Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture of Casablanca and 3,631,061 in the region of Grand Casablanca. Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco, while the political capital city of Morocco is Rabat.
Essaouira (Arabic: الصويرة, as-Ṣawīra; Berber Tassort) is a city in the western Moroccan economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, on the Atlantic coast. Since the 16th century, the city has also been known by its Portuguese name of Mogador or Mogadore. The Berber name means the wall, a reference to the fortress walls that originally enclosed the city.
Fes or Fez (Arabic: فاس Fās, Tifinagh: ) is the second largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca, with a population of approximately 1 million (2010). It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region.
Fes, the former capital, is one of the country's four "imperial cities," the others being Rabat, Marrakech and Meknes. It comprises three distinct parts, Fes el Bali (the old, walled city), Fes-Jdid (new Fes, home of the Mellah) and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes).
Fes el Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its medina, the larger of the two medinas of Fes, is believed to be the world's largest contiguous car-free urban area. The University of Al-Karaouine, founded in AD 859, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the world. The city has been called the "Mecca of the West" and the "Athens of Africa".
Marrakech or Marrakesh (Mərrakəš or Murakuc, Arabic: مراكش Murrākuš, local pronunciation: Mərrakəš), known as the "Ochre city", is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history. The city of Marrakesh is the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, being also the fourth largest city in Morocco according to the 2004 census.
Like many Moroccan cities, the city of Marrakech comprises both an old fortified city (the médina) and modern neighborhoods, the most prominent of which is Gueliz, for a total population of 794,620 and 1,063,415 in the metropolitan area (2004 census). It is served by Ménara International Airport (IATE code: RAK) and a rail link to Casablanca and the north.
Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna. The square bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers and musicians. By night food stalls open in the square turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant.
Meknes (Arabic: مكناس,Mknas or Ameknas, French: Meknès, Spanish: Mequinez) is a city in northern Morocco, located 130 kilometres (81 mi) from the capital Rabat and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Fes. It is served by the A2 expressway between those two cities and by the corresponding railway. Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), before it was relocated to Marrakech. The population is 985,000 (2010 census). It is the capital of the Meknes-Tafilalet region. Meknes is named after a Berber tribe which was known as Miknasa (native Berber name: Imeknasen) in the medieval North African sources.
The Ziz Gorges are a series of gorges in Morocco defined by two artificial gates at both their southern and northern ends. At their southern end is the dam of Hassan Addakil and an artificial lake. At their northern end is the Tunnel de Légionnaire built by French colonial troops in the 1930s in order to create a passageway to the Ziz Valley. The gorge is a result of the Ziz River cutting through the Atlas Mountains.