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19 must-see attractions in Morocco

Even though it is located in North-Western Africa, Morocco seems more like a country from the depths of the Orient. Impressive mosques, tall minarets, haggling and oriental scents compose a mosaic of colors and aromas that will enchant you on any given moment. From the red Marrakech to the capital city of Rabat and from mazy Fez to the blue city of Chefchaouen, attractions in Morocco reflect the rich cultural heritage of the land and await for you to explore them. Get lost inside the Medinas, haggle at the markets, admire the mosaics at the madrasas, walk in the Majorelle Gardens, watch the art of the tanneries and try local delicacies. Finally, do not leave the country without having spent at least one night at the orange Sahara Desert.

Discover the most important attractions in Morocco

Fez

Fez is one of the first capital cities of Morocco, while it is one among the four aristocratic cities. The Medina, and the city of Fez in general, has not been affected at a large scale by tourism, which makes it more attractive and beautiful to the eyes of every visitor. From the Blue Gate and the famous Tanneries to the 7 golden gates and tasty street food, Fez will make you love it and get lost in its diversity. Cleaner than Marrakech, safer than Casablanca and more beautiful than Rabat, Fez is one of the most wonderful destinations in Morocco. Do not make the mistake of trusting the locals who will “offer” to help you, do not accept to pay more than what is written on the taximeter and, of course, haggle for everything, even water!

Suggested visit time: 2 days

 The know-it-all says: It has the second-oldest university in the world (al-Qarawiyyin)!

7 Attractions that you must visit in Fez..

Medina of Fez

Welcome to the largest car-free urban area in the whole world, the Medina of Fez! Less dangerous than the Medina of Marrakech, cleaner and more intricate, the Medina of Fez is waiting for one mistake to trap you in its labyrinth! Neither maps nor your sense of orientation can save you. In order to be safe, follow its central streets Talaa sghira, Talaa Kebira, along which you will find dozens of shops with all kinds of products and souvenirs. Along them you will also find markets with spices and dozens of businesses for street food and coffee. The most well-known and most beautiful entrance to the Medina of Fez is the Blue Gate. Read the tips to avoid any danger (there are quite a lot).

Suggested visit time: 1 day
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981!

Fez Leather Tanneries

Watch live the way in which leathers are getting colored in the famous tanneries of Fez. The unbearable odor can render your presence there very difficult, especially in the summer, but at least it will lead you to the right place. Your ally in your quest to see the strenuous procedure, which was lost over the centuries, is a batch of mint. Afterwards you can buy some of the dozens of products made from genuine leather…after you haggle hard. Visit them during the sunset for photographs with brighter colors.

Note: You will find the best view at Shop 64 and Shop 10. Visit them at the opening (10am) when the smell is subtler! Check out more tips HERE

Suggested visit time: As long as you can bear!
Open: 10:00-before the sunset
Cost: Free (you give as much money you want for the mint you are given at the entrance).

 The know-it-all says: The Chouara Tannery is believed to be the oldest in the world!

Street Food in Fez

Morocco is not famed for its clean street food, with cases of gastroenteritis being common, to say the least! Nonetheless, in Fez you will find quality shops to have a quick bite, without it being too risky. The most well-known street food in Fez is the sandwich with the option of two different kinds of meat, which are mixed with spices, vegetables and egg. The taste result is excellent and economical! You will also find olives, corned meat, chebakia (fritters with honey and sesame), fried fish, chicken kebab, soups with beans/chickpeas and various pastries with cheese cream, honey or plain.

Important: Prefer the places where the locals eat, such as Turkey o’ clock
Cost: around 1€ per sandwich.

 The know-it-all says: Bread is considered sacred for Moroccans and it is served with every meal!

Seffarine Square

Walking in the streets of the Medina, a few steps before taking the road to the tanneries, loud metal noises will lead you to the Seffarine Square. It is one of the busiest squares in Fez, where the most famous art in Morocco is still being practiced, the art of copper-forging. In the small shops and the square’s steps Moroccans, following the traditional method, forge and shine the copper making dozens of home products and more. Purchase lanterns, platters, tajine, pots, pans and small tea glasses straight from the source…practicing, of course, the necessary haggling.

Suggested visit time: 30-40 minutes
Open: Every day 08:30 until the sunset
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: Copper production in Morocco is around 40,000 tons per year!

Safari in Morocco

Safari in Morocco is an experience that you have to try! Prefer a three-day tour with stay in the Merzouga Desert, camel ride and an introduction with the eastern, arid side of Morocco. Over there you will see wonderful images, you will pass by the largest mountain range of the country, Atlas, you will enter gorges, feel the aura of Hollywood, meet the life of the Berbers and taste their cuisine. Options and companies are too many. Prefer the package that is closer to your tastes and budget. As long as it is guaranteed.

Small Tips: a) There are many scam companies! Be careful where you give your money. b) Trust only well-known companies. c) See the one we picked. CHECK OUT more tips HERE.

Read the article on the Morocco Safari

 
Suggested visit time: 3 days
Open: All year long
Cost: 100€ (2-day tour) – 400€ (8-day tour)

 The know-it-all says: The Sahara Desert –on the west side- reaches the border between Morocco and Algeria!

Essaouira

Essaouira is the city of the winds, the salty city, the home of the Gnawa ethnic music…Morocco’s best port and the largest gate to Africa. It is built in front of the Atlantic Ocean, it has an island vibe and it is easily accessible, just 2.5 hours from Marrakech. As a genuine Moroccan city it has a Medina, with its walls now protecting the city only from the waves of the Atlantic. Outside the Medina you will find “parked” hundreds of small blue boats, while countless seagulls will be flying above your head. Walk along its beach (golden beach), one of the most well-known beaches for windsurfing in the world, “get lost” inside the souks and enjoy the magical sunset from the Skala de la Ville. Finally, if you are lucky you might come across some of the large music festivals that take place.

Suggested visit time: 1 day
Open: All year long
Cost: Free (daily tour 50€)

 The know-it-all says: In Essaouira you will also find the famous goats that climb on Argan trees!

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of Morocco awaits to seduce you with its unique beauty! Its blue color makes it one of the most special cities, not only in Morocco, but in the entire world. Every street of the Medina offers a different –blue- image! Find the blue corner (photo), get photographed with the dozens of blue doors, drink tea in the el Hauta Square and relax in the huge Outta el Hammam Square in front of the Kasbah castle! Do not leave without having tried its amazing cuisine and, of course, without having done some shopping at the souks.

Suggested visit time: 1 day
Open: All year long
Cost: Free (daily tour 50€)

 The know-it-all says: They used to paint the houses of Jews blue so that they could tell them apart from the houses of Muslims!

Medina of Rabat

The Medina of Rabat is different from others, easier, more open and safer (as safe as a Medina can be). It is squared out so that it is easy to get oriented, while the cobbled streets are pretty wide and well-maintained (some have been recently reconstructed). Empty in the morning and full in the afternoon, Rabat’s Medina is perfect for endless walks, shopping at the souks, haggling and plenty of street food! In the souks you will find spices, clothes and scarves, shoes, small shops for food, and antique shops, while the worn-out colorful walls and the serenity of the small streets will show you the real face of the city.

Suggested visit time: 4-5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The entire Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Mausoleum of Mohammed V – Hassan Tower

The two greatest attractions in Rabat are the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Hassan Tower. They are located in the same space, within a vast and very well-kept area a bit outside the city center. In the courtyard, all eyes are drawn to the Hassan Tower, which is surrounded by the remains of the asymmetrical Roman columns. On the other hand, the (visitable) Mausoleum of Mohammed V is an excellent piece of architecture, with the unique ceiling leaving everyone in awe. Finally, outside the sacred space the mounted men of the royal guard with the traditional uniforms steal the show.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Hassan Tower: Always / Mausoleum of Mohammed V: 09:00-18:00
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The Hassan Tower was destined to be the largest minaret in the world!

Kasbah des Udayas

On the outside, the Kasbah des Udayas is a beautiful and imposing castle like many others in Morocco. But inside exists a world much different than the usual. A place that resembles a Greek island, as the white/blue color, the white alleys and the island architecture set it apart from the other locations of the city. Get lost in every alley of the castle and witness the calm life of the locals, which is not rippled by the daily flow of crowds. From the Kasbah des Udayas you can gaze at the Atlantic and the city of Salé, you can drink coffee or mint tea and shop at its small shops.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It has been inhabited by Arabic tribes, Andalusian refugees and rich sultans!

Walk along the Atlantic

Rabat is a city built next to the Atlantic Ocean. So you can admire it from the Kasbah des Udayas or go down to the beach (Rabat beach) and from there, through the R332, go up to the lighthouse. The waves come from hundreds of miles away until they “break” against the rocks and form an exquisite landscape, especially during the sunset. The walk along the Atlantic can make you a bit salty (if there are strong waves), but it will compensate you in images.

Suggested visit time: 1 hour
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The Atlantic Ocean was the first to be crossed by boat and airplane!

Marrakech

Morocco’s most tourist-attracting city is undoubtedly Marrakech. A city worth discovering, as long as you escape the tourist trails and blend with the locals…(but not too much, because you may end up in big trouble)! Marrakech is divided into the old town, inside and around the walls of the Medina, and the new, outside the walls. The old Marrakech is dressed in its local attire, which has been spoiled by the massive tourist traffic. At the old commercial part of town (Medina & souks), money is God and the guide to everything! Money is prevalent in the new town of Marrakech also, but here it is in the hands of big investors who want to upgrade the city and bring it closer to European standards. Make the combination that is closer to your tastes and spend a few wonderful days in the tourist capital of Morocco…Marrakech.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 days

 The know-it-all says: The name Marrakech has its roots in a Berber phrase and means the land of God (according to one version)!

5 attractions that you must visit in Marrakech..

Medina of Marrakech

The Medina of Marrakech is an endless souk, with the most well-known being Souk Semmarine! Starting out at the large Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, you can explore its every street and alley, where you will find all kinds of shops. Clothes, hand-made bags, souvenirs, clay and tin products, bags, shoes and very cheap food wait for you to haggle away! After all, haggling is the second thing you must do as soon as you enter the Medina of Marrakech. The first, of course, is securing your belongings, from the dozens of hands that are waiting for your one mistake! Prices at the souks are much higher (up to 60%) compared the rest of the Medinas in the country, while there is wider variety.

Important: Haggle in order to get what you want at a price reduced up to 70%. If the shop owner does not accept your price offer, leave…then they will run behind you. If they do not, don’t bother! You will find it at the next store. (Show them that you are determined to stay at that price.) Check out many more tips for the Medina of Marrakech HERE.

Suggested visit time: 4-5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The famous cobra dance takes place in the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square!

Ben Youssef Madrasa

The largest and most significant Islamic school of North-Western Africa is located in the heart of Marrakech and its name is Ben Youssef Madrasa. The theological college is one of the most beautiful buildings in Morocco and it is a perfect example of a madrasa. At the Ben Youssef Madrasa you can explore all areas and student dorm rooms, while from the 2nd floor you have the chance to admire the glory of the Islamic art. Unfortunately, the large crowds will not let you enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of the Madrasa, except if you visit it at the opening.

Suggested visit time: 30 minutes-1 hour
Open: April-September 09:00-19:00, October-March 09:00-18:00
Cost: Ben Youssef Madrasa: Around 4€, Combo ticket Koubba, Madrasa & Museum of Marrakech: Around 6€

 The know-it-all says: It could host up to 900 students!

Walk in the New City of Marrakech

The walk in the new city of Marrakech will relax you from the pressure of the Medina. The new heart of Marrakech beats at the Gueliz Square. Over there everything flows like in any city of the western world. Fast, with safety and order. Brand stores, malls, fountains and huge roads are only a few of the elements that will frame your walk. Safety has the first word, new buildings and stores spring up from everywhere, while food quality is upgraded.

Suggested visit time: 4-5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It could host up to 900 students!

Koutoubia Mosque

The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in Morocco! It is an 800-year-old historic building that has offered as inspiration for the design of the bell-tower at the cathedral of Seville. It is at a central location of the city and offers direct access to the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square and other points of interest. The surrounding area is well-maintained and it is recommended for rest and many photographs. The Koutoubia mosque with its towering minaret can be seen from many spots of the old town.

Small Tips: The best spot to photograph the Koutoubia Mosque is the Lalla Hasna Park, while the best time is during the sunset.

Suggested visit time: 1 hour
Open: Every day 09:00-18:00 (only for Muslims)
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It got its name from book sellers (Al-Koutoubiyyin) who used to set up shop outside the mosque!

Bab Doukkala

The neighborhood of Bab Doukkala gives the visitor a taste from the life of the old Marrakech. A neighborhood dirtier, more unkempt but more real, which will immerse you for good in the daily lives of the locals. A neighborhood abuzz with local markets, which address mostly locals, with prices being up to two times lower than at the tourist souks in Semmarine. Tourists are few, smells are everywhere and motorbikes, which whiz by you, raise adrenaline at new levels. Walk around it day and night.

Small Tips: Street food is everywhere but it is pretty junky. Do not let anyone help/guide you and be careful of your personal items.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day from sunrise until the evening
Cost: Free

   The know-it-all says: Its gate is one among 20 that provide access to the Medina!

 


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