15 Best Things To Do In Essaouira, Morocco - Updated 2021

things to do in essaouira morocco
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Welcome to the coastal serenity of Essaouira! This lovely Moroccan city is everything you’d want to explore this hot summer season! It’s time to forget about trivial and heavily crowded beaches and head for a gorgeous and exotic place! With its unique landmarks, rich Medina of the city’s old town quarters, ports, museums and palaces, beautiful Essaouira is ready to show off its riches and beauty! The question is whether you’re ready to explore it? To help you start preparing, scroll down to learn about the best things to do in Essaouira, Morocco.

1. Admire the historic Bab Doukkala

Bab Doukkala
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jklamo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Also referred to as Bab Sidi Bouzerktoun, Bab Doukkala is the entrance to the medina of Essaouira. It is one of the main doors to the medina that showcases fortified walls of Cherifian architecture. It was built in the 18th century and it is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in Mellah of Essaouira. Bab Doukkala is mostly made of stone ramparts, earthenware plaster, simple cut stones, and ornaments. As you enter Bab Doukkala, you will be greeted by a busy plaza with an abundance of vendors who sell various crafts, including gastronomic delights, artisan products, and souvenir items.

Bab Doukkala

Address: Avenue Mohamed Zerktouni, Essaouira, Morocco

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

2. Marvel at the artwork in Gallery Kasbah

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Art enthusiasts will definitely be excited by the sight of fascinating masterpieces in Gallery Kasbah. Nestled in the gorgeous area of Rue Tetouan where you can hear the sound of the waves crashing and feel the cool sea breeze, Gallery Kasbah is an attraction that one must not miss. It features diverse Moroccan art pieces, from paintings to sophisticated pottery. All these exhibits are laid out in 11 halls inside an 18th-century restored edifice. Three artists share a single hall where they set up their masterpieces. Here, you’ll be mesmerized by different art techniques, such as realism, symbolism, abstract, impressionism, and more.

Gallery Kasbah

Address: 4 Rue Tetouan, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

Website: Gallery Kasbah

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)

3. Go on a food trip at Moulay Hassan Square

Place Moulay El Hassan, Essaouira
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user mwanasimba used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Situated in a strategic location between the entrance to the Medina and the port, Moulay Hassan Square is a bustling and scenic urban space where tourists can witness the culture of Essaouira and immerse themselves in its gastronomic offerings. Its views of the ocean and the delightful sea breeze give people enough reason to unwind and relax on this side of the city while people-watching. Plus, the numerous dining spots in the area make it a fantastic food trip destination as well.

Moulay Hassan Square

Address: Essaouira, Morocco

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

4. See the remains of Royal Castle of Mogador

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Royal Castle of Mogador, or Castelo Real of Mogador as locals call it, is a 16th-century Manueline-styled Portuguese castle built in Essouira under the orders of King Dom Manuel of Portugal. The purpose of its construction was to serve as a stopover on the Moroccan coast. Also, it served as supply storage for the Portuguese. The original castle was destroyed in the 18th century, but remnants of the destruction still remain and are viewable to the public. Tourists get to see fortified walls, weaponry, boats, and the majestic views of the coast.

Royal Castle of Mogador

Address: Essaouira, Morocco

5. Enjoy the waterviews at Sqala of the Port of Essaouira

Skala du Port (js)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jerzy Strzelecki used under CC BY 3.0

Treating its visitors to picture-perfect views of the sea, Sqala of the Port of Essaouira is a honey-colored bastion near the location where the Royal Castle of Mogador used to stand tall. Designed by a French architect and constructed in the 18th-century, this landmark serves as a port entrance to Essaouira. Besides the views, you will see sea-blue fishing boats that locals used for catching seafood. It is a fantastic stop after a visit to the Royal Castle of Mogador.

Sqala of the Port of Essaouira

Address: Essaouira, Morocco

6. Learn about local culture at Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah Museum

Posted by Mustapha Tourguide Tamakast on Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Would you like to lose yourself in the culture and history of Morocco? If the answer is yes, then visit the Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah History Museum, in the city of Essaouira. The collection is amazing, the museum itself is situated in a 19th-century pasha residence, and did we mention the mansion is absolutely stunning?

Enter it: Come around and jump right into the deep-rooted history of the lovely museum!

Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah Museum

Address: Rue Laalouj Derb, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

7. Explore the unique Harbour Scala

Posted by Your Morocco Tour on Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Essaouira Harbour can definitely be called the Kingdom of Fishermen since they are the leading men here and the atmosphere is not to be missed! Just imagine the seagulls flying over your head, the blue boats, the smell of the ocean and the appetizing aroma of fresh seafood cooked in front of you!

Come around: Don’t miss this unique experience while in the area! It’s totally worth it!

Harbour Scala

Address: Avenue Mohammed V, Essaouira

Website: Harbour Scala

8. Welcome to Bab Sbaa

Posted by Bab Sbaa on Monday, 11 April 2016

Ever dream of entering a magical portal to the past? Well, here you can do it, now that you’ve come to this lovely Moroccan city! Bab Sbaa is one of the monumental gates of the Medina (the old town) of Essaouira. Pass through it, and you will meet all kinds of merchants, selling vegetables, spices, and seeds, meat, and fish. Also, there are no motor vehicles here – everything is carried by carts and mules, just like in the past.

Try it: Now you’ve got the chance to engage in an exotic experience, while simply strolling along the narrow streets of Essaouira! Have fun!

Bab Sbaa

Address: 44000 Essaouira, Morocco

Facebook: Bab Sbaa

9. Take some photos at L'Horloge d'Essaouira

Posted by Tourisme rural Essaouira on Wednesday, 3 July 2013

L'Horloge d'Essaouira, or the Clock Tower of Essaouira, is only a few steps from Bab Sbaa. This large, square tower is an ideal place for a tour of the Medina because it looks much as it did during the reign of Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah. Besides, it also serves as a great guide in case this is your very first time in and around the gorgeous and shiny city of Essaouira, Morocco.

Enjoy it: With this in mind, grab a bottle of water and hit its narrow streets!

L'Horloge d'Essaouira

Address: Avenue Oqba Ibn Nafiaa, Essaouira

10. Stop by the legendary city walls

Essaouira through city walls
Source: Photo by user Grand Parc - Bord... used under CC BY 2.0

You can’t visit Essaouira and not climb the ramparts. Constructed in the 1760s, the walls were originally built as city defenses. This is where the Medina meets the Atlantic - the crash of the waves and the sunset you’ll encounter, if you stay long enough, are what you’ll remember. Don’t miss this magical place!

Explore it: Frankly, you can’t miss the city’s top landmark, symbolizing the history of this exotic place, can you?

11. Check out Borj El Barmil

Castillo de Zafra - Exterior
Source: Photo by user Borjaanimal used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Borj El Barmil cannonade features more than a dozen Portuguese cannons, that remain pointed out to the sea. If you are a fan of the “Game of Thrones” epic series, you must definitely visit this place. The area of the fortification - part of the city walls, is used as a filming location and it is known in the TV series as the “Walk of Punishment”.

Walk of Shame: You may also want to take that walk of shame, right? At least it will be fun!

Borj El Barmil

Address: Situated south of the mouth of Oued Ksob

Website: Borj El Barmil

12. Explore the Essaouira Citadel

This is the most outrageously picturesque port town I've ever seen.

Posted by Wally Nowinski on Monday, 22 May 2017

The citadel by the harbor, built by Genoese engineers, is another beautiful place to visit in Essaouira. Also known as ‘Scala du Port’, this fortress is one of the symbols of the city. And guess what? It was also the setting for several scenes of the popular “Game of Thrones” series.

Feel the unique vibes: The Moroccan citadel is absolutely another worthwhile tourist location you must see while in the area!

Essaouira Citadel

Address: 17, Rue Elhadada | Elhadada Essaouira

13. Wander around the charming Medina of Essaouira

Flâner dans les ruelles blanches et bleues de la médina ? Chiner au souk ? Découvrir les galeries d'art? observer le...

Posted by Le Médina Essaouira Thalassa sea & spa -MGallery by Sofitel- on Friday, 28 April 2017

Prepare to be charmed! The Medina, being actually the old town of Essaouira, is a part of the Unesco’s World Heritage list. The city offers a unique mix of cultures, narrow streets, leafy plazas and whitewashed houses, with lovely blue-painted doors. Besides, its ancient buildings and dramatic ramparts will totally captivate your heart!

Adore it: Once you get to know the charming Medina, you’ll certainly want to come here, over and over again.

Medina of Essaouira

Address: Avenue Mohamed V, Essaouira 44000

14. Admire the views at the fishing port in Essaouira

Essaouira a thriving fishing port .

Posted by my morocco on Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bring your camera with you since you’ll be able to get some nice shots, here! The fishing port of Essaouira is indeed a lovely spot for all tourists who want to escape from the crowds and busy quarters of the city. The old fishing port is simply a great location, offering a perfect mix of seclusion, peacefulness and magnificent seaside views. What more could you want out of a gorgeous place such as Essaouira?

Feel the peacefulness: The old fishing port is the perfect stop when you need to lose yourself in thoughts, while simply enjoying magical sunsets.

Fishing port

Address: 44000 Essaouira, Morocco

15. Enjoy horseback riding in Essaouira (from USD 34.0)

Essaouira has some of the most beautiful coastlines in Morocco. Now, imagine yourself riding a horse across the city’s beaches, dunes, and forests, while the sun sets. Sounds great, right? And the best thing is, you can ride no matter your level. Guides are very friendly, so don’t worry and just enjoy this unique experience!

Hop on: With this in mind, the only thing that’s still missing is your own horse and…you on it! Enjoy it!

Horse Ride on the Beach in Essaouira

Duration: 2 hours

5 reviews

What to expect

With its authentic look and exotic nature, Essaouira is the most exciting place and a lovely tourist destination that totally deserves your attention this summer! Bring your friends along, grab your camera and get ready to experience an exotic adventure in a traditional Moroccan style! Have fun!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Marina Yoveva is a creative thinker, adventurer, and a poetry lover. In her spare time, she loves reading, writing on her personal blog and spending time with her family and friends. She's also a...Read more

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