Bucket List: Things to Do in Morocco

Morocco is a country of dazzling diversity, from its ancient cities and craggy mountain ranges to rolling deserts and deserted beaches. Whether you are looking for adventure, culture, nature, or relaxation, Morocco has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Morocco that you should not miss.

Explore the medinas of Marrakesh, Fez and Chefchaouen

The medinas are the old walled parts of Moroccan cities, where you can find a labyrinth of narrow streets, colorful souks, historic monuments, and local life. Each medina has its own charm and character, and you can spend hours wandering around and discovering hidden gems.

Marrakesh is the fabled Red City, where you can experience the vibrant atmosphere of Djemaa El Fna, the most famous square in Africa, with its nightly circus of storytellers, snake charmers, musicians, and food stallsYou can also visit the stunning Bahia Palace, the ornate Ben Youssef Madrasa, and the serene Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden that was once owned by French artist Yves Saint Laurent.

Fez is the oldest imperial city in Morocco, dating back to the 8th century. It has the world’s largest living medieval medina, Fez El Bali, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can marvel at the intricate architecture of mosques, madrasas, palaces, and fountains, as well as witness the ancient crafts of leather tanning, pottery making, and metalworking.

Chefchaouen is a charming town in the Rif Mountains, famous for its blue-hued medina. The blue color is said to symbolize the sky and heaven, and to ward off evil spirits. You can stroll through the cobbled streets and admire the whitewashed houses with blue doors and windows, or relax in one of the open squares and enjoy a mint tea. You can also hike the trails of Talassemtane National Park, which offers scenic views of waterfalls and forests.

Visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city and its economic hub. It is also home to one of the world’s largest mosques, the Hassan II Mosque. This impressive structure was built to commemorate the 60th birthday of King Hassan II in 1993, and it showcases the finest Moroccan craftsmanship. The mosque can hold up to 105,000 worshippers, and it has a 210-meter-high minaret that is visible from miles away. Hassan II Mosque is open to non-Muslims on guided tours, where you can admire the hand-carved stucco, painted wood, mosaic tilework, and marble columns. It also has a retractable roof and a glass floor that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

Hike the Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains are a hiker’s paradise, running diagonally across the country for about 1000 kilometers. They offer a variety of landscapes, from snow-capped peaks and lush valleys to rocky plateaus and desert oases. You can choose from different levels of difficulty and duration, depending on your preference and ability.

One of the most popular hiking destinations is Toubkal National Park, where you can climb Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa at 4167 meters. The trek takes two to three days round-trip, and it rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also visit the traditional Berber villages along the way, where you can experience their culture and hospitality.

Another option is to hike in the Todgha Gorge, a spectacular canyon carved by the Todgha River in the eastern part of the High Atlas. The gorge has walls that reach up to 300 meters high, creating a dramatic contrast with the clear blue sky. You can walk along the riverbed or take one of the many trails that lead to higher elevations. The gorge is also a popular spot for rock climbing enthusiasts.

Experience the Sahara Desert

No trip to Morocco is complete without experiencing the Sahara Desert , the largest hot desert in the world. You can join a desert tour from Marrakesh or Fez that will take you to some of the most amazing places in the desert, such as Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga. These are vast areas of sand dunes that change color with the sun’s rays, creating a magical scenery.

You can ride a camel through the dunes or drive a 4×4 vehicle for a more adventurous experience. You can also spend a night under the stars in a traditional Berber tent or a luxury campsite , where you can enjoy a delicious dinner and entertainment by local musicians.

Relax on the Atlantic Coast

Morocco has a long coastline that stretches for more than 1800 kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can find some of the best beaches in the country, as well as charming coastal towns and villages that offer a different vibe from the inland cities.

One of the most popular destinations on the Atlantic Coast is Essaouira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once a Portuguese fortress and a hippie hangout. Essaouira has a laid-back atmosphere and a rich cultural heritage, with influences from Arab, Berber, Jewish, and European civilizations. You can explore the medina, where you can find art galleries, craft shops, and cafes, or visit the port, where you can see the colorful fishing boats and the lively fish market. Essaouira is also a paradise for surfers, windsurfers, and kitesurfers, thanks to its consistent winds and waves.

Another option is to visit Agadir, Morocco’s premier beach resort. Agadir has a modern and cosmopolitan feel, with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs. You can enjoy the sun and sand on its 10-kilometer-long beach, or indulge in some water sports, golf, or spa treatments. You can also visit the nearby Souss-Massa National Park, where you can see rare birds and animals, such as flamingos, bald ibises, gazelles, and oryxes.

Discover the ancient history of Morocco

Morocco has a rich and diverse history that dates back to thousands of years ago. You can learn more about the country’s past by visiting some of its archaeological sites and historical monuments that showcase its various civilizations and cultures.

One of the most impressive sites is Volubilis, a Roman city that was founded in the 3rd century BC and flourished until the 4th century AD. Volubilis was the capital of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana, and it had a population of up to 20,000 people. You can see the remains of temples, basilicas, baths, houses, and mosaics that testify to the city’s prosperity and sophistication.

Another site worth visiting is Ait Benhaddou, a fortified village that is considered one of the best examples of Moroccan earthen architecture. Ait Benhaddou is composed of several kasbahs (fortified houses) that are built with mud bricks and decorated with geometric patterns. The village has been used as a backdrop for many movies and TV shows, such as Gladiator , The Mummy , and Game of Thrones . You can walk through the narrow streets and climb to the top of the hill for a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.

Enjoy the Moroccan cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is one of the most delicious and diverse in the world, reflecting the country’s geographic location and cultural influences. Moroccan food is known for its use of spices , herbs , fruits , nuts , and meat , creating dishes that are full of flavor and aroma.

Some of the most famous dishes are couscous , a steamed semolina dish that is served with meat and vegetables; tagine , a slow-cooked stew that is cooked in a conical clay pot; pastilla , a savory pie that is filled with meat or seafood and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon; harira , a hearty soup that is made with lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and meat; and bastilla , a sweet pastry that is stuffed with almonds and honey.

You can also try some of the street food in Morocco , such as brochettes (skewers), merguez (spicy sausages), kefta (minced meatballs), bissara (fava bean dip), sfenj (doughnuts), and chebakia (honey cookies).

You can accompany your meals with mint tea , the national drink of Morocco. Mint tea is made with green tea leaves, fresh mint leaves, sugar, and boiling water. It is served in small glasses and poured from a height to create foam. Mint tea is more than just a drink; it is a symbol of hospitality and friendship in Morocco.

These are just some of the best things to do in Morocco that will make your trip unforgettable. Morocco is a country that will surprise you with its beauty, diversity, culture, and hospitality. It is a place where you can have an adventure of a lifetime.