20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer
20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer: Located at the northwestern tip of Africa and just a short ferry ride from Europe, the Kingdom of Morocco is an extraordinary place to visit.
1 – Marrakech
Marrakech is one of Morocco’s largest and most emblematic cities, with winding streets from the old town to the souks.
This region has been inhabited for over 4,000 years, with Berber farmers settling here in the Neolithic period.
The jewel in Marrakech‘s crown is Jeema el-Fnaa, a square in the center of the medina, and a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage site.
Full of food stalls, it’s a fantastic place to dine and soak up the atmosphere.
Other cultural sites in Marrakech include the Bahia Palace, the Koutoubia Mosque and the Majorelle Garden.
2 – Fès
Fès is Morocco’s second-largest city, home to over a million people, and is centrally located between Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakech, in a basin surrounded by hills with the Fès River running through its center.
Almost every Moroccan city has a Medina, but perhaps none is as impressive as the Medina of Fès, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Fès is also a crafts hub and the best place to find leather and ceramic goods, a visit to the Chouara tannery is a fascinating experience, and although it has a smell like no other, it’s one of Fès’ most popular tourist attractions.
3 – Tangier
One of Morocco’s most famous cities and the fourth largest in terms of population, Tangier is a seaside resort in north-west Morocco with good ferry links to Spain, France and Italy.
Tangier has a mix of European and African cultures, and you can spend a day wandering around the Medina (old town) and exploring the hilltop Kasbah (fortress).
The Grotte d’Hercule is a must-see, as is a visit to Cap Spartel to marvel at the meeting of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
There are also many quaint cafés and original restaurants in Tangier, and if you’re lucky, you might stumble across the one that Jack Kerouac or Truman Capote once frequented.
4 – Essaouira
Essaouira is a seaside fortress and fishing village on Morocco’s west coast, with whitewashed buildings and winding stone streets.
Game of Thrones fans will love this town, as many scenes set in the mythical Slavers’ Bay and Astaop were filmed in Essaouira.
Like many Moroccan cities, a trip to its medina is the best place to start, given that Essaouira‘s is built on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Stroll along the seaside town’s ramparts to admire the crashing waves and watch the fishermen reel in their catch.
The market is a great place to buy traditional Berber artwork or a handmade tagine, for a meal out, enjoy the seafood in Essaouira, as it’s hard to find anything fresher than what you’ll find in this town..
5 – Meknes
20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer: One of the top 3 cities to visit in Morocco for Berber history, the Meknes medina is packed with Moroccan history.
From the Berber tribes who first colonized the area to the expansion of the Roman Empire into nearby Volubilis, which is a partially excavated Berber city in Morocco. The Roman ruins are impressive, and exploring them is a delight.
You’ll find some impressive buildings in the city of Meknes, including the huge Great Mosque and the Madrasa Bou Inania, a university that opened in the mid-1300s.
6 – Mohammedia
Mohammedia is 25 km (15 miles) north of Casablanca, on the west coast of Morocco, and has been home to a bustling port of sailors and merchants since the 14th century, and is now also a seaside town for relaxing and sunbathing.
In Mohammedia, you’ll find a good mix of old and new, from visiting the historic Kasbah and the old port to spending time at a resort, tennis court or golf course.
There are several different coves and beaches you can visit too, and maybe try your hand at surfing.
7 – Casablanca
Casablanca tops the list of Morocco’s major cities and has the largest population; the Moroccan city inspired the famous title of the 1940s Humphrey Bogart film.
Casablanca is Morocco’s largest and most populous city, located in the northwest of the country, and is a hub of economic and commercial activity.
Strong French influences blend with Arab and Islamic culture to create a unique atmosphere in one of Morocco’s most recognized cities.
A visit to the Hassan II mosque is a must, as this incredible building, with its 210 m-high minaret, is the largest mosque currently in use in Africa and one of the largest in the world.
8 – Tetouan
The northern Moroccan city of Tetouan, some 60 km east of Tangier, is one of Morocco’s cultural melting pots.
Like Tangier, Tetouan is a major port, with ferries arriving regularly from Gibraltar and Spain.
The city is known for its culture, gastronomy, arts and crafts, with Berber, Jewish, Spanish and Andalusian influences blending here.
The Archaeological Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Modern Art Center are wonderful places to spend your time in Tetouan.
You can also explore the UNESCO World Heritage medina and enjoy a serene view of hundreds of white houses.
9 – Agadir
Agadir is one of Morocco’s best cities for a coastal vacation, another seaside town further south along the coast than Essaouira.
Although it’s only a bus ride from Marrakech, the atmosphere is different, with fresh sea air from the seafront.
Agadir’s Souk El Had, the local market, is packed with stalls selling locally grown produce and handicrafts.
For a more unusual experience, visit the Agadir Crocoparc, an animal park housing over 300 crocodiles.
10 – Asilah
20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer: Just 46 km south of Tangier, Asilah is another Moroccan seaside town, inhabited for over 2,500 years, including a notable occupation by the Portuguese in the 1400s.
Swim in the Atlantic Ocean or ride a camel along Paradise Beach, where vendors sell food and drink.
If you’re visiting in August, take advantage of the International Culture Festival, where new murals are painted on the walls of the medina every year.
11 – Rabat
Rabat is one of Morocco’s best cities for surfing, Morocco’s capital is a hub of activity and life about an hour from Casablanca by train.
You may discover a traditional medina there, and the souk in the center is bustling with both locals and tourists.
You can also visit art and history museums; the Mohammed V mausoleum is an impressive sight.
Morocco is famous for its delicious mint tea and many local specialties, but you must try Dwaz Atay in Rabat “tea cookies”.
Moroccan cookies come in many shapes, sizes and flavors, so you may have to try a few before finding your favorite.
12 – Tinghir
Tinghir may not be one of Morocco’s biggest cities, but it’s certainly an intriguing one. Tinghir (or Tinerhir) lies between the High and Little Atlas mountains in the center of the country.
It’s an oasis of green palm trees near the Todra Gorge, and while nature is a highlight, it’s also full of cultural surprises.
It’s easy to wander around this town and you’re likely to find some bargains in the stalls of the medina, or visit the Jewish quarter and discover the French fort.
13 – Larache
20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer: In northwest Morocco, Larache is home to over 125,000 people and is a great city to visit, whatever you’re looking for: Larache offers food, culture, history and beaches.
Larache has been influenced by Berber, Roman, Greek, Portuguese and even Spanish, contributing to its thriving culture and culinary scene.
From Larache, visit the ancient ruins of Lixus, a Roman settlement where, according to legend, Hercules stole golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides. The ruins are free to visit and much quieter than nearby Volubilis.
14 – Ouarzazate
Ouarzazate is one of Morocco’s most incredible desert towns to visit, located in central Morocco and often referred to as the “gateway to the desert”.
Bordering the Moroccan Sahara desert, Ouarzazate is where you’ll find one of the world’s largest film studios, Atlas Studios.
This studio has provided the backdrop for scenes from hit TV shows Game of Thrones, Prison Break and The Amazing Race, as well as films such as Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia.
15 – El Jadida
El Jadida is one of the best towns to visit in Morocco to explore the Portuguese heritage.
South of Casablanca, El Jadida is home to over 170,000 inhabitants and is well worth a visit for its rich Portuguese history.
The 16th-century Portuguese fortified town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition to historical sites, El Jadida boasts universities and is home to one of Morocco’s top soccer teams.
16 – Al Hoceïma
Al Hoceima is a small town in northeastern Morocco on the Mediterranean Sea, and is one of the cleanest and safest cities in Morocco.
Quemado Beach or Plage Cala Bonita, are known for their calm, crystal-clear waters and golden sand, and you can swim, sunbathe or even rent kayaks and fishing gear.
The Al Hoceima National Park, just outside the town, is a great place for hiking and mountain biking, and you’ll have stunning sea views from some of the highest points.
20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer: La ville d Oujda est située au nord-est du Maroc, près de la frontière algérienne, fondée il y a 1 000 ans, c est aujourd’hui une ville d’environ 558 000 habitants.
Promenez-vous dans la médina et du shopping au Souk de Oujda, le marché central de la ville d’Oujda, où vous pourrez acheter de l’art, de l’artisanat et des délices culinaires marocains, notamment des dattes fraîches et des olives.
Oujda isn’t as well known as the other Moroccan cities on this list, but for an authentic experience, it’s always worth a visit.
18 – Ifrane
While Morocco is known for its beaches, deserts and walled cities, visiting Ifrane will show you another side of the country.
Ifrane sits high in the Atlas Mountains, and much of the town you see today was developed by the French around 100 years ago.
It was created to offer a retreat from the Moroccan sun, and you’ll find plenty of European influence, including plants and gardens.
A winter trip to Ifrane will allow you to ski at the Michlifen ski resort just outside the town. The mountain is popular for hiking and horseback riding in summer.
You’re likely to see the region’s endangered Barbary macaque monkeys, who often come to town in search of food. If you’re looking for animals, keep an eye out for golden jackals too.
19 – Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Morocco, and no list of Moroccan towns would be complete without Chefchaouen.
Almost every building in this hillside paradise is painted in an eye-catching shade of blue.
Here, you’ll find blue houses, restaurants, stores and all-blue alleys and staircases.
Chefchaouen is one of Morocco’s most photogenic towns, and every scene looks like a postcard.
The town has been blue for over 500 years, although there are many different stories about why.
Once you’ve finished exploring the streets, soak up the view from the top of Chefchaouen – it’s only a 30-minute walk away – and you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the blue buildings that is incredibly magnificent at dusk when the pink sun sets behind the blue city.
20 – Merzouga
20 Moroccan cities to visit this summer: Merzouga is one of the most charming towns to visit in Morocco. Situated in south-eastern Morocco, Merzouga is very close to the border with Algeria and nestled among giant dunes.
Next to Merzouga is Erg Chebbi, one of Morocco’s largest sand dunes and an incredible sight.
The dune is over 25 km long and can reach 150 m in height in places.
A visit to Merzouga gives you the chance to ride camels, camp under the stars and build your own sandcastle.