Marrakech, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. A symbol of the city, and visible for miles, is the Moorish minaret of 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque.
Casablanca is a port city and commercial hub in western Morocco, fronting the Atlantic Ocean. The city's French colonial legacy is seen in its downtown Mauresque architecture, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco. Standing partly over the water, the enormous Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1993, has a 210m minaret topped with lasers directed toward Mecca.
Essaouira is a port city and resort on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Its medina (old town) is protected by 18th-century seafront ramparts called the Skala de la Kasbah, which were designed by European engineers. Old brass cannons line the walls, and there are ocean views. Strong "Alizée" trade winds make the city’s crescent beach popular for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Fez is a northeastern Moroccan city often referred to as the country’s cultural capital. It’s primarily known for its Fes El Bali walled medina, with medieval Marinid architecture, vibrant souks and old-world atmosphere. The medina is home to religious schools such as the 14th-century Bou Inania and Al Attarine, both decorated with elaborate cedar carvings and ornate tile work.
Agadir, a city along Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast, in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, is the capital of Agadir-Ida Ou Tanane province. A resort destination, it's known for its golf courses, wide crescent beach and seaside promenade lined with cafes, restaurants and bars. Agadir's hilltop kasbah was destroyed in a 1960 earthquake, but its original old wall remains standing.
Ouarzazate is a city south of Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, known as a gateway to the Sahara Desert. Its huge Taourirt Kasbah, home to a 19th-century palace, has views over the rugged local landscape, which features in several movies. Northwest is the fortified red-earth city of Aït Ben Haddou. Northeast is the rocky Todra Gorge. A road winds southeast through the Draa Valley’s lush palm groves to the desert.