Exploring the Fascinating Imperial Cities of Morocco

Morocco is a country with many cities, but four have the royal distinction of being imperial cities, places where Moroccan monarchs were born and lived until coming to power. The old capital of Morocco was Fes, which still holds an imperial status today. Meknes was also a capital city before Rabat took over that role in the 17th century. Marrakech and Rabat are both imperial cities today, although they’re technically modern capitals.



Rabat is Morocco’s capital city and holds historical importance because it was chosen as an imperial capital by Moulay Ismail, who moved his court there in 1666. He also expanded its rule to include Tangier and Salé (now known as Rabat-Salé), which had both been part of Portuguese Morocco.


This large and incredibly beautiful imperial city has played a significant role in Morocco’s history for over 3,000 years. The city is known for its vibrant blend of Arabic and European cultures and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The best time to visit Marrakech is during spring (March-May) or fall (September-November). Each season brings unique experiences for visitors, but we recommend visiting in spring when temperatures are cooler and rainfall isn’t too heavy. This allows you to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or biking throughout your stay, while still being able to participate in popular festivals such as Berber Whirling Dervishes.


Fez el Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it is considered one of Morocco’s finest examples of urban planning, architecture and craftsmanship. With its souks, mosques and madrasas – Fez truly has a Mediterranean feel despite being 1,500 miles from that sea. Built on a plateau overlooking a curve in the River Bouregreg – Fes grew rich off agricultural trade.


Meknes is a city in Morocco, located on a slight rise on Moroccan High Atlas Mountains. It is known for its urban planning and buildings, including some of Morocco’s most impressive mosques and palaces. It is also known for its rich Jewish heritage. Meknes has been an important cultural centre since many centuries.