13 essential experiences during your stay in Morocco

by | Jul 3, 2023 | Blog

What to see in Morocco: the 13 must-sees
Things to do in Morocco
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Morocco is that magical and surprising country that never leaves anyone indifferent. The African country closest to Europe, union between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, able to move from the mountains of the Atlas mountain range to the Sahara desert. Morocco hides cities with medinas that catch the visitor, amazing nature and a rich heritage. Discover in this article, as an introduction, what to see in Morocco and start preparing your next trip.

Morocco is a millenary kingdom that has important cities and an undoubted historical footprint. Four of them are called Imperial Cities, which are only the different capitals that the country has had at some point in its history. To travel them is to enter fully into the path of this kingdom throughout the last centuries. Of course, all of them are the most beautiful cities in Morocco.

Marrakech, the liveliest city
Fez, the cultural capital
Meknès, the beautiful stranger
Rabat, the capital of Morocco
The Mosque of Casablanca
Tangier, in the Strait of Gibraltar
Ksar by Ait Ben Haddou
Deserts of Zagora and Merzouga
Chefchaouen, the blue village of Morocco
Essaouira (Esauira), a surfing mecca
Ouzoud waterfalls
Volubilis, the ancient Roman city
Todra and Dadès Gorges
Marrakech, the liveliest city
Marrakech is an indispensable city in every trip to Morocco. Founded in 1062 by the Almoravids, it was capital between 1071 and 1244, as well as between 1511 and 1554, during the Almoravid, Almohad and Saadi dynasties. Marrakech, the Red City, is the southernmost of the large Moroccan cities. Far from Europe, inland and close to the Sahara, a privileged place of passage for Berber caravans and military camp that ended up being capital.

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But for one thing Marrakech is known for its Medina. The heart of the city, a World Heritage Site, is a host of labyrinthine and bustling streets where merchants, artisans, mosques, palaces and walls are concentrated. Getting lost in its alleys is the best way to get to know this incredible place.

Marrakech has many other attractions, such as the Bay Palace, the Koutoubia Mosque and the Menara Gardens. In short, visiting Marrakech you will understand why for many people it is the most beautiful city in Morocco.

Marrakech
Marrakech

Fez, the cultural capital
In the heart of Morocco, on the route linking Rabat and Algiers, lies Fez, the so-called cultural capital of the country. Fez was the capital of Morocco several times, between the 9th and 10th centuries, between 1244 and 1554, several times in the 17th century and between 1727 and 1912, when Rabat took the baton.

To visit Fez you will need two or three days, as it has an important legacy declared World Heritage by Unesco. Undoubtedly, its main reference is the medina Fez-el-Bali, a large medieval quarter of the 9th century that has a network of 9,000 streets where getting lost is the most common. It is considered the largest pedestrian area in the world.

The attractions of Fez are countless: the Al Karaouine mosque, the Attarine madrasa, the Royal Palace, the different souks, the city gates, the fountains… In addition, from Fez you can enter the desert of Merzouga to spend a night in a jaima.

Fez Morocco
Fez

Meknès, the beautiful stranger
Meknes, or Meknes, is 60 kilometres west of Fez, on the way to Rabat. It was capital between 1672 and 1727, which left an architectural and urban legacy that has earned it the declaration of World Heritage. Responsible for the city’s rise was Sultan Mulay Ismail, who established the capital in Meknès and ordered a city to be designed at will. 40 kilometers of walls, palaces, gates… The mausoleum with the tomb of Ismail is here.

Unlike the other imperial cities, Meknès is quieter. Its medina is much more digestible for the visitor than those of Marrakech or Fez. But if there is anything that impacts, that is the Bab el-Mansour Gate, from 1732 and considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Meknès will surprise you.

Meknès
Meknès

Rabat, the capital of Morocco
Rabat has been the capital of Morocco since 1912, when the French Protectorate of Morocco began. Although the capital of the country and having the appeal of the Atlantic Ocean, Rabat is less touristic than the other imperial cities.

Rabat combines antiquity and modernity. Its main monument is the Hassan Tower, a 12th-century minaret that was intended to be the tallest tower. Next to it, the mausoleum of Mohammed V, royal pantheon in white marble where the remains of him and Hassan II, father of the current king, lie. The Kasbah of the Udayas and the medina, with its famous walls, are also two places of special interest in the Moroccan capital.

Rabat
Rabat

The Mosque of Casablanca
It’s probably the most majestic mosque in Morocco. The Mosque of Hassan II of Casablanca impacts by its size, being the second largest in the world after that of Mecca. It has a 200-metre minaret with a laser beam pointing towards the holy city. Inside the temple, a room with capacity for 20,000 faithful and a retractable ceiling that allows you to see the sky.

The Casablanca Mosque (1993) is the only one in Morocco that allows entry to non-Muslims, a magnificent opportunity to enter such an important place for Islam. Its location, close to the sea, is striking.

Mosque of Casablanca
Mosque of Casablanca

Tangier, in the Strait of Gibraltar
Tangier is the northernmost city in Morocco and therefore the closest to Europe. In the heart of the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier was a coveted city throughout history and has been in the hands of different empires and European countries.

Its proximity to Spain, with international port and airport, and its long coast, make Tangier a tourist city with multicultural touches, thanks to its European past. Among its essential landmarks are the Great Mosque, the medina, the square 9 April, Cape Espartel and the Caves of Hercules.

Tanger beach
Tanger

Ksar by Ait Ben Haddou
One of the most magical places in Morocco is the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. A ksar is a fortified city, common in the southern part of the country. Inside, Ait Ben Haddou hides labyrinthine streets and buildings of traditional materials such as adobe, wood or straw. It is also an icon of cinema. There were scenes from countless films and series, such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator or Game of Thrones.

Passing through the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou is also a great idea to make some of the best known routes, such as the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs, the traditional Moroccan construction of adobe so common in this area.

General view of Ait Ben Haddou
Ksar by Ait Ben Haddou

Deserts of Zagora and Merzouga
Hiking to the desert, or even sleeping in the desert, are two plans that anyone exploring Morocco should include in their wish list. Without having to go to the distant Sahara, from Marrakech there are two simpler possibilities to experience the feeling of the sands: the deserts of Zagora and Merzouga.

The Zagora desert is about 360 kilometers from Marrakech and has a rather rocky character. The Merzouga Desert is 560 kilometres from Marrakech and has large dunes, some of them over 150 metres high. Being further away, going to Merzouga is a three-day excursion, between journeys and night there. In addition to sleeping, in both you can do camel rides or quad.

Abandoned house in the Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Desert

Chefchaouen, the blue village of Morocco
Located in the interior of the northern part of Morocco, in the foothills of the Rif,…

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