Mesmerising Morocco Travels

Morocco Private Travel Adventures

The city of Marrakech

Starting point for a large number of treks in Morocco, Marrakech is one of the most amazing cities of Morocco, one can not conceive of a stay without seeing that it was nicknamed “Pearl of the South”. Less than an hour, it is still possible to taste the joys of the mountains can Oukaimeden, the Ourika valley, or on the shores of Essaouira.

There is much to see and do in Marrakech

There is much to see and do in Marrakech. An entire day can be dedicated to wandering around all the different souks, seeking out the best bargains. The city also offers several historical and architectural sites as well as some interesting museums.

1-Djemaa El-Fna is the highlight of any Marrakech night. Musicians, dancers, and story tellers pack this square at the heart of the medina, filling it with a cacophony of drum beats and excited shouts. Scores of stalls sell a wide array of Moroccan fare (see the Eat section) and you will almost certainly be accosted by women wanting to give you a henna tattoo. Enjoy the various shows, but be prepared to give some dirhams to watch. By day it is largely filled with snake charmers and people with monkeys, as well as some of the more common stalls.

2-The Souks (suuqs), or markets of Marrakech, just adjacent to Place Djemaa El-Fna, are where you can buy almost anything. From spices to shoes, jellabas to kaftans, tea pots to tagines and much, much more. Undoubtedly, being a foreigner means you will end up paying higher prices than a native would, but be sure to bargain nonetheless. If you happen to run out of dirhams, you’ll also find plenty of people in the souks who will eagerly exchange your dollars or euros (though a fair rate here is less likely than at an official exchange).

3-Tanneries. Visiting the Tanneries can be an interesting experience. Even if some people tell you the area is only for locals, it is possible to visit the Tanneries without paying a youngster. After finding a Tannery, ask one of the workers if you can visit it and take pictures.

4-Koutoubia Mosque, right besides Djemaa El-Fna, is named after the booksellers market that used to be located here. It is said that the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque is to Marrakech as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. The minaret is visible from Gueliz which is connected to the Medina by Avenue Mohammed V. At night, the mosque is beautifully lit. Tourists are not allowed inside.

5-Saadian Tombs were not discovered until the beginning of the 20th century. They have been preserved just like they were during the glory days of the Saadian rulers. Unlike the El Badi Palace, they were not destroyed, probably for superstitious reasons. The entrance was blocked so they remained untouched for hundreds of years. Inside you will find an overload of Zelij (Morrocan tiles) and some beautiful decoration. It doesn’t take a lot of time to explore, but it is definitely worth the visit. While here, look for the tombs of Jews and Christians; they are noted by their different markings and direction of the tomb.

6-Majorelle Gardens, in Gueliz has an entrance fee of Dh 50 and is more expensive than other attractions. However, it provides an excellent respite from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The park boasts a collection of plants from across the globe, including what seems like every cactus species on the planet. Get here early to avoid the crowds. Inside the gardens is also the very small Berber Museum, for which an additional entrance fee of Dh 25 is charged. The Majorelle Café inside the gardens is a pretty and quiet place to rest and get a drink and some food, albeit at very expensive prices. As you are a captive audience, don’t expect to be served haute cuisine. Outside the Majorelle Gardens, expect to be harassed very agressively by taxi drivers and trinket sellers.

7-Dar Si Saïd Museum, on Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid has an entrance fee of Dh 25, is a museum 5 mins away from Djemaa El-Fna. Set in an old palace, it houses many different artifacts from Morocco through the ages, such as wood carvings, musical instruments, and weapons. It is dedicated to the Moroccan craft industry of wood, gathering a very beautiful collection of popular art: carpets, clothing, pottery and ceramics. All these objects are regional, coming from Marrakech and all the south, especially from Tensift, High Atlas, Soussthe, Anti Atlas, Bani, and Tafilal.

8-Ben Youssef Madrassa is one of the largest Madrassas in the North Africa. It is a school attached to the Ben Youssef Mosque and is home to beautiful art and architecture.

9-El Bahia Palace is an ornate and beautiful palace, popular with guided tours and stray cats. The palace is well worth a visit and gives a great impression of what it must have been like to be a 19th century nobleman in Morocco. There is a nice garden with banana flowers, tranquil courtyards, and other lovely plants. Admission is Dh 10.

10-El Badi Palace is a palace now in ruins and inhabited by storks and stray cats. There are some underground passageways to explore. Admission is Dh 10. The view from the terrace is majestic.

11-The Menara gardens, which are located west of the city, and consist of a mixture of orchards and olive groves surrounding a central pavilion which is a popular sight on tourist postcards. The pavilion was built during the 16th century Saadi dynasty, and renovated in 1869. It has a small cafe.

Marrakech Sightseeing, Marrakech local guide

 

Marrakech Sightseeing, Marrakech local guide

Marrakech Sightseeing, Marrakech local guide