Morocco

Morocco Travel Guide

Modern Morocco is very much a product of its history. The culture is a blend of Arabic and European influences. The French and, to a lesser extent, the Spanish both established colonies that can still be felt in the architecture and language. French is spoken everywhere, as is Moroccan Arabic, while English-fluency is less easy to find. It’s a good idea to have a French-English dictionary on hand as you think of things to do in Morocco.

For ancient cities, there is no better place to visit than Fez. The most complete medieval city in the Arab world, Fez’s twisting streets give way to stunning palaces, mosques and busy souks. Wondering what to do in Morocco, but don’t have much time to spare? There is only one building that you must see and that is the Medersa Bou Inania, a splendidly renovated mosque and Fez’s only active religious building that non-Muslims are allowed to enter. Even though the country is a very traditional Islamic state, Morocco travel is perfectly safe and visitors will feel welcomed by the culture’s hospitality and openness.

Looking for things to do in Morocco that let you channel your inner-Lawrence of Arabia? Hire a driver to take you into the Sahara and grab a camel ride in one of the many desert towns worth visiting, like Ouarzazate or Merzouga. Those with weak stomachs should be prepared for the drive through the Atlas Mountains to get to the desert. The narrow, winding roads are enough to make anyone queasy, but add to that the break-neck racecar driving that some locals practice and you are in for a real treat.

Wondering what to do in Morocco if you’re only going to Marrakesh? Spend at least one evening in the center square, Jemaa El Fna, which is slammed every night with snake charmers, acrobats, and musicians. Afterward visit the striking Koutoubia Mosque, the symbol of Marrakesh. The twelfth-century minaret pierces the sky and can be seen from all over the city. To enjoy some nature, see the Majorelle Garden in New Town, formerly owned by Yves Saint Laurent.

The owners provide Perrier shoppers troll the endless array of carpets, most of them ridiculously underpriced at around $300. Make sure you measure your rooms at home before making the trip.

The go-to place for carpets.

Recognized by the Travel + Leisure "A-List" of the world's top travel agents, 10-year tour veteran Michael Diamond specializes in crafting non-standard journeys to locations such as Turkey and Morocco.

Otherwise known as the Weaver's Market, feral cats and vendors selling hangers are mixed with vendors who sell to Barneys New York.

Among the oldest and most famous parfumerie in the Muslim world.

KIS (Keep It Secret) is a hidden boutique on the upper story of a tiny medina house that carries more caftans, as well as jewelry and gorgeous bags designed by Brazilian globe-trotter Adriana Bittencourt and her French partner, Caroline Constancio.

At the newly opened Arganza, you’ll find shelves of argan oil—derived from a native tree—which is known as “Moroccan liquid gold” for its ability to diminish dry skin and wrinkles.

Visit the Dar Batha Museum to see its impressive collection of pottery, antique instruments, and Fassi embroidery.

The ambience may be initially inauspicious, but inside, the goods, culled from all over the country, are cheap and first-rate: spice holders, hand-painted cups from Fez, inlaid boxes, miniature teapots, and more.

The shop is full of exquisite embroidered table linens.

The shop has a loyal following of travelers who come just for the latest models and colors of its Tod’s-like loafers (most less than $50 a pair).