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The best thing about Morocco is its diversity, writes Annie Fitzsimmons, one of National Geographic’s Urban Insiders.

In addition to exploring the North African nation’s dynamic and ancient cities, visitors also have the chance to hike the Atlas Mountains, discover traditional Berber villages, and camp in traditional tents in the desert.

Despite its ancient roots, Morocco is no stranger to the cutting edge. An increasing number of international summits, fairs, and festivals—such as the massive pop concert Mawazine in Rabat, the International Film Festival in Marrakech, and the modern art exhibition Marrakech Biennale—are taking root in its largest cities.

The imperial city of Marrakech has become a hot spot for many hotel chains and is becoming extremely popular with tourists from Europe.

Officially called the Kingdom of Morocco, Morocco lies in the Maghreb region of North Africa. With a Mediterranean climate and forests in the northern and central mountain ranges, the south east is a desert area.

Morocco has a population of around 34 million people in an area of almost 446,000 m2. While many a tourist consider the large and bustling Marrakesh the capital, the political capital is in fact Rabat.  The largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities include Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda,Kenitra, and Nador.