Casablanca, made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, is not all that Morocco has to offer. Visitors to this former French colony can sun themselves on the coast or go snow skiing in the High Atlas Mountains, all while immersing themselves in the ancient cultures of the Arabic and Berber peoples.

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Morocco

In Marrakesh, you may get lost in the winding medinas, in Fez you can rock the kasbahs, and in Casablanca you can experience a blend of modernity and tradition. The vast Sahara desert lures tourists, and Atlantic coastal locations are ideal for kitesurfers, so getting away from it all is easy to do.

Top 10 Places to Visit in Morocco

The past is ever-present in this vibrant country, whether you’re trying out the cuisine at a souk or basking in the sun in a whitewashed seaside village. Here is a rundown of some of the top attractions in Morocco:

1. Sidi Ifni

Sidi Ifni, a little fishing village in the southwest of Morocco, is a beautiful destination. There are some stunning beaches, excellent surf places, and jaw-dropping granite formations to be found there. The Berber village has a rich history and culture to explore, as it was only returned to Morocco in 1969 after decades under Spanish rule.

The city’s bright blue and white paint job makes it stand out beautifully from the barren landscape, and the scattered Art Deco structures add a touch of class. Sidi Ifni is known for its relaxed atmosphere, although the town’s seafront, souk, and old Spanish Town are home to bustling cafes and restaurants.

The Atlantic Ocean waves that crash on its magnificent beach are a major lure. You can go surfing or kitesurfing, or you can just relax and soak in the breathtaking views and towering cliffs of the shore. Many visitors to Sidi Ifni also stop by nearby Legzira Beach, where a striking rock arch rises 30 metres into the air.

2. Rabat

Morocco’s capital Rabat is worth a visit, despite the fact that it’s not as well-known as Agadir, Casablanca, or Marrakech. Located on the country’s northwest coast, it is one of four imperial cities and borders the Atlantic Ocean.

Rabat is a beautiful city to explore, with palm tree-lined boulevards and an enchanting old medina, as well as numerous important historical and cultural attractions. The city’s vast Royal Palace and stunning Art Deco church are indeed impressive, but the kasbah, which has been remarkably well kept, is the real draw.

A charming old mosque may be found here, along with an exquisite Andalusian Garden and a magnificent museum detailing the history of the expansive grounds.

Behind its massive stone walls lies a stunningly gorgeous blue and white community filled with amazing architecture. The views of the ocean, the city of Rabat, and its wide public beach are breathtaking from the kasbah.

3. Meknes

Meknes, a city in northern Morocco next to the city of Fes, is sometimes referred to as the “City of a Hundred Minarets” due to its plethora of historical landmarks, including mosques, palaces, and pavilions.

Meknes, which was established in the 9th century by a Berber tribe, became a prominent fortified town in the 11th century. Meknes was expanded upon and made the imperial capital of Morocco by Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 1700s.

The city’s historical greatness and importance set it apart from other Moroccan cities. Very few other locations provide such a personal glimpse into Morocco’s illustrious past. It is also the closest major city to the Volubilis Roman remains.

The Dar Jamai palace is set in a beautiful landscape and features a museum with imperial regalia. The Sultan’s mausoleum and extravagant palace, Dar El Makhzen, are other must-sees. The Bab Mansour is one of the most well-known monument gates in all of Meknes.

The 11th-century gate was designed by El Mansour, who was afterwards killed for his trouble. The architect’s admission that he was disappointed with his work led the Sultan to have him beheaded immediately.

The impressive gate, which is decorated with mosaics of beautiful cobalt blue tiles and columns of marble salvaged from Roman ruins, now carries the architect’s name. Meknes has a relaxed vibe despite its wealth of ancient landmarks thanks to its high student population.

In addition to the pleasant and accommodating shopkeepers, the bustling marketplace also features jugglers, musicians, and fire-swallowers. The city thrives thanks to its location on the lush plains at the foot of the Atlas Mountains.

Meknes is packed with must-do activities that are sure to surprise and please any traveller. They include indulging in locally sourced olives and citrus, seeing a subterranean jail from the 11th century, and wandering the grounds of an ancient palace.

4. Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen, one of Morocco’s loveliest and most photogenic cities, is located in the Rif Mountains in the country’s northwest. This is mostly due to the fact that all the buildings in the old medina have been painted a lovely shade of blue, making them pop out all the more against the dusty background.

The colourful old town, also known as the “Blue Pearl,” has meandering small streets full of exquisite Moroccan and Andalusian architecture, making it a pleasure to get lost in. They will take you to the centuries-old kabash and the bustling souk, where you can buy local handicrafts and leatherwares, by way of innumerable little cafes, traditional eateries, and modest hotels.

While the medina is the most famous part of Chefchaouen, the mountains and hills outside the city offer beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, and vantage points that are well worth exploring. Talasemtane National Park, for example, is close by and has many beautiful hiking trails that pass through cliffs and tall mountains with breathtaking panoramas in every direction.

5. Asilah

Asilah, now a prominent beach resort town, has a rich history dating back to 1500 BC, when it served as a major Phoenician trading post. Pirates utilised it as a home base in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Ancient fortifications still surround the revitalised medina. Asilah is roughly 30 kilometres (20 miles) from Tangier, on the northern coast of Morocco. Moroccans flock there during the summer, so visitors hoping to avoid the crowds should go in the spring or fall.

The structures in this picture-perfect setting have all been whitewashed. There are numerous low-cost lodging options, as well as a burgeoning culinary and creative community. Paradise beach, located roughly 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of Asilah, is a beautiful, expansive stretch of sand that is popular with both locals and visitors alike.

6. Essaouira

Essaouira, a port city on Morocco’s Atlantic coast that dates back to the 18th century, is a famous tourist destination. Kiteboarding, windsurfing, and other wind sports seem especially beautiful against the backdrop of whitewashed houses with azure blue shutters.

Traditional arts and crafts like thuya wood carving and cabinet manufacturing may be seen throughout the city’s medina. The argan oil industry is well-established in this region as well, and the women’s cooperatives that process the argan nuts are easy to spot thanks to their distinctive white robes.

A natural harbour, Essaouira was once known as Mogador. Its protected harbour has made it a desirable destination since since the 1st century, when Roman traders came to acquire purpura shells for use in making purple dye.

The Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah Museum displays Roman era relics. The city was once surrounded by fortifications, and many of these walls are still visible today. The fortifications, commissioned by the Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah, are a fusion of European military design and African aesthetics.

The harbour is now one of Morocco’s most important fishing ports, and the city’s restaurants and seaside vendors feature seafood of all kinds, from lobster to grilled sardines.

Essaouira has emerged in recent years as a major cultural hub as well. There is a proliferation of art galleries, and the city annually hosts the four-day Gnaoua Festival of World Music, which showcases a wide variety of musical styles, including traditional Gnaoua African music.

Essaouira is plenty of exciting activities for tourists, including as camel rides along the beach and visits to the nearby bird refuge on Falcon Island.

7. Fes

Fes (sometimes spelt Fez) has been the capital of Morocco since its founding in 789. The third largest city in Morocco is increasingly better known as the country’s handcraft hub. If you want to feel the authentic atmosphere of a Moroccan souk, Fes is the place to go.

The government is making significant efforts to restore the medina of Fes el Bali, a historic old town. The medina is home to almost 150,000 people, making it the most populous city centre without roads suitable for automobiles.

Narrow walkways and alleys lined with souks and stores feature traditional adobe architecture and courtyards decorated with mosaic tiles. Exploring the old medina of Fes and stumbling into artisans at work or selling their items is a major highlight of any trip to the city.

Nearly everyone gets around on foot, while donkeys are occasionally employed as mode of transportation. Much of Morocco’s renowned cobalt blue ceramic tiles are produced in the medina.

The Dar Batha Museum, housed in a Moorish palace from the 18th century, features an impressive collection of ceramic tiles in addition to other examples of Fes’s traditional arts and crafts, such as woodwork, copperwork, and plaster sculpture.

The Karaouiyine mosque in Fes also houses a medersa, often regarded as the world’s oldest university. The Bou Inania medersa is very beautiful, with its copper doors, minaret, and stalactite-domed entrance hall.

Fes, the historic imperial capital, is home to a contemporary and comfortable Ville Nouvelle, or New City, similar to those seen in many other Moroccan cities today.

8. High Atlas

From the coast of Morocco to the city of Alergia is a mountain range known as the High Atlas. Toubkal National Park, home to Jbel Toubkal, Morocco’s highest peak at 4,160 metres (13,670 ft), is located inside the range.

Imlil, a Berber settlement, is an ideal jumping off point for an ascent of Toubkal. The High Atlas is the highest mountain range in North Africa and provides year-round options for outdoor activity, from snow sports in the winter to trekking in the summer.

The Todra Gorge, located in the Tinerhir region east of the High Atlas Mountains, is a renowned tourist destination in Morocco. Canyons with sheer cliff walls have been sculpted out of the mountains by the Todra and the nearby Dades rivers.

The most breathtaking sights can be seen in the final 600 metres (2,000 feet) of the Todra gorge. At-Benhaddou, a historic Mud Brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains, has been featured in many films, such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.

9. Merzouga

Merzouga, a little village in the Sahara Desert not far from the Algerian border, has become a popular starting point for visitors eager to discover the region’s many attractions. Erg Chebbi’s gigantic dunes, which can be over 300 metres tall, tower over the landscape.

Most visitors come to see these massive sandscapes, and they do so by engaging in activities like hiking, quad biking, and camel safaris. Many tourists spend the night in the desert so they can see the colourful sunrises and sunsets over the dunes.

There are now more hotels in Merzouga than there were when it was just a stopover for Arab and Berber traders on their journey to Timbuktu. All of these tours are accessible regardless of your financial situation, and they will take you out into the desert to see the sights and feel the sand.

10. Marrakech

Marrakech, one of Morocco’s royal cities, is known as the Red City because to the colour of its sandstone architecture. The Almoravides, a Berber dynasty, established Marrakech as a major economic, religious, philosophical, and cultural hub in the 11th century. Most of what was constructed during the reign of the Almoravides, including red sandstone fortifications, opulent palaces, and Koranic schools, survives to this day.

The Rolling Stones, Yves Saint Laurent, and The Beatles were among the many renowned people that visited the “hippie mecca” of Marrakech in the 1960s. Beautiful historic buildings and courtyards with orange, palm, apricot, and olive trees make Marrakech one of Africa’s most visited cities.