

You can hear locals speaking Arabic and French, sometimes Spanish in the north. Sultry Arabic music floats from shops and the daily “Call to Prayer” bellows from Mosque speakers five times a day. 

You can feel the heat of northern Africa warming your skin while your feet trod along stone alleyways, or along sandy coastlines.

Your line of vision is full of colourful traditional clothing, patterned pottery and ceramics, towering piles of spices, bustling fruit markets and streets congested with cars, motorbikes and donkeys. 

Travelling through the country you’ll stumble across gorgeous beaches, rugged mountain ranges, golden desert sands, winding roads, farming villages, waterfalls, forests, Mosques, museums, ancient Roman ruins, tanneries, Medinas and so much more. 

With such diversity, it can be overwhelming trying to plan a trip to visit Morocco.

The country is full of famous tourist attractions and hidden gems, but luckily there is something for everyone.

The Best Places to Visit in Morocco

This article lists some of the most iconic and must-see places to see in Morocco.

The destinations are organised into three categories: cities, beach towns, and places of natural beauty.

Hopefully, this list will help you pick the best places to visit in Morocco that suit your travel style, and will persuade you to book a trip to visit Morocco.

Best Places to Visit in Morocco
Mint tea can be found in all of the best places to visit in Morocco

1) Marrakech

The most visited city in Morocco, Marrakech is a bustling hub of travellers and locals alike.

It showcases traditional Moroccan culture in an accessible way for tourists, with a sprawling Medina selling handicrafts and souvenirs and the Instagram-famous Jardin Majorelle boasting gorgeous architecture and landscaping. 

Jema El Fnaa is the main square of Marrakech, though I believe the true charm of the city lies outside this area.

Jema El Fnaa is insanely touristy and locals here exploit animals for tourist photos.

Try to avoid this mess and venture to other areas of Marrakech for a better experience. 

Visit Saadien’s Tombs for 70 Dirhams and marvel at the intricate artwork and design that adorns the tombs of the Moroccan Saadien Dynasty from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Afterward, stroll through the local street market on Derb Demnat Street and indulge in fresh dates, cactus fruits and juicy peaches.

Sip mint tea in a cafe, browse through unique natural remedies in a herbal medicine shop, and enjoy the artwork in the Museum of Photography

Marrakech is the perfect gateway into Moroccan culture so it’s a great first stop for travellers. 

fresh juice in marrakesh
Enjoy fresh juice in the Marrakesh Medina

2) Rabat

Morocco’s capital city is packed with attractions and historical monuments making it one of the best places to visit in Morocco.

Visit the Modern Art Museum and National Archaeological Museum for an enlightening insight into Moroccan culture and art.

Or tour the Royal Palace and see where Moroccan royalty lives. 

Other impressive architectural structures include the Kasbah of the Udayas, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and its neighbour, the Hassan Tower, which was meant to be the largest minaret in the world but to this day remain unfinished.

All three of these are located along the Bou Regreg River that snakes through the city. 

After immersing yourself in the history of Rabat, head just south of the city to lounge on Temara Beach or Skirat Beach.

Temara is closer to the city and a bit more accessible.

But Skirat is known as being one of Morocco’s most beautiful and well-maintained beaches.

3) Fez

Known as the cultural capital of Morocco, Fez is famous for its historical significance and its well-preserved traditional culture.

Tourism is on the rise as Fez becomes more well-known.

There are plenty of backpacker hostels, nice hotels, and fancy Riads to suit every traveller.

However, Fez still feels very authentic and travellers may experience a bit of culture shock here. 

Fez’s Medina is the oldest in the world and is said to have over 9,000 streets.

Prepare to get lost in the Medina because it is inevitable. But the sensory overload and cultural insight you’ll find in this maze of streets are well worth the chaos.

Having an offline navigation app like Maps.Me can very extremely helpful to help you find your way out of the Medina.

While gallivanting through the Medina, stop at the Chouara Tannery, the largest tannery in the world.

Here you can watch locals make leather using traditional methods.

Someone will usually hand you a mint sprig as you walk in so you can hold it under your nose and block out some of the strong, pungent aromas of the tannery. 

Venture outside the Medina to see the more modern size of Fez.

Bab Bou Jeloud, or the “Blue Gate,” and the Royal Palace are two very beautiful and well-maintained sights to see in Fez.

Just have an open mind when travelling through Fez and appreciate the authenticity of the city. 

Take a guided tour of the Fez Medina by booking this tour on Get Your Guide!

Fez tannery
Be sure to visit the Fez tannery!

4) Tangier

For anyone travelling to Morocco from southern Spain, this is the first Moroccan city you will experience.

Located on the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier is a good transition city between Europe and Africa.

It is a port city on the water, but the beaches aren’t as nice as others in Morocco.

So travellers to Tangier should focus more on the historical and cultural aspects of the city. 

A cultural crossroad, here you can find traditional north African influences in the Old Town and Medina, where the buildings are painted a classy white.

Visit Cafe Hafa, a famous seaside cafe that serves traditional drinks and snacks and offers a lovely view of the ocean.

In the Medina you can also find the Phoenician Tombs, the Old Kasbah, a Kasbah Museum and Dar el Makhzen, a historical masterpiece that used to be a sultans palace but its now a museum of artifacts.

For a local food experience, visit the Berber Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and Sundays for fresh produce.

Or venture to the massive Grand Socco Market, open every day.

There is also a New Town known as Ville Nouvelle, which exudes a classy French atmosphere with its intricate architecture and spacious boulevards full of shops.

Place De France is the beating heart of the Ville Nouvelle, and this is one of the best places to visit in Morocco for finding trendy cafes and restaurants. 

READ MORE: Plan your trip to experience Porto, Portugal

5) Casablanca

Though Rabat is the country’s capital city, Casablanca is the biggest city with a population of about 3.4 million.

This busy coastal city is one of the more developed places in Morocco, with a thriving entertainment scene and growing business sector. 

As Casablanca is one of the more modern cities in Morocco, here you can find international cuisine, casinos, nightclubs, high-end shopping and one of the world’s largest shopping centres, the Morocco Mall

In contrast to the Old Medina, the city also has a New Medina built in the 1930s, called the Quartier Habous.

This New Medina is much cleaner and more refined than the Old Medina, though it showcases modern European influence rather than authenticity. 

Casablanca’s ocean isn’t the nicest for swimming.

But a nice walk or jog along the Corniche, or oceanfront boulevard is a great way to enjoy the ocean breeze.

On this seaside sidewalk you can find the Hassan II Mosque, arguably the best attraction in Casablanca.

As one of the largest mosques in the world, the impeccable design and sheer size of this religious landmark is a feast for the eyes. 

Because of the classic film of the same name, Casablanca is also perhaps the most well known and best places to visit in Morocco.

mosque in casablanca
One of the more popular places to visit in Casablanca

6) Meknes

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meknes is the perfect destination for history lovers and those with a cultural curiosity.

This is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and was a Moroccan capital city in the 17th Century.

Because Meknes is less popular than nearby Fez, travellers can revel in the town’s historical significance without all the crowds of the bigger cities. 

The Medina of Meknes dates back to the 9th Century and is guarded by the gorgeously tiled Bar Mansour Gate.

Wander through here for a look into Morocco’s past and indulge in a few local handicrafts.

Stop by the Meknes Museum to explore colourful Moroccan art including rugs and textiles, pottery and ceramics, and clothing and jewellery. 

Other highlights of Meknes include the Museum of Moroccan Art, also known as Dar Jamai, the Borj Belkari Museum of Pottery, The Mausoleum of Sultan Moulay Ismail and the Royal Stables Ruins.

One of Morocco’s most famous and well-preserved ruins, Volubilis, lies just north of Meknes and makes an awesome day trip from the city.

7) Chefchaouen

Nestled against the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may be the most picturesque place in Morocco.

Travellers flock here from all over the world to photograph the “Blue Pearl of Morocco,” as this small city is often called because of its blue-painted dwellings. 

Strolling through Chefchaouen feels like a dream because of all the blue paint.

Whether it be pale pastel blue or deep royal blue, the hue mixes with the graceful architecture to make every single street look like something from a postcard. 

You will understand why it is one of the best places to visit in Morocco once you spend a few hours wandering through the city.

The most scenic place in the city is the Old Town, and the most photographed spots here are “Blue Street,Place El Haouta and El Asri Street.

All of these reveal some gorgeous displays of blue paint and incredible design.

So it’s definitely worth waiting amongst the crowds to see these sights.

If you explore early in the morning, you’ll beat most of the crowds. 

To see the more local side of Chefchaouen, venture anywhere outside the crowded Old Town and you’ll find super cheap cafes and local markets.

These will be better for your wallet than eating in one of the many tourist restaurants. 

Chefchaouen blue buildings
Be captivated by the blue throughout the city!

8) Al Hoceima

Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Al Hoceima is the perfect beach getaway for those travelling through the north of Morocco.

The Spanish helped to develop the city in the early 1900s, and nowadays Al Hoceima serves as an important port town and has a thriving fishing industry. 

The beaches here are some of the nicest and cleanest in the country.

Quemado Beach is just a short walk from the city centre. Calabonita Beach is known for its crystal clear, turquoise water.

Other lovely beaches in the area include Thara Youssef, Sfiha, Matadero, and Souani. 

Al Hoceima is also situated on the northern edge of the Rif Mountains, so there are lots of rugged cliffs to enhance the scenery.

Al Hoceima National Park has lots of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and admiring the dramatic, seemingly untouched natural beauty. 

9) Safi

This lesser-known Moroccan coastal city is ideal for surfers and beach bums.

Safi isn’t very touristy, which is great for experiencing the local culture.

The Medina is full of shops selling gorgeous ceramics and traditional cafes selling fresh sardines, sugary mint teas and hearty tagines. 

The Main Beach consists of a massive stretch of golden sand framed by a long sidewalk and hipster cafes.

During winter, the waves attract surfers from all over the globe, and all year round the water is cold and refreshing.

Drive about 15 minutes north of Safi Main Beach to Lalla Fatna Beach for a more secluded sunbathing spot.

You will notice at the beaches that most local women dress conservatively.

If you are a woman, there are no concrete rules as to what you can and can’t wear at the beach.

But you may choose to cover up as much as possible to blend in with the locals and show respect for their culture.

READ MORE: 25 things to know to help you plan your trip to Iran

Beach in safi morocco
Enjoy a day at the beach in Safi

10) Asilah

Asilah is a cultural melting pot residing on the Atlantic Ocean, making it one of the best places to visit in Morocco.

Here you can find fortifications built by the Portuguese, an Old Town with Spanish influence, and whitewashed buildings that resemble those of Greece. 

Through all this multiculturalism, the Moroccan charm still shines through with the traditional markets of the city.

Thursday, in particular, is the busiest market day, where local artists showcase their work and travellers can shop for traditional goods and souvenirs.

Art lovers can also visit the famous art gallery known as Aplanos, or attend the Annual Arts Festival in August. 

To enjoy the ocean, the two closest beaches to the city centre are Asilah Beach, about 4km north of the city center, and Paradise Beach, about 7km south of the city center.

The extra distance to Paradise Beach may be worth it, as this beach is bigger and less crowded than Asilah beach. 

11) Essaouira

This charming coastal town is a popular day trip from Marrakech, though some travellers prefer to stay there a few days.

Previously known as Mogador, this port town has a rich history in the Caravan Trade Route.

Locals from the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains used to travel to Essaouira to export their goods to the world.

Although nowadays the city has become more of a relaxed tourist destination and one of the best places to visit in Morocco.

The city is framed by fortifications that King Mohammed III of the 18th Century built to protect the important trade center.

Climb up these walls to feel the fierce Atlantic wind on your skin and look out over the ocean and the nearby beach.

Make sure to explore the colourful and charismatic Medina, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And check out the local fish market if you can stand the pungent seafood smell. 

Whether you are driving to Essaouira or taking a day trip from Marrakech, you will most likely pass goats in trees on the outskirts of the city.

This area of Morocco is sprawling with Argan trees, and goats literally climb into the trees to eat the nuts, seeds and fruits.

You may need to tip the local farmer who owns the goats if you want to take photos. But it’s worth it to capture this outrageous sight. 

Book your trip to Essaouira today on Get Your Guide!

essaouira goats in trees
There really are goats in the tree!

12) The Atlas Mountains

A trip to Morocco would be incomplete without exploring the breathtaking Atlas Mountain Range.

Many people view Morocco as hot and arid. But at the high altitudes of the Atlas you can find cooler temperatures and sometimes even snow. 

The Atlas Mountains are full of little Berber villages and towns, but Imlil makes a great starting point for adventures into the area.

Imlil is easily accessible from Marrakech by a shared taxi. And you will find that there are a few cheap hostels and lots of nice guesthouses for travelers. 

From Imlil you can begin the multi-day trek to the summit of Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in northern Africa.

There are also many day hikes in Toubkal National Park available from Imlil, including a circuit around the hills of the village and a full day hike to a waterfall.

Whether you choose a few shorter hikes or one long trek, you are guaranteed to find majestic mountain peaks, tiny remote villages with friendly locals, and lots of wildlife including sheep, donkeys and goats. 

Asni is another nearby village to Imlil, which is a bit smaller and less touristy.

You can also use this town as a base for hiking Toubkal National Park.

Oukaimeden is another popular destination in the Atlas Mountains, as it is one of the few skiing destinations in Morocco. 

On the drive into the mountains from Marrakech, you will most likely travel along the Tizi n’ Tichka Pass, which is a heart-stopping, winding road slicing straight through the cliffs.

The drive is not for the fainthearted, but the views and stunning and you can always trust your local Moroccan drivers.

Visit the Atlas Mountain Range with a camel ride, only found on Get Your Guide

Atlas Mountains morocco
One of the many beautiful views in the Atlas Mountains

13. Ouarzazate

Located in between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, many desert tours pass through here on the way to the Sahara.

If you aren’t doing an organized tour, try and venture out here to the “Hollywood of Morocco.”

The area’s rugged, dusty desert-like landscape filled with kasbahs, palaces and rustic dwellings attracts filmmakers from all over the world. 

Movies and shows filmed in Ouarzazate include Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Ben Hur, Mummy, The Hills Have Eyes and Kingdom of Heaven.

You can take a guided tour of Atlas Film Studios to learn about the film making process. Plus there is also a Cinema Museum that showcases artwork used in films. 

About 30km northwest of Ouarzazate lies another traditional Moroccan hilltop town also used for filming movies.

Aït Benhaddou is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and few local families still live in the tiny village, selling their traditional souvenirs to tourists.

About 130km northeast from Ouarzazate is the scenic Dades Valley.

Though it’s a bit far from Ouarzazate, it is on the route to the Sahara. So if you are driving past it anyways you should definitely stop here.

The Dades River has carved winding curves and valleys into the arid cliffside, and Todra Gorge, in particular, is a popular photo opportunity here. 

Ait ben haddou Morocco
You can see how these landscapes make for spectacular movie setttings

14) Sahara Desert

Some people visit Morocco solely to see the Sahara Desert.

As the largest hot desert on the planet, the Sahara is truly a natural phenomenon.

Morocco is perhaps the most convenient gateway into this sea of sand. 

The easiest way to visit the desert is to book a tour from Marrakech.

Although it is possible to do on your own through public transport and finding accommodation in one of the nearby towns. 

Most tours include round trip transport from Marrakech, which takes about 10 hours so be prepared for a long day of travel.

But upon reaching the desert, you can enjoy camel treks, free time to explore the dunes, traditional meals, stargazing, and wonderful hospitality. 

Merzouga is one of the most popular desert towns as it’s located right next to the massive Erg Chebbi Dunes.

Though this spot is very close to the Algerian Border, country lines don’t seem to matter at all as you gaze across seemingly endless ripples of soft golden sand. 

Another location for seeing the Sahara is the desert town of Mhamid, which leads to the Erg Chingaga Dunes.

Both dunes are beautiful, though the latter is a bit less touristy. No doubt the Sahara Desert is one of the best places to visit in Morocco.

Book a 3-day Safari Desert today!

sahara desert morocco
No trip to Morocco is complete without a trip to the Sahara Desert

15) Ouzoud Waterfalls

While staying in Marrakech, escape the city and venture to Ouzoud Waterfalls.

This area is very remote and there is no direct public transport from Marrakech, so the easiest option is to book a day tour.

For about 200-250 Dirhams, you can book a day trip with any of the countless tour agencies in Marrakech, and you’ll get round-trip transportation in a comfy minivan. 

This is a full-day adventure, as the drive takes about 3 hours each way and you’ll have a few hours to relax at the falls.

Once you step off the bus, a local will try to convince you to pay for a guided tour.

This isn’t necessary as it’s very easy to explore the falls yourself. 

The waterfalls are simply stunning, with multiple huge cascades thundering town towards the El-Abid River Gorge.

Stairs lead up and down the canyon of the falls so you can walk to the bottom and swim in the little pools at the base of the falls.

The same stairs lead up to a lookout point, where you can take in the view of the whole waterfall and watch the adorable Barbary Monkeys swing in the trees. 

ouzoud waterfalls morocco
Stunning views of the Ouzoud waterfalls

Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before your trip to Morocco!

We recommend World Nomads. Use this form to get your free quote today.

About the author

Gabby Boucher

After four years of working in hospitality, volunteering abroad and travelling for fun, Gabby has developed a knack for budget travel and admiration for different cultures. Her travels have taken her through the cloud forests of Ecuador, into the villages of eastern Europe, across the islands of Thailand, and to the beaches of New South Wales, Australia, where she is currently living with a working holiday visa. She plans to continue her adventures around the world for as long as possible. Follow her on her blog, and on Instagram.

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