Which Cities to Visit in Morocco
Morocco is a country known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning landscapes. From bustling markets to ancient architecture, this North African gem offers a unique blend of old and new. If you are planning a trip to Morocco, here are some cities that should be on your must-visit list.
1. Marrakech: Known as the “Red City,” Marrakech is a bustling metropolis that captivates visitors with its vibrant souks, historic palaces, and the famous Djemaa el-Fna square. Explore the stunning Bahia Palace, wander through the maze-like streets of the Medina, and don’t forget to indulge in Moroccan cuisine at the city’s many food stalls.
2. Chefchaouen: Nestled in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a city famous for its blue-washed buildings, making it a photographer’s paradise. The city’s laid-back atmosphere and picturesque streets lined with colorful shops and cafes create a truly enchanting experience.
3. Fes: Known as the intellectual and cultural heart of Morocco, Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts the world’s oldest university and the oldest continuously functioning madrasa (Islamic school). Explore the narrow, maze-like streets of the Medina, visit the vibrant tanneries, and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history.
4. Casablanca: Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, is a bustling modern hub with a rich history. Visit the iconic Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, and explore the vibrant neighborhoods of the city. Don’t forget to stroll along the waterfront Corniche and indulge in fresh seafood at the local restaurants.
5. Essaouira: Located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, Essaouira is a charming seaside town known for its picturesque harbor, sandy beaches, and strong winds that attract windsurfers from around the world. Explore the medina’s narrow streets lined with art galleries and handicraft shops, and enjoy the town’s relaxed atmosphere.
6. Rabat: As the capital city of Morocco, Rabat offers a mix of modernity and historical charm. Visit the 12th-century Hassan Tower and the adjacent Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which pays homage to the country’s past kings. Stroll through the Kasbah of the Udayas, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy the city’s beautiful coastline.
7. Meknes: Often overshadowed by its neighboring cities, Meknes is a hidden gem that should not be missed. Explore the grand Bab Mansour gate, visit the stunning Bou Inania Madrasa, and discover the intricacies of Moroccan architecture in the Dar Jamai Museum. Meknes offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to other tourist-heavy cities.
Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about visiting Morocco:
1. Is Morocco safe for tourists?
Yes, Morocco is generally a safe country for tourists. However, like any other travel destination, it is always important to take necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
2. What is the best time to visit Morocco?
The best time to visit Morocco is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be extremely hot, especially in the desert regions.
3. Do I need a visa to visit Morocco?
Citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, and European Union nations, do not need a visa to enter Morocco for tourism purposes. However, it is always best to check the visa requirements before traveling.
4. What currency is used in Morocco?
The currency used in Morocco is the Moroccan dirham (MAD). It is recommended to exchange currency upon arrival or withdraw cash from ATMs, as credit cards may not be accepted in smaller establishments.
5. What are the must-try dishes in Morocco?
Moroccan cuisine is known for its flavorful tagines, couscous, and mint tea. Don’t miss trying traditional dishes like lamb or chicken tagine, couscous with vegetables or meat, and pastries like baklava.
6. Can I haggle in Moroccan markets?
Haggling is a common practice in Moroccan markets, especially in the souks. It is expected to negotiate the price, but remember to be respectful and polite during the process.
7. What is the dress code in Morocco?
While Morocco is a relatively liberal country, it is respectful to dress modestly, especially in religious sites. It is advisable to have your shoulders and knees covered, especially for women.
In conclusion, Morocco offers a diverse range of cities to explore, each with its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you are seeking history, culture, or natural beauty, these cities will undoubtedly leave you captivated by the magic of Morocco.