Two days in Essaouira are enough time to venture beyond the highlights and experience the port city’s bohemian spirit. Walk the ramparts and explore the souks, relax at the beach, and sample local culture and cuisine. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Essaouira.
Get your bearings on a walking tour of Essaouira. Visit the ruins of the old citadel, and climb up to the ramparts for a sweeping view of the coast. Afterward, wander around the UNESCO-listed medina for a myriad of photo ops: admire the blue and white painted buildings, stop by the Museum of Essaouira, and people watch on Moulay el Hassan square.
Lose yourself in the labyrinth of souks that run throughout the medina. The tiny shops, market stalls, and workshops are a great place to pick up souvenirs—traditional handicrafts, exotic spices, and Moroccan argan oil are all popular choices. For a more personalized experience, shop with a private guide who can help you haggle for the best prices.
In the early evening, make your way to the port as the local fishermen return to shore in their colorful boats with the day’s catch. It’s a lively scene—don’t forget your camera.
Immerse yourself in Moroccan culture and join a cooking class. Visit the local market to shop for ingredients and learn about typical herbs and spices, then try out traditional techniques and prepare dishes such as tagine and couscous. Finally, sit down with your hosts to share a delicious homemade lunch.
Riding a camel through the desert is a quintessential Moroccan experience, but Essaouira’s beaches and dunes provide a scenic alternative. After your ride, go to Essaouira Beach and watch the surfers, stroll the windswept shores, or take a kitesurfing lesson.
Spend your final evening in Essaouira enjoying the town’s nightlife. Grab a beer at one of the beachfront bars, then head into the medina to one of the many live music venues. As the host of the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival, Essaouira is one of the best places in Morocco to attend a performance of traditional Gnaoua music and dance—book your tickets in advance.