15 Best Things to do in Morocco – Ultimate Travel Guide
Morocco offers really amazing things to do and so it’s no wonder that this travel country is currently one of the most popular destinations. From the eternally vast desert to the snow-capped mountains of the High Atlas Mountains, from the lonely beaches of the Atlantic coast to the colorful markets of imperial cities like Fes and Marrakech, from lush oases to ancient mud villages – the attractions in Morocco are extremely colorful, exotic and diverse. When traveling through Morocco you can look forward to a few unique sights and unforgettable activities. But what are the best places to visit in Morocco? With a seemingly endless selection of attractions it’s not easy to keep track of.
In this blog post we have summarized the most interesting, unique and best things to do in Morocco at a glance. In addition, you will get some extra travel information about where to stay, withdraw money, what to eat and shop.
What to do in Morocco – best attractions & activities
Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities in the country and a visit is definitely one of the best things to do in Morocco. Because of its red clay buildings, it is also called the red city. Here you can visit colorful markets and experience the hustle and bustle including snake charmers, fortune tellers and water vendors at Jemaa el-Fnaa, the city’s central marketplace. During a tour of the Medina (Old Town) you will walk past magnificent buildings and beautiful palaces, such as the Bahia Palace, one of the main attractions of Marrakech. Or visit the Jardin-Majorelle, a magical exotic garden that is one of the most fascinating places to visit inside the city. Read more about Marrakech: Marrakech in 3 days: Itinerary and Tips for Marrakech
Tip: Riads are beautiful small hotels inside a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard. Especially in Marrakech there are a lot of these accommodations. As a hotel tip we can recommend you the really beautiful and reasonably priced Riad Irene.
Ait-Ben-Haddou is an ancient village in the southeast of the country and also one of the most important and beautiful attractions in Morocco. This small, pretty mud town was built around 1,000 years ago and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to the imposing architecture of the clay buildings and the fabulous ambience Ait-Ben-Haddou was often taken for scenes of famous movies. Located on the edge of the Atlas Mountains, just 100 kilometers from Marrakech, it is a popular destination for day trips. But also an overnight stay in this romantic mud town is worthwhile. Then you can experience the city at sunrise and enjoy an incredibly beautiful atmosphere.
More about here: Ait-Ben-Haddou & High Atlas Mountain Road
Travel tip: For Ait-Ben Haddou we can recommend staying at the Paradise of Silence. This amazing accommodation thrilles with beautiful rooms, the pool and really delicious Moroccan cuisine!
Here are some recommended day trips from Marrakech:
The High Atlas is the highest mountain range in the country and another unique place to visit in Morocco. These mountains are a popular spot for trekking tours and nature walks. But also skiing is in some areas of the High Atlas possible. On the way from Marrakech to the south of the country, you cross the mountain range over the Tizi n Tichka Pass and admire a partly rough, partly very lush landscape. Particularly fascinating here are the clay villages, which are built directly into the mountain slopes.
Popular trekking tours can be found here:
Oasis Tinghir & Todra Gorge
Another important thing to do in Morocco is a visit to the spectacular Todra Gorge. Located in the eastern Atlas Mountains, it is usually a fixed program point of any Morocco roundtrips the country. It is one of the most important gorges in the country and impresses with dramatic cliffs, ancient Kasbahs and beautiful oasis landscapes. The canyon starts at the Oasis of Tinghir, whose lush palm groves are wonderful for nature walks.
More about here: Todra Gorge and the beautiful Oasis Tinghir
Ouarzazate, a city about 200 kilometers south of Marrakech, is best known for its movie studios. One of them are the Atlas Corporation studios which are one of the most famous. Scenes of Game of Thrones, Gladiator and the Medicus were filmed here in the local studios. If there is not a movie production going on then these studios can even be visited. Another highlight of Ouarzazate is the Kasbah Taourirt, a huge castle made of rammed earth. This attraction can also be visited from the inside, which is impressive and recommendable.
El Kelaa des Mgouna – Rose Valley
The Rose Valley, also known as El-Kelâa M’Gouna, is still one of the secret places in Morocco. In this beautiful oasis, roses are cultivated, and the extract is used as ingredients for perfumes and cosmetics. The Rose Valley is particularly beautiful at the end of April to May, because during this time the roses bloom in all their splendor. During this period, the rose harvest and the famous Rose Festival take place. But also outside of this travel time, the oasis is really idyllic and enchanted with beautiful landscapes and panoramas. Hike along the M’Gouna River to experience quaint clay villages and immerse yourself in traditional Moroccan rural life.
Special recommendation: Perched high above the valley you will find the Dar Timitar, a lovely guesthouse with breathtaking views over the Rose Valley. Staying there was one of the highlight of our Morocco trip.
The approximately 45-kilometer-long Dades Gorge is famous for its magical mountain scenery, the gigantic rock formations and its impressive Kasbahs – the old traditional clay buildings. This gorge is one of the most famous natural attractions and therefore one of the best places to visit. The ultimate attraction of the Dades Gorge are the spectacular serpentines, a dizzying zig-zag road that leads into the mountains. Also, the steep and narrow cliffs at the end of the gorge are worth seeing and should not be missed.
Tip: From Cafe Timzzillite you can enjoy the most beautiful view over the Dades Gorge and admire the spectacular street.
One of the most famous places to visit in Morocco is the Sahara, the largest desert on earth. The most popular are desert tours in Merzouga, more specifically trips to the dunes of the Erg Chebbi, which are up to 180 meters high. Nowhere in Morocco is the desert more beautiful than in this region. On a camel ride you marvel at a sea of golden yellow, never ending sand dunes and the eternal expanse of the Sahara. An unforgettable experience is spending a night under the sky of the desert, watching the stars and listening to the silence of the night. Certainly, one of the best things to do in Morocco!
Travel Tip: Here in Merzouga you should spend the night in a traditional Berber tent. Recommended here is the Erg Chebbi Camp, one of the best desert camps in Merzouga. It’s really amazing what comfort you can find in the desert!
Popular excursions from Marrakech:
Another famous landmark in Morocco is Fes, the imperial city in the northeast of the country. Because the medina is the undisputed religious, cultural and artisanal center of Morocco, many refer it as the cultural capital of the country, Here, in Fes el Bali, you lose yourself in a huge labyrinth of alleys, a jumble of souks and shops. Hardly any city in Morocco polarizes more. Because this place is known for its extraordinary atmosphere and the immense excitement. In addition to historical madrasas, impressive mosques and city palaces, the tanneries are among the city’s main attractions. For a long time, the finest leather goods have been produced in the colorful tanning and dyeing troughs.
Read more about Fez: Best Things to do in Fez | Morocco
Chefchaouen – The Blue City
A visit of the Blue City Chefchaouen is one of the best things to do in Morocoo and therefore a fixed stop at many tours. The reason for this is the extremely beautiful old town with its charming narrow streets, the small squares, which are all painted in blue colors. According to stories, the blue should protect against evil eyes. A walk through Chefchaouen reveals something new on every corner, you browse in small shops and enjoy delicious mint tea in one of the local cafes.
Hotel tip: A really beautiful riad located in the heart of Chefchaouens and with great rooftop terrace is the Dar Swiar.
Atlantic coast in Morocco
Another highlight in Morocco is its almost 2,000 kilometers long Atlantic coast, characterized by steep cliffs, the roaring ocean and beautiful beaches. But also the picturesque coastal cities such as Essaouira, Rabat, Casablanca, El Jadida and Safi fascinate visitors from all over the world. Particularly beautiful are the lagoons and beaches of the seaside destination Oualidia, a really idyllic spot and insider tip among morocco travelers. Due to the optimal wind conditions surfing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding can all be practiced on many beaches at the Atlantic coast. If you plan an itinerary by car then visiting the Atlantic Coast is one of the best things you can do in Morocco!
The pretty harbor town Essaouira is probably one of the most famous sights in Morocco and even stars like Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Cat Stevens were regulars of this enchanting city by the sea. Due to the strong trade winds it is also known as the city of the winds. The eternally long sandy beach, the perfect winds and sea conditions make this port city to an absolute Mecca for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing. But also peace seekers feel comfortable here in Essaouira. In addition, the beautiful town offers many interesting sights, a pretty medina and a small fish market.
Read more about Essaouira: Best Things to do in Essaouira | Morocco
Casablanca is the largest city in the country, but unfortunately many travelers do miss this interesting place. It’s a pity, because also here are many cool things to discover. Such as the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world. Located directly on the Atlantic coast, it enchants with impressive architecture and the many beautiful mosaics. But also the beach promenade La Corniche is worth a stopover. Here you can relax in one of the many outdoor pools and enjoy a unique atmosphere in the many restaurants and cafes. A real insider tip away from the typical tourist route.
Rabat, the Moroccan capital, is also located on the Atlantic coast and belongs to one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. The white royal city is a lot quieter and more relaxed than for example the lively Fez. The medina and the souks are not quite as winding and confusing, as in other Moroccan cities. Especially lovely is a walk along the harbor and the fortification wall. From here you have a wonderful view of the deep blue sea, the old town and the neighboring Sale. The main attraction of Rabat is the 44-meter-high Hassan tower and the mausoleum Mohammed V.
The spectacular Ouzoud waterfalls are a very popular destination for tours from Marrakech and are on the list of the most beautiful nature attractions in Morocco. About 200 kilometers northeast of the red city lies the town Ouzoud and its eponymous waterfalls. Over three levels, the Oued Ouzoud river plunges into the depths – a natural spectacle that impresses a lot. With a little luck, you will also spot a few monkeys, who have lost their fear of people due to the numerous tourists.
Tips & Info’s for your trip to Morocco
How to get there
The best way to get to Morocco is by plane, with flights to Marrakech, Fez, Agadir, Oujda, Nador, Casablanca or Tangier. Really Cheap flights can be found on online portals such as Skyscanner. If you book early enough you will get often tickets from 80 euros.
Another way to for getting to Morocco is by ferry from Spain (Algeciras) to Tangier.
What to eat
The kitchen in Morocco is really delicious and so varied! Especially typical is the tagine, a dish that is cooked in a traditional pot with a conical lid. There are countless delicious variations with meat or fish, with lemons, with olives or prunes. As a side dish couscous is served often. The national drink is the sweet mint tea, which is drunk at any time of the day and any occasion.
Withdraw money and change money
You can change money only when you arrive at the airport and in any major Moroccan city. The import of dirhams is prohibited in Morocco. Currency exchange offices are also open on weekends, but banks are open only from Monday to Friday. When exchanging you should first compare the exchange rates and check if there are any extra fees.
Withdrawing money is possible in any larger town. Most ATMs can be changed to French and English. Make sure you always have enough cash, especially in remote areas.
The supply of goods in Morocco is almost overwhelmingly large: carpets, Berber jewelry, argan oil, spices, porcelain, clothing, woodwork, leather goods and ornate souvenirs are everywhere ubiquitous in Morocco. The best place to shop is the Medinas, the old city centers of Morocco. Especially good for shopping we found the souks in Essaouira, because here is a really pleasant shopping atmosphere. Haggling and trading is a good style in Morocco. Perseverance pays off, because only then can you achieve a good price while trading. Especially for larger purchases, it is advisable to think beforehand about the usual prices.
Round trips through Morocco
Morocco is very easy to travel and therefore a popular destination for backpackers, self-drivers and individual travelers. The roads are good, and the rental cars are cheap, therefore you can easily explore Morocco by car. Here you will find the itinerary: 2 Weeks in Morocco: A perfect Road Trip Itinerary
Where to stay in Morocco
On a trip to Morocco, you can look forward to inexpensive and beautiful hotels and guesthouses. On our tour across the country, we had been impressed by the many oriental riads inside the cities. Riads are something like small private palaces with a courtyard. These are available in every price range, from cheap to luxury. In the country, however, especially in southern Morocco you will stay the night in a Kasbah, which are mudbrick Berber style houses, which are really very nice and tastefully decorated. In the desert you should spend the night in a Berber tent, the greatest luxury you can imagine.
Tip: We always booked our accommodations in advance via booking.com, which was really convenient for us.
More about Morocco:
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