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5 alternatives to Marrakesh


Forget Marrakesh. Essaouira? Yes, please! This stunning coastal city rocks a super chill vibe and it's just perfection okay. The blue boats, the white buildings... it's a living postcard. Spend your day getting lost in the Medina, indulge in freshly caught seafood, and cherish the wind in your hair by the Atlantic. Don't forget to check out the Gnaoua Music Festival if you're around in June. Pro tip - bring a jacket, the city is nicknamed 'Wind City of Africa' for a reason, and trust me, it's NOT an exaggeration.

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Fes is like the quirky cousin who kinda enjoys history a little too much, but you absolutely adore them anyway. Get your cultural kicks exploring one of the world's oldest universities, Qarawiyyin, or getting purposefully lost in Fes El Bali, the world's largest urban car-free zone. And it's not just about nerding out on history; Fes has got fantastic places to relax, too. Would I hang out at the Jnan Sbil Gardens? Absolutely. Rhetorical question.

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If you are looking for something different than Marrakesh, look no further. Chefchaouen sits like a blue gem in the Rif Mountains. Why blue, you ask? Well, it helps keep mosquitos away but more importantly, it makes for gorgeous photos to flex on Instagram, hashtag no filter. Don't forget to check out the sizzling Kasbah and buzzing Plaza Uta el-Hammam. And hey, watch out for the steps, they're everywhere and I'm speaking from experience, alright?

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Crazy for art? Same. Asilah, a small town tucked away on Morocco's North Coast, might just be your best beyond-Marrakesh bet. Famous for its yearly art festival, Asilah is a vibrant, technicolor dream with murals decorating the medina walls. Get there before August to experience the festival in all its glory. Like, I'm not saying you become an art connoisseur overnight, but it's kinda impossible not to feel the whole aRtIsT vibe in Asilah, and I love it.

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Compared to Marrakesh, Meknes is the slightly more lowkey but equally stimulating young brother. Known as the 'Versailles of Morocco', it's a city with a thing for dramatic architecture and I'm here for it. Venture into the Imperial City and be blown away by Bab Mansour, one of Africa’s largest and most stunning gates. If you're into a bit of a scare, save some time for a spine-chilling visit to the royal stables and granaries. It's like eerie but in a cool way, if that makes sense?

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