In Morocco, the land between tradition and modernity, you’ll find the oldest evidence of Arab culture. Royal cities such as Marrakesh and Fes are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, and their streets are lined with magnificent mosques with imposing minarets, ornate Koranic schools, Arabian palaces, and oriental markets bearing witness to the flair of Arabian Nights. The medinas of Morocco are labyrinthine, in them you’ll find ocher-clay houses and souks marketplaces, where you can buy traditional crafts, spices, and rugs. The hotels in Morocco are situated in imposing townhouses or palaces, so-called riads, usually luxuriously appointed with sprawling pools in palm-lined courtyards behind Moorish gates.
Where to stay in Morocco? Important locations and regions at a glance:
Marrakesh: Oriental fairytales, luxury, and shopping
Casablanca: Colonial-chic, movie sets, and nightlife
Famous for the eponymous film starring Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart, this coastal town is all about a fusion between Arab culture and the city’s French colonial history. A simple wander through Casablanca will have you stumbling upon evidence of both of these influences, as well as a myriad museums, authentic restaurants, and Morocco’s largest port. Unmissable is the Hassan II Mosque, which boasts the highest minaret in the world and is a sight to behold for its uncapped grandeur. The beach district Ain Diab, together with the legendary “Rick’s Cafe”, stand as reminders of the city’s film history. In boutique, apartment-style hotels, settle in for a luxurious stay between ancient views and modern facilities. On sunset strolls, pass by art-deco buildings, through old stone alleyways, to the Morocco Mall, one of the Africa’s largest shopping centers. In terms of nightlife, from trendy tapas bars to rowdy discotheques, the streets light up at night and offer a special kind of entertainment in for all types of travelers.
Fes & Rabat: Arabic history and sightseeing
Fes is the oldest city in the country and brims with Arabic cultural assets, such as the Royal Palace, the green-bricked mosque, the imposing Ban Boujeloud gate, and the grand Place Nejarine, with its unique Moorish architecture. Find also in Fes the largest Moroccan market, where one is beguiled by smells of oriental spices between donkey-sightings and food stalls. Stay at a mosaic-lined riad for a romantic escape into the old world, or a family hotel to give the kids something they’ll never forget. Morocco’s capital, Rabat, has a similar cultural significance, in addition to a large national museum with archaeological finds and an imposing fortress. Situated on the coast, choose a riad here for private decks with pools, stately courtyards ornamented in white, and first-rate in-house kitchens serving up delicious regional fare.