If you’ve been toying with the idea of a trip to Morocco, you’ve come to the right place. With such an enthralling entwinement of Arabian, African, and European cultures, a visit to Morocco will leave you spellbound and yearning for more.
I’ve visited the country several times in the last decade, and each time, I get to explore something new and even more interesting than the last time. So, to help you plan your trip, I’ve compiled these 18 incredible things to do in Morocco that will show you the best the country has to offer.
Maybe you’re planning some chill time in Chefchaouen, a culinary escapade in Marrakech, or only 48 hours in Rabat — the capital city. Whatever your case, there’s bound to be an activity or two here that will cultivate curiosity for your upcoming adventure.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best things to do in Morocco. Get those tickets booked!
18 Mesmerizing Things To Do In Morocco
From camel trekking across the Sahara Desert to sampling some of the finest mint tea in the world, there are so many unique experiences to be had in Morocco. The colors, flavors, sights, and smells are bound to be unlike anything you’ve witnessed before.
Let’s explore some of the unmissable activities and sights that await you in Morocco.
This lavish garden is a 97,000-square-foot labyrinth of exotic botanical plants from all over the world. Nestled amongst the maze of crisscrossing pathways, you’ll discover brightly colored buildings that feature Art Deco and Moorish influences.
Enclosed within the garden walls are additional attractions such as the Berber Museum, the Café Majorelle, and a stunning boutique with handmade products crafted by the best Moroccan artists.
Le Jardin Majorelle is open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the last entry being at 6 p.m. It’s recommended you purchase online tickets prior to visiting so you can rest assured knowing your designated date and time of entry.
Just a two-hours-and-45-minute drive from Marrakech lies the small coastal city of Essaouira. Once here, you’ll discover it’s actually an old fishing port with a relaxed, laid-back feel — a welcoming break from the hustle and bustle of most Moroccan cities.
Filled with artisan industries and a large local fish market, the port is known for the hundreds of small, blue wooden fishing boats that line its harbor. Add this to the backdrop of the city’s 18th-century ramparts, and you’ll be thinking, is this North Africa or the Mediterranean?
Essaouira is perfect for those seeking a coastal escape. It’s also the ideal spot to try your hand at surfing and kite surfing. Its long, sandy beach is perfect for horseback riding and quad biking. There’s even an Essaouira full-day trip that leaves from Marrakech.
You can read more about my experience in Essaouira – one of my favorite towns in all of Morocco.
Tip: On the way to Essaouira, don’t miss doing a quick stop to see the goats on the trees! Yes! Goats in Morocco climb trees!
Looking to relax and unwind after a glorious day of exploring Morocco’s streets? A hammam, or traditional Moroccan spa, is just the place. Hammams are not only places to detoxify but also social and spiritual symbols for Morocco’s people.
Within hammams, there are three steam rooms, all of varying, increasing temperatures. You’ll wash with Moroccan black soap and exfoliate with a kessa — and to end, you’ll rinse with cold water to reawaken the body.
If you’re after the fully immersive and communal experience, bring your own supplies and go to a public hammam. If you’d like more of a luxurious one-on-one treatment, head to a private one, where you’ll have the option to end your treatment with a luxurious argan oil massage.
On my last trip, I stayed at Riad Le Rihani, which has a beautiful hammam-style spa that I highly recommend. The Riad itself is also very quaint and beautifully decorated, and the hammam gives you that sense of luxurious relaxation at an affordable price.
Fint Oasis is just that – a lush, green refuge of fringed date palms growing along the river banks in the middle of the desert. Located just seven miles south of Ouarzazate, the oasis can only be accessed via a dirt road (Tip: it’s best to check the conditions of the road beforehand).
You’ll find donkeys roaming the streets, women washing clothes in the river, and men heading to work in the nearby farms. The villagers here are very friendly, so don’t be surprised if you get invited to drink some mint tea with the locals.
The journey is a perfect visit for a day trip from Ouarzazate. Take a tranquil walk along the river followed by lunch at La Terrasse des Epices — a rooftop restaurant from which you can marvel at the sublime oasis.
‘Bahia’ in Arabic means brilliance, and to say that the Bahia Palace lives up to its name is an understatement. For those who love history, art, or architecture, get a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the Moroccan elite by paying a visit to this royal palace in Marrakech.
Set aside one to two hours to explore the palace’s shaded alleyways, cool courtyards, and lush gardens. It’s no wonder why Bahia Palace is a main attraction when it comes to Moroccan tourism, as its intricate mosaic and latticework throughout leave its visitors awe-struck.
The palace opens its doors every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs around 70 dirhams (approximately $7). If you’d like a private guided tour, you can book it here in advance.
A stunning three-day circuit through Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, the Toubkal Circle is considered one of Africa’s finest hikes. The trail can take anywhere from five to seven days, depending on your hiking experience.
The trek starts and ends in the village of Imlil. The total circuit is 37.3 miles long and will take you on a loop around Jebel Toubkal – the highest peak in Morocco and Northern Africa. You’ll traverse valleys, rivers, and panoramic mountain passes.
The great thing about this trek? It’s considered a moderate trail, so you don’t have to be an expert climber to participate. Don’t feel up to the whole five-day trek? There’s even a one-night, two-day Toubkal Express trek that will take you straight to the peak.
Stargazing in Morocco is bound to be a highlight of your trip. For a truly unforgettable experience, journey to Erfoud in Morocco’s deep South, where the sky meets the earth. To elevate your adventure even more, you’ll stay in a luxury tent in the middle of the desert.
You’ll learn about constellations, planets, the Milky Way, and how the stars guided the desert’s nomadic inhabitants and their caravans through the nights. There are high-end telescopes available that you can use to get a closer look at the night sky.
The Desert Astro Camp is one such destination where you get to experience the Sahara’s nighttime magic. The camp even offers an additional variety of tours, such as camel treks, geological expeditions, and birdwatching.
Visiting a traditional tea room should be at the top of your list on a visit to Morocco. In Morocco, mint tea is a very popular drink that represents friendship and hospitality. It’s usually prepared right in front of guests in a teapot called a berrad.
Teahouses are very common in Morocco, as the locals drink a lot of tea. Usually, they are in authentic Moroccan living rooms or on rooftop terraces, but there are lots of modern tearooms, too. Once here, you’ll sip on refreshing tea and nibble on delicious Moroccan dishes like Meskouta orange cake.
The ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis are a far cry from the chaos of those in Rome. Volubilis is a partly-excavated city and one of the most well-preserved heritage sites that exhibits rich remains of a once flourishing Berber-Roman city.
Here, you’ll discover 2000-year-old ruins of crumbling walls and towering columns that make for a stunning photo against the backdrop of the Moroccan countryside. However, the highlight of a visit here is seeing the restored mosaic floors of the city’s basilica and excavated private homes.
The archeological site is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until an hour before sunset. The best time to visit is first thing in the morning or later on at dusk – fewer people and better lighting.
You can easily do a day trip to Volubilis from Fes or Meknes.
As one of the country’s most beautiful spots, Chefchaouen is a small town known for its striking blue-washed buildings set in the Rif Mountains in North West Morocco.
History has it that the town was painted blue by Jewish immigrants who fled to the city around 1492 to escape the Spanish Inquisition. The blue color symbolizes the sky, and was intended to connect the city to God and the heavens.
Whether you hike to the Akchour waterfalls, indulge in homemade goat cheese, or purchase traditional woolen blankets, two days is more than enough time to explore the blue town. The most magical time of day here is sunset, when the blue city and green mountains are swept with golden hues.
You can check my experience in Chefchaouen on this other post.
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is bound to be one of the most impressive and beautiful pieces of architecture you’ll see in your lifetime. Designed by French architect Michel Pinseau and completed in 1993, it’s the largest mosque in Morocco and the third largest in the world. It also has the second-tallest minaret in the world.
Adorned with handcrafted marble and grand chandeliers imported from Italy, Hassan II Mosque has a vast capacity for 105,000 worshippers. It’s built on a headland looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, and its glass floors and retractable roof allow worshippers to see both the ocean and the stars.
For women, it’s not required that you cover your head to enter the mosque, but make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. The same goes for men.
In Northern Africa, a medina refers to the old town of a walled city. Often regarded as Morocco’s cultural and spiritual heartland, the Fez Medina is the old town of Fez el-Bali. It’s an intricate maze of streets and crooked alleyways lined with shops, tea rooms, mosques, and markets.
Here, you’ll stumble upon serene snake charmers and spirited street vendors trying to sell you all sorts of handcrafted products and berber rugs. Leave your contemporary expectations at the door, as the Fez Medina doesn’t have a single modern bone in its body. It’s a real taste of historic Morocco.
If you’re worried about safety, rest assured that the locals here are very friendly towards tourists. Just keep your wits about you and be aware of your possessions in case of pickpocketing.
At the foot of the Atlas Mountains in Kelaat-M’Gouna lies the Valley of Roses — one of the most understated and overlooked Moroccan destinations.
Once here, you can hike through the Damask rose bushes along the valley floor and pick up some fantastic local rose products such as perfumes, soaps, and skin creams. Apart from the stunning spectacle of thousands of roses blooming in the desert, the accompanying fragrance is an absolute olfactory delight.
The best time to visit is mid-April to the first week of May. Mid-September to mid-October (when the temperatures are a little cooler) is also a good time to visit, although the colors and smells won’t be as vibrant.
“Ksar” refers to earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, and that’s exactly what the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait-Ben-Haddou is.
To the unassuming tourist eye, some might say the red clay exterior and ancient city walls are just that – an abandoned facade that’s only used for film sets and pretty pictures. (Movies like Gladiator, The Mummy, Lawrence of Arabia, and many others have been filmed there.)
However, people still live in Ait-Ben-Haddou (even if it’s just a handful compared to decades prior), and many of its original buildings still operate as businesses and homes.
Nestled among ancient trade routes, its maze of alleyways and intricately designed buildings whisper stories of caravans and culture. If you’re after a fantastic day trip, consider booking this day trip to Ouarzazate and Ait-Ben-Haddou, leaving from Marrakech.
Architecturally, Ait-Ben-Haddou is one of my favorite places in Morocco, and I always love visiting it and walking up and down the Ksar – from the top of its hill to the river basin.
At 360 feet high, Ouzoud Falls are the tallest waterfalls in the entire country. Composed of seven waterfalls, Ouzoud Falls are breathtaking and make for a perfect getaway from the urban jungle.
At the bottom of the falls, there are many natural pools perfect for swimming, so be sure to bring a towel and a bathing suit for an invigorating escape from the Moroccan heat. There’s no entrance fee, and once here, you can hike, take a boat ride, and feed the indigenous (and cheeky) Ouzoud Barbary monkeys.
It’s about a three-hour drive from Marrakech, making it a popular summer spot for locals and tourists alike. The falls bring a sense of serenity to a largely arid area, ensuring a dreamlike experience.
It’s time to put aside your fear of heights and embrace a bucket list experience. If you’re in Marrakech or Fez, taking a ride in a hot air balloon is an unmissable adventure, as viewing Morocco’s vibrant landscapes from the air can only be compared to pure elation.
Whether floating over ancient cities or vast dunes, a hot air balloon ride offers a magnificent way to embrace Morocco’s magic. The most reputable company is Ciel d’Afrique in Marrakech.
If you’d like to go one step further, try this sunrise hot air balloon ride over Marrakech, with a traditional breakfast included. Remember that this activity is weather-dependent and very high in demand, so make sure to book in advance.
What better way to learn about Moroccan culture than through food and connections? If you’ve always dreamed of taking an exotic cooking class, now is the time. Learn to make local dishes such as fish chermoula, zaalouk, and braised rabbit.
Some of the classes even start with a visit to a nearby market, or “souk”, where you’ll learn the ancient art of bartering for fresh produce. Back in the kitchen, you’ll learn age-old techniques, from grinding spices to layering ingredients in a tagine.
The importance of community and hospitality will become apparent in a Moroccan cooking workshop. Whether you’re an aspiring chef or simply a curious traveler, a traditional cooking class will leave you hungry and yearning for more of Morocco’s flavor and flare.
But, if you want a more local experience, I highly recommend doing this cooking class with Layla. I did this class at her home in Marrakech, where she taught us how to cook a traditional tagine, and not only was the experience warm and charming, but her cooking (and ours!) was delicious!
Layla even took us to the market to pick up all the groceries before heading to her home to prepare the meal. She even shared more of her recipes with us to try at home.
There truly isn’t a better way to get a real feel for Morocco than a camel trek through the desert. So, if you have a few days to spare, consider embarking on this sandy, Saharan adventure.
With knowledgeable local guides and dramatic landscapes, a desert camel trek is similar to a passage through time. You’ll spend your days journeying through dunes on camelback, while, at night, you’ll dine on local food around a campfire and sleep in traditional Berber campsites.
A three-day desert tour will be serenely introspective and leave a lasting and profound impression on your Moroccan memories. But hey, if you have a similar experience as mine, you can also make it a fun, adventurous, and party-like experience.
I’ve done this three-day trip a few times, and my experience is different every time. It all depends on the mood and the people on the trip – sometimes calmer and chill, sometimes more lively. But, what I always do on this trip is have a blast sandboarding down the dunes and having a great night out looking at the stars.
I’ve even taken a mattress out to the sand to sleep under the stars instead of within the tent. It’s fun!
From the chaotic streets of Fez Medina to the tranquil blue hues of Chefchaouen, Morocco beckons with all its diverse experiences. Whatever your reason for visiting Morocco, the country’s allure definitely lies in its enchanting landscapes, imperial cities, and delicious cuisine.
Pro tip: Prior to your adventure, you may want to become familiar with the art of bargaining and haggling.
As you’ll soon discover, the people are what makes Morocco truly memorable. Their culture places a strong emphasis on family and community, welcoming visitors with arms wide open and, of course, a delicious glass of mint tea in hand.
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