Morocco Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Morocco: holidays, events, climate

Public holidays

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
11th January Independence Manifesto
January February Ad al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)
February Fatih Mouharram (Islamic New Year)
1st of May Labor Day
May Ad al-Mawlid (Prophet’s Birthday)
30th July Celebration of the accession to the throne of Mohammed VI.
August 14 Oued Ed Dahab Day (tribute to Wadi Ed Dahab)
20th of August King and People’s Revolution Day
August 21 Birthday of King Mohammed VI.
November Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)
November 6 Anniversary of the peace march
November 18 Independence day

Source: Countryaah – Morocco Holidays

The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the festival day Eid al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha last 2-10 days depending on the region.

In addition, different moussems are celebrated in Morocco every year. These are religious festivals on which pilgrimages to the graves of pious men and women are held. Mostly they are associated with pre-Islamic seasonal rites.

Cultural events

In June/July the ten-day National Folklore Festival takes place in Marrakech, in which the best dance and music groups from all parts of the country take part.

At the Fantasia Festival in Meknes every September the famous equestrian games (Fantasias) are performed.

In addition, the Almond Tree Blossom Festival takes place in Tafraout every year in February, the Sand Marathon in Ouarzazate and the Wax Lantern Festival in Sal in April, the Rose Festival in El Kelaa Mgouna in May, the Gnaoua and World Music Festival in Essaouira in June, in August the Imilchil wedding festival in different places, the date festival in Erfoud in October and the Agadir festival in December.

Sporting events

The Paris-Dakar rally (Senegal) also runs through Morocco. This rally is the most important and well-known desert rally. It will be held in the three main classes of motorcycles, cars and trucks. The rally has existed in this form since 1978.

The Féminine course, which has existed since 1993, was launched by the 400 m hurdles Olympic champion Nawal ElMoutawakel, who is now the Moroccan Minister for Sport. Each year up to 30,000 female athletes take part in the major event in Casablanca, which is one of the largest women’s sports events. The city run goes over 10 km and is said to be one of the fastest in the world.

Morocco: climate

In Morocco, the climate on the coast differs significantly from the climate in the interior.

Coastal climate

On the northern coast, temperatures rise to around 27 °C during the day in summer and drop to around 17 °C at night. In winter, the daily temperatures drop to 17-19 °C and at night to 7-9 °C. The average rainfall is 900 mm. On the southern coast, temperatures remain around 20-27 °C all year round during the day. At night, temperatures drop to 17 °C in summer and 7 °C in winter. Here the average amount of precipitation is significantly lower and is around 200 mm annually.

Climate in the interior of the country

In summer, daytime temperatures in the northern part of the country rise to a maximum of 33 °C and drop to 16 °C at night. In winter, the daily temperatures remain at 12-17 °C and at night at 0-5 °C. No more than 250 mm of precipitation falls here annually. Here, too, the southern part is warmer. The summer daytime temperature rises to around 37 °C and falls to around 21 °C at night. In winter, temperatures fluctuate between 17 and 23 °C during the day and between 2 and 8 °C at night. Even less precipitation falls here. The annual average is not even 200 mm.

National customs


For guests in an Islamic country, consideration for the local customs is required. Women in particular should pay attention to decent clothing. Beach clothing outside the bathing zone is taboo, and long pants are also recommended for men outside the hotel zones. In addition, non-Muslims are generally prohibited from entering mosques and madrasas in which the Friday sermon is still being held. In Morocco, pre-Islamic beliefs such as the fear of the evil eye (from the camera lens or dark glasses) and the belief in symbols that bring good luck such as the “hand of Fatima” are widespread.

taking photos

Even if Morocco is a modern country in many respects, when taking photos you should be careful not to stand in front of people to photograph them. Since Islam forbids pictorial representations and many Moroccans are afraid of the evil eye that is suspected in a camera lens, it is better to always ask for permission beforehand, which in most cases leads to a “no”. Anyone who tends to follow the motto “Better to apologize than ask for permission” can use a little trick. You raise the camera towards the sky and pretend to be photographing something worth seeing above people’s heads. To do this, you first hold the camera up, but then turn it down, take the photo and then pretend that you have only photographed the supposed sight.

Women in Morocco

Women should dress cautiously in order to avoid potential harassment. These annoyances consist of remarks and looks, but they are never physical. A “chador”, a scarf that only leaves the eyes free, definitely helps to streamed around the markets without being constantly bothered by the shopkeepers.

Ramadan It is better to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public during the fasting month of Ramadan.


The sale and serving of alcohol, except in the tourist hotels and restaurants, is prohibited on Fridays and Ramadan. Drunkenness in public is strictly frowned upon in all Islamic countries; alcohol should only be consumed in public where it is served. It would also be grossly impolite to encourage a local to drink.

Henna paintings

It is almost impossible to escape the oriental-sensual charm of henna paintings. Even men carry the temporary works of art on their arms and hands, although these men are exclusively tourists, because Moroccans know that henna is a privilege of women and should promise them happiness. The paintings are then preferably applied to the feet, hands and arms at celebrations such as weddings. Tourists see it less traditionally and like to be addressed and decorated by the henna painters on the djemma. The henna is then applied directly to the skin with syringes and then has to dry in the sun for about an hour. Then you just wash it off with clear water and you can now feel very Moroccan.

With the Hanna paintings, however, there are some rules to be observed:

First of all, the information is incorrect, the henna stays on the skin for a month. In reality there is usually no trace left after two weeks. Furthermore, the paintings are offered extremely expensive in many places. Around 150 dirhams (approx. 14 euros) per picture are sometimes required, which is astronomical. One should not repeat the mistakes made by a certain member of our reaction who actually paid 400 dirhams (approx. 36 euros) for an arm and a hand painting in Marrakech. Because more than 50 dirhams for a medium-sized motif is usury and should not be paid for.

A popular trick of some henna artists is to hold out an appealing catalog with sample drawings to those interested, but then to start painting immediately. And before you know it, you have half a badly painted henna motif on your arm and are then immediately asked for a completely unreal payment. So if you want to choose a motif, you should keep your arms off the painters. Before the henna spectacle, you should always have agreed a fixed price to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Some painters attract interested parties by announcing that the henna tattoos are free or that you can pay for what you want. This information is always incorrect and an (astronomical) price is asked immediately after the drawing has been completed. In such situations, one can either pay the asking price and be exempted, give a few dirhams instead, or just walk away without paying. The painters will run after you for a few hundred meters and harass you, but eventually give up and turn to a new victim. It is important to be aware that some henna scammers work with dangerous chemicals such as PPD, which can cause skin damage or allergic reactions.


In the Arab world, trading plays a major role in buying. A guideline for a real price is about one third to one half of the originally asked price. Therefore one should undercut the usually excessively inflated first price demand of the seller accordingly. However, haggling without the intention to buy is considered an insult to the trading partner.

Morocco: Sightseeing

Bigger cities


To say it right from the start: In Casablanca you don’t immediately encounter the Orient, which is not possible because the majority of the city is not older than 60 years. The French colonial architecture, which often only exists as ruins, and the French-tinged cafés and boulevards of the city must first be broken through in an oriental way, which happens in small things such as music, clothes or smells.


Colorful, lively, loud and terribly oriental is Morocco’sthird largest city(after Casablanca and Rabat), whose name goes back to the Berber “mur (n) akush” and can be translated as “land of the gods”. In Marrakech, this nerve-wracking city on the foothills of the High Atlas, the Orient manifests itself in its most dazzling form. Nothing is impossible here, nothing certain and nothing predictable – especially not the direction in which it is going.


The capital of the Kingdom of Morocco was founded in the 12th century. As the fourth royal city of the country, alongside Meknes, Fès and Marrakech, it can look back on a varied and exciting history.

Special neighborhoods and squares

Agdal in Rabat

Agdal is the modern ministry and residential district of Rabat. At the end of avenue Alabtal is also the El-Badr mosque, built in 1973.

Old town of Casablanca

In the north of the lively Place des Nations Unies, the Medina Casablanca spreads out, i.e. the old town, which shows how small Casablanca was at the time of the French conquest. The old town hardly has the charm of the medinas of Marrakech or Fez, but it forms a pleasant contrast to the modernity of the Ville Nouvelle around it. For many Morocco travelers, it will be the first impression of what is commonly expected in the West as the Orient.

In recent years the medina has undergone loving renovations and numerous restorations, including the characteristic colonial clock tower that marks the main entrance to the medina. It is certainly worthwhile to sit down in one of the cafés for tea or a café au lait to watch the hustle and bustle on the streets. But other old towns are far better suited to shopping. The shops selling traditional Moroccan artifacts are all geared towards tourists. Therefore, it is more advisable to bet on the medinas and markets of other cities that sell not only to tourists but also to Moroccans.

Avenue Mohammed V. in Rabat

This street is one of the most important traffic axes and main business streets of the “Ville Nouvelle” of Rabat – the new town. Along the avenue, in addition to the main post office, gardens and the train station, there are also various modern shops and boutiques. At the southern end of the street is the Place Jamaa Assouna and there the Es-Sunna mosque. You can also find hotels, bank buildings and travel agencies here.

Corniche in Casablanca

The Corniche is a district of Casablanca, which extends along the Atlantic Ocean and to the west of the imposing Hassan II mosque. Decades ago the area was hard to beat for liveliness and drew the crowds to its hotels and nightclubs. If you follow the Boulevard de la Corniche these days, you will quickly notice that the buildings give the impression of better days. Only the Boulevard de l’Océan Atlantique with its newer and more glamorous hotels bears witness to the area’s former splendor. While the Corniche also offers a whole range of west-facing restaurants, it is the cafes with ocean views in particular that inspire.

Djemaa El-Fna in Marrakech

The undisputed center of Marrakech is the Djemma el-Fna, the colorful, shrill and beguiling heart of the city and its secretive medina. It is not without reason that “la place” is one of the most beautiful and magical places in North Africa, as the characters and stories from 1001 nights come to life here. They all meet on the Djemma: the crazy jugglers, the sensual musicians, the strange henna painters, the brave snake charmers, the water carriers in their colorful costumes, and the monkey whisperers. Together they give each other a special kind of rendezvous in front of a picturesque, drum-laden backdrop and compete for every form of attention.

In the evening the chaotic conglomerate of smells, colors and noises is transformed into an atmospheric stamp of food stalls, musicians, boys dancing Chleuh, storytellers and magicians. The Djemma el-Fna was not only a market place in the Middle Ages, but also a hangman’s place, which explains its frightening name, which means “place of the beheaded” in its translation. The square, revered by locals and tourists alike, has even been on the UNESCO list of masterpieces of the oral and immaterial human heritage since 2001. The Djemma, which used to be a bus station, has been closed to car traffic for several years. Today it is framed by cafes, restaurants, hotels and gardens that serve as refuges, In which you can escape from the hustle and bustle and the challenging chaos of the Djemma – at least for a few minutes. And of course, the Djemma el-Fna is bordered by the Marrakech Souq, the traditional Moroccan market that caters to both the daily needs of the locals and those of the tourists who grabbed souvenirs.

Medina of Meknès

The former Berber settlement Meknassa ez-Zeïtun was founded around the 10th century and expanded in the middle of the 12th century with a chessboard-like floor plan that is unusual for Maghrebian traditions, traces of which are still preserved today.

Complex around the Hassan Tower in Rabat

The Hassan Tower is the undisputed landmark of Rabat. This structure is the minaret of an incomplete mosque. Construction began in 1195: The Almohad sultan Yacoub al-Mansour intended to use this tower to construct the world’s largest minaret of the world’s largest mosque. But in 1199 the Sultan died and construction work came to a standstill. The tower remained “only” 44 meters high and the mosque was unfinished. It was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. Together with the remains of the mosque and the mausoleum for Muhammad V, the tower forms the most important historical and tourist complex of Rabat.

Medina of Rabat

Andalusia refugees gave the old town of Rabat its present appearance in the 17th century. It is limited by the fascinating 5 kilometer long city wall, the so-called Andalusian wall. You can reach the medina through the Bab el Had (= gate of the Sunday market). Mosques, small cafes, the hustle and bustle of traders and the charm of an old world make the Rabat medina very worth seeing.

Mellah (Jewish quarter) in Tetouan

The Mellah was built in 1807 by order of the Sultan Suleiman.

Place Mohammed V in Casablanca

The large square named after the Moroccan King Mohammed V is framed by public buildings, the design of which was later copied all over the country. The imposing structures include the Court of Justice, the Wilaya, the Bank al-Maghrib, the post office and the Ministry of Defense. Furthermore, numerous great boulevards leave the square, which are also determined by excellent architecture.

Souks Attarine and Kissaria in Fés

The traditional trading and handicraft districts have an unmistakably diverse offer, from carpet weaving and dyeing works to old cobblers.

Souk of Marrakech

The markets or souqs of Marrakech are legendary and start from the infamous Djemma el-Fna, the main square of the medina. In the maze of streets, alleys and paths, the shops line up endlessly, offering everything from spices, djellabas and shoes to tea and soap, everything your heart could desire. A real paradise for people who like to drift and who really want to indulge in oriental consumption and haggling.

Visiting the markets as a foreigner also means that you always have to pay (many times) higher prices than the locals ask. So action is essential to at least provide some “justice”. The good news, however, is that the dealers in Marrakech are far less aggressive and brisk than their colleagues in Egypt or Turkey, for example. If you run out of money, you will find numerous men in the market aisles who supply you with dirhams – but only in exchange for dollars or euros, of course. If you don’t feel like trading, there are two state shops where you can buy handicrafts at fixed prices. These boutiques d’artisans can be found on the Djemma El-Fna and in the ville nouvelle, the new town of Marrakech.

Stade Mohamed V

The stadium named after the Moroccan King Mohammed V – formerly Stade Marcel Cerdan – is more of a large sports complex than a mere stadium. It is located in the center of the city, in the Maarif district and was established in 1955. The stadium, which often hosts the games of the Moroccan national football team, can hold up to 80,000 spectators and is a popular venue for the clubs Raja Casablanca, Wydad Casablanca and Botola. In addition to the actual stadium, there is a fitness room for 12,000 people, a swimming pool, a 650 m² media center, a conference room and much more

Ville Nouvelle in Casablanca

This district contains a number of art nouveau buildings from the French colonial era that are well worth seeing.

Special buildings and structures

Bab Agnaou in Marrakech

The Bab Agnaou, one of the nineteen gates of Marrakech, was built in the 12th century and therefore in the time of the Almohads. Its name goes back to the Berber language and means something like “land of blacks”. The gate, which is particularly used for representation, has corner stones with flower decorations and quotes from the Koran. The gate leads to the royal kasbah (see below), which is located in the southern part of the medina.

Bab Berdain and Bab el Khemis in Meknes

The gates date from the 17th century.

Bab Mrisa in Salé

The oldest gate in Salé was built in the 13th century.

Bab EI Mansour in Meknes

The most famous gate in Morocco was completed in 1732.

Bab er-Rouah (“Gate of the Winds”)

The “Gate of the Winds” is one of the most wonderful in Rabat, along with the Oudaïa Gate. It belongs to the Almohad Wall and is bordered by two towers. The imposing architecture and the fine decoration work impress with their beauty. The gate can be reached via avenue Moulay Hassan.

Bahia Palace in Marrakech

The Bahia Palace is so worth seeing because it gives a good impression of what it must have meant to have been a rich man in Marrakech in the 19th century. In addition to its own beauty and the imposing interior, the wonderfully decorated palace impresses with a pretty garden with quiet courtyards, banana plants and wonderful flowers. For only 10 dirhams you can get a glimpse of the Sultan’s Palace, which is best explored through one of the guided tours.

Ben Youssef Madrassa in Marrakech

This madrassa (German school) is one of the largest in all of North Africa. The school is right next to the Ben Youssef Mosque and contains many works of art.

Dar Batha in Fés

The former vizier’s palace with its spacious gardens houses an archaeological collection and an extensive museum of Moroccan art.

Dar el Makhzen in Marrakech

The royal palace is still used today by the king when he is in Marrakech.

Dar el Makhzen in Tangier

In the entrance area is the Moulay Ismail’s treasury (Bit el Ma).

Dar Jamai in Meknes

The Museum of Moroccan Folk Art is housed in the former vizier’s palace.

Fontaine el Mouassine in Marrakech

The richly decorated fountain dates from the 16th century.

Fontaine Echroub-ou-Chouf in Marrakech

The fountain has a magnificent carved facade, kufi ornaments and a stalactite canopy.

Bab el-Oudaïa (Oudaïa Gate)

The gate is the main entrance to the Kasbah des Oudaïa fortress. It goes back to the Almohad period and was built at the same time as the Hassan Tower – in the 12th century. The construction is simple but full of contrasts and extends over three floors. Note the back of the gate, which is also richly decorated.

Kasbah des Oudaïa in Rabat

This fortress was built on a rocky hill above the river mouth. It consists of the small palace Moulay Ismail (= today the Musée des Oudaïa), enchanting gardens and a mosque. The name refers to the tribe of the Oudaïa, who had settled in Morocco since the 13th century and were able to gain recognition from Moulay Ismail (= second Alawite sultan; died 1727) in the 17th century. In return, the Sultan gave him the kasbah and territorial property in Fez. The oldest part of the Kasbah is the “Bab el-Oudaïa” (= Oudaïa gate).

Heri Dar el Ma in Meknes

The huge storage tank dates from the 17th century.

Kasbah of Marrakech

The Kasbah of Marrakech, once built by the Almohad Sultan Yaqub al-Mansour, rises in the south of the medina and in good proximity to the El Mansouria mosque, the El Badi palace and the Saardia tombs. You enter the Kasbah through the Bab Agnaou, one of the nineteen gates of Marrakech.

Mahkama in Casablanca

The courthouse was built from 1941 to 1956 in the Spanish-Moorish style.

Marshan Palace in Tangier

The Sultan’s Palace was built in the Moorish style during the time of Moulay Ismail and expanded in the early 19th century.

Palais Royal in Rabat

The Royal Palace of Rabat is located near the mosque of El-Fah and is an extensive complex made up of buildings from the 18th and 20th centuries. The Moorish decorative elements (portals, etc.) are impressive. To the left of the main entrance is the family grave of the Alaouite rulers. Unfortunately, the actual palace and the family necropolis are not open to tourists.

Rammed earth kasbah Taourirt in Ouarzazate

The enormous rammed earth castle of the Atlas Berbers, flanked by defensive towers, is located a little outside the city. The main building, the Palais des Glaoui, now serves as a museum and event location.

Hassan Tower in Rabat

The Hassan Tower is the undisputed landmark of Rabat. This structure is the minaret of an incomplete mosque. Construction began in 1195: The Almohad sultan Yacoub al-Mansour intended to use this tower to construct the world’s largest minaret of the world’s largest mosque. But in 1199 the Sultan died and construction work came to a standstill. The tower remained “only” 44 meters high and the mosque was unfinished. It was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. Together with the remains of the mosque and the mausoleum for Muhammad V, the tower forms the most important historical and tourist complex of Rabat.


Archaeological Museum in Tangier

The Venus mosaic from the “House of Venus” in Volubilis is particularly worth seeing, and finds from Lixus and other Roman excavation sites can also be viewed.

Archaeological Museum in Tetouan

This is where Punic-Berber and Roman finds from the ruins of Tamuda and Lixus (3rd or 4th century BC) and a complete replica of the Cromlech of M’Soura are kept.

Bordj Nord in Fés

The 16th century building contains a museum with historical Moroccan weapons.

Dar Si Saïd Museum in Marrakech

In the rue Riad Zitoun Jdid, just five minutes’ walk from the Djemma el-Fna , the Dar Si Saïd Museum was housed in an old palace. Various Moroccan artifacts such as weapons, wood carvings and musical instruments can be seen there. Furthermore, exhibits related to the country’s handicrafts were exhibited. This includes ceramics, carpets and clothing, all of which come from Marrakech or the surrounding area.

Former American embassy in Tangier

The magnificent palace was given to the Americans in the 18th century by Sultan Moulay Slimane. Today there is a museum here that documents Moroccan-American relations.

Ethnographic Museum in Tetouan

The exhibition consists mainly of folklore objects.

Forbes- or Miniature Museum in Tangier

The exhibition founded by the American billionaire Malcolm Forbes contains miniatures of all armies of the world powers of the past and present.

Photo Museum – Maison de la Photographie in Marrakech

The very young and truly unique Maison de la Photographie, the House of Photography, can be found on Rue Ahal Fès. There are exhibits showing photographic works that document the beginnings and development of Moroccan photography. After the visit, you can relax on the viewing terrace, where food and drinks are also served.

Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech

The pretty Jardin Majorelle not only houses a wonderful array of flowers and plants, but also the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech. Yves Saint-Laurent personally gave North African pieces from his very private collection to give the museum its flair. Paintings, jewelry and ceramics are also on display.

Jewish Museum in Casablanca

Located in the south of Casablanca, the Jewish Museum of Morocco references the long and fascinating history of the country’s Jewish community. You can see religious objects, traditional Jewish clothing and even the reconstructed elements of a synagogue.

Musée Archéologique in Rabat

In the Rue de Brihi is the archaeological museum of Rabat, which shows the most important archaeological collection in Morocco.

Museum of Science of the Earth in Rabat

In this science museum is bswp. the famous dinosaur skeleton found near Azilal (= city in central Morocco) on display.

Museum of Moroccan Art in Rabat

The museum was housed in the Moulay Ismail palace, alongside the folk art and musical instrument museum. Selected collections of carpets, traditional costumes, Koran writings etc. are on display.

Museum of Moroccan Arts in Tangier

The highlight of the exhibition are the old Koran manuscripts.

Mosques, churches and mausoleums

Cathédrale Sacré-Cœur de Casablanca

The new Gothic Roman cathedral of Casablanca is an architectural jewel from 1930. The earlier Christian sacred building designed by the French architect Paul Tournon only served as a church until 1956. After Morocco gained independence, the Cathédrale Sacré-Cœur was converted into a cultural center.

Great Mosque in Casablanca (MosqueHassan II.)

With the impressive, somewhat unreal-looking Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca has after the Masjid al-Haram Mosque in Mecca (Saudi Arabia), the al-Masjid al Nabawi in Medina (Saudi Arabia), the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad (Iran) and the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta (Indonesia) over the fifth largest mosque in the world. The 210-meter-high minaret, on the other hand, is the highest on earth and makes Mesjid Hassan II, designed by the French Michel Pinseau, the tallest sacral construct in the world.

The highly imposing, somewhat unreal building rises ityphallically on the Boulevard Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah – only about 20 minutes’ walk from Rick’s Café and the medina – at the direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. From afar, it accompanies the interested visitor with its majestic presence. While the prayer hall of the house of God, inaugurated in 1993, can accommodate up to 25,000 believers, the esplanade, the “forecourt”, can accommodate up to 80,000 so that the Hassan II mosque can accommodate a total of 105,000 (devout) Muslims.

Jemaa el Kebir in Meknes

The large mosque with its 12 entrances forms the center of the old town.

Karaouyine Mosque in Fés

The building still houses two faculties of the university, which was founded in the 9th century, and a library from the 13th century and, with its 16,000 m² floor area, was the largest mosque in the country for a long time. Horseshoe arches, stalactite ceiling vaults, carved ornaments and majolica floors are part of the artistic furnishings of the typical Moorish building.

Kasbah Mosque in Marrakech

The building was built by the Almohads at the end of the 12th century.

Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech

The “Mosque of the Booksellers” is Marrakech’s largest and one of the oldest mosques in Morocco. It rises majestically right near the Djemma el-Fna and is an architectural child of the 12th century. It was built at the behest of Abd al-Mu’min, the first caliph of the Almohads. It was named after the booksellers who at the time maintained their market near the point where the Islamic building now stretches into the sky. The imposing, almost 70 (with a shaft even 77) meter high minaret of the Koutoubia can be seen even from the modern Guéliz district, which is connected to the medina via Avenue Mohammed V. There is a rather interesting legend according to which the Sufi saint and scholar Sidi Abu l- ‘

Moulay Ismail’s Mausoleum in Meknes

The anterooms of the building are artfully furnished in a Moorish style.

Mausoleum for Muhammad V in Rabat

Right next to the ruins of the unfinished mosque (see Hassan Tower), this tomb was built in 1967, which in addition to the actual mausoleum also consists of a mosque and a memorial. In addition to the Moroccan King Muhammad V, his two sons Hassan II and Abdallah are also buried in the mausoleum. The entire building is a masterpiece by the Vietnamese architect Vo Toan and impresses with its pyramid-shaped roof and rich interior decorations.

Bab Berdieyinne Mosque in Meknes

The Bab Berdieyinne mosque in the 500,000-resident city of Meknes on the edge of the Middle Atlas Mountains collapsed on February 19, 2010. Around 40 people were killed.

Medersa Bou Inania in Fés

The large mosque with its high minaret and remarkable pulpit, built under Sultan Abou Inane between 1350 and 1357, is also a Koran school. The square inner courtyard with wash fountain, the prayer rooms and the tiny living cells of the students are well worth seeing.

Medersa Bou Inania in Meknes

The Merinid sultan Abu el-Hassan began with the construction of the 1356 completed building. Particularly worth seeing are the inner courtyard, equipped with very beautiful tiles and wood carvings, with a cleaning fountain and the cedar-carved gallery on the upper floor.

Medersa of the Attarine in Fés

The remarkable building was built in 1325 under Abou Said Othman.

Mosque EI Mouassine in Marrakech

The building was built towards the end of the 16th century by the Saadian sultan Moulay Abdallah.

Es Sunna mosque in Rabat was built in the

early 20th century and its construction was based on the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech. It is located at the southern end of the famous Avenue Mohammed V, where the Place Jamaa Assouna extends. The architecture of the mosque follows typical Moroccan styles, such as a square minaret.

Mosque Nejjarine in Meknes

The building dates from the 10th century.

Mosque and Medersa of Ben Youssef in Marrakech

The building from the 14th century was renovated in the 17th century and was formerly the largest Koran school in the Maghreb.

Saidi Mosque in Tetouan

The minaret is decorated with glazed tiles and brick mosaics.

Mosquée Sett el-Khandor in Rabat

This mosque, built in 1968, extends directly behind the Bab el-Had (= “Gate of the Sunday Market “). Day laborers settle in front of the small church, especially in the mornings, waiting for work with their tools in hand.

Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman in Casablanca

The shrine of Sidi Abderrahman is located on a rock in the sea, at the end of the coastal road. It can only be entered at low tide, but non-Muslims are not allowed to visit it anyway. Meanwhile, non-Muslims are allowed to explore the small medina-like neighborhood that has grown up around the shrine and over the centuries. If the archaeological finds are to be believed, the place was already settled in prehistoric times. A tip: You get a wonderful view of the shrine from the beach, from where you can see the beautiful white walls.

Zaouia des Moulay Idriss in Fés

The tomb of the city’s founder is also a place of pilgrimage.

Zaouia des Sidi Bel Abbes in Marrakech

The tomb of the founder of the order, built at the beginning of the 17th century, is a place of pilgrimage.

Zaouia des Sidi Ben Slimane in Marrakech

The grave of this order’s founder dates back to the 16th century.


University of Muhammad V.

Apart from the Al Karaouiyine in Fez, this is the first modern university in Morocco. In 1957 it was established on royal orders (Dahir). The university was named after Muhammad V, the late king of the country. In 1993 the state university was divided into two independent universities: the Muhammad V University in Agdal and the Muhammad V University in Souissi.

Other larger universities in Morocco include:

  • Al Akhawayn University Ifrane
  • Al Karaouine University of Fez
  • Mohammed V University in Souissi Rabat
  • Hassan II Ain Chok University of Casablanca
  • Hassan II Mohammedia University Mohammedia
  • Sidi Mohammed Benabdellah University of Fez
  • Mohammed Premier University of Oujda
  • Moulay Ismail University of Meknes
  • Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech
  • Ibnou Zohr University of Agadir
  • Chouaib Doukkali University El Jadida
  • Hassan Premier University of Settat
  • Ibn Tofail University of Kenitra
  • Abdelmalek Essaâdi University of Tétouan
  • Soultan Moulay Sliman University of Beni Mellal

Casablanca Technopark

A special feature of Casablanca is the city’s Technopark, an information and technology complex that has existed since 2001. The industrial park has set itself the goal of promoting the development of information technology in the country. His main focus is on the software.


El Badi Palace in Marrakech

The palace was built in 1578 by the Saardi king Ahmad al-Mansur. It is believed that the original building once had 360 rooms and a courtyard that was 135 meters long and 110 meters wide. It must have been richly decorated, the palace: with precious Italian marble and gold from Sudan. Unfortunately, only the foundation walls of the once imposing El Badi Palace can now be seen. They point to the unbelievable size that the structure, now populated by storks, must have been. Unfortunately, it was torn down by the Alaouite Sultan Mawlay Ismail, who wanted to use the materials to enrich his own palace in Meknes. Some of the underground paths in the Badi Palace can be used by curious visitors. The cost of such an excursion is currently 10 dirhams.

Ruins of the Kasbah of Agadir

Of the old city fortress, which was destroyed by an earthquake, only a few walls and the entrance gate were rebuilt, the rubble hill is now a memorial.

Saadian tombs in Marrakech

The Saadian tombs, which date back to the 16th century, are definitely among the finest examples of Islamic architecture in Morocco. Until the beginning of the 20th century they were undiscovered and remained in the state in which they must have been during the times of the Saardier rulers. Probably for reasons of superstition, they were not destroyed so that they could outlast centuries. Inside you can see precious Moroccan tiles (Zelij) and other pretty decorative elements. If you don’t need a lot of time to discover the graves, a visit is more than worthwhile.

Necropolis of Chellah

Outside the Almohad city wall and in Morocco’s Ville Nouvelle (= new town) is Chellah. This is the former burial place of the Merinids, an old Berber dynasty that ruled Morocco between 1244 and 1465. Chellah is located on a small hill, which is bordered by a wall over 600 years old. You can see ancient and medieval ruins, some from the Punic period and from the Roman city of Sala Colonia. Abandoned in 1154, the area was later used as a burial place by the Almohads and even later by the Medinids. Many of the pompous buildings were destroyed in a severe earthquake in the 18th century.

Parks and gardens

Agdal Gardens in Marrakech

The Agdal Gardens, which have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985, are the oldest park in Marrakech and spread out over a few kilometers south of the Dar El Makhzen Royal Palace. The delightful green realm with its scattered pavilions was laid out in the 13th century under Idris I. al-Ma’mun, the then ruler of the Almohads. However, the shape of the park and its walls that can be seen today is a child of the 19th century. Pomegranate, olive and orange trees enrich the park as well as the large Es Sala water basin, which also houses the Dar el Hana palace, a magnificent building with a viewing terrace and an impressive view of the High Atlas.

Andalusian gardens in Rabat

The Andalusian gardens look older than they really are, they were only laid out in the 20th century by the French colonial authorities. The French “feeling” has of course disappeared from today’s park. In the park is the Museum of Moroccan Art.

Gardens of the old residence of Mendoub in Tangier

Here you can find 800 year old dragonia trees and 40 old cannons from different countries.

Garden of Chellah in Rabat

Used as a cemetery for several centuries, today there is a garden in Chellah that has been wonderfully planted with all kinds of trees and bushes. The atmosphere is cozy and is only gently interrupted by the twittering of birds.

Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech The

Jardin Majorelle is the botanical garden of Marrakech. It was named after the French painter Jacques Majorelle, who had lived in the city since 1919 and who laid the foundations for today’s garden in 1923. In his honor, a special level of cobalt blue was named after him, the majorelle blue, which the artist also liked to use for his garden. The park, which has been publicly accessible since 1947, is home to plants from all continents, which have been supplied with the help of an automatic irrigation system since 2000.

The famous name of the fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent is still associated with the Jardin Majorelle, who bought the garden together with his partner and companion Pierre Bergé in 1980 and took care of its preservation and redesign. In the garden, however, Saint-Laurent not only received inspiration for its fashion collections. Rather, he later lived in the villa in the park and after his death in 2008 had his ashes scattered in the rose garden there.

Menara gardens in Marrakech

The approximately 100 hectare public city park – about three kilometers from the city wall – dates back to the 12th century and the Almohads, who planted an olive plantation there. The gardens, which have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985, are irrigated by a system of canals that emanates from a lake in the center of the park.

Parc de la Ligue Arabe in Casablanca

The former Lyautey park of the Arab League is the largest public park in Casablanca. At its end there is the Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur (see above), a fantastic example of Moorish architecture. The park is made up of valuable green areas that were established in 1918. It is crossed by a main avenue, which is lined with palm trees and has many café terraces.

Sultan’s gardens in Tangier

Here you can also see numerous antique pieces.

The Sahara

The Sahara covers an area of around 9 million km², making it the largest sandy desert in the world.

Morocco: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Medina of Fes (1981)

Médina von Fes is the walled old town of Fes with an area of 2.8 km². In the old town with its narrow and winding streets no cars, let alone trucks, can drive, and so the mule is the means of transport.

The medina of Fez was founded in 789 and in 809 the city of Wadi Fes was built on the other bank of the Niger River. Mosques, a market square, the palace and a sophisticated water supply system – fed by the springs near the city – were built. Fes was a hub for trade routes and raw materials such as clay, stone and wood brought the city prosperity. The first university for Islamic religious questions was established here in 859.

In 1276 “the white city” was founded – it was also called the new Fez. The cities on both banks of the Oued Sebou were united to one city and equipped with enclosing walls, palaces and gardens. This city soon became known as Fès Djedid (“the new Fez”), in contrast to Fès el-Bali, the old city.

In 1522 a severe earthquake destroyed parts of the city. But after that numerous buildings were restored or replaced with new ones.

The old town from the 9th century has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.

Medina of Marrakech (1985)

Marrakech was founded in 1062 as a military camp on the previously unpopulated area. After victorious and booty campaigns against the King of Castile in 1086, the military camp turned into a prosperous city and its importance grew. Numerous mosques and palaces were built and the 12 km long city wall with 11 gates – the most beautiful is the Bab Aguenaou – was built in 1126.

Palm groves – as well as the Jardin Menara – were planted in front of the city gates. Little of these ancient monuments has survived, as Marrakech was conquered by the Almohads (a Berber dynasty) in 1147, who destroyed many buildings. They built new magnificent buildings such as the Koutoubia Mosque, to which non-Muslim access is prohibited.

The minaret, the symbol of the city, is impressive. The mosque has the finest stucco and selected beautiful inscription friezes.

In 1591 Marrakech began to flourish again. During this time, the huge Badi Palace was built from clay, now a ruin, but still impressive. The restored sermon pulpit in the southeast corner of the complex is a 900 year old treasure of Islamic handicrafts that were made in Cordoba. To the south is the place of the ‘Assembly of the Executed’, here the heads of the beheaded were once set up as a deterrent.

The “Place of the Beheaded” at the entrance to the Medina of Marrakech with its traders, jugglers, storytellers, acrobats, snake charmers, musicians and healers and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

Fortified City of Ait Ben Haddou (1987)

The city of Aït-Ben-Haddou is located at the foot of the High Atlas in south-east Morocco and consists of an old and a new part. The old part consists of several residential castles built close to one another and partly nested in one another, the mud walls of which were built on natural rock. The buildings with their corner towers and battlements give the place its defensive appearance, which is reinforced by the hillside location. Most of the corner towers were decorated with geometric motifs in the upper area. The originally windowless buildings extend around open courtyards, through which sunlight and fresh air could get into the stables and storage rooms on the ground floor as well as into the living rooms and bedrooms on the floors above.

The site was the main place of the Ben Haddou clan, who, at the time of the Almoravids in the 11th century, controlled and dominated the trade on the old caravan route between Timbuktu and Marrakech on the Asif Mellah river, which only carries water in winter and spring. However, the current buildings date from the 12th to the 16th century, depending on the literature source. The two districts are mainly inhabited by Berbers of the Ben Haddou tribe. The old district was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.

Medina of Meknes (1996)

The term medina is often used to denote the old town of North African cities. The city of Meknes today has around 500,000 residents and basically consists of two districts separated from each other by the Boufekrane River. Famous are the souks (markets) of the city, which are among the largest and most worth seeing in Morocco. These markets are structured according to their range of goods, so you can buy clothes, carpets and exotic foods and spices. In the medina, the colorful and lively Rue Rouamzine, Place El Kdim, Bab Mansur el Alauj and the spacious Place de Lalla Auda are worth seeing. The gardens of the sultans Dar El Makhzen, Bab en Nouar and Bab Merah are also worth a visit.

The city experienced a boom under the Islamic Berber dynasty of the Merinids. But it was only under the Alawid ruler Mulai Ismail (1645-1727) that Meknes experienced its heyday. With the help of European slaves, he had gardens, city walls and palaces built. He was responsible for the beginning of the construction of the Bab Mansur Gate, which is considered the most important and famous in all of North Africa. However, the gate was not completed until his son Moulay Abdallah between 1731 and 1732.

The old town of Meknes was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Volubilis archaeological site (1997)

The Volubilis archaeological site is an archaeological site near Meknes and used to be an important Roman city that was founded around 25 BC. Was founded. The city flourished through the trade in olive oil and grain.

In 1962 a farmer accidentally found the house of Dionysus with an area of approx. 2,000 m². A quarter of the house is decorated with incredibly beautiful mosaics. The black and white mosaics date back to the 4th century BC. BC, the other mosaics on the 2nd BC Century dated to 2nd century AD.

The mosaics show the following scenes: The first wine drinkers, Pyramos and Thisbe and Phaedra and Hippolytus. A total of four villas (houses) were found.

The house of Theseus was excavated in 1966. One of the mosaics found there shows the battle of Theseus with the Minotaur on Crete, another shows the birth of Achilles.

In 1983 the third house was excavated – the House of Aion. The mosaic depicts the birth of Dionysus and probably dates from the 4th century AD. In the fourth house, the house of Orpheus, the Orpheus myth is depicted on a mosaic, one of the mosaics shows a seahorse driving a chariot pulls.

The Volubilis archaeological site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.

Medina of Tetuan (Titawin) (1997)

Tétouan is located at the foot of the Djebel Dersa mountain in the Rif Mountains and on the banks of the Oued Martil – about 10 km from the Mediterranean coast, east of Tangier.

The old town is surrounded by a wall and is very well preserved. The construction of the buildings is strongly influenced by different cultures. B. Andalusians, but Moors and Jews also lived here.

The city of Tétouan was the residence of the caliphs who ruled in a palace from the 17th century. You will find numerous mosques and old houses in winding streets that are well worth seeing.

Tetuan Medina was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997

Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador) (2001)

Presumably, the city of Hanno was a Carthaginian admiral as a trading post around 460 BC. Founded. Due to changing crews, European and Moroccan cultures mix in the city.

The Portuguese fortifications from 1506 can be visited and the former weapons depot, which the Portuguese later used to store water, is particularly important.

The church of “Assumption” was built in the old Gothic style. The Essaouira medina was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001.

Portuguese city of Mazagan (El Jadida) (2004)

In 1506 the Portuguese King Manuel built the Mogador fortress in the port city of El Jadida. An arched alley leads from the port, which was built in 1769, to the Skala de la Kasbah, the fortress wall of the old town.

The wall is surrounded by numerous battlements. The streets of the old town are dead straight, there are white houses with blue doors and shutters, north of the port is the large square “Place Moulay el-Hassan”.

Only later, when traders and merchants settled in the city, the newly built streets were built in the still-preserved winding shape. The architecture of the old town is a mixture of Islamic and European architecture. The Portuguese city of Mazagan was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004.

Rabat – modern capital with a historical core (2012)

The old town of Rabat is located at the mouth of the Bou-Regreg River directly on the Atlantic.

In the 10th century the Berbers and Omayyads founded a monastery castle on the Oudaia rock to protect themselves against enemies, especially the Berghouata. In later times the castle was made ready for soldiers sent to conquer Spain.

The castle is located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river, directly on the sea, which turned out to be strategically very advantageous for the conquerors.

In 1184 the castle was expanded into a fortress and surrounded by a fortress wall. In addition, a mosque and a ruler’s palace were built.

In 1755 the mosque was largely destroyed by an earthquake. The minaret of the mosque, the Hassan Tower, can still be admired today. Pirates temporarily settled in the fortress and boarded many English and French ships. The castle also became a hub for the slave trade. The sale of the slaves took place in the Souq el Ghezel square. Small picturesque alleys branch off from this square, where there is lively activity.

The “Medina” (old town) was shaped by the refugees from Andalusia in the 17th century. The southern part of the old town is bounded by a city wall. The Oudaia Gate, the entrance to the Kasbah (here: the castle separated by walls) is particularly worth seeing.

The old town of Rabat was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012.

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