Top 5 Things To Do in Morocco

Top 5 Things To Do in Morocco

From visiting the Koutoubia Minaret and strolling through the bustling souks to exploring epic mountain ranges and sweeping deserts, Morocco offers a host of experiences for every explorer.

From ancient medinas and bustling souks to epic mountain ranges and sweeping deserts, Morocco offers a host of experiences for every explorer. Here are the top 5 things to do while you are there:

1. Join the ‘assembly of the dead’

A visit to Marrakesh isn’t complete without a trip to its most famous square, Djemma El Fna. Formerly the site of public executions and hence, its macabre moniker, the ‘assembly of the dead’, this UNESCO cultural heritage site is truly a feast for the senses.

Roam the open plaza and soak in its strange sights: snake charmers playing lilting melodies on their flutes, causing their cobras to rise and sway in a seductive dance; peddlers in fringed caps leading their monkeys around in chains; henna ‘tattoo’ artists beckoning you to try out a design or two.

things to do in morocco

It’s at night that the magic truly happens though. When evening sets, musicians, storytellers, acrobats, conjurers and any number of entertainers come out in full force to captivate the audience with their spellbinding performances. Cap off the experience by trying some of the local delicacies. Ignore the clamour of ‘best’, ‘freshest’ and ‘cheap’ from the food touts and head for the stall where the locals gather. Then get set for a truly authentic Moroccan feast – stewed sheep brains.

Tip: If you snap photos of the acts or performers, be sure to give a few dirhams as a token of your appreciation.

2. Shop up a storm in the souqs

things to do in morocco

No matter where you go in Morocco, you’re bound to find a souq (or two or three) to shop in. For some retail therapy in Djemma El Fna, explore the main thoroughfare of Souq Semmarine and Souq el-Kebir or duck into the numerous alleys and souqs branching away from the vast square. You’ll uncover myriad shops selling anything from carpets and crafts to spices and souvenirs.

Looking for quality leather bags or jackets? Head for the Chouwara tanneries in the labyrinthine Fes el Bali. In Tangier, start at the noisy and lively square of the Grand Socco before plunging into the heady atmosphere of the ancient Medina. Once you’re all souq-ed out, have a cup of coffee at the historic Café Central in the nearby Petit Socco square.

Tip: Always bargain, and it’s best to get a guide to help you navigate the many alleys in the medinas.

3. Take a step back into the past

From mosques and mellahs to everything in between, Morrocco is a living tapestry of its rich and storied history – and a hotspot for any architecture, culture and history buffs.

For an example of the perfect Islamic architecture, visit the Koutoubia Minaret, located west of Djemma El Fna. It is one of the oldest and most complete Almohad towers. The Almohads is the dynasty that ruled the city when it entered its golden age, and this 70-m-high minaret is pretty much a blueprint of the classic Moroccan design.

Head for the Saadian Tombs and discover how the royals used to prepare for the afterlife. The tombs are essentially divided into two sections – the mausoleum and the gardens – and are the everlasting home to over 200 members of the Saadian dynasty. The most impressive is the Chamber of Twelve Columns. This final resting place of the sultan and his family features imported Italian marble, intricate carvings and beautiful zellij tiles.

Image credit: Jorge Lascar

The Bahia Palace is a similarly lavish affair. Measuring over 2 acres and comprising 150 rooms, including a harem section, the palace used to be the residence of ‘Bou’ Ahmed ben Moussa, who reigned from the late 1800s until 1900. He lived in the palace together with his four wives and several concubines. With exquisitely carved painted cedarwood ceilings, gorgeous stained-glass windows and traditionally designed gardens filled with citrus trees and beautiful fountains, the Bahia Palace is a testament to the craft and skill of the old city’s top artisans.

Tip: Everything seems Instagram-worthy so be sure to fully charge your phone before you head out.

4. Scale the highest mountains (in North Africa)

things to do in morocco

Mountains abound in Morocco, and thrills and excitement await those who are game to explore its various peaks and valleys, whether it’s the Rif mountains, the Anti-Atlas or the High Atlas. Serious climbers would probably set their sights on the mighty Jebel Toubkal. Enclosed within the High Atlas and measuring at 4167m, it is North Africa’s highest peak.

Over at the northernmost end of Morocco’s mountain ranges, the Rif offers you a slightly more laidback trekking experience – perfect for those casual hikers. No matter which peak you choose to scale, you’re sure to experience spectacular views of the country’s dynamic landscapes.

Tip: Looking to try your hand at winter sports in the High Atlas? Visit anytime from September to May.

5. Explore the mighty desert

things to do in morocco

If you’ve always dreamed of riding a camel through the dunes and sleeping beneath a canopy of stars on a golden sea of sand, then head for the south of Morocco. Merzouga, home to the fantastic Erg Chebbi dunes, is the go-to destination for most visitors looking for a Saharan adventure.

Try to avoid the peak season. Otherwise, be prepared to wait for your camel trips and jostle with the crowd for that perfectly pristine panoramic shot of the dunes. For a less crowded alternative, travel onwards to the more low-key M’Hamid. This outpost lets you arrange for a camel trip to Erg Chigaga. More than just a single dune, the Erg Chigaga is the largest sand sea in Morocco and features 300m-high crescents. With its more spaced-out camps and quieter, though no less dramatic, dunes, the Erg Chigaga is definitely more in keeping with the desert experience of your dreams.

Tip: Try to visit during the low season of Jan and Feb.

Craving for an adventure that will change your life? Head to Morocco. The charm and beauty of this place will definitely give you an experience to remember for a lifetime.

About Author

Farhana Yusoff
Farhana Yusoff

When she’s not busy trying to pay the bills, Farhana spends her time searching for the next great coffee joint, feeding her drama addiction and plotting her next vacation. She loves exploring new destinations and experiencing everything it has to offer – meeting new people, hunting down local haunts and venturing off the beaten track. But she hates going on long flights, and often dreams of having an honest-to-goodness real-life teleportation thingamajig.


Related Posts