What to Know Before You Visit Ouarzazate

Updated August 22, 2020.

The great surprise of our trip to Morocco was something we never expected: Ouarzazate. It’s a small town about four hours from Marrakech and five hours from the Sahara Desert, making it an ideal stopping point for our desert excursion. Our most delightful surprise was definitely Ouarzazate, but our greatest regret is not staying longer! Before we left we were already trying to figure out how to get back. Here are a few things to know before you go to make the most of your trip!

How to Say It

It’s important to know what you’re saying and how to say it. If you’re asking for directions but don’t know how to pronounce your destination, there’s no telling where you’ll end up! Plus, you’ll impress the locals.

Ouarzazate: “War-zahr-zot”
Approaching Ouarzazate!
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Morocco

It’s the Hollywood of Morocco

It’s true! Many epic films have been made here, including Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, and Collin Ferrell’s Alexander the Great! You can tour film studios, visit movie sites, and explore the Museum of Cinema, too!

One of the studios you can tour while in Ouarzazate!
Read on: How to Haggle in Morocco

Getting There and Getting Around

You can fly, drive, or take a bus to Ouarzazate. We took the 4.5-hour bus from Marrakech, and while it got the job done, it’s not my favorite way to travel! Limited flights go into and out of Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ), so check into those if a bus ride is not your thing. You can also drive yourself, of course. In fact, one of the gentlemen running our hotel in Ouarzazate told us that renting a car is really the best way to get around so you can do and see everything the area has to offer!

Our plane coming to pick us up at OZZ!
Read on: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Getting Around Morocco

Where to Stay

Hands-down, the best hotel in town and the best hotel where we stayed in all of Morocco is Hotel Temple des Arts in Ouarzazate! Each room is themed after a movie made in the area, the staff are all kind and accommodating, and we can’t wait to stay there again ourselves!

A sneak peek at the Cleopatra Suite!
More here: Staying at Temple des Arts

How Long to Stay

I recommend staying at least two nights so that you can have one full day to explore the area, but if you can stay three or even four nights, I don’t think you’ll be sorry! There really is plenty to do and see in the area, and if you’re headed to the Desert, you will have a perfect excuse to fit Ouarzazate into your itinerary!

Plan plenty of time for your epic Ouarzazate trip!
Keep reading: Legendary Hotels in the World

What to Do

So, how will you keep occupied for two or three days? Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights:

Make sure to touch the movie props at the Museum of Cinema!

Want more tips for Morocco? Check out What to Know Before You Visit Morocco and my Morocco Page!

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Published by quickwhittravel

Hey there! I am an avid traveller and adventurer, and you're always welcome to join me! The things I love most are God, my husband Steve, and seeing new places! My favorite places include Sydney, Australia; Ise City, Japan; and Bergen, Norway--but there's always room for more favorite places!

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