Ouarzazate is one of Morocco’s most famous cities that has been featured in several movies and TV shows.
The city is also known as Door to the Desert and boasts stunning views, archaic sites as well as some modern architecture and places of interest.
The city also has a diverse landscape with snow-capped mountains, barren stretches, and lush green oases.
There are plenty of things to explore in ouarzazate, morocco and you can take a day trip from Marrakech to visit the city while passing through to the desert and explore the region. Below are the 5 best things you can do in and around the city during your visit.
1. Visit Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah is one of the major tourist attractions of the city that has been featured in Game of Thrones as well as several other movies and TV shows such as The Mummy, Alexander, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.
The big Kasbah has stood the test of time, for guarded settlement home to historic earth-built habitats, steep walls, animal refuges, meandering passageways along with numerous slopes and steps.
You can feast your eyes on the area from a distance before entering into the actual site and explore the maze-like former establishment.
Most of the locals have already moved out and built homes elsewhere, but some families still live in some of the old houses with souvenirs and craft sellers occupy the rest.
You can witness artisans at work, climb up to the highest point for stunning views across the rocky terrain surrounding this amazing site.
2. Stroll Around Taourirt Kasbah
Located at the heart of Ouarzazate, Taourirt Kasbah is one of the most significant architectural grandeur of Southeast Morocco. Its history goes way back in the 1750s and ingrained in military and economic history.
You can stroll through the labyrinth of narrow streets, watching local dwellings, stumbling across various street stalls, and make paid entry to the 19th century establishment el Glaoui Palace.
The palace was built by a former Pacha of Marrakech who was extremely powerful and had massive spheres of influence. It features around 300 rooms with most of them are empty. However, you can still watch some stunning architectural designs showcasing traditional Moroccan and Islamic architectural craft.
3. Visit the film Studios
You can stop and speak to any local in the city and they will happily tell you the stories of the day they were an extra in Game of Thrones or any other Hollywood biggie shot here.
Morocco has been the preferred filming location for classics like Lawrence of Arabia, the Mummy, and even small indie flick like Salmon Fishing in Yemen. However, it is the Game of Thrones Season 3 that made the area famous and drew tourists from across the world.
The city of Ouarzazate features two movie studios – The Atlas Film Studios and The CLA Studios. You can tour both these film studios which will take you into the magnificent world of cinematography.
You will get to learn more about the special effects, see various costumes, equipment, sets, and props in action.
4. Visit the Cinema Museum
The small and antiquated Cinema Museum is located inside an old film studio featuring several old movie posters and memorabilia. It also features some old movie equipment including projectors and cameras.
There are several old and dirty props distributed through the set remains not protected via ropes to force you maintain a distance.
You are also allowed to take pictures with the items in all kinds of postures even duplicating famous movie scenes.
5. Spend an Afternoon at Fint Oasis
Fint Oasis is located roughly an hour outside of ouarzazate, morocco along the progressively dusty roads. Only those who are willing to go that extra mile for a unique travel experience can discover the Fint Oasis in all its glory.
It is a quiet and offbeat tourist destination as it sees relatively few tourists compared to other parts of the city.
The oasis boasts of lush landscapes and some mesmerizing natural sceneries. Some Berber villages around the oasis offering a glimpse into long-established ways of life.
You are bound to admire people who not only manage to survive but also thrived in such harsh conditions.
These are some of the major tourist attractions offered by ouarzazate. However, there are other places of interest in the city such as the Church of Saint Theresa’ and the Museum’ of the Liberation’ Army in Ouarzazate that tourists can enjoy.
There are also numerous hiking and biking opportunities along with some modern cafes where you take a glass of mint tea and relax.