Tourism in Morocco is well developed, with a strong tourist industry being focused on the country’s coast, culture, and history. Morocco has been one of the most politically stable countries in North Africa, which has allowed tourism to develop. The Moroccan government created a Ministry of Tourism in 1985.
Tourism is considered as one of the main foreign exchange sources in Morocco and the country was Africa’s top tourist destination of 2017.
Morocco is a wondrous, eye-opening taste of the exotic, with snake charmers and conjurers, souks piled high with hordes of treasures, and endless glasses of mint tea.
It’s also an adventure into some of North Africa’s most stunning scenery, with the desert on its doorstep and the craggy heights of the Atlas Mountains beyond.
Morocco is also a journey into a timeless, tranquil world of cute coastal villages, colorful-painted towns that cling to hillsides, and remote outposts defended by fairy-tale adobe forts.
This fascinating country is a merging of the African and Arab worlds and is steeped in age-old customs. It’s no wonder Morocco has been feted by artists and writers for decades and continues to enchant all who visit.
Top Tourist Attractions in Morocco
The bustling and vibrant buzz of Marrakesh medina sums up Morocco for many visitors and is a major tourist attraction.
The old city is entered from the vast plaza of Djemma el-fna Square where, it seems, half the city converges throughout the day and into the evening to hang out with the stall vendors, traditional musicians, snake charmers, and random acrobats.
Once inside the medina itself, you enter a world of maze-like alleyways and shopkeeper hustle. It’s an experience full of colorful and noisy local life and not to be missed on your Moroccan sightseeing trails.
Hassan II Mosque
Casablanca’s major point of interest and landmark building, the Hassan II Mosque is a lavish symbol not only of the city, but also of Morocco itself. This modern mosque (finished in 1993) doesn’t do things by halves.
The decoration detail covering every centimeter of the mammoth two-hectare site took 10,000 artisans to complete. Intricately carved marble pieces, vibrant mosaics, and zellige tile details all pay tribute to traditional Islamic architecture ideals and the mastery of Moroccan craftsmanship and yet, at the same time, still manage to feel contemporary.
Morocco has plenty of beautiful old town areas but Rabat’s Oudaias Kasbah neighborhood has to be one of the country’s most picturesque. This is a peaceful and perfectly quaint district that feels miles away from the city, despite being right in the city’s core.
Inside the walls of this old fortress, the lanes of neat white-and-blue houses rimmed by colorful flowerpots and flapping washing have a lost-in-time atmosphere that’s hard to beat.
Even better, unlike the old town areas of Fes and Marrakesh, there are hardly any other tourists here, so exploring this pretty corner of the capital feels as if you’ve been let in on a well-kept secret.
Fes el Bali
Along with Marrakesh, Fes is Morocco’s other big cultural destination. But unlike its sister Imperial City to the south, Fes hasn’t been trussed up for the tourists. Fes el Bali (old city) is an authentic muddle of a place, where it’s easy to get lost.
The back alleys here, with their chipped plaster-work and gorgeous old doors, will have you stopping for photos on every corner, while visiting the stinking tanneries is one of Fes el Bali’s most popular things to do for those who can handle the smell.
The most European of all Morocco’s cities, Tangier has a fascinating and slightly debauched role in 20th-century literary history, and this past is what draws many tourists here. This is the city that inspired famous works such as Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky and William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch.
Tangier may have been scrubbed up since their day, with the bohemian cafes and louche bars long gone, but you can still catch a whiff of the decadent days gone by.
In the beautiful Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a gorgeous labyrinth of blue-on-blue buildings that has an incredibly photogenic glow.
There isn’t much actual sightseeing to be done, and that’s one of the town’s main attractions. It’s simply about wandering the medina alleys and lapping up all that colorful architecture.
It’s a peaceful, easy going town and a great place to recharge if you’ve been amid the cities for a while. This is also one of Morocco’s main hiking and trekking destinations and a starting point and organization center for Rif Mountains walks.
Morocco’s number one Roman ruin is a feast for history lovers, with a clutch of remarkable mosaics still interred where they were unearthed. This site is also full of tumbled columns and temple remnants, standing as reminders that even the greatest empires eventually crumble.
The hilltop location allows the ruins to lord over the surrounding countryside, adding to the romantic ambiance of lost glory.
Head up through the ruins to the Capitol and Forum to feast on the views. This tourist attraction can easily be visited as a day trip from either Meknes or Fes.
This mammoth gateway (which guards the entrance to Meknes’ Imperial City district from the medina) is noted for its stunning decoration. Meant as a monumental reminder of the sultan’s might, the Bab al-Mansour is a magnificent relic of Meknes’ glorious era as capital of Morocco.
It’s widely regarded as Morocco’s grandest and best preserved gateway. Come in the late afternoon to photograph the gate in the soft light, and then wander through Meknes’ small maze of a medina, which is a much more laid-back affair than the medina of nearby Fes.
Ait Ben Haddou
This golden-stoned adobe Kasbah (fortress) thrusts dramatically out of the earth amid scenery that wows all who visit. It’s a fairy-tale place, and unsurprisingly the orange-hued turrets and curvy lanes inside have become a favorite film location for Hollywood due to the surreal beauty of the place.
You can even sleep within the Kasbah if you want the full Ait Ben Haddou experience – though those who like their creature comforts should be aware that there’s no electricity within the fortress itself.
If you’re heading out into Morocco’s inland regions, it should definitely be on your must-visit list. Try to come in the early morning or later in the afternoon, as the tour bus crowds descend from around 10am to 2pm.
Hikers, trekkers, and general nature lovers shouldn’t miss a journey into the raw landscapes of Morocco’s Dades Valley. With the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas in the distance, the big-sky country here is the perfect antidote for those who have been getting frazzled nerves amid the souks of Marrakesh and Fes.
There are dinky villages galore; exceptional bird-spotting opportunities; great day-walk options; and views of lush fields and orchards trapped between the orange cliffs of the gorge, snaking out before you.
Morocco’s most charming seaside town is laid-back Essaouira, an old hippie haunt of the 1970s that has lost none of its authenticity.
The colorful fishing boats bobbing on the water, stately old shore-side fort walls, and twisty lanes of the old town make Essaouira a delight to discover.
There’s a decent food scene here, with seafood an obvious mainstay on menus and great cafe life. For those seeking more active sightseeing, there are also great walks along the beach to outlying villages, and surfing on the beach.
Inland, in Morocco’s eastern Sahara region, are the grand and rippling sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi, where would-be explorers and adventure-seekers head to get a dose of desert action. This is prime territory for dune-surfing, four-wheel-drive dune-bashing, and the (much more authentic) camel trekking.
For those with less of an active nature, just sitting amid the sand dune splendour is worthy enough of the long journey out here. For most travellers who make it this far, the highlight is spending the evening at a desert camp amid the dunes themselves.
Top Safari Lodges in Morocco
Set in a traditional Moroccan Riad, Dar Andamaure is located in the heart of Marrakech’s Medina, a 2-minute walk from Jamaa El Fna Square. It has a hammam and indoor pool.
Each of the bright, spacious guest rooms has air conditioning and a private bathroom. The rooms overlook the patio or the internal courtyard.
The panoramic roof-terrace offers 360 degree views of the Atlas Mountains. Guests also have free use of the hammam and indoor heated swimming pool.
Dar Andamaure’s restaurant serves traditional Moroccan meals upon request and also offers a set menu. The riad offers a free transfer service from the airport for stays of 3 nights or more and free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
Riad Les Nuits de Marrakech
The Riad is a 1-minute walk from Jamaâ El Fna. It is decorated in a traditional Moroccan style and features a swimming pool with hot tub and a terrace with a seating area and views of the Medina. The air-conditioned suites at Riad Les Nuits de Marrakech feature a flat-screen TV and a seating area.
The private bathrooms include free toiletries, a shower and toilet. The Riad also features a dining room and guests can enjoy traditional Moroccan dishes. Riad Les Nuits de Marrakech is a 17-minute ride from the Menara Garden, and Marrakech Airport is a 20-minute drive from the property.
Medina is a great choice for travellers interested in markets, street markets and shopping. Medina is a great choice for travellers interested in markets, street markets and shopping.
Located in Marrakech, Riad Alnadine is set in a traditional decor and features a patio with an indoor plunge pool and a terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
All of the rooms are fitted with a traditional decor, air conditioning and a seating area. Each room includes a private bathroom with shower and toilet.
A continental breakfast is served each morning. Guests can sample local homemade dishes in the riad’s restaurant. Additional features include the organization of excursions and tours upon prior request. Marrakech Menara International Airport sits over 10 km.
A shuttle to the airport can be arranged on request. Medina is a great choice for travellers interested in markets, street markets and shopping.
Set in the Medina district in Marrakech, Riad Alili boasts an outdoor pool and spa centre. There is a 24-hour front desk, a shared lounge, concierge service and shops at the property.
Some units have a seating area where you can relax. A terrace or balcony is featured in certain rooms. Every room includes a private bathroom.
For your comfort, you will find bathrobes, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Riad Alili features free WiFi throughout the property. A flat-screen TV and DVD player are offered.
Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free use of bicycles is available at this riad and the area is popular for golfing. Palais de La Bahia is 1.2 km from Riad Alili, while Stadium is 1.3 km away. The nearest airport is Marrakech-Menara Airport, 4 km from the property.
Featuring an outdoor pool with a solarium, this contemporary, air-conditioned guest house is set in a flowered garden planted with palm trees. It is located just 10 minutes from Jamaâ El Fna Square. Each modern room features a seating area and views of the pool.
Some of the rooms offer a private terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains. There is also an en suite bathroom in each one. Traditional Moroccan dishes are served in the dining room, which features a contemporary decor.
Breakfast is prepared every morning at the Villa Mano. There is an elegant lounge with a flat-screen TV and you can relax in the on-site hammam. Marrakech International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the guest house, and free private parking is available on site.
This property is 4 minutes’ walk from the beach. Located in Cap Malabata in Tangier, Mnar Castle offers luxurious apartments with views over the sea and garden. It provides an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a terrace.
All apartments are fitted with a fully equipped kitchen, a lounge and several seating areas with views over the sea and garden. Each apartment features a private bathroom with shower and toilet.
A free Wi-Fi access is available in all areas of Mnar Castle and a secured parking is provided on site. Tangier Ibn Batouta International Airport and Cap Spartel are about 20 km away from the property. The city centre is 5 minutes’ drive away.
Riad Dar Zennou
Set in Marrakech in the Marrakech-Tensift-Haouz Region, 100 m from Souk of the Medina, Riad Dar Zennou features a rooftop terrace with a plunge pool and views of the city. The accommodation is fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A terrace or patioare also featured. The property features free WiFi.
There is shuttle service at the property under extra fees. Djemaa El Fna is 200 m from Riad Dar Zennou, while Marrakech Museum is 500 m from the property.
The nearest airport is Marrakech-Menara Airport, 5 km from the property. Medina is a great choice for travellers interested in markets, street markets and shopping.
Residence Bab Sebta
Situated in Fnidek, 5 km from Ferry Tickets Available Here, Residence Bab Sebta features accommodation with free WiFi and a garden with an outdoor swimming pool.
The accommodation comes with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bath and a hair dryer, while the kitchen has a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave. A balcony with garden views is offered in each unit.
Residence Bab Sebta offers a children’s playground. A terrace is available for guests to use at Residence Bab Sebta. The nearest airport is Sania Ramel Airport, 30 km from Residence Bab Sebta.
This is located just 200 m from the famous Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. It offers traditional Moroccan rooms with free Wi-Fi. The hotel is in the heart of the village and has a restaurant that serves traditional Moroccan cuisine.
Guests can relax with an evening drink in the bar. Bagdad Café offers excursions in the surrounding area with an official guide, including trips to visit nearby oases and the Kasbah.
Ryad El Borj
Situated in Marrakech’s Medina, Ryad El Borj offers typical, Moroccan decoration, a 5-minute walk from Jemaa El Fna Square and a 10-minute walk from Koutoubia. It has a patio and a panoramic terrace.
The rooms with view offer air-conditioning and a private bathroom with shower. The superior room has a seating area and the suite features a flat-screen TV with DVD player and a private patio.
Traditional breakfast is served on site together with local specialties. Guests can also relax in the common, traditional lounge.
They can enjoy hammam and massages, at an extra cost. Tours can be organized on site upon request. Bahia Palace away and Medersa Ben Youssef are just 15 minutes’ walk away. Marrakech-Menara Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
Chez Les Habitants
Located next to the Erg Chebbi Dunes, Chez Les Habitants is a 3-minute drive from the centre of Merzouga. It offers free Wi-Fi access and a terrace. Excursions, camel rides and 4×4 tours can be arranged on site. All rooms are simply decorated and include a seating area. All rooms have private bathroom facilities with shower.
Breakfast is served every morning at Chez Les Habitants. Local dishes prepared by the hosts can be enjoyed if you reserve in advance. Chez Les Habitants is 38 km from Rissani and offers a Berber tent.
Free private parking is available. Guests can get a typical henna tattoo. Medina is a great choice for travellers interested in markets, street markets and shopping.
Located within 600 m of Palais de La Bahia in Marrakech, Riad Badi has a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a shared lounge, as well as free WiFi. Built in 2011, the property is within 1.1 km of Marrakech Parking Koutoubia. The property is close to popular attractions like El Badi Palace, Moulay El Yazid Mosque and Saadian Tombs.
At the guest house, all rooms are fitted with a patio. All rooms include a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hair dryer. Guest rooms at Riad Badi have air conditioning and a wardrobe.
A continental breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Riad Badi offers a sun terrace. Speaking English and French, staffs are willing to help at any time of the day at the reception.