Learning how to get around Morocco and mapping out the major cities to visit before your trip will ensure you an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience.
If you are hoping to travel to Morocco but concerned about how to get around, rest assured that the country welcomes millions of tourists each year who visit major Moroccan cities, mountains, and monuments with ease.
Even if you are hoping to travel off the beaten path in Morocco, away from tourist hotspots, there are plenty of navigation options that will suit your needs.
Here is an overview of key facts about Morocco’s location and geography, selling points of major Moroccan cities, and tips on how to get around during your travels.
Morocco’s location and geography
Observing the Moroccan map, you will see that Morocco is located in North Africa. The kingdom borders the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco shares international borders with Algeria to the east, Mauritania to the south, and Spain to the north, with the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla on the northwest coast.
Morocco is a particularly exciting country because every region on the map offers so many different natural and cultural attractions. The country has two distinct mountain ranges, the Rif Mountains and the High Atlas Mountains.
Looking at the map, you will see the Rif Mountains stretch across northern Morocco along the Mediterranean coastline, while the Atlas Mountains are located in Morocco’s central and southern regions.
The Atlas Mountains consist of three distinct chains. The High Atlas has the highest peak in the country and in all of North Africa, Mount Toubkal, at 4,165 meters. The Middle Atlas is the northernmost and second-highest range. The Anti-Atlas is the lowest range and stretches to the Atlantic.
Morocco also has abundant agricultural plains in the coastal regions and various valleys with different climates. The country also boasts impressive beaches that merit a visit in any season, and of course, the grand golden Sahara dunes that no tourist should miss during their travel to Morocco.
Full of exotic sites and smells, Morocco is also home to a rich culture. This is evident in its traditional yet modern cities and its warmhearted and friendly people. With its striking architecture, majestic gardens, lively medinas, and remarkable monuments, Morocco guarantees its visitors a one-of-a-kind experience.
Major Moroccan cities
With so much to offer, it can be difficult to pinpoint where exactly in Morocco you should plan to travel. Before mapping out your trip, it is important to review the major Moroccan cities to get an idea of what you want to see, from white-washed Moorish buildings and historic sites to vibrant towns and stunning beaches.
Marrakech: The ochre city is Morocco’s most popular urban center for tourists and one of the country’s imperial cities. Marrakech is near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and on the Moroccan map, you will see that it is southwest of the capital city Rabat. Locals and tourists alike know Marrakech’s traditional and historic district for its cultural attractions, from the Jemaa El-Fna square and the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque to its bustling souks (open-air markets) that sell all kinds of Moroccan souvenirs.
The touristic city’s modern area is called Gueliz. Here you can find all types of restaurants that offer Moroccan and European cuisine, exciting nightlife, modern buildings, and attractions such as the famous Majorelle Garden, once owned by the iconic French designer Yves Saint-Laurent.
Fez: Also one of Morocco’s imperial cities, Fez is the second-largest city in Morocco and one you must travel to for an authentic cultural experience. Located northeast of the Atlas Mountains, Fez is the oldest city in Morocco and considered one of the country’s most culturally rich cities. It is home to an exciting UNESCO World Heritage Site: A maze-like medina with medieval Marinid architecture, with the oldest still-functioning university in the world — Al-Qarawiyyin — and must-visit tanneries, among other renowned cultural sites.
Chefchaouen: Colorful Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, is a blue-washed city and top travel destination located in northwestern Morocco. The city’s unique blue buildings and its green nature and mountain surroundings give it a beautiful panoramic view that attracts thousands of local and international tourists every year. Chefchaouen has a rich history and distinct traditions as well as a bundle of activities you can indulge in when visiting, such as sightseeing and hiking.
Essaouira: Famously laid-back and an important hub for Moroccan and international artists, Essaouira is a city on the country’s Atlantic coast. The beautiful city offers old European architecture and of the best medinas in Morocco, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Because of its windy atmosphere, adventure-seekers know the city’s beach for water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.
Dakhla: Located in southwestern Morocco in the Sahara desert, Dakhla is a must-visit city. It features a rich Amazigh culture, Spanish influences that are evident in its architecture, and beautiful white sand dunes. Moroccans and foreign tourists also know the Saharan city for its one-of-a-kind Dragon Beach, with abundant water sport activities and the site of the International Kitesurfing World Championship.
Casablanca: The biggest city in Morocco, home of the country’s main international airport, and the biggest port in the Atlantic, Casablanca should be on your travel list. The economic capital has a unique blend of old and new, evident in its European architecture and Moorish designs in the old traditional districts that reveal the city’s rich history.
The grand city offers many attractions and sites where you can explore the city. These include the beachfront La Corniche, where you can find the clubs and the city’s entertainment center. The majestic Hassan II mosque, the traditional and antique Quartier Habous, and Place Mohammed V are other top sites for visitors.
Tangier: One of the major Moroccan cities, the coastal city of Tangier is a gateway to Africa and one of the important cities in the country for its historical value and beautiful landscapes. The city’s port, the largest in Africa, is one of the main travel destinations for visitors from Morocco and abroad.
Tangier offers a unique range of beaches from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. While in Tangier, you can visit the iconic cave of Hercules, get lost in the old Kasbah, walk through the vibrant souk, and even see the biggest thrift shop center in Morocco. The center never disappoints visitors who are searching for interesting items.
Rabat: Located on the Atlantic coast, facing the Bouregreg River, the capital city of Rabat is arguably one of the most underrated travel destinations in Morocco. The imperial city is home to many treasured attractions, including the Kasbah of the Udayas, Hassan Tower, and the Mohammed V Mausoleum.
Rabat is also the location of foreign embassies. You can visit the city’s malls, the beachfront, the Andalusian gardens, watch a movie in one of the city’s cinemas, or visit various museums where you can learn about art, history, Morocco, and the world.
Meknes: One of the imperial cities of Morocco, Meknes is a major Moroccan city you should not exclude from your travel list. Located in the north near Fez, the city has one of the best medinas in terms of immersing visitors in Morocco’s vibrant culture and rich history.
The historical city boasts gorgeous ancient attractions with charming Moorish architecture such as the Bab Mansour gate, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the Royal Palace of Dar el Makhzen. To learn about the history of Meknes you can also visit Dar Jamai Museum and the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis.
How to get around Morocco
Navigating any foreign country can be intimidating, but Morocco’s warm culture and welcoming people give tourists an overwhelmingly positive experience. If you are unsure about how to get around Morocco, do not hesitate to ask someone for help.
To move from point A to point B on the Moroccan map, Morocco has several means of transportation to help you get around, from buses to trains to domestic flights and private drivers.
Tour companies: For an experience curated specifically to your travel bucket list, there are plenty of tour companies in Morocco that offer buses for groups or private drivers for solo travelers, couples, families, and friends.
Bus: Most cities have their own bus lines that are available year-round, are fairly comfortable, and are the cheapest means of transportation in the country. You might have to wait five to 20 minutes for the bus, depending on the area of the city.
Tramway: When it comes to the tramway in Morocco, only Sale, Rabat, and Casablanca currently offer this means of travel. Save for rush-hour, the tramway is a very comfortable way to get around the major Moroccan cities that have it. You can purchase tickets at the tramway station.
Train: Trains are another option that most Moroccans and foreign tourists prefer when traveling from one city to another. A ride is comfortable and cheap and gives you the opportunity to take in the landscapes and beautiful panoramas scattered all across the Moroccan map. The high-speed train can transport you from Casablanca or Rabat all the way to Tangier in a flash.
Taxis: There are two types of taxis in Morocco: Big taxis (grand taxis) and small taxis (petit taxis).
Big taxis carry up to six people and can cost as little as MAD 5 ($0.55) per rider depending on the destination. They can travel to other cities, and you can even rent one by yourself for ultimate comfort.
Small taxis carry a maximum of three people and must remain within the current city. Small taxis have meters and the cost varies depending on the destination and the time spent driving. Make sure the driver resets the meter when you begin your trip.
Domestic flights: Morocco’s main domestic airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) offers local flights. Airports are located in all major Moroccan cities, notably Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, Fez, Rabat, Tangier, Nador, Oujda, and Dakhla. RAM has flights to all these cities, but it is important to check times because flights are not available every day.
Morocco is an exciting country that features in many people’s must-visit lists, and for good reason. The country offers diverse cities and landscapes, multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and iconic monuments, and rich history that immerses you in an exciting culture that merges the country’s authentic heritage with modern influences.
When planning to travel to Morocco, it is important to prepare how you will get around to ensure you make the most of your trip by visiting the major Moroccan cities you’ve been dying to see.