Morocco is the most visited country in Africa. But what is it that makes Morocco such a particular destination? Many things! Its culture, rich landscapes from the high mountains to the desert, its medinas and… the cities. Morocco has exciting cities, especially the four imperial cities. Although a desert getaway is a must, we think there are some destinations you can’t miss. In this post, we tell you the 10 best cities in Morocco.
10 BEST CITIES IN MOROCCO
Marrakech, the most beautiful city in Morocco
Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. And the most touristy! It has so many treasures that we don’t know where to start… Life in the city revolves around Jemaa el-Fnaa square. You will find everything there! Also, at night, it turns into an open-air restaurant with many street food stalls.
The medina of Marrakech is one of the largest in the country. The city has been a key commercial centre for many years and still retains that identity. Get lost in its labyrinthine streets and take the opportunity to buy souvenirs. Of course, remember to haggle!
Marrakech is one of the best cities in Morocco. It is located in the Atlas Mountains and close to the Sahara, so there are many exciting excursions beyond the World Heritage Sites it has within. Don’t miss the iconic Koutoubia Mosque or the Ben Youssef Medersa. There are so many attractions!
Fez, the cultural capital of Morocco
If we talk about the best cities in Morocco, in no way can Fez be left out of the list? If you want to know the history and culture of the country, Fez is the first city you should visit! It is considered the cultural capital of Morocco.
The medina of Fez-el-Bali is the largest and oldest in North Africa. It is considered the largest pedestrian area in the world. You can visit some of the most beautiful madrasas in Morocco, such as Bou Inania, Al-Atterine or Cherratine. You are going to fall in love!
Another of the main attractions of Fez is its tanneries. Prepare to put up with the foul smell, but seeing those wells full of coloured dyes is a unique experience. The Chouara tannery is one of the oldest in the world. Take it! Without a doubt, Fez is one of the best cities in Morocco.
Chefchaouen, one of the most beautiful cities in Morocco
It may not have the history of Fez or Marrakech, but Chefchaouen is a particular city. Indeed you have seen its blue streets in crowds of magazines. So if you plan to visit Morocco, Chefchaouen should be included in your itinerary.
It is one of the most picturesque cities in Morocco. Its completely blue labyrinthine streets, full of cats and curious places, will make you spend the battery of your camera taking photos on almost every corner. The city has an exciting architectural mix of Moroccan and Andalusian influences.
The main handicap is its location. Although going from Fez to Chefchaouen is not complicated. And above all, it is well worth it!
Meknes, one of the best cities in Morocco
Meknes is another of the imperial cities of Morocco. It dated from the 11th century and became the most crucial city in the country when it was the imperial capital of the sultan Mulay Ismaíl (1672-1727) during his rule in the sultanate of Morocco. That was its heyday period and thanks to the city’s development today we can enjoy many historical buildings such as its vast doors.
One of the most outstanding elements is that it harmoniously combines Islamic and European design and planning elements. That is why it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Some attractions you cannot miss in Meknes are the Mulay Ismaíl Mausoleum or the Bab Mansour gate, the largest in the country and North Africa. Is awesome!
Rabat, the beautiful capital of Morocco
A priori, Rabat does not usually appear in the lists of the best cities in Morocco. But we believe that it cannot be missing! Visiting the capital is always exciting, and the Moroccan capital is no exception. The most interesting part is the Kasbah of the Oudayas. Inside the old military fortress, a lot of picturesque streets await you. In addition, from there, you will have privileged views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The capital of Morocco is the second largest city in the country, only behind Casablanca. So you can imagine that the Kasbah is one of many attractions. Take advantage of the imposing Mausoleum of Mohammed V or the beautiful Royal Palace of Dar-al-Mahkzen.
Casablanca and its incredible mosque
Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco and one of the largest on the African continent. It is the country’s commercial capital, thanks to its important port. Casablanca, like any large African city, has a reputation for being dangerous, but you can easily explore its most interesting points if you are careful.
You cannot miss a visit to the fantastic Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca on your tour. It is the largest mosque in Africa and the third largest in the world, only behind those in Mecca and Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.
You can only talk about Casablanca if you mention the famous movie. Although many believe it was filmed in an African city, it was recorded in Hollywood. However, you can drink at Rick’s Café, a replica of the place that appeared in the movie. Without a doubt, one of the best cities in Morocco.
Ouarzazate, a movie city
It is a movie city. And never better said! In this city, considered the gateway to the Sahara desert, is the spectacular Kasbah de Taourirt, a 19th-century fortified palace. Is incredible! As a curiosity, several movies have been recorded there. In Ouarzazate, there is also Atlas Studios, the largest film studio in Morocco and the world! For example, several scenes from Gladiator or The Mummy were shot in and around Ouarzazate.
And precisely the surroundings are another of the attractions of the city. The Ait Ben Haddou kasbah is even more impressive than the Taourirt kasbah and must be included in your tour. Like the Dades Valley, the Valley of the Roses or the Todra Gorges.
Essaouira and its French past
Essaouira is one of the best cities in Morocco. This jewel, located on the shores of the Atlantic, will steal your heart. The main attractions of Essaouira are its walls and the port. The city has a very marked French past.
The city was under a French protectorate, and an exciting fusion of cultures and architectural styles took place during that time. Those of Saint-Malo in France inspired its walls. Essaouira is a different city!
Essaouira is a very picturesque destination. We would spend hours and hours in its port contemplating the fishing boats with the walls in the background. Inside, a vibrant medina awaits you, full of old streets where you can get lost and fall in love with this Moroccan treasure.
Agadir, for beach lovers
If you are looking for a beach, Agadir is one of the best destinations in Morocco. It is clear that the country has to offer better beaches than the beach, but it is always good to know the cities of its Atlantic coast. In Agadir, you can visit Taghazout beach, one of the best in the African country.
Agadir does not retain the charm of old Moroccan cities like Asilah or Essaouira. The town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960, and much of it is rebuilt. That’s why it looks more modern! Almost only its Kasbah, which is located on a hill, was able to resist. Remember to visit it during sunset to enjoy its views.
The city’s seafront is one of its main attractions. And while in the city, you can’t miss an excursion to the Sus-Masa National Park to fall in love with its landscapes.
Asilah is a place to fall in love
And finally, to end this post about the best cities in Morocco, we cannot forget to mention Asilah. It may not appear on the most common tourist itinerary, but if you have about two weeks in the country, you can’t miss it.
It is a small city located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. It is super picturesque! In 1471, the Portuguese settlers built walls that surrounded the town, which still stands today. Its interior is vibrant, a beautiful place where the cultures of Spain and Morocco merge.
White is the predominant colour of the houses in the old city. But the highlight is its beautiful murals. Asilah is a critical artistic centre where art is breathed into every corner. And with those landscapes of the walls and the Atlantic Ocean in the background, one could not be more inspired. It’s a beautiful city!