Morocco is a fascinating country to visit and having spent several weeks travelling all over the country these are the best Moroccan cities to visit, as far as I thought.
It doesn’t cover every Morocco city, even if it was one I went to, as this represents the best of Moroccan cities that most people will want to see and experience.
Best Moroccan Cities
The whole of the itinerary options will depend on exactly the kind of things you’re looking for.
Want to see mostly cities and explore the souqs (markets) for shopping, have plenty of food options, and enjoy the history that came through these old cities?
Great! it’s more of a city trip.
Want to spend maybe just 1-2 days in a city to start (the one you fly into) and then head into nature.
Great! It’s a nature trip.
Or maybe you’re just planning a weekend city break from Europe, for example, and this will help you choose the city(s) most interesting for you.
When you know what kind of trip you want then it will be a lot easier to decide on an itinerary as realistically you will not be able to mix and match between 2 options much in a 1 week Morocco trip or weekend break.
For example, if you want to explore some of the old cities in the north there’s no way you will have time to get to the south and enjoy a Sahara Desert safari. Well not without some serious rushing around which would kill the vibe of the trip anyway.
I’ll explain the best city options, the best natural options, and the best of a little bit of mixed.
Personally I would suggest not flying into and out of the same city so you don’t need to backtrack unless you’re short on time and visiting just that city.
I’ve added some tours you can do with my favourite guide company if you want to plan ahead some activities. They are affiliate links but you don’t get charged anything extra for using them and the little I make from you booking with them helps me keep running this website.
Morocco In One Week
I recommend to fly into Marrakech to start and then work your way up to Tangier in the north. Both have budget flights into them if budget is of a concern and you could start in either direction.
This would be a very fast itinerary and would involve a lot of rushing around and transport, but if you want to see a lot of Morocco’s cities in a short time then this is it!
If you decide to take it slow then just cut off the flying out point from say Fes instead of Tangier.
Actually the Marrakech to Fes route is very popular as it takes in the main big cities.
What to say about Marrakech (sometimes pronounced Marrakech).
Well if you’ve never been to Morocco before (and if you’re reading this I’m guessing you haven’t) it could be a shock.
It’s a very lively city full of history and the hustle and bustle of all that.
But for some people that hustle can be translated into ‘hassle’.
The main square in the centre of Marrakech is where everything goes down as far as the evening goes as you will see street entertainment, find excellent food, and the shopping streets/alleys converge onto it if you want to do a bit of shopping in Marrakech.
The main square in Marrakesh.
The main problem is it gets very, very, busy and it can be overwhelming after a while.
On top of that, you can get some aggressive touts there that won’t leave you in peace, given that it’s the main tourist spot in the city.
Having said that it is fun to jump in and experience it all.
Bustling Marrakech market at night.
Shopping in Marrakech in the souq.
There is some of the best food in Morocco to be found around the Medina area.
Friendly chef with meat on a stick!
Marrakech could certainly be put down as one of the cities to visit in Morocco. Its exotic history sees to that and it’s one of the biggest cities in Morocco.
But to be complexity honest if you are just thinking of a few days to one week in Morocco I would actually give it a miss and pay more attention to nearby Essaouira and then the north of the country.
More about my first-time visit to Marrakech in this post.
Disclaimer: I have a soft spot for Essaouira. For me, it’s the best city in Morocco.
Essaouira is located on the Atlantic coast and is around a three-hour drive from Marrakesh so makes it easy to combine the two cities together.
Even coming for just a night is worth it.
As it’s located on the coast you can find some of the best seafood in Morocco there and the fish tagines are to die for.
The old city inside its fortified walls is where you will want to stay and spend your time, with relaxed cafes and eateries and a short walk to the old harbour where you can see the hustle and bustle of the small fishing port.
Essaouira at sunset on the fortified wall.
Fish tagine in Essaouira.
At sunset head to the old fort walls and watch the fishing boats coming in from the days catch and enjoy the peaceful evening vibe where people get together.
As far as cities in Morocco go (even though it’s a bit out of the way) at least one day in Essaouira should be on any itinerary.
Casablanca & Rabat
Casablanca and Rabat seem to get overlooked by many tourists from what I could see when there with many opting to go the more popular options of Fes, Marrakech, and Essaouira.
But they have there own unique charms.
Although I didn’t like Casablanca that much (it’s Morocco’s biggest city with 3.4 million people) I did enjoy the French architecture in Casablanca in the old quarter of the city as they are grandly rustic.
Also, it’s where you can find historic cafes such as the Petit Poucet where an old French charm can still be felt.
Old French architecture in Casablanca.
Inside Petit Poucet.
One of the largest mosques in Morocco can be found there and is in a pleasant spot near the sea.
The largest mosque in Casablanca.
Rabat was a surprise for me as I was expecting just another busy city (it is) but the coastline and the old fortress area is such a cool place to wander around.
Kasbah Oudayas is a medieval fortress and you can find Moorish cafes and an Andalusian Garden in it’s peaceful little streets.
This is the best place to see and experience Rabat.
A view to Kasbah Oudayas.
Looking out from Kasbah Oudayas fortified walls.
Fez is one of the most popular cities in Morocco to visit and that is mainly due to the Fes tannery where they still use old methods to dye leather.
It’s also the oldest city in Africa which is just one of many interesting facts about Morocco to know.
Man works the leather in a Fez Tannery.
Fes Chouara Tannery.
The ancient Fez Medina is also another reason to visit as it is (in my opinion) the best Medina in Morocco.
Wandering inside Fez Medina.
You can see so many things on sale there and the atmosphere is electric.
Making pots the old way.
Side Excursion: Moulay Idriss Day Trip From Fes
Moulay Idriss and the Roman ruins of Vouliblous can be done on a day trip from Fes.
Some people will stay in Meknes and go from there but I suggest staying in Fes as the base for 2 nights (better atmosphere overall).
Moulay Idriss isn’t a city but it’s in this post simply because it makes a great day trips from Fes.
Sunset over Moulay Idriss.
Part of Moulay Idriss is perched on a rocky escarpment.
The Vouliblous ruins can be reached easily from Moulay Idriss, you can even walk out to them
Part of the ruins of Vouliblous.
If you decide to stay the night in Moulay Idriss you can find places to stay here.
Chefchaouen has the most colourful Medina in Morocco and is the main reason to visit.
It’s famous for its blue-washed walls and charming alleyways.
The fact that it lies nestled up in the mountains just adds to its charm.
It’s also perfectly located between Fes and Tangier so can be visited between one or the other.
Women herd goats at sunset overlooking the blue city of Chefchaouen.
Blue alleyway in Chefchaouen.
Shopping in Chefchaouen blue medina.
To be honest (in my opinion) Tangier is not that exciting but has more of a Mediterranean vibe, being that it is at the start of the Mediterranean.
The fun thing about Tangier for me was visiting the places that the Beat Generation in Tangier used to hang out at.
Places like the Petit Socco cafe square are good to relax in and take a walk around some of the old fortress.
The Petit Socco.
Asilah is known for the Asilah murals but the city itself is a really relaxed place to visit, especially the old part.
It is easy to get to from Tangier being only a few hours drive down the Atlantic coast so you could do a long day trip to Asilah from Tangier or spend the night in the peaceful old city by the sea.
Asilah old town by the sea.
Simple wall murals in Asilah.
Relaxing by the sea. It’s very peaceful there.
Bonus: Sidi Ifni
Sidi Ifni in the far south of Morocco is one of the prime surf cities for surfing in Morocco, but even if you have no interest in that it is is a very quiet place to escape to for a day or two.
Moroccan City Break
Just choose one of the main cities and regions that appeals to you most from this post if you plan a few days, say on a weekend break from Europe, and do a day trip to one of the other nearby cities in Morocco.
So fly into Fes for example for 2-3 days and do a day trip to Moulay Idriss and spend the rest of the time in Fes. Or choose to go to Chefchaouen for the night maybe instead.
Likewise, you could fly into Tangier and day trip to Asilah or Chefchaouen from there.
Again the same thing for Rabat and Casablanca, fly into one and day trip to the other.
And again, fly into Marrakesh and day trip, or spend 1 night (my recommendation) in Essaouira.
Basically stick to one area if you only have a few days in Morocco on a city break.
This will hopefully give you an outline on some Moroccan cities to visit for your trip.
Choose the best options for yourself and have a great time!
For a comprehensive guide to Morocco pick up the Lonely Planet Morocco (it’s what I used).
Get travel insurance for Morocco just in case.
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