A North African country that has been a major cultural center for centuries on end, throughout much of its history ,Morocco has hosted visitors from around the world. Despite that, there are far too many people that fail to quickly think about going there while considering the best places to go while on a trip. Once you find out about the many things that make the country so remarkable, odds are that you will realize how big of a shame that truly is.
Such a desirable land that it has been the subject of much fighting over the ages, current-day Morocco is independent, but in the past, it has been battled over by the likes of France and Spain. Realizing that so many people have been willing to lay down their lives to gain control of this land is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what about it is so magnificent. Turns out, there is an awful lot as evidenced by this list of 20 reasons why Morocco should be on everyone’s bucket list.
In order for something to be considered for possible inclusion in this list, it first and foremost needs to be related to Morocco in one way or another. As a part of that, you may find individual attractions that are so noteworthy that they are a good reason to make your way to the country. On top of that, you could also find particularly impressive cities that are famous the world over included here. Finally, we also looked at some of the more unique aspects of the culture you will find there while putting this list together.
20 Blue Village of Chefchaouen
If you are a big fan of the color blue, then it only seems right that you make the pilgrimage to the village of Chefchaouen at least once in your life. Failing that, even if you just see it as a color just like any other there is still something that is pretty wild about going to an area that is virtually monochromatic. While there is no universally agreed upon reason why almost all of this village was painted blue, even the hue seems to be the same everywhere you look within the village’s limits. While the universal look of this area may be hard to deal with on an ongoing basis, visiting this area would be unforgettable.
19 Aït Benhaddou
Proof positive of the ingenuity of humanity, Aït Benhaddouis is a heritage cite that is the home of a city that is very much worth a visit for a number of reasons. Looking as though it was carved out of a mountain side, the place where it was built provided it and the people that live there with a great means of protection against anyone wanting to do them harm. While defence is currently not the concern it once was, the makeup of this city remains as incredible to see today as it ever was. On top of that, there aren’t many people living here any longer, so in some ways, it feels like walking through a time capsule of sorts.
18 Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like, the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the people that have lived in this area of the world. Featuring exhibits that include artifacts that go as far back as the 19th century, there are some amazing things to see here, like the many giant replica maps. Not all that exciting to read about, they serve as perhaps the best way to truly understand how exactly the many trade routes that helped define this region of the world.
17 Amal Center
The perfect eatery for those that like to enjoy making a difference in the world, when you dine at the Amal Center, you are helping to provide people with a much-needed opportunity. That is because the center supports and trains disadvantaged Moroccan woman who want to get into the restaurant industry. While it will feel great to help these women in even a small way, choosing to eat here is also said to be a wonderful experience as the food feels homemade in the best possible way.
16 The Roman Ruins
The kind of thing you’d expect to see in, well, Rome, at the height of its world influence, you could find buildings that were built by that empire pretty far from its capital. Thousands of kilometres away from the capital city of Italy, you can still find Roman ruins inside the borders of Morocco. An area known as Volubilis, only about half of it has been excavated so far, but that has been more than enough to unearth some amazing examples of Roman architecture. Far from a well-designed tourist attraction, you won’t find tour guides or even signs explaining what the buildings and artifacts were used for in the past. However, that is probably worth it since you also get to avoid a throng of other looky lous.
15 Hassan II Mosque
An attraction that at first blush may seem like it will only appeal to people of a certain faith, even if that idea makes it seem like this place is not for you, that is likely not the case. That is because there is still a lot of value in checking out the Hassan II Mosque. For instance, you can marvel at the sheer size of this mosque as it is the largest in the world and accommodate 25,000 people since it covers nearly a million square feet. If that isn’t enough, you should know that two-thirds of the building was built “over the sea” and so much detail was put into its design that it has been called the “country’s most exceptional representation of Moroccan artistry”.
The kind of location that many of us have only ever seen in movies and TV shows, making your way across a desert comes with a lot of danger, of course. That said, the mere fact that so many cities have popped up in the middle of them goes to show that when treated with the respect they deserve, life can thrive in them. With that in mind, there certainly is something awfully appealing about knowing that you can boast about having spent some time in a desert. Made all the better by the fact that you can take a camel ride among the dunes, the Merzouga desert is said to be especially beautiful.
13 The Kasbah des Oudayas
First erected by refugees that were fleeing, The Kasbah des Oudayas was built on the banks of a river which gives it a more natural feel. As such, it seems like the perfect place to go in order to understand the Moorish people a little bit better since they had to learn how to live off what the land provides in the area. On top of providing a window into past, you can also stroll among the crumbling Andalucian gardens. In short, this is the place to go if you want to put yourself in the headspace that helped found the country of Morocco to begin with.
12 The Hammams
The choice of locals and tourists that want to be pampered while in Morocco, the country’s hammams are public baths that have been around since the 8th century. Open to the public, when you visit one of the many locations of this kind across Morocco, you can choose to enjoy a public bath or a private room of your own. Either way, the point is to relax as your body is exfoliated and all of your mental stresses are washed away at the same time as you are cleaned. The only thing that should be kept in mind is that if you decide to save some money and opt for the public baths, it is an intimate experience that you need to be comfortable with strangers seeing. Of course, they will be in a similar state.
11 Unique Souvenirs
The little keepsakes that you buy when you travel to international locations, souvenirs serve as a reminder of the wonderful times you’ve had and also are a joy to share with your friends and family. That said, giving someone the typical baubles that can be found at any duty free shop in the airport is a little bit underwhelming. That is why it is so great that there are so many beautiful things to buy in Morocco and bring back with you. Just a small sampling of that, you can treasure things like Moroccan leather, argan oil, lanterns, rugs, pottery, slippers, and other local fashion choices for the rest of your life.
10 The Atlas Mountains
A country that has it all in a lot of ways, it is entirely possible to enjoy the busy streets of a major city, walk through a desert, swim in massive bodies of water, and more without ever leaving Morocco. On top of that, the massive Atlas Mountains offer up gorgeous greenery, amazing peaks, snow caps, and so much more. As such, making the trek through them is not the kind of activity that should be taken lightly. However, if you are accompanied with the right local and you are physically capable enough to handle it, hiking these mountains is the kind of thing that you can look back on for the rest of your life.
9 Fes el Bali
As the oldest Moroccan city, just because Fes is the granddaddy of them all doesn’t mean it isn’t as vibrant and joyous as it ever was. In fact, it is such a glorious and historical city that it has rightly been named a World Heritage Site for a long time now. While there is a lot to do there, the uncontested highlight has to be the Fes el-Bali where it feels like entering this area is stepping backwards in time. Actually, many visitors have referred to their experience as being life changing as its royal gardens, mosques, local artisans, and fountains are only a fraction of what makes the place truly unique.
8 The Architecture
Something of a shame, in the western world, there has been an ever-increasing push toward cookie-cutter homes that may have a few distinct accents, but in general look very much alike. The polar opposite of that, if you make your way across Morocco you will see buildings that look like they must have been built forever ago and others that are state of the art. If that weren’t enough, and it certainly is, the artistic flair you’ll see in things like the tiling, colors, and pretty much every other detail of some homes and buildings will amaze you.
7 The Cats
You could pretty much see cats in every country, which may lead you to wonder what the big deal is about seeing cats in Morocco. Well, according to many accounts, felines are pretty much everywhere you go in this amazing country. For instance, you can expect to see cats strolling and lounging around when you make your way through any number of town squares, tourist attractions, and hotel lobbies. While that may not sound great to everyone, if you are a friend of felines, it may be reason alone to make Morocco a destination you need to visit at some point soon.
6 Atlas Film Studios
Said to be the world’s largest film studio, you may think that visiting this attraction is going to be just like making your way to Universal Studios, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead of being all about materialism as well as glitz and glamour, Atlas Film Studios provides its patrons with the opportunity to actually interact with loads of movie sets and props. Also completely different because of the fact that it is not well kept, seeing so many sets ravaged by time gives this place a whole different feeling as well.
One of two major Moroccan cities to get their own overarching entry, Tangier is located in the northwestern region and has been undergoing a process of modernization for years. Increasingly the home of world-class amenities, there are also many other reasons to spend some time here that are rooted in the area’s old-school roots. In fact, places like the Grande Mosquée Of Tangier, St Andrew’s Church, American Legation Museum, Librairie Des Colonnes, and The Cinema Rif are only a sampling of what makes this city amazing.
4 Ouzoud Waterfall
Another example of the many parts of Morocco that are naturally magnificent, the Ouzoud is far from the typical waterfall you will find elsewhere in the world. So remarkable for a number of reasons, it can best be described as a cluster of waterfalls as there are many platforms where fluid can land only to travel a few feet and fall once again. Even more than that, in between the algae that has grown on the rock, the way the mist catches the sun, and the way the light is reflected, it all makes this area insanely colorful at various times of the day.
Undoubtedly the most famous Moroccan city, Marrakech is one of the largest in the country, but the significance of it has nothing to do with its size. Instead, the innate beauty of the land it sits on and is surrounded by, as well as the culture you will find there, is what makes it worthy of so much praise. Actually, it seems like there is so much to do there that you could spend weeks on end and only get a small sampling of what it offers. That said, some of the most celebrated things to do there include visiting or staying in a palace, enjoying the Jardin Majorelle garden, walking through the markets, and enjoying a hot air balloon ride.
2 The Tree Goats
This one is just plain weird but at the same time ridiculously awesome, seeing goats lounging in trees would be a sight for the ages. Made possible because of the unique makeup of the Argania tree, there is something about it that appears to be irresistible to goats from the area. Considering that particular tree is almost exclusively grown in Morocco, if you want to have your picture taken with a slew of tree goats, then you know where you should go.
1 Moroccan Food
On the face of things, it may seem odd that we have not only included Moroccan food on our list, but in such a lofty position as well. After all, it isn’t like you can’t find much of it in other countries if you know where to look. However, there is no doubt that there is something truly special about eating delicious food in the area of the world in which it comes from. As such, you can find delicious foods like B’ssara, Tagine, Harira, Kefta tagine, Makouda, Zaalouk, and even drinks like Mint Tea at their very best in Morocco.