Morocco is an amazing country which is known the world over for its early Islamic architecture, long, inviting beaches and a variety of spices, sold both in markets and as part of an array of dishes at restaurants. It has many vibrant and historic cities, where there’s lots to see, like the famous markets of Marrakesh. The country is endowed with many exciting features but we highlight 10 of which we think are a good pick for any traveller willing to explore the wonderful Morocco.
- Visit to the Markets- souk
One of the best things to do in Morocco is visit the market. Moroccan markets are called souks and exist in every major city. These markets are like nothing you’ve ever seen before; stretching for what seems like miles in every direction and filled with artisan wares, leather goods, crafts, souvenirs…you name it! You can test out you bargaining skills with the shopkeepers, who all speak enough English and Spanish to drive a hard bargain. Be sure to check out the leather, famous around the world.
- Sunset in style.
There’s a famous story about the time that US President Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Marrakech, when Churchill told Roosevelt that he simply could not come all the way to North Africa without seeing “the sunset on the snows of the Atlas Mountains. It’s a breathtaking sight.” If it’s good enough for Churchill, it’s good enough for the rest of us. Take an evening stroll to watch the sun set over the Atlas Mountains.
- Amazing Mosque designs.
Morocco has many amazing architectural designs most of which can be seen in the mosques. Generally speaking, it’s forbidden to enter the mosques of Morocco if you aren’t a Muslim. However, the Mosque of Hassan II is open to the public, and if you have a chance to stay a day in Casablanca, make sure you take a tour of this awe-inspiring monument. The architecture and design will take your breath away.
- Visit the tanneries
Moroccans are famous for their leather goods. And not only can you buy them from the market, but you can also visit the tanneries where they’re made. The most famous tannery in Morocco is in Fez, though you can visit them in Marrakech as well. However, you may want to do your leather shopping before your visit, because the smell sticks with you for some time after.
- Drink mint tea
After a long day of shopping, retire to one of the teahouses above the central square for a nice glass of Moroccan mint tea. Be warned, the tea is super sweet and superhot. But there’s nothing like sipping your tea and looking out over the city as the streets bustle below and the call to prayer echoes through the buildings.
- Ride a camel
Take a few days to go down to the Sahara, where you can stay several nights in your choice of tent style, either traditional Bedouin or luxury. The best way to explore the dunes is by camel, so saddle up and you’ll be on your way to a Saharan adventure. The most popular area of the Sahara sandscape is a small town called Merzouga.
- Eat your heart out
Moroccan cuisine is absolutely incredible. For a very reasonable price, you can feast on cous cous filled with any variety of vegetables and meats. Moroccans use tajines to cook their meat, leaving it tender and juicy like you’ve never had it before. Don’t miss pastilla, either, a chicken breast coated in pastry dough covered in almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Finally, Moroccan sweets are just to die for, and their jus d’avocat (avocado juice, an avocado smoothie made with milk and sugar) will never fail to impress. However! Make sure you don’t eat the food off the street, especially not the orange juice. Morocco is an easy place to get sick, and that’s the last thing you want.
- Stay in a riad
A riad is a traditional Moroccan palace or ultra-wealthy home, traditionally built with an interior courtyard and beautiful terraces. The traditional Moroccan house (riad) is built around a central courtyard with windows facing inwards for privacy. These days, many riads have been converted into restaurants and hotels, many of them very affordable for American and European travelers. Stepping into a riad, you’ll feel transported to a different universe.
- Take the train
When travelling from place to place in Morocco, there’s no better way to see the countryside than by train. Tickets are very inexpensive, usually less than 20 US dollars, and they give you the chance to see parts of Morocco you may never visit on your own.
- Bathe at the hammam
The bathhouses in Morocco are famous and still in use, and there’s no better way to relax after long days of travelling than to take a spa day at the hammam. Enter in either a bathing suit or nothing at all, and you’ll be presented with famous Moroccan black soap to wash yourself with. This is a social occasion for Moroccan women, so don’t be surprised if you end up having a nice conversation with a complete stranger.
Morocco is such a vibrant country with so much to do and see. The best way to enjoy it is to to have a personal encounter and your list will be longer than this.