Morocco is one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, with visitors flocking here from all over the world. Morocco is filled with beautiful places that deserve a visit, but it is often impossible to visit them all on one trip to Morocco.
This post is going to outline what I think are the 5 best cities to visit in Morocco, hopefully helping you to decide where to visit. While everyone’s preferences are different, I think this post should be pretty helpful in narrowing down your destinations!
Honorable Mention: Casablanca
Casablanca is a really great city to visit, but many people simply pass right by it en route to other cities in Morocco. I don’t think that this is fair at all. It is the biggest city in Morocco by far, and has a lot of really great things to offer tourists.
With great museums, an iconic bar, and the second-biggest mosque in Africa, Casablanca is no city to overlook. It is certainly more than just a concrete jungle.
What really puts Casablanca on this list, though, is how easy it is to visit. Casablanca has the biggest and busiest airport in Morocco, and is often the best place to fly into.
There are several direct flight routes from the United States to Casablanca. This is another thing that most other Moroccan cities cannot offer. Casablanca makes for a great entryway into Morocco, and is a great place to spend your first two or last two days.
For more information on visiting Casablanca, be sure to check out my Casablanca travel guide.
Essaouira is the second-smallest city on this list with a meager population of just around 80,000 people. Regardless, it is one of the most interesting places that you can visit in Morocco.
It is famous for its previous history as Morocco’s largest port city, and more popularly a frequent hangout of pirates. This small city no longer has Morocco’s largest port and no longer has pirates, but still has many of the remnants of its glory days.
It’s the closest beach to Marrakech, and this is why it was selected in the first place to have such an important port. Nowadays, it makes for a great beach escape, and you can stay near the port to be woken up by the sound of the waves. It is not one of Morocco’s iconic cities, but it is one that makes for a great complement to any trip that includes a stop in Marrakech.
Essaouira is small, but Chefchaouen is even smaller. This city of less than 50,000 people is just over half the size of Essaouira, but has arguably twice the charm.
Chefchaouen is popularly known for its blue buildings inside the walls of the city. This alone makes it one of the most Instagrammable cities in Morocco. It is located deep in the mountains in northern Morocco, and is most easily visited via Tangier or Fes.
While Chefchaouen is beautiful, it is very small. For this reason, you only need a couple of days here on your trip to Morocco. While you could get away with visiting Chefchaouen for just one day, it is pretty remote, and staying for a second day makes the trip a little more worth your while.
Rabat is the capital city of Morocco, and it is one of the coolest places that you can visit. It is a striking blend of old and new, from a very traditional Medina to glimmering, new surroundings.
As the capital of Morocco, this is also where you can find the main Royal Palace, which is truly a beautiful sight. Many people skip over it when visiting Morocco, but I think that this is a mistake.
Rabat is located just a short ride north of Casablanca, which makes it extremely accessible. It’s also located on the beach, which is something that other popular cities like Fes, Meknes, and Marrakech can’t offer.
Between its cultural significance as the capital and its tourist attractions, I think it belongs on any Moroccan itinerary. If you want a true, authentic Moroccan Medina, this is the place to go. Check out my Rabat Travel Guide for more information before you visit.
Morocco is very famous for its imperial cities, including the large city of Fes. Fes is the second-largest city in Morocco, and it offers just about everything that a visitor to Morocco could want.
From a gorgeous Medina to authentic markets and restaurants, Fes is widely considered to be one of the two best cities to visit in Morocco. Fes is located in the northern-central part of Morocco, somewhat near Rabat, Tangier, and Casablanca.
Of all of the major cities in Morocco, many people say that Fes offers tourist the most authentic experience. Fes sees significantly fewer tourists than the number one city on this list, arguably leaving visitors with a purer view of true Moroccan life and culture.
Don’t get me wrong: Fes is perfectly modern and ready to accommodate tourists. It just doesn’t gear itself explicitly to tourism, providing visitors with a less glamorous, but more authentic, experience than its other major imperial counterpart. This leads us to…
The other cities on this list are all fantastic places to visit. They all deserve consideration when you are planning where to go in Morocco. However, to me, the best city to visit in Morocco is very clear: Marrakech.
Marrakech is very similar in its nature to Fes, except that it has flung its doors wide-open to tourism. While some will say that this provides a more watered-down experience, I think that it offers exactly what most tourists are looking for.
I went into much more detail in my Marrakech travel guide. But basically, Marrakech is the city where all of your Moroccan fantasies come to life.
Day trips into the desert? Check.
Camel rides? Check.
Wandering through packed markets? Check.
Luxury hotels and palaces? Check.
Deluxe gardens, a massive square with snake charmers and dancing monkeys, and gorgeous mosques? Check, check, and check.
Every major city in Morocco has markets, mosques, pretty squares, and camels. But not every city makes them as accessible and comfortable as Marrakech does.
If you are looking for one city that can offer you the full Moroccan experience, I think that city is Marrakech. You could spend an entire week here and have more to see and do.
Thanks for reading my post on the top 5 best cities to visit in Morocco. Hopefully, this list helps you plan out where to go on your next trip to this northwestern African nation. If you have any questions about visiting Morocco at all, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’ve got you covered.
Also, be sure to check out our other Morocco blog posts before you travel!