Cities in Morocco which you should visit

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to live a Thousand and One Nights experience

From the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean to the sandy plains of the Sahara, Morocco has fascinated and seduced travelers for thousands of years. Morocco is located in North Africa along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea; the country’s geography is defined by the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert. Currently, there are many cities in Morocco worth visiting: Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Tangier… Of all these Casablanca is the largest of the cities in Morocco. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of the major Moroccan cities.

How many (and which) are the imperial cities of Morocco?

Of the two hundred and sixty-five cities in Morocco, only four have the label “imperial city” because for imperial cities the customer cities in Morocco that have been “capitals” at various times and in which lived a ruler of the royal family. The four imperial cities are: Fes, the oldest of the imperial cities, the spiritual city; Marrakech: the “red” pearl because of the color of its buildings and houses; Meknes: the smallest of the imperial cities and Rabat: the current capital of Morocco.

Which cities in Morocco should you visit?

Morocco’s strength lies in its strategic position for trade with the rest of Africa. From French to Spanish influences and others in between, each of Morocco’s cities, whether cosmopolitan metropolises or traditional medieval towns, boast an incredible historical and cultural heritage. Here’s our pick of the best cities in Morocco to help you plan your next trip.

Marrakesh

Located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, the imperial city of Marrakech is full of life, bustling, atmospheric and steeped in history. There is plenty to see and do, from enjoying traditional Moroccan street food to the Djemma el Fna night market; for shopping for spices and handmade jewels in the lively souks of the medina. Attractions such as Saadian Tombs and El Badi Palace give an insight into the city’s rich history. For a more authentic experience, consider staying in a traditional riad within the walls of the medina.

marrakech

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Fes

The medieval city of Fez was Morocco’s capital for more than 400 years and remains an important religious and cultural center. The old fortified part of the city, known as Fes el-Bali, was founded in the 9th century and is recognized by UNESCO for the historical significance of the architecture of the Idrisid dynasty. The historic center is best explored on foot and especially if you want to visit the Al Quaraouiyine Mosque and University, which is the oldest in the world (dating back to 859 AD). Other highlights include the Chaouwara Tanneries, the Merenid Tombs and the Mellah or Jewish Quarter.

The Chefchaouen

Hidden among the panoramic peaks of the Rif Mountains, The Chefchaouen is a small town that has become famous all over the world. It is probably considered a creative center in Morocco, attracting painters and photographers with its photo-perfect light, the houses painted blue (and its reputation as the cannabis capital of Morocco). It is interesting to discover the local handicrafts in the cozy shops of the medina, have a drink in the architecture of the Uta el-Hammam square or taste the refined Moroccan cuisine in a riad restaurant. The surrounding countryside is full of beautiful hiking trails.

the chief chaou

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Tangier

Tangier it is the gateway to Africa for those traveling by sea from southern Europe. Although the town doesn’t quite have the charm it had in the 1940s and 1950s, when you could meet the likes of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, there’s still plenty to see. Highlights include the medina Kasbah Museum and Ville Nouvelle of French inspiration. The harbor also offers interesting views across the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain, while some beautiful beaches are a short drive from the city centre.

Meknes

Meknes is smaller and quieter than Marrakech and Fez, but has all the charm you’d expect from an imperial city, including a well-preserved medina filled with souks. Meknes was the capital during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 17th century and is a showcase of Moroccan architecture complete with huge doors and impressive carvings. History buffs will love top attractions such as Royal stables and Moroccan Art Museum (Dar Jamai), the Roman ruins of nearby Volubilis are also worth a visit.

Essaouira

Located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, a short distance from Marrakech, lies the beautiful city of Essaouira. An important fishing port for centuries, the town’s visual appeal has often seen it used as a silver screen backdrop.

The sun and Atlantic trade winds have acted as a magnet for water sports enthusiasts, but you can also find art galleries and beach bars to complement the atmosphere bohemian. It’s Morocco in a nutshell and a great place to relax for a few days.

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