British-Algerian writer & poet, aspiring journalist, history lover, art enthusiast…
When I envision the magic and the enigma inspired by the tales from 1001 Arabian Nights, Morocco is one of the first countries that come to mind! From Marrakesh to Casablanca, there is an abundance of exciting things to see and do. The food, the culture, the people, the hospitality, the weather – there is no doubt that a country with so much history and tradition will dazzle and enchant. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Morocco while visiting!
1) Discover & Explore the Colourful Souks
In the charming hustle and bustle of the exciting Moroccan Souks, you will come across a mesmerising array of delicious spices, rich fabrics, gorgeous hand-woven carpets and cute little traditional souvenirs. The dazzling variety of Aladdin’s lamps scattered across the bazaars are sure to catch your eye, and the tenacious sellers with their top-notch marketing skills and cunning persistence are definitely something! Souks are typically situated in the historic medina of cities that include Marrakesh, Fez and Meknes, and exploring their chaotic yet magical world is one of the best and most exciting things to do in Morocco while visiting!
2) Promenade Along the Blue Streets of Chefchaouen
This is a gorgeous location with such a rich history, situated in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. It is a quiet, undisturbed haven, perfect for a tranquil peace stroll after a hectic foray in the much noisier cities! The beautiful town also happens to boast a rather interesting history; it was founded in the 15th century and served as a place of refuge for Muslims and Jews during the Spanish Reconquista, and again for Jews escaping Nazi terror during World War II. The scenery here is absolutely breathtaking, and the town is famed for its intimate cobbled streets and buildings painted in several different shades of blue. Here you’ll also enjoy the presence of cosy little craft markets, street-side cafes and traditional guesthouses. If you’re already preparing an exciting list of the best things to do in Morocco while visiting, don’t forget to add the Blue Streets of Chefchaouen!
3) Spend a Few Nights in the Sahara Desert
You might be able to recognise a few locations here (particularly the dunes of Erg Chebbi) from movies like The Mummy and Sahara! A list of the best things to do in Morocco while visiting certainly won’t be complete without a camel safari and a few nights spent in a Bedouin village. Here, you can experience both and more. Bring your loved one along with you, and watch the sun set and rise over the spectacular desert scenery; before gazing at the stars during nightfall, in the magnificent desert night’s sky, away from modern disturbances and polluted air.
4) Pay a Visit to Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque
You will come across many spectacular mosques in Morocco, but make sure you consciously add Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque to your exciting list of the best things to do in Morocco – and actually visit it. This impressive work of Islamic architecture is the country’s largest mosque, while its 659 feet minaret is the world’s tallest! It was completed in 1993 at the orders of King Hassan II, who wished for an internationally renowned Casablancan landmark. It reportedly took 7 years to build and required the works of 10,000 artisan craftsmen! Anybody is welcome to visit the splendid interiors of the Hassan II Mosque outside prayer times, so be sure to pay it a visit when you get the chance!
5) Feast at the 1001 Nights Moroccan Banquet & Fantasia Show
This is probably one of the most magical ways to spend a night in Morocco. Here, you’ll have the chance to relax on cushions inside a cosy Berber tent at a picture-perfect palm grove. You’ll enjoy a host of traditional, authentic Moroccan dishes, before being entertained by a show filled with horsemen, acrobats, belly dancers, fire-eaters and flying magic carpets! The lavish banquet consists of fresh salad, Mechoui (roast lamb), Couscous with seven vegetables, fresh seasonal fruits, Moroccan pastry and Mint tea – this is by far one of the best things to do in Morocco while visiting!
6) Enjoy the Ultimate Sauna Experience in a Traditional Hammam
A visit to Morocco won’t be complete without the traditional bathing experience at a Hammam, or public steam bath. This will be your chance to steam away all of life’s worries and exhaustion! In the past, public steam baths were the ultimate places for locals to come bathe and gossip. Nowadays, they pretty much exist for the same reasons, only they are fewer. Public bathhouses are very popular in North Africa, Turkey, the Levant, the Balkans and parts of Asia, and they offer the best exfoliation and cleansing experiences you could ever have. Bathing in traditional Hammams is without a doubt one of the most relaxing things to do in Morocco while visiting.
7) Stroll Through the Majorelle Gardens
These serene and picturesque gardens are located in Marrakech and are ideal for a peaceful stroll or a few hours of blissful contemplation with a good book or a picnic. The Majorelle Gardens are situated northwest of the Medina and were designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle in 1919. They were since then restored by Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent, and now portray a blissful oasis of elegant palm trees, exotic plants and glistening ponds and water fountains. Here you’ll also find a small but comprehensive museum (formerly Majorelle’s workshop) displaying all-things Islamic Art, but even more interestingly, this is where Yves Saint Laurent’s ashes were eventually scattered in 2008! If you’re thinking about and contemplating some of the best things to do in Morocco while visiting, definitely consider the stunning Majorelle Gardens as one of your top options!
8) Stay at a Traditional Riad
Located within the old walled cities of Fez and Marrakech, these stunning and luxurious hotels were originally traditional Moroccan homes. As you walk in, you will immediately be surrounded with the tranquility and splendour of an open central courtyard, complete with a relaxing water fountain, intricate mosaic-work, beautiful arches and cooling, tiled floors. Try to book a Riad that has a pool for those relaxing mid-day swims, and a rooftop terrace, which will allow you to enjoy a magnificent view of the city below – this is one of the best and authentic things to do in Morocco while visiting.
9) Tour the Saadian Tombs in Marrakech
History enthusiast certainly won’t be disappointed with this one. The Saadian tombs were commissioned in the 16th century by the founder of the Saadi Dynasty, Ahmad al Mansour, and buried here are many of Morocco’s Saadian sultans. When a rival dynasty came into power, the tombs were closed off and neglected for a while, only to be rediscovered and restored in 1917. Step inside, and you’ll admire the finest 16th-century Arabic craftsmanship and splendid columned mausoleums. Step outside, and you’ll enjoy the sweet and enchanting scent of the rose gardens – which also happen to be the burial site for the Saadi household staff.
10) Treat Yourself to Delicious Food at the Djemaa el Fna
Situated at the heart of the Medina, the Djemaa el Fna is the place to go when you catch that desire to walk through and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the exciting Moroccan central square. The place is great for socialising, and is filled with delicious snack stalls and street vendors during daytime hours. After sunset, however, you can expect to find it occupied by all sorts of entertainers including musicians, jugglers, and snake charmers! You’ll be surrounded by a variety of appetising scents and barbecue smoke, so that urge to order a delicious grill or a succulent tagine will become very difficult to resist! If you’re a lover of food and are particularly fond of street food, then this for you will be one of the best things to do in Morrocco while visiting!
What do you think of these things to do in Morocco when you visit? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: pinterest.com
British-Algerian writer & poet, aspiring journalist, history lover, art enthusiast & unicorn.