Only about three and a half hours by plane from Germany and separated from Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar is Morocco, the popular holiday destination in northeastern Africa. Orient and Occident, tradition and modernity, French flair and the oriental way of life combine to create an exciting and inspiring mixture. Every vacation in Morocco becomes a bewitching feast for the senses.
The capital Rabat is the most European city in the country. In view of the wide boulevards and magnificent buildings from the colonial era, the traveler feels almost transported to Paris. Of course, almost all “Rbatis” also speak French. However, the country’s official language is Arabic. Morocco is characterized by its geographical and cultural diversity. Fantastic beaches in the west and north of the country, high mountains and traditional cities in the center and fascinating desert landscapes in the south leave nothing to be desired by travelers.
In the following we present you the most exciting tours, most beautiful attractions and best sights in Morocco.
1. Marrakech: the city that never sleeps
When you think of Morocco, Marrakech inevitably comes to mind as one of the greatest attractions. The city’s souks are some of the most interesting and diverse in the country. Finely chiseled copper plates, filigree woodwork made of fragrant thuja wood and exotic spices are just a part of the multifaceted offer. A stroll through the souk of Marrakech is an overwhelming experience. The Djemaa el Fna square forms the beating heart.
The city does not stand still here at any time of the day or night, but the many cafés offer good opportunities to escape the hustle and bustle for a few minutes. Recharge your batteries here with a glass of sugary mint tea and a gazelle croissant, the delicious delicacy made from marzipan mixed with rose water. In the evening fortune tellers, snake charmers, acrobats and henna painters present their skills.
2. Old town of Fez
The medina of Fez is unique, it is considered the largest in North Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To visit them, it is advisable to use the services of a guide. Because it’s all too easy to get lost in the narrow and winding streets. For a small fee he will show you the most beautiful places in the old town. One of these places is definitely the Bou Inania Medersa. The former Koran school is a masterpiece of Arabic architecture.
In the lavishly restored inner courtyard there is a meditative atmosphere that is in stark contrast to the lively hustle and bustle outside. The tanners’ quarter is particularly lively and busy, where hard-working craftsmen do their strenuous work in huge vats. The leather is the raw material for chic jackets, soft poufs or the fine babouches slippers, which are often bought as souvenirs.
3. Royal city of Meknes
Meknes, which is nicknamed the “Moroccan Versailles”, is only about 60 kilometers from Fès. The Sultan Moulay Ismail displayed his power here with imposing buildings and magnificent architecture. The heart and center of the city is the square L’Hedim with the huge Bab Mansour gate. With its fine mosaics and filigree design, it forms a fascinating contrast to the massive city walls.
The nearby market is bustling with activity at all times of the day and night. From fine patisserie and exotic spices to traditional cosmetics and care products, you will find everything your heart desires here. In the restaurants surrounding the square you can “digest” the diverse impressions with couscous, tagine and other Moroccan specialties.
4. Ait Ben Haddou World Heritage Site
You have probably already seen the Kasbah Aït-Ben-Haddou – the spectacular location was and is the backdrop and location of countless famous Hollywood films. “Gladiator”, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Game of Thrones” are just a few of the international productions that have been shot here. The sight southeast of Marrakech is one of the few well-preserved clay building settlements in southern Morocco.
Against the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains of the High Atlas and under the clear blue sky, the city is a magical sight. Date palms and a constantly flowing, rippling river in front of the city gates round off the picturesque picture. Even if the name is a bit difficult to remember at first, one of the highlights in Morocco awaits you here in Aït-Ben-Haddou!
5. Casablanca: Mosque and New Medina
The white city of Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco and the economic center of the country. One of the most important sights is the imposing Hassan II Mosque. It is a building of superlatives. As the fifth largest mosque in the world, it can accommodate around 25,000 people. Be enchanted by the grandiose architecture, the filigree mosaics, the artistic stucco work and the magnificent chandeliers.
The New Medina of Casablanca, which, as an Art Deco district, combines traditional Arabic architecture with modern architecture, is also highly recommended. The Spanish-Moorish architectural style is particularly prevalent in the medina. The district is also popular for its many artists and dealers who offer their works for sale here every day. For fans of the movie “Casablanca”, a visit to the replica “Rick’s Café” is worthwhile.
6. Endless expanse in the Moroccan desert
Whether you visit Erg Chebbi near Erfoud or the M’Hamid region in the south of Zagora, a trip into the desert is a truly unforgettable experience. The experience of the vastness of the landscape, the indescribable silence and the incredible starry sky at night simply leave no one indifferent. There are many ways to experience the desert.
Even a short ride with the camel gives you a good impression of the unique landscape; for a more intense experience, at least one overnight stay between the dunes is recommended. You will feel almost like a nomad when you go camel trekking, where you can experience up close how exciting and varied life in the desert is.
7. Chefchaouen blue city
The city of Chefchaouen inspires not so much through individual sights, but rather through its enchanting overall impression. The entire medina of the former holy city in the middle of the Rif Mountains shines bright blue. Beautifully decorated door frames, stairs and windows are popular photo opportunities and make Chefchaouen a shining jewel in the middle of the country.
Here life seems to go slower and more leisurely, the enterprising salespeople are more reserved than in Marrakech or Fez. That’s why you can get some interesting bargains here and buy traditionally made pottery at particularly low prices. The big market takes place every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
8. Port city of Essaouira
The port is just as much a part of Essaouira as the extensive beach, the screeching seagulls and the wind that blows even in summer. Essaouira is a hotspot for surfers from all over the world. The magical medina is quite manageable, which gives the city its cozy and somewhat sleepy flair. The old town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Essaouira is nicknamed the “City of the Wind” because a stiff Atlantic breeze blows almost all year round.
The quiet course of events is only interrupted for a few days in summer when the international Gnawa Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. This unique art and culture festival is all about Moroccan Gnawa music and those interested can enjoy performances by national and international artists of world renown. In general, the city is also very popular as a residence for artists from all over the world.
9. International flair in Tangier
Tangier was and is the favorite destination of numerous painters, writers and musicians. Is it because of the Mediterranean atmosphere, the pleasant climate, the preferred location with a view over the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain or the many sights of the city? It is probably the mix of everything that makes Tangier so extremely attractive for tourists.
Those interested in culture can watch the locals chatting and strolling in the Grand Socco. The city is also a popular destination for beach holidaymakers. You will find ideal conditions for swimming and relaxing on the city beach of Tangier or at Plage Sidi Kacem just outside. You should definitely pay a visit to the harbor with its many fishing boats, there is a lot to do here, especially in the early morning and afternoon.
10. Rabat: The underrated highlight
The capital Rabat scores with its cosmopolitan flair and countless sights. At the gates of the city is the Chellah necropolis, a magical place whose romantic charm no one can escape. Architectural relics from Roman times are almost hidden between the lush bushes and trees. From the massive Kasbah Oudaya, the traveler has a wonderful view over the old town.
Make sure you don’t miss the white and blue little houses on Rue Bazzo. There is also a lovely Moorish café nearby, where you can enjoy honey pastries, almond milk and fine Moroccan patisserie. Afterwards you go on a tour of the old fortress on the edge of the old town (Kasbah des Ouadaḯas) or visit the old tombs at the necropolis of Chellah.