Morocco is a very attractive worth exploring on your visit in Africa. The country offers a lot besides the vibrant Souks of Marrakech, ranging from the pristine Atlas Mountains, the rich culture of the hospital Moroccan village, the beautiful arches of Legzira and the tasty tagines of morocco.
This beautiful country is the official gateway to northern Africa, and invites holidaymakers to visit this beautiful land and explore its unique culture, history and beautiful sites such as where the desert meets the land. Lovers and persons interested in architecture and history, a tour through the numerous paved passageways taking you through the very old medinas is a must-do during your visit in the country.
Below we have brought you the top twenty five (25) things to do and places to go during your visit in Morocco.
Things to Do In Morocco
- The Bahia palace
This is one of the highlights of a tour in Marrakech is visiting the Bahia palace which is the most visited sites in the country. Persons interested in architecture and art will get an opportunity to explore the exception fusion of Moroccan art plus Islamic architecture well displayed within in the palace that was constructed back around 1859. The floors all the way up to the ceiling has been beautifully decorated using gilded finishes, mosaic stuccos as well as unique wooden ceilings. Among the highlights of the Bahia palace is the quoted in beautiful marble courtyard, the walled gardens, the wonderful fragrant of Jasmine and oranges and not to forget the elegantly painted and tiled palace interior. Presently part of the palace is home to the minister of cultural affairs in Morocco and part of it is also used to entertain the different dignitaries visiting the country
- Menara Gardens
The menara Gardens found in Marrakech are believed to have been established back in the 12th century during which they were mainly created to enable the people living in the city to grow crops. Taking a visit to these Gardens will give you the perfect escape into a world of peace and serenity as you escape from the busy and noisy lifestyle in the city. The numerous groves, palm trees and the various fruit trees will offer you a very good shed from the heat in the city. In the middle of the garden there is a sizable artificial lake that looks over the galleon pavilion and at times you may be able to catch sight of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. There are a number of underground channels that were constructed to direct water into this garden from the Atlas Mountains which are located about 30 kilometers away and this is one of the things that is pretty unique here. Entrance to the Menara Gardens is free and they can easily be accessed either on foot or using public means like a taxi; they are open to the public on a daily basis
- The Chouara Tannery
Within Fez city is a huge traditional leather workshop known as the Chouara Tannery and the largest of the three found here. It is in this place that tourists will get an opportunity to see the traditional way of making different leather items. This is one of the best places in the country where you will be able to buy authentic leather bags, shoes and any other top quality leather items. The tradition of working on leather is said to have originated back in the medieval era so it is a unique practice that has been passed on over several generations. for those interested in photography you are advised to visit during the morning hours to get clearer views of the different colored dyes.
- The Casablanca Cathedral
This cathedral also known as the Cathedrale Sacre Coeur is surrounded mainly by Muslim architecture offering a very despondent sight in the landscape. Built in the 1930s it was a very elegant and highly impressive church constructed under the sovereignty of the Catholic French despite the fact that today it has been abandoned. In 1956 after Morocco as a country gained independence, this church was converted into a school and several years later it turned into a cultural centre. today this is a highly recommended must visit site especially for people interested in unique architecture as it has unique neo-gothic kind of architecture, good art decorations as well as Muslim influence of the Moroccan people. Visitors will also get a chance to walk all the way to the top of the high towers where they will be able to enjoy sleeping views the entire City.
- The Majorelle Gardens
One of the must do things for tourists that visit morocco is to spend an hour or two in the serene beautiful natural Gardens that were constructed over a duration of forty (40) years by Jacque Majorelle a much-admired French artist. Following his death, the gardens became into poor condition not until Yves Saint Laurent another French designer bought them and brought them to their previous glory. Currently they have well maintained lanes lined with several exotic trees that offer a very good shade, cascading water streams, very peaceful water pools where guests can sit quietly and reflect, and beautiful colorful flowers. There is a Berber Museum where visitors will get a chance to learn about the history and culture of the Berber people who live in this area. When you visit the gift shop, you will get an opportunity to purchase some souvenirs.
- Visit Chefchaouen – the blue City
Holidaymakers who are interested in looking deeper into the culture and history of Morocco, a visit to the small city in the northern hills of Morocco called Chefchaouen is one of the most recommended things to do. this city which seems to have received a blue paint down pour has a beautiful characteristic blue color on all its buildings which makes it seem like a ‘blue city’. Constructed in the middle ages most of this city remains in its original form today and offers you a chance to step back in the ancient time. You will get an opportunity to admire the unique traditional culture of the Moroccan people, walk through the winding passages that are lined with vibrant blue walls as well as see the everyday lifestyle of this people with the Jewish and Spanish influence. For tourists who come to this area and look forward to an overnight stay, there are a number of modern accommodation and good restaurants where you will be able to taste some of the local scrumptious dishes. You can also visit the art and craft souvenir shops, hike up the mountains or simply unwind by the swimming poolside.
- The Koutoubia Mosque
The grand minaret on the Koutoubia mosque magnificently dominates the sky of the Marrakesh and it is among the popular attractions found in the city. Sadly the inside of the mosque can only be accessed by Muslims. Nonetheless, all tourists Muslim and non-Muslims are welcome to admire and see the exterior of this mosque which in fact is the largest in the whole of Marrakech and has a very detailed and unique architecture. It is assumed to have been constructed back in 1150 this is the oldest standing Almohad minaret in the entire world. The highly decorated structure stands at a height of more than 70 meters and its decorations include ceramic tiles, beautifully appointed battlements as well as a number of Moroccan decor motifs.
- The Chellah
The Chellah also known as the Sala is a beautiful architecture site that is surrounded with a great wall. It has Roman ruins as well as a burial chamber for that Islamic people. it is located on the outskirts of Rabat City. Back in time this site was home to the wealthy Roman settlement and overlooked the fertile plains near the coastline of Morocco, despite the fact that today it mainly stands in ruins. During your walk here places such as the beautifully constructed Roman road, a forum, a triumphant arch and number of eye-catching buildings currently standing in different stages of ruins. You Islamic ruins on this site that date back to the 14th century were better preserved and today are oddly home to a large number of storks. There are well trained guides found at the entrance of this site you can hire for a guided tour.
- Explore the caves of Hercules
The complex caves of Hercules are found within port Tangier and it is believed that this is where Hercules rested back in time during his day to day labors. The caves eventually open out onto the spectacular beach offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a good place to visit especially if you are exploring the neighboring parts of Tangier and it is highly recommended to hire a guide for you tour. The opening of the caves has a shape on the map of Africa and as the sun sets it offers one of the best photography opportunities in the country.
- The El Badi Palace
The construction of the El Badi Palace took about twenty five (25) years to be completed starting with Sultan Ahmad Al Mandir back in the Saadi dynasty and the construction was only finished in 1593. Sadly a number of dynasties robbed this palace of its previous magnificent and used the stolen materials to construct their own palaces. Although most of the palace stands in ruins today, it is a very impressive site worth visiting.
It’s alleged that the original building had more than three hundred and fifty (350) well decorated rooms, a swimming pool that was nearly two times the size of an Olympic swimming pool as well as a Grand Hall. During your visit you will be able to explore the endless passages, summer houses, the sunken Gardens and the stables.
- Visit Port Tangier
In case you are looking for a place where you can spend a couple of days while in Morocco Tangier is one of the recommended places and it is found at the entrance point of the spectacular Mediterranean Sea and overlooks Spain as well as Gibralter. The city in addition offers so much to do and see therefore it is considered as a must visit places in Morocco.
- The Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II mosque is one of the leading landmarks found in the city of Casablanca and it’s a good place to visit especially if you’re interested in seeing the unique architecture and beautiful art of Morocco. The mosque is found on a very unique location sitting on a platform that extends above the Atlantic Ocean with a section of it having a glass floor although it cannot be accessed by visitors. This platform will enable the faithful to pray while over the Atlantic Ocean as they kneel on the glass platform. Furthermore, a section of the roof can be pulled back to enable the faithful to pray while looking up to the sky and seeing the ocean just as Hassan wished. When you closely observe the decoration and design of the mosque you will see the great influence of the Moroccan skill of art. Only worshippers can access the inside of the mosque while non-Muslims led by a guide can enjoy a guided tour around the exterior of the mosque.
- Walk in the Desert of Merzouga
On the eastern part of Morocco is a small village known as Merzouga located very close to the border of Morocco with Algeria. This village is found hidden within the sun dunes which makes it quite a unique place to visit when exploring the arid Sahara desert. When traveling from Marrakech to this village it may take approximately 10 hours drive; for that reason we recommend that you get a driver-guide to lead you on this adventure.
- The Hassan Tower
The Hassan tower stands high above into the blue skies and although it wasn’t constructed to completion, its height is evidence to the great dream of the highly ambitious sultan Yacoub Al Mansour whose initial intension was to see that he constructs a very high tower twice its current height. sadly the Hassan tower currently stands in ruins but none the less it should be visited to give you an opportunity to see the exceptional art skill of the long ago at Asians who pioneered the construction back in 1195. It was the original intention of sultan Al Mansour to make this tower the minaret of a very huge mosque that could accommodate more than twenty thousand (20,000) worshippers. Sadly in 1199 he died and the project was totally abandoned. When you visit you will get an opportunity to see the uncompleted 44 meter high tower plus nearly 200 columns which show a very impressive plan of the mosque he wished for.
- The souks of Marrakech
In the local Arabic language and would souk means ‘marketplace’ or ‘a Bazaar’ then Marrakech is the initial market town with a complex network of market Street that deal in everything ranging from leather products, Berber rugs, to the beautiful lanterns. This market place has a number artists including expert and amateur designers offering a good place to shop for home ware items and beautifully designed as well as very fashionable aesthetic items. It is a good place to get souvenirs while in Morocco and offers you a chance to put your bargaining skills at test.
- Agdal Gardens
The Agdal Gardens found in Marrakech are believed to back in the 12th century and are among the must-see attractions within the country. You will get a chance to walk on the quite beautiful streets lined with olives as you admire the originality of the very old Almoravids, which managed to channel water from ourika valley using an underground network of dug ditches and channels into the orchard gardens. Currently the gardens comprise of a number of interconnected orchards with squares walls, Olive groves as well as plantations that surround a pool known as the ‘tank of health’ or the ‘ Sahraj el-Hana’. These gardens which are a section of the royal palace cover an area of more than 400 hectares and can only be visited by the public twice a week when the King is out of the palace on Fridays and Sundays.
- The Kasbah of Udayas
Constructed several hundreds of years ago, the magnificent Kasbah of the Udayas has been standing-guard over Rabat City and invites visitors to explore this very old place to get an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the people who lived here several centuries back. A towering wall standing at a height of more than 8 meters and with a thickness of two to three meters surrounds the entire Kasbah of the Udayas. There are two beautifully decorated high towers that make a grand gateway to this site. The walls of this place have seen wars plus piracy coming and going but today this is a very unique site where you will be able to explorer the tiny winding streets that are lined with several shops. You will visit the beautiful garden, courtyards, and even see the oldest mosque in Rabat special about this place is the traditional museum that offers great displays of the ancient art and at the end of the day’s adventure you can enjoy a cup of mint tea as you watch the breathtaking views.
- Ifrane National Park
Considering the busy nature of Morocco, a visit to Ifrane National Park will surely give you a very different encounter and experience in the country that includes fishing, observing the gifts of Mother Nature, hiking as well as camping. This amazing National Park is located within the center of the Atlas Mountains just south of Fez. It is home to a very wide diversity of birds with about 200 species recorded here, reptiles, endangered Barbary macaque, sheep and one of the world’s largest cedar forests. The monkeys living in this park have grown to be domesticated so you can purchase some snacks, bananas or nuts and feed them here. In addition you will get a very thrilling experience here as you explore the numerous hiking trails which lead to amazing sites like the waterfalls, lakes, mountains, volcanic plateau and forests. There are a number of berber villages found within the park where accommodation in the form of dormitories or camping grounds can be obtained for those looking forward to spending a couple of nights here.
- Visit the Rabat Archaeology Museum
The Archaeology Museum found in Rabat was established back in 1934 and is home to a number of valuable statuary collection, relics as well as artifacts said to be over one hundreds of years. This is a highly, recommended must-see tourist site for persons fascinated about ancient history as well as human evolution. There are a number of human remnants found in the museum’s prehistoric section believed to have existed during the Paleolithic as well as the Neolithic (4000BC) eras. Moving on to the Islamic section you will see a number of religious treasures that were dug up between the 9th and the 13th century; while the Roman section includes a collection of ruined marble and bronze items.
- Jemaa El Fna
The Jemaa el Fna since its establishment has been a pinnacle symbol of Marrakesh and it is basically a large city square as well as the marketplace that was constructed between the 11th century and the 14th century. Because of its uniqueness the square was granted the status of a UNESCO world heritage site and offers visitors an opportunity to move back in time as they enjoy the ancient cultural practices of the Moroccan people as narrated by the storytellers, performer as well as musicians. On your visit here, you will also be able to see the breathtaking minaret of Koutoubia mosque that stands high above the square and even visit the snake charmer. At the end of your adventure exploring the old Town or wondering around the Marrakech souk, you will have some mint tea at any of the several garden terraces found at the square.
- White Water Rafting Adventures
Within the Atlas Mountains, holiday makers will get a chance to enjoy rafting adventures for both families as well as extreme adventurers. There are simple half day adventures conducted on Ahansal River ideal for families whereas the full day vigorous adventures conducted along the twenty (20) mile stretch on the Red Canyon are ideal for the extreme adventurers and these can go on for several days with good over night accommodation provided.
- Camel Tours
Taking a guided camel ride is one of the best ways to learn about the unique Moroccan culture. You will be able to visit the Berber Villages and get an up-close encounter with the local people as you observe them go about their customarily way of life. You will join them for a traditional lunch and also visit the Argon oil factory whose oil is made from the Moroccan nut.
- Hot Air Balloon Safari in Marrakesh
In case you holiday in Morocco includes visiting Marrakech, do not miss out on the exciting and very extra-ordinary hot-air balloon safari. The adventure starts very early in the morning before sunset at around 5:00 am. You will arrive at the launching site before the launching of the balloon, and then the crew will get you ready for takeoff. The experience of gliding over the awakening landscape is very unique and then the sight of the rising sun shine over the surrounding is very breathtaking. At the end of the adventure, you will enjoy a traditional breakfast within a Bedouin tent that overlooks the Atlas Mountains
- Marrakech Food Tours
Experiencing the aromas and the food taste of a foreign place is one of the best ways to immerse in the culture of that place. However, many holidaymakers in morocco never get the opportunity to so because they are not sure of what to order. Join any of the Marrakech Food Tours and get a chance to taste the authentic wide variety of Moroccan cuisine that includes slowly roasted lamb, salad and sweet pastries. These tours include gourmet tours, breakfast tours and evening tours.
- The Saadian Tombs
The splendid Saadian Tombs are among the hidden tourist gem found in Morocco within the town of Marrakech. According to the records there, the first tomb in that place is said to have been placed there in 1557, while the structures there were built from 1578 to 1603. in 1672 after the tombs were completely sealed off, they remained untouched until 1917after they were found again and restored. Within the major mausoleum are about sixty five (65) tombs plus approximately one hundred (100) nicely tiled tombs found within the gardens.
Frequently asked Questions on Morocco
Below we have compiled a number of commonly asked questions about Morocco as a tourist destination in Africa.
Where is Morocco found?
The country of Morocco is situated in the northwestern part of the African continent and to the north it is neighbored by the Mediterranean Sea while the Atlantic Ocean is found in the West. The Eastern border of Morocco is shared with Algeria whereas the southern border is shared with Mauritania.
How do I get to Morocco?
When traveling from northern America or Europe, Morocco is one of the easily accessible countries on the African continent. You can search online for travel websites like bing.com, expedia.com or kayak.com to search for direct flights that fly into Morocco.
Below we have given you a list of some of the main airlines that fly into and out of Morocco
- Iberia: this offers direct flights from Spain
- British airways: this offers direct flight from England
- Royal air Moroc: this offers direct flights from London, New York, Madrid, Paris and many major destinations across Europe
- Ryanair: this offers direct flights to a number of major cities within Morocco from several European destinations and it is best known for its good discounts
- Air France: this offers direct flights from France
Do I need a visa when visiting Morocco?
Persons with citizen passports from Europe, America and Canada will not require a visa to enter Morocco however you are highly advised to check with the local embassy in your home country for more information regarding on the visa requirements to enter Morocco.
You are also highly advised that your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of your departure from Morocco
Do I need travel insurance when visiting Morocco?
Yes, travel insurance is very vital and should be acquired prior to you leaving your home country. it is better to choose an insurance that you will be able to cover you medically, cover you in case of medical evacuation, it should also cover you in case of luggage misplacement or loss, and also depending on the activities you going to engage in such as hiking it is better to look for a cover that suits the different activities you will be to engaging in during your visit.
What is the capital city of Morocco?
Rabat found close to the Atlantic Ocean is the capital city of Morocco
What is the political system used in Morocco?
Morocco as a country is a constitutional monarchy and it is officially known as the kingdom of Morocco. Today Muhammad the VI is the King of Morocco. King Mohammed was born in 1963 on the 21st of August unattained the status of kingship in July 1999
What is the local currency used in Morocco?
The dirham is the official currency used in Morocco.
What is the most dominant religion in Morocco?
Islam is the most dominant language within Morocco
What is the official language in Morocco?
Well Morocco does not have only one official language but a couple of them and these include Moroccan Arabic as well as Tamaxight. When it comes to the business sector as well as in higher levels of education, French as a language is also highly recognized. Majority of the local Moroccan people speak Tamaxight. Remember Morocco is located close to the southern coast with Spain and because of that you will realize that most of the areas in the northern part of the country speak Spanish whereas in the popular tourist destinations English and Germany are widely spoken.
Do I need any vaccinations before going to Morocco?
There are no official vaccinations required for persons visiting the country, however, you are highly advised to visit you doctor back in your home country so that they can write you some anti malarial prophylaxis prior to your visit.
How to avoid Malaria in Morocco
Some of the best ways to avoid contracting malaria while in Morocco include: sleeping under a mosquito net at all times, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers to avoid insect bites, using an insect repellent and properly taking the anti malarial prophylaxis as prescribed by your doctor.
Is it safe to drink tap water in Morocco?
Tap water can be drunk in Morocco however bottled drinking water is best recommended for drinking and even brushing
How is the nightlife in Morocco?
The major cities within Morocco have a very vibrant and lively nightlife with several activities to engaging similar to many large cities that you have heard of or been to. You will find performances of live band music, cabarets, bars with live music entertainment, night clubs, karaoke bars, restaurants, Fantasia live shows, ‘night in the desert’ as well as several of the local dance and music entertainment centers.
What are the main festivals in Morocco?
Being an Islamic country they follow the Islamic calendar which primarily observes the Moon; and for that reason the festive days come on different days every year. The Ramadan which is the official fasting period is among the most recognized festivals and it is followed by celebration of Eid-al fitri.
How much should I tip on a safari in Morocco?
In Morocco tipping is a common thing however the question of how much should you tip depends on you. Below we have given you some of the guidelines that would help you estimate how much to give and to whom
- Your professional guide can be given a hundred (100) Dirhams each hour and in case someone shows you the way back to your hotel and walks you back they will expect a tip from you so you can offer them ten (10) dirhams.
- Your guide on a trek can be given 300 to 500 dirhams
- It is highly discouraged in Morocco to tip children
- Avoid instances of you going through your wallet; you are highly encouraged to always have extra coins in your pockets generally tipping is between 10 and 15% however this all remains to your discretion
Which language do the Safari guides speak in Morocco?
The guides used by most tour companies normally know several languages such as English, French, Germany and Arabic. There may be instances where you may want professional drivers that speak particular languages such as Japanese, Italian or Dutch; please contact your tour operator and they will arrange for you such special services.
What is the appropriate clothing to wear while visiting Morocco?
Well, there is no formal clothing mandated for visitors coming to this country and all holidaymakers are advised to wear anything they feel comfortable in. You should remember that Morocco is a very welcoming country for that reason you are not required to dress in a way similar to the local people. For men, wearing long shorts with shirts is very okay whereas women are encouraged to carry a scarf such that they can cover their shoulder especially when visiting places of worship as well as the rural villages. The people living out of the urban centers normally find it odd to see a woman dressed while exposing flesh since to them it is customary to fully cover their bodies and leave just the eyes exposed; in such instances your scarf will come in handy.
What food do the local Moroccan people eat?
The commonly consumed food in Morocco includes: Couscous, Tagine, Kefta tagine, Fish chermoula as well as Harira.
What is the electrical system used in Morocco?
The electric current voltage used in Morocco is 220 volts using the two pin plug. For that reason we normally encourage people visiting the country to carry along their personal adapters so as to be able to use your electrical gadgets while in the country. In case you have gadgets with adjustable voltages ensure that on arrival you adjust the voltage of your equipment to avoid them from being destroyed.
Items like laptops, phones, cameras and hair dryers will be able to work while in Morocco on condition that you have an electric plug adapter. Many of the hotels and lodges might promise to provide them but in order to avoid any form of disappointments; you are advised to carry your personal adapter.
Is there internet access in Morocco?
Majority of the hotels found in Morocco offer wireless internet access however you are advised to consult with the concierge desk or the reception of the hotel so that you get to know the cost of Internet upfront. In the large cities internet cafes are widely popular which means that you can easily access Internet and communicate with your people back home. These are open very early in the morning and close late in the evenings.
What is the best time to visit Morocco?
Morocco as a country experiences different climatic zones.
The areas found in the northern part of the country close to the Atlantic coast where you will find towns like Fez and Meknes experience a generally warm climate with much more amounts of rainfall being experienced around the mountainous areas. In the summer months however, it become very cold especially in the nights since it is cool and fresh while the days are very hot.
When you move to the southern part of the country where you will find the high Atlas Mountains and Marrakesh the areas receive minimal amounts of rain for with very hot summer and a large difference in the temperature ranges between the daytime and the nighttime. looking at the Atlas mountains the temperatures drop from the month of January to March to about zero degrees Centigrade while the areas within the areas within the desert may reach a maximum of fifty degrees centigrade (50°C) in the months of July and August.
Autumn and spring offer the most conducive temperatures and are considered the best time to visit Morocco and during this time you will not fail to see the large number of tourists visiting the country.