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Marrakesh

Marrakesh is a city where the old and new coexist in perfect harmony. The country’s name was inspired by the city’s name, highlighting the town’s historical importance.

Within the medina’s high red walls, the biggest tourist lure is just taking in the atmosphere, with snake charmers and sleek shop salesmen competing for your attention amid a noisy, colorful bustle that defines Morocco’s vibrant spirit.

The souqs of Marrakesh are the best places to shop in Morocco, as they sell the whole range of the country’s artisan items, and the medina’s scattering of magnificently embellished historic buildings are some of the country’s most famous sights.

Marrakesh is also the starting point for Morocco’s major activity region, with hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and a variety of other activities available. On one of the many Marrakesh day tours available from the city, you may get a taste of Moroccan mountain life even if you only have a brief time.

Let’s look at the Top 7 things to do in Marrakesh!

Medersa Ben Youssef

One of Morocco’s finest examples of Saadian era artwork is Ben Youssef’s magnificently embellished Medersa. The largest facility for Quranic study in the country, located just across from the Ali Ben Youssef Mosque, formerly housed 900 students.

In classic Islamic architecture style, the warrens of apartments where students previously slept are packed around small internal courtyards, but the main internal courtyard is the true focus here.

This medersa is one of Morocco’s most magnificent buildings and a star medina attraction, with excellent zellige tiles, stalactite ceilings, cedar-wood carving, and Kufic inscriptions utilized as ornamentation throughout the courtyard’s interior.

Photo by Kees Kortmulder on Unsplash


Saadian Tombs

From 1524 to 1668, the Saadian dynasty ruled Marrakesh, and this 16th-century burial ground is home to 66 members of the dynasty.

Al-Mansour, his successors, and their immediate families are all interred here.

The main mausoleum (where Moulay Yazid is buried) has a stunning surviving mihrab (prayer niche). The Saadian Tombs were first rediscovered in the early twentieth century after the Alawite successors walled them up. 

The entrance to the Saadian Tombs is a tiny passage near the southern wall of the Kasbah Mosque.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Koutoubia Mosque

With its 70-meter-tall tower visible for kilometers in every direction, the Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakesh’s most recognized landmark.

The man who called the faithful to pray for this mosque had to be blind when it was initially erected, according to local mythology, because the tower was so tall that it overlooked the ruler’s harem. The mosque was completed in 1162 and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Almohad architecture.

The foundations of the first mosque erected on this location can be seen in an archaeological excavation area on the northwest side of the minaret. The Almohads demolished it and replaced it with the existing mosque.

Non-Muslims, on the other hand, are not permitted to enter the Koutoubia Mosque.

Photo by Jimmy JAEH on Unsplash


Medina Souqs

The labyrinthine of Medina, the old quarter of Marrakesh, is the town’s main draw for many visitors.

The narrow passageways are a kaleidoscope of colors, scents, and noises that are sure to be the highlight of your trip’s sightseeing.

There are numerous shopping possibilities where you will need your haggling head on, in addition to simply exploring, getting lost, amid the hectic maze.

Between Place Rahba Kedima and Place Ben Youssef is the main souq area, which is a maze of alleyways.

Photo by Stefan Maass on Unsplash


Djemaa El Fna

Marrakesh’s life revolves on this big square near the medina’s entrance.

The Djemaa El Fna (nobodies’ assembly place) is a bustling hive of bric-a-brac merchants, musicians, storytellers, fortune tellers, and snake charmers that comes alive in the late afternoon and lasts until midnight.

A night spent here meandering between acrobat troupes and local musical ensembles is a true Moroccan experience.

The northern section of the square fills up with booths providing inexpensive meals and snacks as the sun sets. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the plaza by visiting one of the many cafés with rooftop views of the Djemaa El Fna.

Photo by Don Fontijn on Unsplash


Majorelle Gardens

Painter Jacques Majorelle created these gorgeous tropical gardens consisting of cacti, palms, and ferns.

Majorelle, who was born in the French town of Nancy, moved to Marrakesh for health concerns and became famous for his paintings of local Moroccan life.

But it was this garden, as well as the brilliant blue (now known as Majorelle blue) painter’s studio he lived in on the grounds, that made him renowned.

After Majorelle’s death in 1962, the property was purchased by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, whose ashes were spread in the gardens after his death in 2008.

Majorelle’s old painting studio, which is now a beautiful museum dedicated to Berber craftsmanship, is located on the grounds.

Photo by T on Unsplash


Hammam

The Medina can be a hot, dusty, and crowded location to visit, but there is a traditional way to relax and refresh after your sightseeing and shopping.

A hammam (also known as a Turkish bath) is a traditional public bath with a multi-domed interior designed specifically for bathing. The technique involves heating, washing, and exfoliating your skin, with a little massage thrown in for good measure.

While many ancient and freshly constructed hammams cater to guests and provide a wonderful introduction to Moroccan hammam culture, public hammams can still be found throughout the medina and serve the community.

Photo by Hotel La Mamounia