Welcome to the enchanting land of Morocco. This captivating fusion of vibrant cultures, timeless traditions, and breathtaking desert landscapes has beckoned intrepid travelers for centuries. This North African gem effortlessly weaves together the threads of its rich history, resulting in a mesmerizing tapestry of sights, scents, and experiences just waiting to be explored. In this guide, we’ll unveil the top places in Morocco for travelers to visit.
From the bustling souks of Marrakech to the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert, the charm of Morocco’s rich heritage and breathtaking scenery is bound to leave you spellbound. We’re exploring the magical allure of this vibrant nation as we guide you through its best-loved attractions, hidden gems, and awe-inspiring adventures.
Morocco was one of the first countries I ever explored in-depth as a professional world traveler back in 2008. I returned in 2013 to unearth even more of its mysteries and fell in love with it, and I think you will, too. So, pack your bags, ignite your sense of adventure, and join me as we explore the top destinations that make Morocco a must-visit on every traveler’s bucket list.
Tangier, located in northern Morocco, is among the best places in Morocco for travelers. With its proximity to Spain and its multilingual residents, Tangier attracts visitors from all over Europe. Despite plans to turn the city into “Morocco’s San Tropez,” the city retains its charm and history with its labyrinthine Medina and its historic Old City walls.
One of the must-do activities in Tangier is to order a mint tea and people watch at one of the local open-air cafes. Café Tingis in Petit Socco, Café Baba in the Kasbah, and Café Hafa are my own personal recommendations. I also suggest exploring the Kasbah, a historical area that offers panoramic ocean and city views. Stay in one of its boutique hotels, soak up the history, and visit the Kasbah Museum.
The Medina, or Old City, is a labyrinth of cobblestone streets with a mix of architectural styles. It’s the perfect place to wander aimlessly and discover quirky shops selling unique items like antique doors, coffee tables, and fabrics. You’ll find more shopping options along Rue Les Almohades, and check out Grand Socco, the main square that separates the Medina from the modern city. The covered food market is a bustling mass of butchers, farmers, and fishermen that also should not be missed!
With its mix of old-world charm and modern developments, it’s no wonder Tangier is one of the top places in Morocco. It’s a joy to explore and is one of my favorite cities in North Africa!
No list of places in Morocco to visit would be complete without Casablanca. The largest city in Morocco, it is the economic hub of the country. It’s famous for its beautiful coastlines, mosques, and mouth-watering Moroccan cuisine. Visitors to Casablanca should remember that it is a large, bustling city and not a calm little desert village.
The Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, is a must-visit attraction that visitors can tour while abiding by a few rules. Rick’s Cafe, a bar modeled after the classic Casablanca movie, is another popular destination inside the Old Medina. If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay, the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca is a great option.
Other top attractions in Casablanca include Quartier Habous, Morocco Mall, and Medina (Old Town) of Casablanca. And travelers looking to explore the Moroccan coast will have a field day in this beautiful coastal city location. I highly recommend it for anyone visiting the top places in Morocco!
Fes is a stunning medieval city in Morocco that is thought of as the country’s cultural capital. The city offers impressive historical landmarks such as the Royal Palace of Fez, Aben Danan Synagogue, Borj Nord fortress, Merenid Tombs, Kairaouine Mosque, and Al-Attarine Madrasa. Visitors can explore these landmarks to admire the architecture, artifacts, and beautiful views of the city. It’s one of my favorite places in Morocco to experience its rich cultural heritage.
Additionally, the medina of Fes is the oldest and largest in North Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore the thousands of well-preserved alleys and enjoy the largest car-free urban area in the world. Stop by one of its many restaurants to try some tajines, or savory stews cooked in an earthen pot. They commonly contain chicken, meat, fish, couscous, lemon, vegetables, cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, saffron, and turmeric. And yes, they’re every bit as delicious as they sound!
It is important to know which signs to follow and consider staying in a hotel inside the medina to avoid getting lost in the narrow streets. The medina’s gates close at 7 pm, so plan accordingly. Also, if you get lost, don’t hesitate to ask a shop or restaurant owner for directions. Be cautious of scams, though, as some locals will prey on foreigners.
When people think of Morocco, they likely think of Marrakech. The fourth-largest city in the country, Marrakech is known for its sensory overload of colorful sights, sounds, and smells. Some of the must-visit attractions in Marrakech include the beautiful Bahia Palace, Jardin Majorelle botanical garden, and the El Badi Palace ruins. The city’s modern, more posh side is also popular among luxury tourists.
But Marrakech is probably best known for its labyrinthine souqs, or marketplaces. There, winding alleyways are lined with shops and vendors selling everything from pottery and jewelry to traditional textiles, fragrant oils, and colorful lamps. For a unique experience, visitors can also check out the Riad Yima Tea Room, the personal gallery of the “Andy Warhol of Marrakech.” The city is one of my favorite places in Morocco and an absolute must-visit for any traveler.
But for the ultimate Moroccan experience, I highly recommend spending some time in the Sahara Desert. It’s one of my must-visit places in Morocco because of how electric the experience is. Back in 2008, my team and I took a 12-hour bus ride into the desert for a true nomadic experience in the Sahara.
One of the top activities you can enjoy is a camel trek through the Sahara, where travelers can witness the stunning dunes and sunsets. Another popular activity is camping under the stars while enjoying traditional Moroccan music and food. More adventurous travelers can try their hand at sandboarding on the dunes. Hot air balloon rides over the desert give a bird’s eye view of the stunning scenery. Also, don’t miss out on visiting traditional Berber villages and learning about their culture. It’s a unique and rewarding experience that should not be missed.
I highly recommend hiring a company that offers 24 to 48-hour experiences like no other. Just, whatever you do, do not drink well water out in the desert. A friend of mine dumped a bucket of well water on my head, and I guess some got in my mouth, because it wasn’t long before I was vomiting uncontrollably, hours away from the nearest city or hospital. Not exactly a fun way to end an epic experience in the Sahara, but it’s a fun story to tell in hindsight!
It’s hard to understate the adventures that await curious travelers in Morocco. Whether you’re wandering the old medina in Tangier, dining on tagines in Fes, or shopping in the souks of Marrakech, every moment in this country is a glorious experience.
My favorite places in Morocco ignited my curiosity and made me yearn to learn more about the culture, food, and people. The biggest compliment I can give any destination is that I left wanting more. And even after two trips to the country, I know there’s much more I need to explore and experience. But for now, book a trip to check out the top places in Morocco you must visit. You won’t regret it!