We spent over five months in Morocco, traversing the country from North to South, West to East, East to West, Tangier to Dakhla, and Mauritanie. Because it was such a long stay and we kept zigzagging, it’s difficult to put together a Moroccan itinerary per se. Instead, we decided to feature our top things to see in Morocco, in no particular order. The top places to see in Morocco are geared towards independent travelers looking to see a different side of Morocco.

Indeed, our trip took us from the High Altas to the Atlantic Coast, from the green Rif Region to the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, from the touristy souks of Marrakesh to the vibrant traditional souk of Taroudant. We will also list the places we did not really enjoy – all very personal feedback, obviously.

But without further do, here are our suggestions for the best things to see in Morocco!

Top Places to See in Morocco


The blue city is as blue as it gets! It’s touristy, yes, but not overwhelming. You can visit plenty of shops, but step away and wander around the city to find quieter alleys with no one in sight, where the blue is as striking and where you can enjoy the city to its fullest. Chefchouen is a must-see in Morocco if you only have time for a few towns!

What we liked:

  • How blue the city is! One would think it’s all about Instagram filters, but the town is genuinely blue!
  • Some streets are busy with tourist shops, but there are not many, so you can wander there at your leisure.
  • Head out from these streets for a feel of the real Chefchaouen, where you see people wandering about, carrying their shopping bags, or sweeping the stairs.
  • We enjoyed a lovely dinner at one of the rooftop restaurants by the mosque. Shop around to see what you like, check if they do have a rooftop, and dig in some savory tagine!


Top Places to See in Morocco // Blue Chefchaouen

Blue Chefchaouen


Many might overlook the true desert hub, the city of Ouarzazate. While there are none of the fabulous buildings you might find in Casablanca or Marrakesh, the city offers a glimpse of what Morocco is about, away from overly touristy streets. From there, head to the Fint Oued, where you can wander the field and spend the night. Make sure to visit the Atlas Studios Ouarzazate – an interesting and fun visit!

From Ouarzazate, you can make easy day trips to the Fint Oasis or the historic fortified village (ksar) Aït Benhaddou, which was a popular stop for caravans traveling between the Sahara and Marrakesh.

What we liked:

  • Ouarzazate has an authentic feel. What the city lacks in significant historic buildings, it gains in authenticity, where tourists are more scarce.
  • The desert and the Atlas mountains are easily reached from Ouarzazate, so in our mind, the city is the central hub for any adventurous spirits looking to explore Morocco outside the popular cities.
  • Ouarzazate has direct flights to Europe (Paris) via its international airport, so it’s easily accessible as well.


The Fez tanneries are a must-see, a great way to learn about the city’s history and traditions, which gave the name “Maroquinerie,” a testament to Morocco’s leather skills! We visited the Chouwara Tannery, the largest of the three in the city. Make sure to go down by the tanneries. Stinky? Yes. Slippery? Yes. Worth it? Yes! It’s not for everyone, and you need sound footing as you sidestep the wet ground and piles of skins, but it gave us a better understanding of the process and a deep respect for the men who worked these skins in rough conditions. Fez is, for us, one of the best places to see in Morocco.

The medina is incredible, spread and bustling with activities, but primarily by local Moroccans, something we appreciated more than Marrakesh. One of the best conserved and certainly one of the largest, the Fez Medina was one of our preferred ones – miles away from the touristy Medina of Marrakech or the empty streets of Casablanca’s Medina.

What we liked:

  • The lively Medina, packed with small shops, small restaurants, corner coffees
  • The fascinating tanneries, and learning that the skills and qualities of Moroccan leathercrafters defined what is known today as Maroquinerie – from the French “Maroquin”, meaning Moroccan.
Top Places to See in Morocco // Fes Tannery

Fes Tannery


While in Fes, make sure to make a day trip to Volubilis—the ancient Roman site is pretty incredible. While most tours allow only an hour, rent a car or drive there and spend the couple of hours that the site deserves. We came across some pretty stunning mosaic floors. No wonder the ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site! As a day trip from Fez, Volubilis should be on your list of what to do in Morocco.

What we liked:

  • An easy day trip from Fez
  • A massive site that is worth spending time in to wander the ancient paths and stumbled upon amazing mosaics
  • A great way to learn about the complex history of Morocco
Top Places to See in Morocco // Volubilis Mosaics

Volubilis Mosaics

Atlas Villages

We probably spent at least half our time in the Atlas region, passing by small villages, helping to build traditional mud bricks for a house wall, watching the apple harvest, and watching kids go to cute schools.

What we liked:

  • The landscape: be ready to be dazzled by the mountains and incredible rock formations, going over high passes and along endless valleys
  • The colors: deep red, light brown, dark green, and golden beige await! Being there in the Fall increased the incredible contrasts, where autumn leaves stood before the blue sky.
  • The traditions include livestock watering by the river under their watchful shepherds, women gathering vegetables and grass, donkeys carrying bags of apples, men painstakingly building mud walls, and kids playing in front of their houses.
  • The hospitality: a few hundred teacups later, Moroccan tea never gets old!


Often wrongly called Berbers in the Western world, the distinct ethnic groups use the term Amazigh (or Imazighen) to define themselves. These diverse groups lived in North Africa before the Arab migration into the Maghreb.

Their origins go back to the Stone Age when even ancient Egyptian documents mentioned these tribes. Around 2000 BCE, they migrated to the west of the continent, crossing the Sahara Desert before reaching the Maghreb.

Traditions are still strong, and it’s very common to see the Amazigh sign on houses and crafts.

What we liked:

  • Learning about the history of the Amazigh
  • Admiring the strong attachments to the Amazigh symbol, which can be found everywhere
Top Places to See in Morocco // Atlas Ait Ben Haddou

Atlas Ait Ben Haddou

Atlas 4×4 Road Tripping

The Altas mountains are the perfect playground for 4×4 enthusiasts. An infinite number of piste options through the Atlas took us West, east, North, and South, and though we spent weeks crisscrossing, we felt we barely scratched the surface of the possibilities—our to-go list is still quite long!

What we liked:

  • How the scenery changes from a valley to the other
  • The neverending road options taking us from oueds to high passes
  • Roads are generally in good shape, and the Moroccan authority is spending a great deal on infrastructure, allowing pistes to connect to the furthest villages possible.


Top Places to See in Morocco // Atlas Mountains 4x4 Road Trip

Atlas Mountains 4×4 Road Trip

Moroccan Cuisine

Tagine, tagine galore! And skewers. And Friday’s couscous! And about the equivalent of the Mediterranean Sea in tea – sometimes with mint but always with sugar, a lot of sugar!

Tagine is a way of cooking in that highly recognizable (mostly) clay pot. Basically, all types of meat and vegetables can be turned into a finger-licking tagine. But Moroccan cuisine is more than just tagine, and we got to try so many different meals!

What we liked:

  • Tagine, of course: Our preferred ones were olive lemon chicken, goat with plums, and toasted almonds
  • Friday’s couscous: Although different from the couscous served in France, this meal is nevertheless yummy and a treat reserved for Fridays. I got the opportunity to help cook such a feast—the secret is how to cook the semolina! And how one needs to work it even when it’s burning hot on the stove!
  • Moroccan salad: Funnily enough, we ate our first Moroccan salad in Portugal in a Moroccan restaurant! We loved it, and this has been our staple on the regular. Tomatoes, onions, cucumber—just how I love my salads!
  • Seafood: Given the long coastline, it comes as no surprise that fish plays a big part in Moroccan cuisine. Tuna, sole, sardine, swordfish, lobster, octopus, squids… Grilled or cooked, fish is always a winner!
  • Brochettes (skewers): usually easily accessible on small food stalls, a quick lunch or dinner
  • Berber omelet: with tomatoes and onions and fresh bread!
  • Dakhla Oysters are probably some of the best oysters we’ve ever had (sorry to our French oyster farmers!).
  • Moroccan tea: One cannot be in Morocco and not drink Moroccan tea, stay! Granted, it’s full of sugar, so watch your intake! Served more often than not with fresh mint, it can be without, depending on where you are and when you travel.



Afer spending so much time in the Atlas mountains and in the desert region around the Sahara desert, we had yet to experience living in an urban setting. That’s how we got to spend one month in an apartment right by the old part of Dakhla, nestled between the mosque and the souk. A prime area packed with restaurants, easy grocery shopping (hello, fresh orange juices), and fish right from the boats. It is the perfect location to also work on our new custom-made alu cartop and even for me to join local women’s fitness classes.

What we liked

  • The bustling old town around the souk
  • Laid-back yet with an up-and-coming economy partly from tourism—a popular kiteboarding destination—but also thanks to its fishing industry and the future Daklha port.
  • Stunning lagoon and impressive dunes right at the city’s footsteps

Sahara Desert

As stunning as one imagines it! Beautiful yet deadly, the Sahara desert is to be treated with respect. Hot temperatures, limited water, rare vegetation. Standing there by the dunes, looking at the wide expanse, we could only ponder on how the caravans fared as they crossed from Timbuktu to Marrakesh – a 52-day journey!

What we liked:

  • The stunning views, the fantastic colors
  • Feel humble and reverent to the tribes that live in these challenging conditions


Top Places to See in Morocco // Merzouga Sahara Desert

Merzouga Sahara Desert

Morocco Kitesurfing

From Essaouira to Dakhla, there are two world-famous kiteboarding spots. It is definitely one of the top activities to do in Morocco! Conditions in September in Essaouira were fine for experienced riders—crashing waves, strong winds, and, depending on the location, swimmers and beachgoers.
Dakhla was off-season, but there were still a couple of great sessions from the Speed Spot and by the “Herbiers.” We can’t, however, picture how busy it must be during the high season!

  • Essaouira Kiteboarding: Among camels, horses, and people. Challenging conditions but constant winds
  • Daklha Kitesurfing: Different spots for all levels, from beginners to advanced riders. Overly expensive kite resorts charge an incredible amount of money for the privilege of being close to the spots, and many with less than stellar staff management track records.
Top Places to See in Morocco // Essaouira Kiteboarding

Essaouira Kiteboarding


A lovely walled city and an impressive local market that is miles away from what one will find in Marrakesh. Animals, vegetables, clothing, houseware – you will find it all!

What we liked:

  • That souk was incredible, and you could spend hours among high piles of green beans, large stocks of tomatoes, and huge stalls of fruits and spices

Merzouga to Zagora 4×4

Driving from the Sahara Desert around Merzouga to Zagora along sandy pistes was quite an experience. Sleeping alone by rock formations, being escorted another time by the army because we were too close to the Algerian border, bivouac nights deep in narrow valleys with no one in sight – priceless.

What we liked:

  • Probably one of the highlights of our Morocco trip
  • Thrills of driving through fesh-fesh during oued crossing. Fesh-fesh is a very fine powder made of clay limestone and is challenging to drive through.
  • Spending the night alone with no sound, no lights – just the stars!

Atlas Hiking

From M’Goun to Mt. Toubkal, many awesome hiking opportunities exist in the Atlas Mountains. While I did not manage to reach M’Goun as Bruno did, we both bagged Mt. Toubkal on a three-day, two-night trek. There are gorgeous views, changing colors, and few people around when you go in the Fall! And for those looking for shorter day hikes, the Dadès Gorges are a must-do!

What we liked:

  • The scenery from the summits has incredible 360-degree views!
  • Staying in local “refuges” (huts), we could enjoy a hot cup of tea while taking in the landscape.

Disappointing Famous Places in Morocco

What one likes or dislikes is entirely personal and subjective. So what we might not like might have been someone else’s preferred part of the trip. Well, each has its own, and let’s be thankful we don’t all like the same things!

We did not stay long at some of these places because we were not impressed, and others because we did not have the time to search for cool places. Sometimes, we liked the place all right, thanks to its stunning architecture and historical landmarks, but something about the city felt off for us.


It is a wonderful city, packed with historical buildings. However, the Medina is geared towards tourists, and that is who you see in the streets mostly: restaurant after restaurant, souvenir shop after souvenir shop. Yes, Marrakesh is worth visiting, but after two days, we could not wait to leave it.

While also stunning, the Marjorelle Gardens is incredibly pricy, and due to questionable behaviors from past visitors, the presence of staff at every corner of the gardens is offputting. We were there shortly after the devastating 2023 earthquake, and the city was nearly empty due to travel concerns. The number of visitors did not warrant that much overbearing staff, and we can’t imagine how it must be with more visitors.

So, is it worth visiting? Well, it is a must-see, of course. Especially after the terrible earthquake, the city needs visitors. But I wish the city had retained more of its authenticity and was less aimed at pleasing tourism.


I guess we went when everything was under maintenance, but closed attractions, hanging banners, and construction sites did not make for an attractive visit. We cut our day trip short and headed back to Fes.


Unfortunately, we were not at the right time to visit the Mosque, but the Hassan II Mosque is a must-see attraction in Casablanca. After strolling around the impressive sight, we wandered around the Medina, but the streets were mostly empty, and shops were closed, even though it was not a Friday. A couple of historical buildings in the medina were nice to see but were not open, so we also cut our visit short.


Have you been to Morocco? What was your experience? Are you planning your Morocco travel soon? Share with us your adventures in this incredible African destination

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