Morocco is a unique country in North Africa, with the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea as its border. It is one of the top travel destinations in Africa. While Morocco is known for impressive geographic diversity and culture, there are so many more positive things the country is famous for that continue to attract visitors and tourists from all over the world.
What Is Morocco Known For?
Morocco is famous for dazzling and exotic things, which are enough to guarantee a visit to the Mystical Northern African country would be an unforgettable experience. It is known for its diverse geography, traditional-filled culture, and famous majestic cities. In addition, Morocco boasts complex history and rich culture, giving you a feeling of Middle Eastern adventure.
It’s also known for its abundance of cats, music, food, never-ending sand, magnetic Marrakech medina, and much more. Anytime you visit this North African country, use the opportunity to experience some of the things Morocco is known and famous for.
History, Culture, and Traditions Morocco Is Known For
Morocco is known for the djellaba, a piece of traditional Moroccan clothing by both men and female. The moment you set foot into the country, you’ll certainly see djellabas. It is a comfy, loose robe reaching the floor that protects from hot and cold weather conditions.
Djellabas are made from both cotton and wool. The majority of djellabas the locals wear are custom-made, and it’s nothing fancy. During winter, djellabas feature a giant Jedi-like hood.
Morocco’s traditions and culture are greatly influenced by its religious heritage. Islam influences many things in Morocco, including how families function. They incorporate Islam into everyday life, like praying five times daily and donating to the poor.
Their religious value manifest in everyday behaviors, including greetings, tipping, dressing up, and their relationship with food. It is also evident in how genuinely kind and welcoming the Moroccans are. They do everything to make you feel at home and stay comfortable.
Festivals and Celebrations
Morocco is famous for celebrating religious festivals, given that most of the population are Muslims. Religious celebrations play a vital role in Moroccan culture. Ramadan inspires lively celebrations that the people of Morocco look forward to annually.
Aside from religious festivals, the country is also big on art and music; therefore, they have annual festivals to appreciate art and music.
The Marrakech Popular Arts Festival holds in Marrakech and showcases visual arts like painting, dancing, theatre, and more.
The World Sacred Music Festival is held in the imperial city of Fez, consisting of large concerts in public gardens and parade grounds.
Morocco’s land has been inhabited by humans as far back as the Paleolithic era, which is more than two million years ago. Many centuries back, powerful dynasties came and went in Morocco, and the most famous are the Isdrid, Saadi, and Alaouite dynasties.
Morocco was part of Iberomaurusian culture, including Taforalt, dating back to the establishment of Mauretania and other ancient Berber Kingdoms. Different Islamic dynasties followed this era through the colonial and independence periods.
All through the late 1800s and early 1900s, France and Spain battled for power over Morocco, and the country didn’t gain independence until March 1956, when it separated itself from Spain and France.
The Arab West
Morocco is Known for its uniquely rich culture centered on religion and tradition and abundance of beaches, mountains, ranges, and deserts, which makes it popular as “The Arab West.”
Morocco though a country in the western region of North Africa, is centered on the Islamic tradition. The influence of religion on the practice, medinas, unique monuments, and diverse geography make it similar to other Arab countries.
Home to the World’s Oldest University
Morocco holds the record for the oldest functioning university in the World, The University of Al-Qarawiyin (Al-Karaouine), which was established in Fez around 859 AD and still operates to date.
This university was founded by Fatima Al Fihria, an intellectual Moroccan woman who wanted to ensure locals had access to science and religious knowledge. Al-Qarawiyin University is a UNESCO world heritage.
Cities And Areas Morocco Is Famous For
Also known as “The Red City,” Marrakech is known for its colorful environment and was the first imperial city in Morocco. Its red clay buildings, regal palaces, and lush gardens give the city a luxurious and exceptional reputation. Marrakech is one of the most mystical and romanticized cities in the world.
Marrakech is the most famous destination in Morocco, receiving nearly 3 million tourists every year. It is definitely a must-see if you plan on traveling to Morocco.
Marrakesh is famous for its central marketplace and the Dar el-Beїda Palace, which functions as a hospital now. There are many things to see in the red city, such as Bahia Palaces, Djemaa el-Fnaa square, Koutoubia Mosque, Majorelle Gardens, Saadian Tombs, and The Badi.
Rabat is the present official capital of Morocco, an industrial hub famous for its tall monuments and diverse population. The Moroccan royal palace is within the ancient rock, which is home to King Mohamed VI.
Rabat is one of Morocco’s four imperial cities, and it is located on the Atlantic coast at the edge of the Wadi Bou Regreg, opposite Sale city. The city serves as a critical cultural center and is home to all the foreign embassies in the country, and many international organizations’ offices are located in this city.
Your visit to Morocco will not be complete without exploring this imperial city which is also the country’s capital. There are so many attractions here, and some of them are the Oudaias Kasbah, the Hassan tower, the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, Mohammed VI Museum of contemporary arts, Rabat’s Ville Nouvelle, Jardins Exotiques, and more.
When you hear the question, what is Morocco famous for? We are certain one of the first things to come to mind is the bustling medinas in Fez. Fez is the second largest city in Morocco and is a favorite among tourists looking to experience Morocco’s art and culture. The city is known for its historical museums, gardens, and tanneries.
Fez is one of the four imperial cities in Morocco, and there are so many things you can do in this city. Things you can explore in Fez include the Fez medinas, the Fez leather tanneries, the blue gate, Bou Inania Madrasa, the Bab Al Amer Gate, Jnan sbil Gardens, a traditional Hammam Spa, and more.
The imperial city of Meknes was founded for military purposes, and it is a perfect example of the militaristic style of Moroccan architecture. Meknes is in northern central Morocco, the sixth largest city in Morocco. Strong walls surround the city, and it’s famous for its architecture, including palaces, mosques, and historic inns.
Meknes is a combination of the old (medina) and the new (ville nouvelle), two distinct centers less than three miles apart but with different vibes. You will get the city’s historical sights and sought-after romantic flavor from the medina, while from the ville nouvelle, you can see big houses, modern cars, and branded souvenirs.
Some attractions you get to explore in Meknes are Meknes medina, Bab Mansour Gate, Bou, Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, Lahdim square, Dar Jamai Museum, etc.
Architecture And Landmarks Morocco Is Famous For
Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque is one of the architectural pieces Morocco is famous for; it was named after king Hassan II of Morocco and built to showcase the country’s magnificence to the rest of the world.
The intricately designed building sits in Casablanca, with many visitors from around the world. The building’s construction lasted for seven years and was completed in 1993.
Though Morocco has many mosques, the Hassan II Mosque is considered the most beautiful because of its remarkable construction and the mist from the surrounding ocean. The best time to visit is on a Sunday morning when people come to pray.
The Sahara Desert
When you hear the phrase, what Morocco is famous for, the Sahara Desert is top of the list of things that will come to your mind. The Sahara Desert is the biggest, most popular, and most captivating desert in the world. The desert stretches over 11 countries, and Morocco is one of them. It is an impressive 3.6 million square miles, almost 30% of Africa’s landscape.
Morocco is considered the best place to experience this enchanting desert. Moroccan Sahara Desert has been a popular tourist attraction for years. There are so many things to do here; some of them are riding camels over the dunes at sunset or sunrise, camping, riding in 4X4s or ATVs, and sandboarding.
The Berber people sell cool souvenirs such as desert roses or fossilized snail shells.
One of the things Morocco is known for is medinas; they are like the old towns of European cities. All important buildings and mosques are located in the Medinas, and a huge wall usually surrounds them.
Medinas are the most vivid parts of the city, and all the markets are located there. Unsurprisingly, the most popular medinas are also in prominent cities and travel destinations such as Marrakech, Chefchaouen, Fez, and Tanger. The best way to explore the medinas is by walking and getting lost.
Medinas are cities’ historic downtowns making them the best place to hunt for traditional handicrafts. You can find all sorts of dangy and beautiful Moroccan handicrafts in the Medinas. This is a shoppers’ paradise for items such as jewelry, trinkets, rugs, bags, and even tea ware.
The Atlas Mountains
Most people think Morocco is a desert-dominated country, but most of the country’s landscape is mountainous. The Atlas Mountains are the country’s dominant mountain range, with the tallest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal, which is 13,665 ft.
You’ll need more than two weeks to explore the Atlas Mountains fully but be assured it is worth the journey. The mountains are famous for their ever-changing landscapes, oasis, canyons, natural life, and the captivating Todra Gorge.
Aside from taking in the view of the beautiful nature, hiking the Atlas Mountains is an excellent way to explore Moroccan mountain villages where inhabitants have a simple lifestyle; you can even join some private tours.
Food Morocco Is Famous For
Easily one of the most famous foods Morocco is known for, couscous is a staple meal for many Moroccans. Many locals have a tradition of eating couscous every Friday. This tradition is a force that brings families together and unites people.
The couscous meal usually consists of tiny granules of grain-like pasta, various vegetables, and meat of choice. Moroccan families often have a few hours off school and work each Friday to enjoy this meal together.
Morocco is known for this hearty soup used for breaking fasts during Ramadan, but it can also be taken on other days. Harira is made from a tomato-based broth, lentils, chickpeas, and vegetables. The soup often contains lamb meat, but it can be made with various types of meat.
Harira is made from warm spices like paprika, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and black pepper, making it a popular meal for warming up during winter.
Harira is better taken the next day when the flavors have had time to meld. It is popularly taken as a starter but can also be eaten on its own as a light snack.
Tagine or tajine is another meal Morocco is known for, with a unique melding of sweet and savory flavors. Spices, nuts, and dried nuts are also used—common spices like cumin, ginger, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, chili, and paprika. Preserved lemon is added to this meal for it to last longer. Olive and smen, a kind of preserved butter, are also used in this dish.
A unique pot called tagine is used to simmer meat, vegetables, and the occasional fruits. The tagine is a ceramic or clay cookware with a wide, circular base and a cone-shaped top.
It functions as a slow cooker, and the cone shape functions to return moisture to the bottom of the tagine, creating a moist and flavorful dish. Don’t be confused; the dish and the pot used in cooking it are both called tagine.
Different cities make various kinds of tagines, each known for its blend of meats and vegetables unique to the region. Tagines are mostly served with bread and couscous.
Moroccan Mint Tea
Mint tea is famous all over the world, but Moroccan mint tea is exceptional. Mint tea is an emblem of Morocco. Moroccans always take mint tea; they have it at breakfast in Morocco, lunch, and sometimes even at dinner.
They drink the tea to refresh themselves, and since most Moroccans are Muslims and aren’t allowed to take alcohol, they nicknamed their mint tea Moroccan whiskey.
One of the main reasons this tea is so addictive is the large amount of sugar added to them. Moroccan mint tea goes well and is usually served with delicious Moroccan desserts and pastries.
Music Morocco Is Famous For
Chaabi music started in the northern regions of Morocco. This genre of music is famous among the public. Chaabi music, or Shabii music, is the most popular folk music in Morocco, and it is a blend of Andalusian and Berber music.
Chaabi music is often played at weddings, and this style of music is associated with festivals. The use of popular language and innovation of new rhythms makes this music an essential complement to dance. It is featured in busy street squares and shopping markets of Moroccan cities.
The Chaabi music has an upbeat tune that combines flute and a various stringed instruments, including the Gimbri, the kamenjah, which resembles a violin, and the oud, which is a standard middle-eastern instrument with five strings. Different types of Moroccan drums often accompany Chaabi music.
Morocco is famous for Andalusian music, which is the classical music of Morocco. Andalusian music is one of the oldest genres of music in the country, dating back to the 9th century. This music genre developed as a blend of Hispanic-Arab musical styles.
Andalusian music is a fusion of Arab musical traditions, Berber and Spanish. It is remarkably different from oriental music and is a result of blending Arab music from the east, the African-Berber Maghreb music, and the Iberian Peninsula.
The music is often well-structured and is performed by full Andulisian orchestras. The orchestras include voice-soloists, oud, rebab, darbouka, tar, qanun, kamenjah (violin and viola), cello, and piano. Moroccans generally see this genre of music as more refined than chaabi music.
Many More Things Morocco Is Known and Famous For
Despite being a small country, Morocco is famous for a wide range of beautiful landscapes, exceptional architecture, and cultural characteristics. These are just a few of the things Morocco is known for.
There are still a lot of hidden gems and other attractions that make the country unique. The country’s diverse geography, luxurious monuments, bustling imperial cities, and delicious cuisines make the country a thrilling destination for tourists all over the world. Take your time to experience the country and discover more things Morocco is known for.