Amazing sights to see in Morocco
What to do in Morocco
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: Creating a list of what to do in Morocco with just 20 attractions is an almost impossible task – after all, this colorful North African country is an eclectic destination that has something for everyone.
Although small, it is home to beaches, deserts, vibrant metropolises, waterfalls, lakes, dunes and even mountains for skiing and climbing! The nature is exuberant, the architecture is rich in detail, the distances are long and the climate is intense!
For three weeks, Vagner and I traveled more than 1500 km, absorbing all the sights, smells and sounds of this country and, of course, gorging ourselves on couscous, tagine and lots of mint tea!
Traveling through Morocco was an unparalleled experience that we want to repeat many more times! Below, we’ll share with you the best attractions, the ones you MUST experience at least once and which will leave a mark on you forever.
Go there with an open mind and heart so you can be startled by the many contrasts!
Why visit Morocco?
Traveling to this country and visiting the sights of Morocco is like stepping into a time machine that takes you back more than a thousand years in human history.
It is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination, as it is a great option for experiencing North African culture on a budget.
Located on the northwestern tip of the huge African continent, it’s just a quick flight from Europe, so it’s very easy to fit Morocco into a European trip.
How to get to Morocco
There are direct flights from São Paulo to Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. It is also possible to fly to Europe and from there to Morocco. There are daily flights from Lisbon on TAP that take less than an hour to Marrakech. Low-cost airlines such as Ryanair fly to Morocco for less than $100.
The 14-kilometer-long Strait of Gibraltar divides Morocco from Europe. Regular ferries leave from Algeciras and Tarifa (Spain) to Tangier or Ceuta, and from Sète (France) to Tangier, Almeria and Malaga (Spain) to Melilla.
Things to do in Morocco: the best attractions in the country
1. Visit the tanneries in Fez
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: One of the highlights of any Morocco tours is buying some incredible leather products, so of course this is the first attraction on our list of things to do in Morocco. But first of all, do you know how all this colorful leather is made and, more importantly, what it’s made of?
The best way to see this process in action is to visit a tannery, the place where animal skins are processed to make leather. Since the Middle Ages, tanneries have been in use, and little has changed.
The “Chouara Tannery” in Fez is one of the most well-known. This ancient open-air workshop has existed for 1000 years! You’ll find hundreds of colorful pools, like an artist’s painting palette, with busy men working in the sun.
The smell of the mixture of acids, natural pigments and cow urine used to soften leather can be unbearable, but the sight more than makes up for it.
2. Walk through the incredible Todra Gorge
The Todra River flows through the gorges and there is a small asphalt road where you can walk between the beautiful walls.
You can’t help but feel tiny and, at the same time, completely fascinated by this place which is one of Morocco’s main tourist attractions!
3. Visit Jemaa el-Fnaa Square in Marrakech
Wondering what to visit in Morocco? Go to Jemaa el-Fnaa Square.
Marrakech was exactly what we imagined it would be: a modern mix of Moroccan and international culture, with a huge diversity of delicious food, and medinas with beautiful architecture. Without a doubt, the most eclectic city of the trip!
Tens of thousands of people are dining, shopping, getting henna tattoos, listening to bands and storytellers, and viewing magicians and other performers in the famed Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which is actually the muddle everyone describes (and snake charmers during the day!).
It’s one of the busiest and most interesting places in the whole country (and I bet the world!) to watch people come and go. We were really impressed by how big and crowded the place is!
4. Shopping in the Souqs of Marrakech
One of the great pleasures of Marrakech that you should include on your list of what to visit in Morocco is walking through its souks, bargaining and people-watching.
This maze of alleys is a feast for the senses: the mix of people, the variety of products, the colors, the smells, and the play of light and shadow across the ceiling can be incredible!
Take your time on your first visit, starting with the main street. When you get back, remember that the great fun is getting lost, so enter the side alleys, where there are small workshops where craftsmen make and sell traditional pieces.
The souks are at their liveliest around 4 pm – 5 pm, when the temperature cools down, the locals head out for their evening stroll and the tourists have already gone to the sights.
But it’s worthwhile to go through them multiple times, the environment varies during the day.
5. Spend a night in the Sahara desert
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: Spending a night in the Sahara desert is a must on your list of things to do in Morocco! Seriously, this is an experience that everyone needs to have at least once in their life.
Watching the sun set behind the dunes to make room for thousands of stars will make you feel small and lucky at the same time. It’s impossible not to be enchanted!
You can go on your own and spend the night in one of the camps such as Desert Camp Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga Luxury Lodge, which offer comfortable tents, free parking and breakfast.
But you can also book the “Marrakech: 3 Days and 2 Nights in the Sahara Desert” excursion, which includes transfers, camels, breakfast and dinner, as well as 2 nights in luxury camps!
6. Relaxing on the beach in Agadir
In the south of Morocco is Agadir, one of the most beautiful seaside towns and one of Morocco’s main tourist attractions.
It was partially destroyed in the 1960s due to a major earthquake but was quickly rebuilt and improved and now attracts people from all over the world.
Nearby stunning beaches, a thriving nightlife, intriguing museums, and a zoo are all features of the city.
It is also home to some of Morocco’s best coastal resorts and marinas, luxurious seaside restaurants and cafés, spas and sophisticated hotels with panoramic ocean views. All this makes Agadir a great vacation spot and a romantic destination for couples and newlyweds.
7. Explore the colorful alleys of Moulay Idriss
The colorful little town of Moulay Idriss is another place that needs to be on your list of what to visit in Morocco.
It is considered the holiest city in the country, as it is home to the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss (a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed).
It has a picturesque location on top of a hill surrounded by green valleys. It’s a very pleasant place to spend the day!
8. Be impressed by Volubilis
The ancient Volubilis, just 4 km from Moulay Idriss, is the best preserved Roman archaeological site in Morocco. In fact, Unesco designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1997.
In an area of 480 square meters, you’ll find everything from original mosaics to an impressive wall with arcades from a 3rd century courthouse.
The tour, which costs 20 dirhams, takes about an hour and, as there is no shade and the sun tends to be strong, make sure you use sunscreen. Put it on your list of things to do in Morocco!
9. Travel along the Tizi n ‘Test road
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: The Tizi n ‘Test is the road that cuts through the High Atlas Mountains, built in the 1920s to connect Marrakech to Taroudant, 226 kilometers to the southwest. For anyone planning to drive in Morocco, this is a must-do on your list of things to do in Morocco!
If the weather is good, you’ll be amazed by the breathtaking landscapes of mountains, hairpin bends and cliffs up to 500 meters high. However, be aware that sometimes, due to the high altitude, the pass is covered in clouds!
At some points, there are viewpoints with cafés, where you can make that basic pit stop for a coffee, toilet or rest.
10. Photographing the famous blue alleys in Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is another of Morocco’s tourist attractions that should not be left out of any itinerary.
This sacred “blue city”, with its quiet streets and friendly people, exudes an air of calm and mystery. The great thing here is to wander through the blue streets of the medina, discover new corners and take lots of photos. In fact, it’s one of the most photographed places in Morocco!
Located 55 km from the city of Tetouan and 100 km from Ceuta, it’s a good option for an overnight stay if you want to explore the north of the country.
Take a break in the many sidewalk cafés of Place Uta el-Hammam and have a snack while watching the people go by.
11. Relaxing in an authentic hammam
In any village or town in Morocco, no matter the size, you’ll find a public hammam (bathhouse), where you can bathe in varying temperatures of water in buckets and then lie down on a hot stone and receive a thorough scrubbing by a staff member wearing a kiis (a rough glove).
This is an authentic way to experience the country’s bathing tradition that is well worth including on your list of things to do in Morocco! These baths offer different atmospheres for men and women (or simply different times) and admission is a symbolic price of less than dh10 (R$6.10).
But if you want something quieter (i.e. more tourist-oriented!), then head to Les Bains in Marrakech or the O-Spa by Kenzi Tower Hotel in Casablanca. Whichever you choose, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and refreshed.
12. Hiking in the Atlas Mountains
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: The Atlas Mountains, one of Morocco’s tourist attractions, stretch for 2,400 kilometers, from the west coast of Morocco to Tunisia, and is an increasingly popular hiking destination.
Most hikes start in Imlil, a mountain village an hour’s drive from Marrakech. The paths are well marked, particularly from Imlil to Jebel Toubkal, and are suitable for all levels of fitness.
There is simple accommodation along the route, and the best time to attempt the summit is in April or May, when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is minimal. If you don’t want to climb the peak, there are other peaceful hikes nearby.
13. Sleep like a Moroccan king in a luxurious Riad
Staying at a riad should be the only thing on your list of things to do in Morocco. The main reason is the incredible feeling you get when you walk through the door into the medina and enter a kind of “secret oasis”!
With its fountains, gardens and tranquillity, each riad is a refuge from the scorching heat and the hustle and bustle outside!
Most of the riads are located in Fez and Marrakech and are architectural masterpieces, boasting intricate mosaic work, tiled floors and graceful arches. In addition, Marrakesh is home to two of the most beautiful hotels in the world!
14. Visit the largest mosque in Africa in Casablanca
If you’re wondering what to visit in Morocco, this is another good option. There are many beautiful mosques in the country, but the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca is one of the most impressive. It is the largest in the country and, at 180 meters, its minaret is the highest in the world.
With a relatively modern structure, it was completed in 1993 by order of King Hassan II, who wanted to create a historical landmark in Casablanca that could be recognized worldwide.
The mosque took seven years to build and required the participation of 10,000 craftsmen. Today, non-Muslims can take a tour of the building’s breathtaking interior outside of prayer times. Alternatively, you can admire the beauty of the building and its seaside setting from the outside.
15. Visit the UNESCO Center of Tétouan
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: In the north of Morocco and on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea is the city of Tétouan, another of Morocco’s tourist attractions.
Walking through the streets of Tétouan, which has a Spanish influence dating back to the period between 1912 and 1956 (when it was the capital of Spain’s protectorate in the country), is to feel like you’re in a mix of worlds, between Arabic and Spanish, with a strong ascendancy towards the latter.
Although it has more than 380,000 inhabitants, the city – whose characteristic color is white – retains an air of tranquility, even in the medina (old town), which is one of the cleanest and least crowded in the country and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
16. Visit Ouarzazate, Morocco’s Hollywood
If you love movies, Ouarzazate probably needs to be on your list of things to do in Morocco!
Here you can visit the film sets of major productions, such as the series ‘Game Of Thrones’, and the films ‘Babel’, ‘The Mummy’, ‘Prince of Persia’, ‘Alibaba and the 40 Thieves’, among other recent classics.
You can also visit the cinema museum, which has a spectacular collection of equipment, accessories, costumes and sets created for filming in Ouarzazate.
17. Enjoy the sunset in Essaouira
Our favorite city in Morocco, Essaouira is located a few hours from Marrakesh on the Atlantic coast and is a popular beach destination for European tourists, as well as being one of the best tourist spots in Morocco.
This charming blue and white city harmoniously blends Arab, Berber, African and European influences. We love the relaxed atmosphere, the lack of street harassment, the charming cafés, the sea breeze and the fresh fish!
Don’t miss the city’s wonderful fish market, where fishermen sell the catch of the day. Afterwards, stop by the small fish stalls near the main square and try some fresh, inexpensive seafood.
We, along with our friends, “splurged” on a meal here: for $50 in total, the four of us shared eight tiger prawns, two fish weighing more than a kilo, and half a kilo of squid. Bread, salad, beverages, bread, tea, and dessert are also included. (We ate there every day, and meals then cost around US$15.) Visit stalls 5 and 11 for the best fish!
18. Ouzoud Waterfalls
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: At 110m high, the Ouzoud Waterfalls are one of the country’s most beautiful natural wonders and one of Morocco’s most incredible tourist attractions.
The best part is that, as well as enjoying them, you can also bathe in them, as long as you can stand the cold water!
To get to know this wonder, there are several tours leaving from Marrakech, these are the ones we recommend you include on your list of things to do in Morocco:
19. Diving or surfing on Moroccan beaches
Although the first image that comes to mind when we think of Morocco is of the souks in the measures or the starry nights of the Sahara Desert, the country possesses an abundance of paradisiacal beaches as well!
There are two coastlines to choose from: the laid-back Mediterranean, with its safe swimming beaches and good water temperatures, or the wild beauty and rich culture of the windswept Atlantic coast.
For surfers, the best destination is Taghazout, a small fishing village located north of Agadir. But Point Anchor is also famous for its right-hand break, which extends for 500 meters during a powerful north-westerly swell.
If you want to include surfing on your list of things to do in Morocco, try to plan your trip for the winter season, from September to April, when the waves are at their best.
20. Eat lots of couscous and tagine
Amazing sights to see in Morocco: Last on our list of things to do in Morocco, the tip is to eat lots of couscous and tagine! During our two weeks traveling in Morocco, we threw ourselves into eating as much as possible. After all, one of our travel goals is to taste the typical flavors of a place and learn how each meal is prepared.
And you will eat extremely well in Morocco! With its remarkable flavors and smells, Moroccan cuisine is delicious and rich in spices and textures, bringing together typical Arab, Mediterranean and northern European flavors, as well as combining the freshest ingredients common in the country.