8 Best Medinas in Morocco
Morocco boasts an abundance of impressive medinas, leaving travelers and experts pondering the elusive question of which one stands out as the best. Is it the Medina of Fes, boasting more than 9,000 alleys and alleyways, or the vibrant Medina of Marrakech with its majestic square and lively souks? The truth is, the choice is subjective, varying with each traveler’s preferences. However, what remains certain is that Morocco hosts numerous medinas, each deserving the honorary title of the best.
In this article, we’ve curated a Top 8 list of the best Medinas in Morocco, inviting you to explore firsthand what makes each of them special and unique. From the historically rich and culturally immersive Medina of Fes to the vibrant and colorful Medina of Chefchaouen, these Moroccan gems have something distinctive to offer every visitor.
Moreover, each of these Medinas narrates a captivating story. Explore the ruins of the Sefrou Medina, revealing remnants of Berber architecture, or uncover the Tetouan Medina, a hidden gem nestled in the northern part of the country.
In essence, for those enamored with culture, history, and architectural beauty, a visit to these five extraordinary Medinas is a must. If you wish to delve deeper into the secrets, history, and best places to explore within each Medina, don’t hesitate to peruse our blog article. Prepare to be astonished by the riad offerings these Medinas hold!
1 – The Medina of Fes, the largest in the world
Get ready for your heart to race at the mere mention of the medina of Fez! This historical gem deserves a spot on the podium of wonders of the world, thanks to its impressive size, making it one of the largest and most traffic-restricted historical centers on the planet. Yet, that’s not all, its vibrant colors, the amalgamation of aromas, and the enchanting traditional craft stalls create an unforgettable experience. If you dare to venture into its narrow streets, rest assured it will feel like a journey back in time, awakening all your senses. Including the medina of Fez on your list of must-see destinations is an absolute must!
2 – The Medina of Rabat the capital of Morocco
Rabat graces the Atlantic Ocean coast and was established by Andalusian refugees. Prior to the French invasion in 1912, there was no modern town in existence in the area; Rabat solely consisted of the medina. As visitors enter the fortified site through Souika Street, they’ll discover a less crowded ambiance compared to other medinas, fostering a more laid-back and relaxed experience. This locale stands out as a prime destination for mint tea leaves, leather goods, carpets, and woodwork.
3 – The Medina of Marrakech
At the heart of the vibrant and captivating tourist city of Marrakech lies the medina, one of the liveliest areas in all of Morocco. And when we speak of Marrakech, the iconic Jemaa el-Fna square, located right next to the medina wall, cannot go unmentioned. With its characteristic reddish hue, even reflected in the country’s flag, an instant connection with the culture and history of Morocco is inevitable. Immerse yourself in its bustling streets and let the music, aromas, and unique flavors carry you away in this magical and unforgettable place. A visit to Jemaa el-Fna square is an experience you won’t regret!
4 – Tetouan, recognized as a World Heritage Site
The medina of Tetouan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands out as a hidden gem in Morocco that should not be overlooked. While it shares this distinction with other medinas, Tetouan is particularly special due to its impeccable state of preservation and its close ties to Spain and Andalusian culture. Walking through its cobblestone streets, you’ll find yourself transported to another time and place. If you’re a fan of the series, The Time Between Seams, you’ll be thrilled to learn that this medina served as one of the chosen settings for many scenes. Discover firsthand why Tetouan is a place that will leave you breathless.
5 – Asilah, the cleanest Medina in Morocco
Allow me to share more about Asilah! in one of the best Medinas in Morocco, this small coastal town is a true treasure waiting to be discovered. While its medina may not be the largest in Morocco, it is undoubtedly one of the most charming to explore. Numerous reasons make Asilah an enchanting destination. First and foremost, its impeccable cleanliness turns a stroll through its streets into a genuine pleasure. Moreover, its location next to the Atlantic Ocean adds a touch of natural beauty that few places can rival. Standing at the Sea Gate, also known as Bab el Bahar, you can admire incredible views of the sea and the city. If you happen to visit Asilah in summer, don’t miss the Cultural Festival, where mural paintings take center stage on the white walls of the medina. Asilah is a hidden gem in Morocco that you cannot afford to miss.
6 – Chefchaouen the blue city
The Chefchaouen Medina is akin to a dream come true, with cobblestone streets adorned in a captivating sky-blue hue that envelops visitors in a surreal atmosphere. This shade extends to nearly every corner, from the walls of the houses to the stairs leading to the hill’s summit. Moreover, its location at the foot of the majestic Rif Mountains is nothing short of spectacular. Strolling through its narrow streets, with views reaching towards the sky and the harmonious sounds of birds and the local populace, one can’t help but feel transported to another world. Undoubtedly, the Chefchaouen Medina is one of those places that lingers vividly in memory.
7 – the Medina of Essaouira, Mogador
Nestled idyllically along the Atlantic coast, Essaouira beach is a beloved destination for avid windsurfers and the lively chatter of seagulls. This coastal city has experienced a surge in popularity, attracting Game Of Thrones enthusiasts worldwide as it served as the backdrop for the city of Astapor in the television series. The site’s Arabic and Muslim architecture showcases styles reminiscent of 18th-century Morocco, while European influences add to the unique spectacle, reflecting the area’s history as a cosmopolitan port locale.
8 – The Medina of Tangier
Tangier has long served as a wellspring of inspiration for numerous works of art, both historical and contemporary. This ancient and vibrant city exudes energy, attracting artists from various disciplines. The main square, Petit Socco, stands as a popular gathering spot for artists and serves as the central hub of the medina. Tangier also weaves an intriguing historical narrative, marking Morocco as the first country to recognize the USA as a nation in 1777. At the American Legation Museum in the southeast of Tangier’s medina, visitors can delve deeper into the relationship between the United States and Morocco.