Top 10 cities to visit in Morocco
Planning on visiting Morocco but don't really know what cities to go to? MyTindy has compiled for your list of the 10 best cities to visit and why. Discover what each city has to offer and why you should absolutely try to spend at least a day in each one. Happy reading :)
Rightly nicknamed the Blue City, Chefchaouen is a small town located amidst the Rif Mountains. Its winding streets and blue-painted houses are what make this place so charming and unique. What's more, you will find a magnificent view of the mountain at the end of almost every street. This town is perfect for those who like to wander and get lost in the heart of a city’s streets; they will appreciate the town’s peaceful vibes as well as the colorful and unusual architecture, giving it a surreal feel! Chefchaouen is also the starting point of many beautiful hiking trails.
Situated on Morocco’s Atlantic coastline, Essaouira (formerly named Mogador) is one of Morocco’s most charming coastal towns. The twisty lanes of the medina and its white-washed with cobalt blue shutters give the city a unique look. The city is surrounded by ramparts overlooking the beach and the quaint port. The harbor has existed since the 1st century and is home to pretty and colorful fishing boats. You will be able to witness the return of fishermen and admire their finds. Essaouira is also known for its quality seafood restaurants. The beach is famous for its kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Meknes, located in the north of the country, is one of Morocco’s four Imperial cities. The city was the capital in the 17th century, during the rule of Sultan Moulay Ismail. Its medina is remarkably well-preserved and easily navigable. The city’s architecture illustrates well Moroccan architecture, with high walls, massive gates, and impressive carvings and mosaïcs. Meknes offers a lot of historical monuments such as the Royal Stables or the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail.
Volubilis, situated near Meknes, is Morocco’s most well preserved Roman ruins. This partly excavated city is considered the capital of Ancient Mauretania. The site is a gem for history lovers, full of tumbled columns, temple remnants, and remarkable mosaïcs. The vestiges of the city are located on a hilltop, surrounded by the countryside, giving a surrealist atmosphere to this place full of history. These ruins make it possible to see how cities were like at the time.
Morocco’s capital Rabat is situated on the coast. The city has two main districts, the New Town and the Old Town. Even though the new portion of the city is enjoyable, with wide boulevards and open-air bars and cafés, most travelers prefer the medina. Within its fortified walls, you will find Morocco’s typical souks, which are great places to explore, find some fantastic bargains, or just soak in the culture. The Kasbah of the Udayas is worth seeing: it is a former fortified military camp that sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean.
Nicknamed “The Door of the Desert”, Ouarzazate is situated in south-central Morocco. This name comes from the fact that to the south of the town is the desert. Located at an altitude of 1,160 meters, the city offers a stunning desert panorama. The city is a medley of beige and brown adobe keeps and bulwarks. Since the 60s, the town has welcomed many movie sets, such as Prince of Persia, Kingdom of Heaven, or Lawrence of Arabia.
Fes, or Fez, served as Morocco’s capital for 400 years and is Morocco’s third-largest city. It is a significant cultural destination, with many historical sites. Its walled-medina, Fes-el-Bali, was founded in the 9th century. Traditional adobe homes and courtyards ornamented with mosaic tiles line a maze of narrow streets and alleys filled with souqs and shops. The gorgeous old doors are all different and unique. The city is also home to the University of Al-Karaouine, the oldest university in the world. Fes is well-known for its dyed leather goods, and if you can handle the smell, the tanneries are a must-see.
Marrakech is Morocco’s number one tourist destination and with reason! Often referred to as the “Red City” because of its sandstone buildings, the city is home to beautiful old architecture and courtyard of orange, palm, apricots, and olive trees. Its medina stimulates every sense: it is loud, colorful, full of various odors (spices, foods, tanneries…) and is a real maze of alleys and shops. The souks are the perfect places to go shopping for spices and artisan jewelry. The city’s rich history is reflected in the many monuments such as El Badi Palace or the Saadian Tombs. Marrakech is a concentrate of everything that makes Moroccan culture what it is.
Merzouga is a small village in the southeastern of Morocco, located on the edge of the Erg Chebbi dune sea that reaches up to 150 meters high. The town is a gateway to the wilderness of the Sahara desert and its breathtaking scenery. Merzouga offers camel safaris, which are the most authentic way to explore the desert’s landscape of bright orange dunes, blazing blue skies, and rare desert wildlife.
Asilah is a seaside town situated on Morocco’s North Atlantic Coast. Frequently overlooked by visitors, the city is, however, massively popular among Moroccan vacationers. Its colorful murals, white-washed buildings evoking the Greek islands’ towns, and it's beautiful coastline make Asilah an unmissable destination. It also has a glorious history, and its fortification from the bygone era reminds us of it.