Planning a trip to Morocco? We share the top places to visit in Morocco so you don’t miss the best destinations in the country.
Situated in Northern Africa, Morocco brims with history, a rich culture, and beautiful scenery, plus it is home to the Moroccan Fez Festival, a unique African celebration that needs to be experienced. It has a wonderful mix of ancient and modern touches. Wander through the ancient medinas, marvel at the opulent palaces, shop at modern malls, and enjoy the exotic cuisine to get a sense of all Morocco offers.
Where to visit in Morocco
Rabat is a popular tourist destination. It’s the capital city of Morocco and is situated on its coast. While it’s one of the imperial cities, it’s smaller and has a more relaxed atmosphere. The weather in Rabat is beautiful for most of the year so you can relax on the beach.
Popular attractions in Rabat include:
- Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Morocco has a few art museums, but the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is particularly spectacular. It was one of the first public museums in Morocco to meet international standards. The museum building has an Arab-Moorish look and is part of the National Foundation on Museums. This foundation is a non-profit that works to promote and preserve Morocco’s culture, art, and heritage. The work on display includes pieces from the early twentieth century up until now, and you can see work from both Moroccan and international artists.
- Oudayas Kasbah
The Oudayas Kasbah dates back to the twelfth century. Fortress-style walls surround a neighborhood of Andalusian-style houses, beautiful flower streets, an Andalusian garden, and a Moorish cafe. Inside the Kasbah is the oldest mosque in Rabat, called the Old Mosque, and there is also a museum.
The Atlas Mountains
If you enjoy the outdoors, you must visit the Atlas Mountains. You can either hike or explore the mountains in the comfort of a 4 x 4. If you’d like to walk, there are a few options, depending on your level of hiking experience.
If you’re keen on a challenge, hike up Mount Toubkal. It’s the highest point in North Africa and takes about three days to reach the top. While you don’t need any technical knowledge, it does require you to be reasonably fit.
Less experienced hikers who aren’t very fit but want to experience hiking in the Atlas mountains can visit Imlil Valley. It’s the starting point for many of the hiking routes, and it’s very scenic. You can spend a day hiking from Imlil Valley to Asmi, a Berber village, to get a feel for traditional Berber culture while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Fez is also one of the imperial cities and is considered Morocco’s cultural capital. It’s full of historical sites, art and culture. If you’re visiting Fez, you must go to:
- Fes el Bali
For a taste of history, you must visit Fes el Bali. It was founded between 789 and 808 AD by the Idrisid dynasty and is one of the oldest medinas that remains in its original state. The streets are so narrow that cars can’t fit through, but you will see many carts pulled by donkeys or horses.
Inside the medieval walls, you will find homes, souks, schools, hammams, and artisan workshops. It truly is magic to experience as it’s like you’re transported back to a bygone era.
- Fes Tanneries
The Chouara tannery has been in operation for over a thousand years, allowing you to see how leather has been made over the centuries. Many workers have a family legacy of working in the leather industry as their ancestors passed on their skills over the years.
It’s incredible to see this outdoor workshop and the colorful pools of dye used to color the leather. The smell can be very overwhelming, so if you have a sensitive stomach, it’s a good idea to take along mint or something that has a pleasant smell to counteract the smell of the animal skin and leather.
Morocco – Know Before you Go
Before you head off to Morocco, it’s a good idea to know what to expect so that you can plan.
- The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham. ATMs are easily accessible in most places, even small towns, so you don’t need to carry much local currency. Most shops and restaurants in cities accept credit cards, but smaller markets and vendors only take cash.
- Make sure you have the proper travel or life insurance to cover you in an emergency. Insurance should cover accidents, trip cancellations, baggage loss, and emergencies.
- Morocco, being a Muslim country, is pretty conservative in terms of dressing. Men can get away with wearing whatever they want, but women are encouraged to dress more conservatively. You don’t have to cover your face or hair but make sure your shoulders are covered, and you don’t wear anything above the knee.
- Unlike most countries in the west, Friday is a public holiday in Morocco since it’s a holy day and most shops, restaurants, and attractions are closed. If you’re traveling in Morocco during the month of Ramadan, most restaurants and food vendors are closed during the day, so it will be easiest to eat and drink in your hotel room.
- You must learn to haggle if you plan on shopping, especially in the markets and souks. Haggling is a part of Morocco’s shopping culture, so don’t be afraid or feel bad for asking for a lower price. Before you begin doing it, have an idea of what you think the product is worth and what you’re prepared to pay. In many cases, you will end up paying up to 50% less than the original price.