Marrakech like the cities of Fez, Rabat and Meknes, Marrakech has the privilege of being a majzen city, that is, imperial, and the successive dynasties that have inhabited it have been enriching it. It also has a special prestige: it […]
Marrakech like the cities of Fez, Rabat and Meknes, Marrakech has the privilege of being a majzen city, that is, imperial, and the successive dynasties that have inhabited it have been enriching it. It also has a special prestige: it is to give its name to all of Morocco.
Marrakech is listed as one of the most important cultural centers in Morocco. It is also a tourist capital and the first destination for trips to Morocco, as well as a very lively and famous city, among many other things for its markets and festivals.
According to legend, when the Koutobia was constructed in the center of this city, it started to bleed and was colored red, the hue that dominates the city and its neighboring homes as well as the country’s flag. In the following lines we tell you everything you need to know about this city, like what to see in Marrakech some tips to choose the hotel and the flight.
The city’s origins are obscure, but it is commonly accepted that it began as a military camp established by Abu Bekr, a great Almoravid chief, in 1070. His cousin and successor, Yusef Ben Tachfin, began the task of turning the primitive oasis into a capital worthy of his empire, which extended from the Atlantic to Algeria and from the Sahara to the Ebro.
The Almohad conquest almost made disappear the first constructions, which were replaced by others, many of which we can still admire today.
Marrakech’s famous square, Djemaa el Fna, is located in its lively urban centre. This cultural space, also called Jemaa el-Fna Square, is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This immense open space located within the old town welcomes jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers, magicians, acrobats and a whole range of harmless lunatics.
Its markets (souks) are famous for being one of the best in Morocco. Hence Marrakech is one of the cities preferred by tourists.
The warmer months are the best time to visit Marrakech. So that we do not overload the heat, the ideal is to do it during the months of September to May. The city’s main cultural festival, held in early June, can also be a good time to visit.
Marrakech is a popular tourist destination and can be reached by various means of transportation, depending on your location.
By Air: Marrakech Menara International Airport (RAK) is the main airport serving the city, with direct flights from major cities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Some of the airlines that fly to Marrakech include Royal Air Maroc, EasyJet, Ryanair, and Air France.
By Train: Marrakech is well-connected to other Moroccan cities by train. The national railway operator, ONCF, offers several daily trains to Marrakech from cities such as Casablanca, Rabat, and Fes.
By Bus: There are also several bus companies that operate services to Marrakech from other Moroccan cities, as well as from major cities in Europe. Some of the bus companies that operate services to Marrakech include CTM, Supratours, and Eurolines.
By Car: If you are traveling from another Moroccan city, you can also consider renting a car and driving to Marrakech. The main highways that connect Marrakech to other cities include the A7 and A8.
Once you arrive in Marrakech, there are various modes of transportation available, including taxis, buses, and rental cars, to explore the city and its surrounding areas.
It is a city to travel basically on foot, since its main attractions are located within the medina or ancient city, easily accessible on foot and largely forbidden motor circulation. The problem when visiting Marrakech on foot is in the maze of its urbanism, so it is essential to get a detailed plan of the medina, which we can get in our hotel. It takes 30 minutes to walk from the ancient city to the new city, which was constructed in the 19th century under French dominion (medina).
You will not find in Marakech a map with bus stops, so to find them it is better to ask at your hotel. The most outstanding are: from Jemaa el Fna the number 11 that leads to the airport, and the number 19 of the company Alsa.You may get to the bus station by dialing numbers 8, 3, and 10.
The palace of Bahia
It is an impressive palace that was built for the sultan’s personal use by Ahmed ben Moussa, a brilliant vizier, less than a kilometre from Jemaa el Fna Square. It is an example of a rich, real and realistic residence from the late 19th century. The magnificent Moroccan architect Muhammad al-Mekki, who enlisted the finest craftsmen for its construction, was responsible for the design and building of the palace.
It has 160 rooms all arranged on one floor, due to the obesity suffered by the vizier and prevented him from climbing stairs, with a beautiful garden of 8 hectares. Legend has it that Ahmed ben Moussa dedicated this beautiful palace to his favorite among the 24 concubines and 4 wives of his harem; in fact, palace of the bay means “the beautiful” or “the beautiful”.
The walls of the Marrakech Gate
It is one of the distinctive elements of the city. The walls of Marrakech, which were constructed of adobe and preserved over the centuries, alter color in response to the weather and sunlight.They enclose the complicated labyrinth of alleys of the medina, protecting its secrets and closing its old city of nine doors.
The Majorelle Garden
It is located in the new town, in the district of Guéliz. French painter Jacques Majorelle created this lovely garden (now owned by Yves Saint-Laurent). A cobalt blue chalet is surrounded by a nature reserve with bougainvilleas, cacti, bamboos and many other types of vegetation.
In addition to this, the gardens are famous for having inside a large collection of birds. You will also find a small museum of Islamic art inside the gardens. After being in the bustle of the city, it is a great place to relax.
Mellah or Marrakech Jewish Quarter
This area was founded in 1559 and, up until 1936, it had 16,500 residents, making it the most significant Jewish enclave in Morocco.
Approximately 300 Jews are known to be living in the city at this time, mostly in the Guéliz. The Jewish neighborhoods in Morocco are known as Mellah, and it’s thought that their name derives from old salt mines that once stood where the Jewish neighborhood of Fez now stands.
The Mellah of Marrakech was enclosed by walls with just two doors and was connected to the Royal Palace, a strategic site that offered security. Soldiers who closed at night and opened the next morning to guard them as they entered the Medina through them.
El Mellah was self-sufficient, had its own markets, synagogues and cemeteries, but the overcrowding of more than 15,000 people residing within it was remarkable, in addition to having imposed certain limitations such as not being able to ride a horse or not being able to access other parts of the city.
Also called Qubba Ba’Adiyn or Koubba almoravid, it is a newly restored small vaulted building, dating from the early 12th century and was built by the second Almoravid king, Ali Ben Yussef.
It has the value of being the only example of Almoravid architecture in Morocco and founder of Marrakech, and also has the added value of being a sample of the techniques so advanced that the Almoravids had to supply water to the city. We must descend some stairs to get there because the city’s ground level has risen over time.
Also nearby are Ourika Valley & the ski areas of Ouikameden.The Royal Palace, Dar el Makhzen, was enlarged and embellished under each dynasty. It was restored in the early 1960s by King Hassan II.
These are little taxis that will carry you to different sections of the city for very little money; they come in handy if you’re heading to a new city or a spot that’s really far away. Grand Taxis should be used if there are more than three passengers or if you want to leave the city.
Horse carriages (Horse carriages)
Buggies are also an economical transport and a good way to travel around Marrakech. To take a horse-drawn carriage you can find on the stretch that connects Jemaa el Fna square with the Koutobia mosque.
Marrakech is a city that enjoys walking and diving into its atmosphere. The finest destinations to visit are those that fit our schedules.
It can look ‘good’ in two or three days, depending on your visit rate. We advise you to visit it enjoying its corners, if you do not have much time it is not worth trying to see everything because in this way we would lack the essence of the city. For your information, these are a few Marrakech travel must-sees.
Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech
It is an icon of Marrakech, the most important and also one of the largest in the Muslim west. The Koutoubia minaret can be seen almost anywhere, becoming the central hub of the city. With its almost 70 meters high, it is the tallest building in Marrakech, being forbidden to raise any other that surpasses it.
It was erected prior to Abd el Mou constructing the sanctuary. and was finished by Yacoub El Mansour, his youngest son (1184-1189). Its name derives from a souk selling books called “kutubiyyun” that once stood nearby. Due to this, it also goes by the name “Mosque of Booksellers”.
Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the Koutobia mosque, as is the case with all mosques, with a few exceptions, but it is also worth contemplating it even if only outside.
Gardens of the Menara in Marrakech
It is one of the most famous and photographed garden areas. Next to the garden we find a beautiful pavilion covered with green tiles, also called Minzah, and it is one of the most beautiful images typical of the city, with the stunning Atlas Mountains serving as the backdrop, completely blanketed in snow.
These gardens are often visited by Marrakesh families who come here to spend time with the family and relax from the busy bustle of the city. These gardens are located at the southern end, about 40 minutes’ walk from Jemaa la Fna Square.
They consist of an immense enclosure 3 km long and 1.5 km wide, which are inhabited mainly by fruit trees and olive trees, and a huge artificial pond. These gardens were built during the 12th century by the Almohads who devised a system to bring the water from the melting of the Atlas here through a system of underground canals to irrigate crops and olive groves. It was conditioned (enabled) in the XIX by order of Moulay Abd er Rahman (1922-1859).
The palace of the Badi
It is located a few steps from the famous Jemaa elfna square. Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour built this palace in the late 16th century, five months after defeating the Portuguese forces in the famous Battle of the Magi., The plan to build the most opulent and magnificent castle ever seen was first proposed on August 4, 1578.
Hence the name of El Badi which means “The Incomparable”.Today, it is essentially in ruins, with the only things left standing being a big orange-filled esplanade and the building’s walls, from which we can enjoy stunning views of the city and its surrounds. Just for all the history it has inside it already deserves to be included in its list of What to see in Marrakech. The great ruins of this palace serve as the setting for the annual Moroccan folk festival.
The tombs of the saadies
It is one of the most visited monuments and is located in the Kasbah district. They were built by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, the creator of El Badi Palace during the 16th century, but were not discovered until 1917 after air flights by some French.
It is one of the few remaining vestiges of the Saadies who ruled the city during its golden age, It is located near the Bay Palace and was also built in the mid-19th century under the command of Vizier Ahmed Ben Moussar by the same craftsmen who worked in the Bay Palace. One of the most exquisite palaces in Marrakech is this.
The Museum of Moroccan Art is now located there. Your visit is a true initiation to Moroccan crafts because in addition to being able to appreciate its beautiful architecture and decoration, you can also enjoy masterpieces of Moroccan art such as carpets, wooden pieces, jewelry, fabrics and many other pieces.
Jemaa el Fna Square
Jamaa el Fna Square is the famous square of Marrakech and its true heart, this square gives us the best sample of its lifestyle and culture, used by locals as by tourists. It is crowded with orange juice stands during the day, and in the fall and winter, they also sell tangerine and grapefruit juice.
In the square there are all kinds of characters, jugglers, snake charmers, chained monkeys and trained to appear in the photos of tourists, watermen, storytellers… At the end of the afternoon, when hundreds of popular restaurants begin to offer their specialties, the square reaches its apotheosis.
To capture its essence you have to walk it without haste or enjoy it from one of the terraces of the local numbers that border it. According to UNESCO, it is part of the oral and intangible human heritage.
The National Folklore Festival, which brings together the best performances of Marrakech’s popular music, singing, and dancing, must not be missed if the Tour falls in June.
As a tourist capital, it offers very private accommodation. A truly celebérrimo Marrakech hotel is La Mamounia. But there are also campsites and youth hostels, luxury restaurants of Moroccan specialties with folkloric shows and fantasy, up to French, Italian, Jewish and international cuisine. Nightclubs, casino and nightclubs complete the nightlife offer.
The city serves as a jumping place for a large number of excursions with interesting architecture, cultures and landscapes. The High Atlas roads, palm groves and several settlements, such as Tameslouht, Amizmiz and Asni, present the interested traveller with a variety of options.
You may also be interested in your trip to Marrakech:
So are our trips to Marrakech
In Moroccotraveland.com we organize trips of all kinds to the so-called Red City, which mainly fit three modalities:
As Morocco Travel Land team we can help you prepare and make your trip to Marrakech with all inclusive since you put foot to ground in the country. Contact us and we will start working on the program that suits you, as we handle proposals for all tastes and budgets.
if you are a traveler who wants to enjoy a unique experience in Marrakech, we can organize a premium proposal for you. In terms of luxury travel, this city is the leader in the nation. It offers the best infrastructure, with the most qualified and specialized work staff in a demanding and exclusive customer profile, which only fits the best.
In your premium trip we will include high-end services with a wide level of professional accompaniment. The following services can be added to your Premium trip:
Luxury hotels & riad in the medina or a resorts outside of Marrakech City
High-end private vehicle with driver in your language
Select restaurants to enjoy the best local and signature cuisine
Shopping tourism in Marrakech, either with suggestions for free time or with the advice of specialists, as personal buyers
Health programs like hammam and spa trips
Private day trips to any of the above proposals or to places proposed by the client.
Fun and adventure activities, always carried out in the strictest safety measures and with qualified specialists. Examples include buggy rides on camels and quads.
If you plan to visit Marrakech and want to start from here your route through Morocco we offer you numerous tours of Morocco leaving the city of Marrakech with tours that include the main cities and tourist destinations of Morocco, such as the imperial cities, the most beautiful cities of the country on the Atlantic coast, fortifications and Berber villages, sand dunes, charming villages, the Sahara desert, arid passages, and the most inhospitable lands.
Find the best trips in Morocco and book your Tour that best suits your needs and if the circuit does not suit your interests or tastes, ask us for your trip tailored, request information and enjoy a trip like you will never forget.
Many of the trips to Marrakech that our agency organizes serve as a starting point for numerous tours around Morocco, with tours that include the main cities and tourist destinations of the country. This is because Menara International Airport-Marrakech is the largest airport in the country, which is served by numerous air routes. Marrakech is the ideal entry point for travellers despite being an inland city and rather the southeast.
These circuits and tours throughout Morocco cover very different aspects and themes: monumental, archaeological, nature, getaways, beaches… Examples include imperial cities, the most beautiful cities on the country’s Atlantic coast, charming villages, the Sahara Desert, defenses, dry streets, Berber communities, sand dunes, and the worst terrain.
Choose one of the pre-designed packages and book the itinerary that best suits your needs if, instead of an all inclusive and personalized holiday in Marrakech, you prefer to rely on feedback from former customers. You will be subdued by this metropolis no matter what road you take.
Marrakech, thanks to being the most touristic city in the country, also offers the greatest variety of possibilities. For all tastes and pockets.As a result, we have divided the suggestions in this area into two categories: economic restaurants and haute cuisine establishments.
One of the gastronomic proposals of this city is to eat in the numerous stalls of the Djemaa el-Fna square. Quality, variety and affordable prices. The fun is to jump from stall to stall and try a little of everything.
This square, at the end of the afternoon, looks like a tobacco industry from which the most varied aromas come out.With a wonderful natural orange juice, you can complete your diet.. Without leaving this square, here are some proposals:
Chez Chegrouni: It is a very cheap restaurant, located in Jemaa-el-Fna, with a delicious terrace and that will make you enjoy the food and the night vision of the hustle and bustle of the most important square in Morocco.
Café de France: We recommend it especially. One of the most famous cafes in Marrakech, also located in Jemaa-el-Fna and with a terrace on the square itself, you will enjoy the most authentic and bohemian atmosphere in the evening, enjoying a coffee or tea.
Jemma-el-Fna Restaurant: Located in the square of the same name, it is a truly authentic and popular restaurant, so hygiene is not its best asset, but its especially traditional and popular dishes.
In this restaurant there are no cutlery or dishes (well, there are if you ask, but we do not recommend them), so you have to eat with your hands and help so you have to eat with your hands and help yourself with bread. Quite an experience.
Restaurant Le Marrakchi: Quality traditional cuisine with dance performances.
Beyond this symbolic area, consider the following practical suggestions that are feasible for any budget:
Pizzeria Venezia: If you want to escape the traditional cuisine and its spicy dishes, as a very economical option, This pizzeria located on Avenida Mohammed V. It has a terrace in front of the Koutoubia Tower and serves aselection of expertly prepared saldas & pizzas.
Dar Marjana: Opposite the palace of Glaui.One of the trendy restaurants is called Palais Jad Mahal, and is located in the Fontaine district of Mamounia, near Bab Jdid.Although it is not the cheapest, it is quite economical if we compare it with other restaurants of its category, with international cuisine, highlighting among them the Indian.
Dar es Salam: Another of the restaurants that, without being precisely the cheapest, is worth its value for money. In Riad Zitoun el Quedim.
Riad Tamsna restaurant in the Palmeraie district is located at 23 Derb Zanka Daika. It is a restaurant with a jazz atmosphere, very quiet and with international food, being its specialties North African cuisine. It’s a pretty expensive restaurant, but worth a visit. Remember that wine is always included, so if you don’t want it, you have to indicate it first.
The Casino of Marrakech: is part of the Hotel La Mamounia. Between black jack and roulette games you can take a menu with a good show of belly dancers.
Le Stylia: Dinner with fixed menu. Excellent traditional food in a 15th century house in the medina. 34 Rue Ksour.
The fact that Marrakech is situated in such a fortunate area is a benefit. From Marrakech you can make numerous excursions of 1 day only to incredible places. Here are some of the most realized excursions:
Day trip to the ancient Portuguese city of Essaouira. On the way we will cross immense forests of Argan, from where the precious oil of Argan is extracted and we can see its elaboration in some of the cooperatives that exist. This city was an ancient Portuguese citadel and behind its walls, there are many picturesque corners full of history that you can start to discover yourself, just reach.
Day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, crossing Tiz’n Tichka into the Atlas, we will enjoy some amazing landscapes and some impressive kasbahs or fortresses crown the port of Tichka.
One of the most popular day trips from Marrakech is to the lush valley of Ourika, which is only an hour away. In the valley is the imposing mountain of Toubkal (4.167mts) and a beautiful view of the peaks and valleys of the Great Atlas. Deep, secret valleys, historic towns, and powerful mountain rivers are all throughout the area, allowing us to see locals going about their daily lives.
Departure in the morning towards the great atlas. We are at the foot of the Toubkal, the highest mountain in Morocco and North Africa (more than 4500 meters), then we will reach the small village of Tahanaout which brings together local farmers for the large market ( souk) twice a week (on Saturday and Tuesday ). After the visit of the gorges of Ghaghia Wadi, arrival at Asni: the country of amethyst (macrocrystalline) and the Green Valley of Ouirgane which is also called The Valley of Happiness.
You will enjoy a day under the beautiful waterfalls, where you can find water tracks up to 60 meters high. The opportunity to see this natural wonder, which is believed to be the largest and most magnificent waterfall in North Africa, should not be missed if you live near Marrakech and enjoy nature.
You will enjoy a day under the beautiful waterfalls, where you can find water tracks up to 60 meters high. If you like nature and live near Marrakech, you should not miss the opportunity to see what is considered the largest and most magnificent waterfall in North Africa.
As with restaurants, there are different types of accommodation in Marrakech depending on your budget. On the one hand, the most economical and on the other the most exclusive, each with its particularities, as detailed below.
Low category hotels and hostels: From one, two or three stars, their rating is often too optimistic for western criteria. Sometimes they correspond to the concept ‘hostal’ of Spain.
Hostels: are the classic ‘hostel’, one of the favorite forms of accommodation for young international. They are usually shared rooms from 4 people, with bunk beds, kitchen and common room for breakfast and meals, etc.
Tourist apartments: offered through the main online platforms. In some cases, they are owners who give their home to the guest in exchange for a consideration per night, while others are professional agencies that are dedicated to this business. In the latter case, although they lack the reception and central services of a hotel, the owners can provide certain services on request or at an additional charge.
Riad: It is a house or old palace built around a garden or central courtyard, where there is no lack of the usual water source with purifying power, a concept widespread in Muslim culture. Most riads also have two other characteristics.
The first is located in or near the medina of Marrakech, as they are usually traditional or historic buildings. And the second, having little capacity for guests, it becomes an added value because it offers an intimate and quiet atmosphere.
Resort: They are 5-star accommodations with a more western character. They are often recent buildings or built ex professo for hotel use. They stand out for their large capacity of rooms and for the wide extension of their common spaces, in which normally do not miss the swimming pools, the sports courts or the wellness rooms. Often large international chains are hosting.
Luxury Khaima: This is a type of accommodation that is not available in the city, but we mention it here in case you decide to make a getaway to the desert. There, in the middle of the dunes and under a starry sky, these spectacular traditional Berber shops are installed, where nothing is missing. Furniture, bathroom, comfortable sofas, intimate atmosphere…
In Marrakech, a riad can be worth very varied prices, some affordable that facilitate the exploration of the old part of the city of red. In the following link you can search and book in more than 600 hotels at the best price.
One of the biggest attractions of visiting Marrakech is shopping. But this activity also varies a lot depending on the budget you set, so we divide the suggestions according to the criteria of restaurants and hotels:
As for the craft, Marrakech is one of the most fascinating places. Thanks to its medina there are numerous souks where you can buy traditional and artisanal items, in many cases directly from the producer, who can sometimes be seen working in the place. A souk in itself, Jemaa El Fna Square has a wide variety of shops.
But also, you will find groups of booksellers around the Koutoubia, leather goods in Batna and El Maazi, clothes and accessories in Alcaicerías and Smata, etc. This is a short list of characteristic objects that you can buy as a souvenir in Marrakech: slippers, argan oil, carpets, ceramics, spices, backpacks… You can be sure that these traditional products like these and everything you see in the winding alleys of the old city are partly supported by visitors like you.
And the good news is that the average prices of these products are more than affordable. At least, if you are able to haggle well, because one of the basic rules in this type of purchases is to negotiate the price with the seller.
In addition to the aforementioned purchases of traditional handicrafts, Marrakech has been home for decades to Western designers and creators who have added a contemporary touch to Marrakech’s artisan tradition. It is what has been called the etnochic, a concept that mentions the fusion between ethnicity and chic, between local and international, between traditional and modern. … Examples of this can be found in many stores, such as KIS Boutique (Keep It Secret) and Aya.
Finally, we cannot forget the international luxury firms, which have a great presence in Marrakech as the most touristic and cosmopolitan city. The great district of reference is Gueliz, with shopping streets such as Rue de la Libertè.
There, you will discover the chains that prevail in major global cities and some of them are even intimately linked to the local area.. That is the case of Yves Saint Laurent, a company that even has a museum in Marrakech, since this city was the home and inspiration of the legendary French designer. In addition, you can take a tour of large, new and western-style shopping centers, such as the Al Mazar shopping center.Share this tour