Morocco, the unspoiled richness of the desert, blessed with colourful winding structures and a picturesque view of the seaside, is home to Marrakech. The country’s jewel is laden with sights and sounds enchanting by the day and night, where you could feast your eyes on a menagerie of homes with beautiful tile work and ornately painted ceilings. It is opulent as it is colourful, allowing you to take part in what is perhaps one of the most vibrant cultures in Africa. This is why you should definitely visit Marrakech.
The name “Marrakech” came from the Berber words amur and kush, which together meant “Land of God.” After the film-famous Casablanca and the flourishing Fez, it is the third largest city in the country, perched upon the foothills of the gorgeously snow-capped mountain Atlas. The diverse geography is something to tickle your fancy, for it is a few hours away from the legendary Sahara Desert. A land of colours and contrasts, there are many reasons why you should go to Marrakech, Morocco. Here are some:
Visit Marrakech #1
Have fun wandering about in the Medina
The historic district of Marrakech is a treasure trove of wonders, but before you get to unravel those, you need to go through a seemingly endless labyrinth of native shops called souks. In the alleyways, you’ll encounter various things that will tickle your curio, perhaps a snake charmer, or an acrobat.
There’s a good chance that you’ll chance upon a group of musicians or a table of soothsayers while exotic aromas of natural oils linger about. As night approaches, the Medina becomes more hyped; see the colours of the walls come alive in contrast to the soft glow of the light and the pitch-dark evening sky.
Visit Marrakech #2
Explore the Central Souks
The north of the city square, Djemaa El Fna, is the old city’s cluster of shops that smell of herbs and meat as sunlight slowly pierces through the rooftops. From here, you will find a wonderland of things, where objects are sold from antiques to spices, kaftans to teapots, jewellery to meat. Take heart, though; being a foreigner might mean you end up paying higher prices, so learn to haggle.
Visit Marrakech #3
Visit a riad
The Bahia Palace is one of such, where, for more than a decade, Morocco’s top artists has been working on the building. One of the country’s great palaces, this 150-room is made open to the public to gape at its ornamental embellishments. Silk woven panels, stained glass windows and ceilings painted with dazzling rose bouquets are enough to satisfy your visual cravings, but there’s more to that.
Enjoy eight hectares of interior beauty (while taking your Instagram-able photos), and then proceed to the grand courtyard where you can bask under the sun.
Visit Marrakech #4
Take a camel ride into the Palmerai
This oasis sits outside the city, covering 20 kilometers and 150,000 species of palm trees with hotels in between. Ride a camel and traverse in the middle of the desert like the ancient ones, and then admire the beautiful villas during your short stops. There’s an international luxury hotel in the middle of the oasis, if you want to glam-up your stay.
Visit Marrakech #5
Come to see the Musée de Marrakech
If the curator in your pins for the country’s culture and arts, this is where you should go. Once a home to Sultan Moulay Adelaziz’sdefencee minister, the palace now shines with a latticework of colours, columns and shapes, lodged with historical objects you’d definitely want to take pictures of.
Visit Marrakech #6
See Jardin Majorelle
Get your wallet ready for this expensive attraction; Yves Saint Laurent blessed Marrakech with this wonder, perhaps with gratitude after the city took him in 1966. An electric blue villa stands in the middle of the desert garden, deeply contrasting among the earthy colors. The art deco studio showcases 600 artefacts of Morocco’s indigenous inhabitants, taking the pride of being one of the most sought-after museums in the country.
Feast your eyes on the religious draping, leather, metal, textiles, precious stones and wood, presenting these culturally-rich treasures in the best way possible.
Visit Marrakech #7
Eat the local gourmet
Hear your stomach grumble? The dadas – what the locals call their chefs – will take care of you. in Djemma El Fna, street stalls are gathered under giant white tents, serving menus printed in English and French. You may also visit their famous cafes, such as the Cafe Arabe, which also offers Italian cuisine and majestic views of the sunset, or the Le Marrakchi, one of the high-end dining places in the square.
Visit Marrakech #8
Step into the Saadian Tombs
It was only at the beginning of the 20th century when these tombs discovered – most of them were preserved in their former glory since the entrance was blocked, leaving the place untouched for a century. Visiting this place will give you an eerie yet indescribable awe of the local craftsmanship as Moroccan tiles and beautiful embellishments cover the tomb.
Visit Marrakech #9
Stay in the villas
Marrakech has three main zones of accommodation: Medina, Ville Nouvelle, and the outskirts of the city. You may choose to sleep inside a Riad, where grand old houses are converted into inns. Here is an opportunity where you get to sleep like a royalty, being surrounded by Moroccan architecture, luxurious rugs and amazing tile work. However, you can alternatively choose to sleep in local hotels – or even a tent, if you prefer to experience something extraordinary.
Visit Marrakech #10
Challenge yourself in the Atlas
Take an excursion towards the mythical mountain by booking a tour or renting a car. Visit Agadir, a two-hour drive from the city, and is lined up with wonderful beaches and convenient facilities for the modern tourist. Immouzzer is a small town in Mid-Atlas, where you can see an overview of waterfalls and steep mountain roads. While you’re here, purchase a bottle of Argan oil or the local honey.
What will be your reason to visit Marrakech?
Overflowing with amazing architecture, satisfying gastronomy and beautiful natural landscapes,
Marakkech, Morocco is a marvellous destination that will definitely leave a pleasant memory for any
curious tourist. It’s a perfect escape for any season, offering you Africa’s colourful culture at its finest.