The Travels of Ibn Battuta

Abu ‘Abdallah ibn Battuta, a pious Moroccan pilgrim, left Tangiers for Mecca – for hajj – in 1325 on a pilgrimage that would usually take a year to complete at that time. Little did he know in 1325 that he would travel for 24 more years before returning to Morocco, in the process covering, arguably, more distance than Marco Polo did a century earlier. His story, like many other great travels, is a story of perseverance, ingenuity, and discovery.

Ibn Battuta visited some of the same places that Marco Polo did a century earlier. However, the similarities end there. They are different personalities from different backgrounds. One, a merchant from the famed Venetian business fraternity. Another, a pious sunni muslim, whose world revolved around Islam and whose life goal was to visit Mecca. Polo set out to establish a direct trade route between the East and the West. Ibn Battuta took advantage of favorable conditions in Dar-as-Islam – the wider Muslim world – by traveling to Muslim Kingdoms, seeking the patronage of Muslim kings, and plying his trade in religious and judicious capacities.

Ibn Battuta’s travel experiences were chronicled by Ibn Juzayy, a young scholar in Morocco’s Marinid kingdom at that time, in the form of a rihla, or book of travels. The best modern western version was compiled by Ross E. Dunn through his book titled “The Adventures of Ibn Battuta”.

The below map takes us through the journey that Ibn Battuta took. Click on the markers which will pop up to provide additional details and commentary. Begin your journey in Tangier!

Note: Each leg of Ibn Battuta’s journey is highlighted in a different color.


  • Map is better explored on a big screen
    • Click the "View Fullscreen" [  ] button on the map to toggle full screen mode


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