Why You Should Visit the 4 Imperial Cities of Morocco

Marrakesh, Morocco
Marrakesh, Morocco. Photo by Beatrice Sana on Unsplash

Considering its rich and storied history, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Morocco has changed its capital several times. As of now, four cities have served as the capital of the country at various points, and they are collectively known as the Imperial Cities of Morocco. The cities do not only have great historical importance, but each of them is also a popular tourist destination in its own right. Learn more about them below.


Fez is arguably the most storied of the four imperial cities. It was founded in the late 9th century and it served as a capital seven times, most recently in 1912. Thanks to its long run as a capital in different eras, the city is home to numerous historical museums and important monuments. Visit Fez to learn more about Morocco’s history, check out its unique architecture, and experience its vibrant culture.


Marrakesh was founded in the late 11th century and it served as the capital for four different dynasties. It is now considered the No. 1 tourist destination in Morocco, with visitors from all over the world coming to see its lavish palaces, stunning gardens, and charming souks (markets) and try some of the best food in this part of the world.


Meknes was Morocco’s capital between 1672 and 1727. Even this short period was enough to leave a lasting mark on the city in the form of old imperial palaces, fortifications, and gates. The city also has plenty of other intriguing things to check out, like the Museum of Moroccan Art, several old mosques, traditional souks, and nearby Roman Ruins.


Rabat is the current capital of the country. It was founded by the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century with this purpose, although it took until 1955 for the city to claim this status officially. There are numerous historical tourist attractions to check out in Rabat, including the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, the unfinished Hassan Tower, and the Chellah Roman Ruins. Being situated at the seaside also means that you will be able to have other activities besides sightseeing.