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Top 9 Best Places to Visit in Morocco

Top 9 Best Places to Visit in Morocco

Planning a trip to Morocco, and unsure how to spend your time? It’s hard to decide which of the best places to visit in Morocco when all of them sound amazing.

If you have the time and can spend two weeks in Morocco, you’ll be able to visit some amazing places in Morocco. We’ve put together this list of the nine best places in Morocco to help you decide where to go when putting together your Morocco itinerary.

Best Time to Visit Morocco

When planning your trip to Morocco, you’ll need to figure out the best time to visit. While there are plenty of activities to do throughout the year, it’s essential to take the weather and variable seasons into consideration.

The best time to visit Morocco is during the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn. Although the weather can vary from city to city, the temperatures are quite pleasant. Whether you’re planning to visit just one or even 10 of the best places to visit in Morocco, spring and autumn are the ideal times to visit Morocco.

Summer can be extremely humid, especially if you plan on spending time in the mountains or desert. Although this is a quiet time for tourists (which means cheaper flights and accommodation), the scorching weather makes it almost impossible to be outdoors for more than a few minutes.

If you plan to travel in winter, then you can also expect sunny weather. However, temperatures dip at night and can be cold. You also need to remember that not all riads – or family-run inns – have heating, so you’ll need to pack extra layers to stay warm during these months.

Best Places in Morocco

Blue boats floating in the sea in front of old fort in Essaouria - Places to visit in Morocco

1. Essaouira

When many people think of Morocco, they probably don’t imagine fishing boats and beaches. However, this charming, seaside town is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Morocco. Best of all, it’s only a short drive from Marrakech, which makes it an easy Marrakech day trip for visitors.

Situated on the Atlantic coast, Essaouira is a welcome break from the chaotic bustle of cities like Marrakech or Fes. Portuguese, French, and Jewish influences can be seen through the stunning architecture and vibrant culture, which only adds to the unique atmosphere of the town.

Although Essaouira has a small medina, most travelers come for the laid-back vibes and colorful 18th-century port side village. There are several beaches in the area, but the weather is often too windy for sunbathing or swimming. However, the strong winds make it one of the best destinations for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

On our two weeks in Morocco trip, we visited all the best places to visit in Morocco on this list, and Essaouria was our last stop and our favorite stop of the entire Morocco itinerary. We know we’ll spend more time here on our next trip to Morocco.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Essaouira

1. Food – If you’re a foodie, then you’ll love the wide variety of fresh seafood in Essaouira. Don’t miss a visit to the Essaouira Fish Market to see local fishermen selling their fresh catches of the day.

2. History – Visit the Skala Port Ramparts and experience the historic medieval side of Essaouira. The fortified ramparts were once the city’s defense system against potential attackers that came by boat.

3. Kitesurfing –Outdoor enthusiasts should try their hand at kite surfing. Thanks to the strong winds, you’ll find dozens of kite surfers sailing across the ocean on any given day.

man leading a group of camels in the Sahara Desert at sunset

2. Sahara Desert

No trip to Morocco would be complete without trekking through the largest desert in the world. With 500-foot dunes and endless miles of orange and yellow sand, the Sahara Desert is a bucket-list item for many travelers.

If you plan to visit the desert, you should allow at least three days. The journey into the Sahara is not an easy one, and you’ll likely be driving a car or riding a camel for hours before reaching your campsite. However, the tranquil isolation of being in one of the most majestic wonders on earth is a feeling that you need to experience to believe.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit the Sahara Desert

1. Dunes – The most picturesque dunes in the desert are located at Erg Chebbi. This is where you’ll see the massive, iconic sand dunes that can reach up to 500 feet in height.

2. Sleep under the stars – There’s nothing quite like camping out in the desert under the stars. Most campsites will roll out the red carpet upon your arrival and treat you to a home-cooked meal, live music, and traditional Moroccan dancing.

3. Camel Ride – For an authentic experience, take a fun camel ride through the desert. Make sure to wear comfortable pants, as the ride can be rough and bumpy!

Road through the Atlas Mountains - Places to see in Morocco

3. The High Atlas Mountains

Whether you’re interested in hiking, snowboarding, or sandboarding, the Atlas Mountains are a diverse outdoor playground just waiting to be explored. There aren’t many places in North Africa where you’ll find dunes, steep valleys, and flowing waterfalls all in one area.

Head to the High Atlas, where you can hike up 14,000 feet to the peak of Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in Morocco. Or go to the Middle Atlas to visit the Ifrane National Park. Don’t forget to visit one of the many Berber villages dotted throughout the mountains, which offer a rare glimpse into traditional Moroccan life.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit the Atlas Mountains

1. Ait Ben Haddou Village – The iconic Ait Ben Haddou village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ripped straight from the pages of a movie. Surrounded by lush greenery, these orange mud buildings are traditional merchant houses or Kasbahs.

2. Ouzoud Waterfall – Be dazzled by the cascading Ouzoud Waterfall in the High Atlas Mountains. Visiting these dramatic falls is one of the most unique things to do in Morocco.

3. Dades Valley – Spend an afternoon hiking the Dades Valley, a hiker’s paradise nestled between canyons and traditional villages.

Night view of the Marrakech Medina - Top destinations in Morocco

4. Marrakech

From the narrow, winding alleys in the medina to the chaotic souk stalls in the markets, Marrakech is a fascinating city bursting with life. One step inside this ancient walled city and you’ll see why it’s a must-see destination on your Moroccan itinerary.

As one of the busiest cities in the country, Marrakech can be overwhelming at first glance. However, you’ll be able to dive deep into Moroccan culture and history if you come with an open mind. Between the colorful mosques and lush gardens, you can easily find an escape if you need a break from the action.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Marrakech

1. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square – Located in the heart of the city, Jemaa el-Fnaa Square is the center of daily life here in Marrakech. With snake charmers, street food stalls, and live performers, there is always something happening here at every hour.

2. Souks – Shop ‘til you drop at Souk Semmarine. Here, you can buy everything from gold jewelry and leather to handmade sandals and spices.

3. Kutubiyya Mosque – Visit the Kutubiyya Mosque and marvel at the largest mosque in all of Marrakech. It’s recognizable by its 253-foot tower, which proudly looms over the entire old city.

Men dying leather at the Fez leather tanneries - Places to visit in Morocco

5. Fes

Known for its production of leather, Fes is a memorable stop during your trip to Morocco. It’s one of the oldest cities in the country, with a history that dates back more than 1,500 years.

Fes is considered the country’s cultural capital, and you won’t have to look far to find something historical as you wander through this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s less touristy and more authentic than Marrakech, which means you can truly experience an authentic side of Morocco.

Between the busy souks and 13th-century landmarks, it’s one of the best things to do in Morocco.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Fes

1. Leather Tanneries – Head to the city rooftops for a birds-eye view of the leather tanneries. You’ll be able to watch local craftsmen at work as they cut, dye, and dry cowhides before they are turned into commercial products.

2. Fes el-Bali – Fes el-Bali is considered the best-preserved town in the Arab world. Not only is it the world’s largest pedestrian-only area, but it’s also a great place to pick up a few souvenirs.

3. Quaraouiyine Mosque – The spectacular Quaraouiyine Mosque is one of the largest mosques in North Africa, with room to accommodate over 20,000 people. It’s also home to one of the oldest libraries and universities in the world.

View of the exterior of the Ouarzazate ancient Berber Village

6. Ouarzazate

As you head into the Sahara Desert, you’ll inevitably stop at Ouarzazate, a local village that’s been the setting for many Hollywood movies. This charming town is home to many bright orange buildings, which are juxtaposed against the rich green of palm and date trees.

Located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, it’s mainly visited by travelers heading towards the dunes. However, you can still find several fascinating things if you plan to stay for a few days.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Ouarzazate

1. Atlas Film Studios – Take a peek at some of the biggest blockbusters that were filmed at Ouarzazate with a visit to the Atlas Film Studios.

2. Telouet Kasbah – Dating back to the 18th-century, the Telouet Kasbah was once the heart of the trans-Saharan trade route. You can still visit the crumbling halls and reception rooms in this traditional Kasbah.

3. Fint Oasis – Experience real paradise in the desert at Fint Oasis. Often unvisited by tourists, this undiscovered village is marked by palm trees and lush gardens.

View of the exterior of the Hassan II Mosque Casablanca - Must see Morocco

7. Casablanca

With a mix of art deco buildings, swaying palm trees, and towering skyscrapers, Casablanca is the largest and one of the most important cities in Morocco. Unlike other cities and villages nearby, Casablanca is by far the most modern city in the country.

If you plan to visit Casablanca, you’ll notice a strong western and European influence. Between the architecture, food, and way of life, Casablanca is all about progress and expansion. Although there are some historic sites to see, you should be prepared for a big-city experience.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Casablanca

1. Hassan II Mosque – Overlooking the ocean, the magnificent Hassan II Mosque is a must-see landmark in Casablanca. It took over 6,000 people to build and currently holds 25,000 worshipers inside.

2. Corniche Boardwalk – Take a stroll down the oceanfront boardwalk of the Corniche. You’ll find plenty of hotels, shops, theaters, and restaurants to keep you entertained all evening.

3. Africa’s Largest Theater – The modern Grand Théâtre de Casablanca is Africa’s largest theater. With tall, angular towers, this massive building is an architectural masterpiece.

Man in a red robe walking in the town of Chefchaouen Morocco - Top Places to Visit

8. Chefchaouen

You may recognize this quaint village plastered all over your Instagram feed. Located in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is marked by strikingly blue buildings and cobblestone alleys. As you walk through the streets marveling at the bright blue homes, you’ll see why there’s no place like the Blue Pearl of Morocco.

It’s unclear why most of the buildings are painted blue. Some believe that it’s to ward off mosquitos, while others think it’s a reminder to remain humble and spiritual.

Beside the village’s color, Chefchaouen is also a great place to experience authentic Moroccan life. The town itself isn’t very big, and you can probably see most sights in just one or two days.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Chefchauouen

1. Sunset over the Blue City – A short 10-minute stroll outside the city takes you to a lookout point with unparalleled views over the entire village. It’s a great place to go to watch the sunset or sunrise over the blue city.

2. Bazaars – If you want to pick up some local goodies, shop for handicrafts at one of the little bazaars. You’ll find powdered paints, hand-dyed rugs, and much more.

3. Rif Mountains – Stretch your legs and get some fresh air as you hike up the Rif Mountains. There are several hiking trails of varying levels of steepness that start in the city center.

windy road through the mountains of Morocco

9. Tinghir

Located in Southern Morocco, Tinghir is a stunning oasis known for its vivid green palm trees. With the dusty orange mountains as the backdrop, Tinghir feels like an entirely different world compared to what you would expect from a Moroccan village.

Although the town itself contains roughly 44,000 people, the surrounding area is teeming with little villages. Strap on your comfy hiking boots and set out to explore the neighboring towns on a short walk. You’ll find small farms growing vegetables, manicured gardens with fruit trees, and small, flowing canals along the way.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Tinghir

1. Todgha Gorge – Marvel at the steep canyons and limestone valleys of the Todgha Gorge. Just a short drive from Tinghir, it is a great area for hiking or rock climbing.

2. Pure Relaxation – Although you’re at the foothills of a mountain, you can still find some peace and relaxation in the oasis. Grab a couple of snacks and some bottled water while you unwind underneath the swaying palm trees. The sheer quietness of the area will have you well rested in no time.

3. Ikalalne Afanour Mosque – At the entrance to the old town sits the Ikalalne Afanour Mosque. Here, you’ll be able to walk inside the prayer area and see the rooftop deck, which boasts dramatic views of the entire Kasbah.

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A Half open Moorish Door with tile work wall - Pinterest Pin for Places to visit in Morocco