Egypt vs Morocco: Where Should I Go?

Mesmerising cities, delicious food, vast deserts and diverse coastlines – discover the similarities, differences and the wonderful highlights of Morocco or Egypt
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Written by
Jack Beckford

Published on: April 17th, 2024

Last modified: April 17th, 2024

At first glance, Egypt and Morocco might seem like somewhat similar destinations. They’re both in Africa (although Egypt is also considered part of the Middle East) and Arabic is the primary language. Each is known for its vast deserts, intriguing history, vibrant markets and delectable cuisine. So if you’re debating a trip to Egypt vs Morocco, how do you choose?

While both places are well worth your time, there are plenty of differences to help you decide. First of all, they’re quite far apart: 3,695 kilometres, to be exact. Morocco is located on the northwest edge of Africa, while Egypt is in the northeast. Beyond this, each country’s culture, cuisine, landscapes and cities have their own distinctive allure.

Fes Morocco

Which is better for you – Egypt or Morocco?

Ultimately, the choice between Morocco vs Egypt comes down to what you’re hoping to get out of your trip. If you find ancient history and architecture fascinating, there’s nothing quite like visiting Giza and the many other legendary landmarks in Egypt. If you’re especially into modern culture and cuisine, Morocco might pique your interest more.

Of course, Egypt is also bursting with cultural experiences (and delicious food) and Morocco has its fair share of historical sites. Choosing between them requires a bit more detail regarding the exact experiences available in each. With that in mind, let’s dive into some specific differences between these two spectacular destinations.

Marrakesh souk

Moroccan markets or Egyptian markets?

Both Morocco and Egypt are famous for their spellbinding souks. In Morocco, the markets of Marrakesh are especially alluring. Many are located within the city’s maze-like medina (walled historic centre). Don’t miss Jemaa el-Fnaa, the central square that comes alive at night with street performers and fragrant food stalls. 

Egypt’s most famous market is Khan El-Khalili: a centre of trade for more than 600 years. Today you’ll find all kinds of artisanal crafts, authentic souvenirs and traditional cafés within this ancient market in Cairo. The city also boasts a book market at El-Azbakeya Wall and the famous Mohammed Ali Street, with shops specialising in musical instruments. 

If you’re excited to browse, shop and experience the energy of local markets, you’ll love either Morocco or Egypt. Keep in mind that in both cases, you’ll find the largest souks and selection of products in major cities like Marrakesh and Cairo.

Morocco’s coastline or Egypt’s Red Sea?

Although dusty deserts and dynamic cities may come to mind when you picture Morocco or Egypt, both countries also boast beautiful coastlines. In Egypt, the Red Sea promises some of the world’s best coral reefs. Although the best time to visit Egypt for snorkelling and diving is May–July, this region is warm and sunny year round.

Morocco has more than one coastal destination. There’s Ouladia, a tranquil seaside town where you can relax on the beach, swim in the calm waters or visit an oyster farm. Farther south, Essaouira is a historic port town known for its fishing culture, seafood and kitesurfing. Avid surfers should head straight to Taghazout, a Berber village with world-famous waves.

When deciding which country’s coast to visit, consider the activities you’re most interested in. For snorkelling and diving, Egypt is a clear choice; for surfing and seafood, Morocco wins out. The Red Sea also offers some wonderful beach resorts for a luxurious family trip to Egypt

Moroccan or Egyptian Cuisine?

The choice between Morocco or Egypt depends on your tastes… and in this case we mean that literally. If you prefer to get to know a destination through its cuisine, you’re in for a real treat in either of these countries. The only question is which of the following foods and drinks sound more delicious.

Moroccan cuisine is complex, diverse and hard not to love. If we were to describe the ideal traveller for Morocco, it would be someone with an adventurous palate and an endless appetite. There are so many specialties to sample, from classic crowd-pleasers like couscous and tagine to a vast array of sauces, soups, sweets and the iconic mint tea.

Culinary delights are also among our top reasons to visit Egypt. There’s koshary (a mix of rice, pasta, chickpeas and lentils), fava bean falafel, the scrumptious small plates known as mezze and a time-honoured coffee culture. It might not be as famous among foodies as Morocco is, but there’s no shortage of fantastic Egyptian food to try.

Egypt’s desert regions or Morocco’s desert regions?

Both Morocco and Egypt contain part of the Sahara Desert. The Egyptian Sahara covers around 95% of the country; fortunately for travellers, there’s plenty to do in the desert. You can visit hidden oases, go on off-road adventures and see prehistoric whale skeletons at Wadi El Hitan.

The Moroccan Sahara also offers lots of exciting activities, whether you want to go sandboarding down the dunes or gaze up at the stars. You can visit the kasbahs of Skoura, an oasis near the High Atlas Mountains, or head to Merzouga to see the dunes of Erg Chebbi.

In addition to natural wonders, these desert regions are also home to unique cultures. In Egypt you can meet the Bedouin people and learn about their traditionally nomadic lifestyle; in Morocco many desert tours are led by local Berber guides. Keep in mind that summer isn’t the best time to go to Morocco or Egypt if you’re keen on exploring the desert, it’s simply too hot.

Pyramids of Giza

Moroccan or Egyptian history and culture?

History buffs and archaeology enthusiasts are the ideal travellers for Egypt. Imagine seeing the Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza, the temples of Luxor and Abu Simbel, the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the storied city of Alexandria. Beyond all of these classic things to do in Egypt, we also highly suggest visiting the Nubian communities in the south.

Moroccan history is intriguing in its own way. This country’s past and present reflects eclectic influences, ranging from Berber and Arab to French and Spanish. Then there’s its Roman legacy, which is on full display at the archaeological site of Volubilis, believed to have once been the capital of Mauritania.

Many of the best luxury tours in Egypt and Morocco highlight history and culture, so you’ll have plenty of options in either. That said, we can’t deny that Egypt is a bucket-list destination when it comes to ancient ruins.

Cairo, Egypt

Which is the best city: Marrakesh or Cairo?

Whether you’re visiting Morocco or Egypt, the spirited cities of Marrakesh and Cairo (respectively) are mandatory stops. Although Marrakesh is Morocco’s most-visited metropolis, it’s neither the largest city nor the capital. But its captivating medina, labyrinthine souks, opulent palaces and lush gardens are reason enough to visit.

Unlike Marrakesh, Cairo is both Egypt’s capital and largest city. It’s also among the essential places to visit in Egypt – and not just because it’s a gateway to Giza. This multifaceted cultural hub is packed with museums, mosques, markets and mouth-watering restaurants, with a magnificent atmosphere after dark.

Once again, it’s hard to say which is better; each of these cities has its own distinct personality and attractions. Cairo is much larger and can feel a bit chaotic at times, but the same can be said of Marrakesh thanks to its immense popularity. We suggest visiting either city with an expert local guide who can help you navigate it and share its best-kept secrets.

Choosing where to go


Each of these one-of-a-kind destinations has so much to offer. Our team of expert travel designers will help you plan, or decide between, a trip to Morocco or Egypt – or both. They’ll get to know you and your interests to help you select the ideal destination, and then create a bespoke itinerary for the luxury trip of a lifetime.

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