Things to Do & Places to Visit in Ouarzazate, Morocco

Things to Do & Places to Visit in Ouarzazate, Morocco

Step into the filming site of many movies. Ouarzazate is famed for its spectacular vistas, but there’s plenty to do in the city too.

Ouarzazate is one of the most famous cities in Morocco. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ll likely recognise pictures—the area has been featured in many movies and TV shows.

Known as the “Door to the Desert”, the area boasts spectacular views, ancient sites, and more modern places of interest. The landscapes are varied too; some of its mountains are capped by snow, yet you’ll also find springs, sand dunes, arid stretches, and lush, green oases.

Small working farms, traditional Berber settlements, crumbling historic sites, and grand architectural beauties speckle the terrain.

Thinking about visiting? Whether you take a day trip from Marrakech, pass through on your way to the desert, or spend longer exploring the area, here are some of the best things to discover in and around Ouarzazate.

Marvel at Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah

things to do in morocco

Image credit: Vince Millett

things to do in morocco

Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah is one of the area’s most famous tourist attractions. You may recognise it from Game of Thrones, along with numerous other productions. It was featured in The Mummy, Alexander, and Lawrence of Arabia, to name but a few examples. The large kasbah has stood the test of time, for fortified settlement home to traditional earth-built dwellings, high walls, animal shelters, twisting and turning passageways, and many slopes and steps. Feast your eyes on the site from a distance before entering it to explore the maze-like former settlement. Most people have moved out and made their homes elsewhere, but a few families still live in the old homes. Souvenir and crafts sellers occupy some buildings and you can see artisans at work. Climb up to the highest point for splendid views across the rugged terrain that surrounds the mighty site.

Visit the Cinema Museum

things to do in morocco

The small and olde-worlde Cinema Museum is located inside an old film studio. There are many old movie posters and other memorabilia, as well as old equipment including cameras and projectors. Old and dusty props scattered through the set remains, and there are no ropes forcing you to keep a distance—you can get some great quirky photos of yourself in all manner of scenes!

Tour Film Studios

Ouarzazate has two film studios: Atlas Film Studios and CLA Studios. Tours are available in each, taking you into the magical world of cinematography. Learn more about special effects, see costumes, props, equipment, and sets, and find out more about films, documentaries, and TV shows produced in the area.

Shop at the evening market

A small but lively evening market sets up at around 6pm each evening. Browse local wares, taste an array of snacks and treats, and stock up on souvenirs.

Stroll around Taourirt Kasbah

In the heart of Ouarzazate city, Kasbah Taourirt is one of the most important architectural splendours of southeast Morocco. Dating back to the 1750s, it is steeped in military and economic history. You can wander through the labyrinth of small streets, seeing local homes and stumbling across street stalls, and then pay to enter the 19th-century el Glaoui Palace. Built by the former Pacha of Marrakech, a powerful man with large spheres of influence, the large palace contains around 300 rooms. Most rooms are now empty, though you will still find beautiful designs that showcase traditional Moroccan and Islamic architectural art.  

Relax at Fint Oasis

A quiet and offbeat local destination, Fint Oasis sees relatively few visitors. The landscapes are lush and the natural vistas are attractive. Berber villages are found around the oasis, offering a glimpse into traditional ways of life. You’re sure to feel some admiration for people who manage to not only survive but also to thrive in such harsh conditions.

Other attractions in the locale include the old Church of Saint Theresa and the Museum of the Liberation Army of Ouarzazate. The mountains offer great hiking and biking opportunities, and you can take it easy over a glass of mint tea in one of the cafes. Kasbah Amridil, Kasbah des Cigognes, and the glorious Todra and Dades Gorges are also within easy reach of Ouarzazate.

About Author

Sarah W
Sarah W

Sarah W is a travelling cat-lover who enjoys exploring places that are a little bit quirky or away from headline attractions. Favourite things include delicious falafel, snuggling under a thick duvet, (badly) belting out karaoke at the top of her lungs, and, of course, her family, friends, and furry pets.


Related Posts