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Travel and Leisure

The Imperial Cities

The Imperial Cities

The  most beautiful things to see in Morocco:

The Sahara Desert on the back of a dromedary, the narrow streets crowded with the bright colours of the souks in Fez, the unmistakable taste of a tajine eaten in an exotic riad in Marrakech, the white Arab architecture of the minarets and the ancient fortified structures of the Imperial Cities. These are just some of the striking attractions that await you in Morocco. And you only need a flight a few hours to get there! In fact, it lies between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and is separated from Spain by only the Strait of Gibraltar. In short, much closer than it sounds.

It is the perfect place to spend a vacation of one or two weeks in an exotic location, among traditions and fascinating landscapes different from those of Italy, without having to spend too much on the trip.

So let’s find out which are the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco and which stops to include in a 7 or 15 days itinerary.

A little advice before leaving: consider purchasing travel insurance for Morocco. A certainty for those who want to spend their vacations without worries.


Imperial cities and other places of interest

Those who leave to visit Morocco often choose to take a tour of the Imperial Cities or to take advantage of an organized tour. From Agadir to Rabat, there are many historical buildings that you will want to visit and photograph. But Morocco is also home to natural landscapes that are perfect for adventure seekers, from the Sahara Desert to the rocky complexes of the Atlas Mountains.


1 – Agadir

Agadir is a coastal city located in the southern part of Morocco. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it attracts tourists along its wide crescent-shaped beach served by a promenade full of bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels. After a dip, you can visit the remains of the ancient kasbah, still visible after the collapse due to a terrible earthquake in 1960. Finally, if you are looking for a luxurious vacation, Agadir has a lot to offer you: it is world-famous for its golf courses… You can imagine!

2 – Casablanca

Casablanca is one of the most famous and most populous cities in Morocco, with more than 3 million inhabitants. Its fame is certainly due to the Hollywood film of the same name, a classic in the history of cinema. However, the credit also goes to the admirable attractions it holds. Besides the Medina, you can visit the green gardens of the Parc de la Ligue Arabe. Inside you’ll find the white Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. If you wish to visit its naves, its opening hours are: 9 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 7 pm.

The heart of the city is Place Mohammed V, which gathers around it the most important administrative buildings. From here, when evening falls, you can go to the lighthouse of El Hang: the sunset gives the most evocative landscapes seen from here.

The real pearl of Casablanca, however, is the wonderful Hassan II Mosque, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Completed in 1993, it houses a minaret 210 meters long!

Opening hours?

Every day, from 9.00 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00;
on Fridays, from 9.00 to 10.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00

3 – Fez

The first of the Imperial Cities we are going to describe is Fes, considered by many the cultural capital of the country. This medieval city is divided between Fez el-Jedid, the New City, and Medina, the Old City, also called Fez el-Bali. The latter, founded in the 11th century, still preserves the ancient city walls.

Among the many attractions to visit, we recommend:

The Bab Boujloud;
Dar Batha;
the Madrasa Bou Inania, the Koranic school of the city;
the Qaraouiyine Mosque;
the Merenids Tombs;
the Royal Palace, in which you can enter through the famous “Blue Door”.
One last piece of advice: Fez is full of historical tanneries, where you will be able to witness ancient manufacturing techniques that have been maintained over the centuries. Visiting them, you can admire the artisans hand-dyeing the skins, in the open air, in huge stone wells from which emanates the typical pungent smell of the tanneries.

The oldest, dating back to the 11th century, is the one in Chouara.

Trust me: a visit to a tannery is a unique and typical experience for those who visit Fez.

4 – Meknes

Another imperial city, close to Fès. It is the quietest and smallest.

You will find a well-preserved Medina and several lively souks. It was also the capital back in the 17th century. Today it is a cross-section of Morocco, not very crowded and perfect for those who want to breathe the typical atmosphere of the country without too many people around.

From here, then, it is convenient to visit the nearby archaeological site of Volubilis.

5 – Volubilis

An archaeological park in which you can admire the remains of ancient Roman buildings.

Do you love history and archaeology?

Include in your travel itinerary a stop in Volubilis, you won’t need much time and you’ll see a historical and interesting place.

6 – Rabat

Third Imperial City, Rabat also has a lot to offer visitors.

What is it?

First of all, its Medina: in 2002, in fact, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But after you’ve popped in, you’ll still have plenty of attractions to see:

The blue Kasba of the Oudaïa (one of the best-preserved fortified neighbourhoods in the country);
The Rue Souika leading to the Grand Mosque (not accessible to non-Muslims);
the Garden of the Andalusians, with orange trees, fountains and reddish walls;
the Chellah, another extremely important archaeological site, after that of Volubilis, for the conservation of artefacts attributable to different peoples: Phoenicians, Romans, Carthaginians and Arabs.


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