Morocco, land of magic and mysteries, is a destination of choice for anyone willing to escape without having to take a 10-hour flight. From peaceful deserts to bustling colorful cities, Morocco has it all and Moroccan cities are so diverse that everyone will find the one that suits them best.
Curious to know what is the best city in Morocco for food? The best city for a beach holiday? Or a sports trip? Read this article to find out more about the 9 best cities to visit in Morocco.
1. The iconic Marrakech
If you have never travelled to Morocco before and want to live the full Moroccan experience, Marrakech should be your first choice. The perfect destination for a city trip, Marrakech has it all from bustling city life and amazing architecture to incredible food and nightlife.
To get a grasp of the atmosphere of the Red City, start by heading to Jemaa El-Fna square before moving on to El Badii Palace, El Koutoubia Mosque, and the Menara basin. If you’re interested in the history of the city, visiting the Tombs of the Saadians should be on your list. Another highly popular place in Marrakech is the picturesque Majorelle garden, built by French artist Jacques Majorelle and later acquired by Yves-Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé.
If you’re in town for more than a couple of days and have some extra time left, follow the locals and take a day-trip to Lalla-Takerkoust. Located less than an hour driving from Marrakech, it is the perfect spot to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city, spending the day by the shores of its lake.
2. Fez, cultural capital of Morocco
If you’re interested in the history and culture of the country, Fez is the best city for you to visit in Morocco. Thanks to its fascinating cultural heritage, part of the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. To get a taste of it, wander around the alleys of Fes-el-Bali, the largest and oldest medina in North Africa and visit one the many Madrasas of Fez such as Bou Inania Madrasa, Al-Atterine or Cherratine to admire their architecture.
Another reason why Fez prides itself to be the cultural capital of Morocco is its tradition of leather tannery. While exploring the centre of the city, make sure to stop by the tanneries quarter and spot the famous pits full of coloured dye. A piece of advice: the Medina of Fez is a real maze so if you’re not willing to get lost, you may consider hiring a guide to show you around!
3. Beach and relaxation in Agadir
The best city to relax in Morocco? Agadir, of course! If you’re looking for a peaceful beach holiday destination at almost any time of the year, the seaside city of Agadir is a great choice.
Marked by the Atlantic Ocean, Agadir has a 10-kilometre-long seafront which offers endless opportunities for spending time at the beach. If you’re willing to explore the surroundings, head to Taghazout, one of the finest beaches in Morocco.
Agadir is also a great destination for water sports thanks to its 15+ surf spots. To find the best local products such as argan oil & amlou, stroll through El Had souk located in the centre of Agadir.
4. Ouarzazate, getaway to the Sahara desert
Considered the movie capital of the country, Ouarzazate is the best city for an adventure trip in Morocco. Located a 3-hour drive from Marrakech, the city offers a great scenery between the Atlas mountain range and the Sahara desert nearby.
Ouarzazate is also a great starting point to explore the many wonders of the region starting with the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a UNESCO heritage fortified village which is an absolute must-see in Morocco.
Heading north towards the High Atlas mountains, you will enter an area filled with oases and gorges offering breathtaking scenery and a wide range of tracks to discover some of the most beautiful natural places in Morocco: the Dades Valley, the Roses Valley and the Todra Gorges.
To experience the magical atmosphere of the Sahara desert, rent a car in Ouarzazate and take the road south to spend a night (or several) under a bivouac on the dune of Tinfou. An unforgettable adventure awaits you!
5. Morocco off-the-beaten-track in Rabat
Whether or not you have already travelled to Morocco, if what you’re looking for is authenticity, Rabat is the best city to discover the country off-the-beaten track. Filled with architectural landmarks, start your visit by diving in Rabat’s History at the Hassan Tour and Mohammed V Mausoleum, the Kasbah of the Oudayas, the Chellah necropolis or the Archaeological Museum.
Time now to enjoy the modern and eco-friendly infrastructures of Rabat by heading to the exotic Gardens of Bouknadel. Lying on the outskirts of the city, these gardens are an oasis of calm gathering exotic plants from all over the world.
Last but not least, Rabat also hosts many high-quality events making it a great city to visit in Morocco for music lovers such as the Mawazine World Music Festival and Jazz au Chellah.
6. Tangier, at the crossroads of Europe and Africa
Tangier is without a doubt the best city for a taste of cosmopolitanism in Morocco. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, Tangier was once a place of inspiration for writers and painters coming from Europe and America.
Nowadays, the port of Tangier can be best discovered by getting lost in the kasbah, admiring its white architecture before heading to the sea and strolling on Tangier Corniche to blend with the locals.
Continue your exploration of the area along the coast with the mythical Caves of Hercules and Cape Spartel, a promontory located 1,000 feet above the sea at the entrance of the strait of Gibraltar. What’s more? Some of the best beaches in Morocco are located nearby both on the Mediterranean side and on the Atlantic side.
7. Chefchaouen, the blue city
Thanks to its increased popularity in the past years, Chefchaouen has become the best city for colour lovers and mountain enthusiasts. Also known as the blue city of Morocco, a stroll through the old Medina will make you fall in love with its unique charm. Make sure to visit the Kasbah & Outa Hammam square along the way.
Beside visiting the town, spare a couple of days in order to enjoy the surrounding areas. Many natural spots such as the Akchour waterfalls and the Talassemtane National Park can be easily visited in a day from Chefchaouen.
8. Essaouira, gem of the Atlantic
Calling all food and music lovers! A true gem of the Atlantic, Essaouira is the best city in Morocco to taste its delicious gastronomy while enjoying the bewitching sounds of ancient music.
A journey in Essaouira should start with a visit to the ramparts and the port. Known as the Sqala of the Medina and the Sqala of the Port, the remparts are an essential element of the history of the city inspired by those of Saint-Malo in France, and offering one of the best views over the city, the port and the Atlantic ocean. Hidden within the medina, the local fish market is worth a visit. Go there around midday and pick your fish to have it cooked in one of the restaurants surrounding the market.
Essaouira is also a city to enjoy at night: many cafes and restaurants offer live concerts of traditional music. The city even hosts in summer the Gnaoua music festival which receives each year many foreign artists and Gnaoua musicians to celebrate world music in the streets of Essaouira.
9. Water sports in Dakhla
The last place among the best cities to visit in Morocco is Dakhla. Located on the Atlantic coast, Dakhla is a paradise for anyone willing to practice water sports. With an average temperature of 25-degrees all year round, Daklha will seduce those looking for the sun and activities to enjoy the outdoors.
Whether you want to test kitesurfing, windsurfing or surfing, PK25 and Foum El Bouir are renowned spots to initiate or perfect your technique. You’d rather opt for a more relaxing activity? The lagoon also offers plenty of options, from yoga classes or retreat to aqua therapy. Last but not least: Dakhla’s location is also ideal for those to experience a day-ride in the Sahara Desert!
If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air and authenticity, Morocco is the destination for you. Whatever your budget, interest or the duration of your stay, the country has the best city you’re looking for. Thinking about travelling to Morocco soon? Here’s everything you need to know about travelling safely to Morocco during the Covid-19 pandemic.