Marrakech, a city that has stood tall for centuries, is a fascinating place to visit. The vibrant colors, the disorientating noises, the aroma of spices, and the melting pot of ancient and new is what makes the city so charming. Once you get into the rhythm of this ancient city, you’ll fall in love and never want to leave.
Guide to Marrakech
What to do?
Go shopping in Souk Semmarine
Visiting a souk while in Marrakech should be at the top of your list. Marrakech is famous all over the world for being a shopping paradise. You can expect to get everything from herbal remedies to clothes and antiques. Satisfy your bargaining itch by heading to Souk Semmarine, the biggest and best of all the souks in Marrakech This maze-like souk carries everything from rugs to leather to silverware.
Visit the beautiful of Bahia Palace
Bahia Palace is nicknamed the ‘Beautiful Palace’ and for a good reason. The palace is covered in colorful mosaics, intricate latticework, and beautiful gardens. This stunning palace was built by slave-turned-vizier Abu ‘Bou’ Ahmed who spared no expense in decorating it.
Sip on tea and people-watch in Jemaa el-Fna
Go to Jemaa el-Fina, in the heart of the famous Medina (Old Town), to witness the spirit of Marrakech. Test your bargaining skills in this bustling market and get entertained by snake charmers. Or better yet, settle for a mint tea in one of the numerous terrace cafes overlooking the square and witness the city come to life.
Walk into a photographer’s paradise in Majorelle Jardin
Majorelle Jardin is the most famous botanical garden in Marrakech and a photographer’s delight. Created by the renowned French painter, Jacques Majorelle, this garden masterpiece is home to thousands of cacti and a stunning bright blue art deco house.
Soak in the history in El Badi Palace
El Badi ‘The Incomparable’ was once a magnificent palace. Nowadays, it’s been stripped bare of all its grandeur but the ruins of the palace are still a sight to behold. Stroll past the empty reflecting pools, the overgrown gardens, and head to the terrace for amazing views of the city.
Wander around the Saadian Tombs
The recently discovered Saadian Tombs are a 16th-century burial site for the Saadian Royal family. It’s a peaceful site surrounded by a lush overgrown garden. Wander around to see the beautiful and intricate mosaics tiles and Italian marble that adorn the tombs.
Where to stay?
Royal Mansour Marrakech
If you are searching for a luxurious stay, it doesn’t get more luxurious than the Royal Mansour Marrakech. This opulent hotel was impeccably designed and crafted to give the feeling of a ‘Mini Medina’. The hotel also has beautiful gardens, a vast outdoor pool, and Le Jardin, a Michelin-starred restaurant.
L’Hôtel Marrakech was once a part of a 19th-century palace and now it’s an award-winning luxury hotel. This charming and luxurious hotel mixes old school glamour and modern sophistication to create a luxurious hotel with impeccably well-mannered staff that caters to you with a smile.
Amour d’Auberge hostel
For budget travelers, Armour d’Auberge hostel is a perfect choice. The hostel’s location is a walking distance from the Jemaa el-Fna and the lantern souk. It also has a restaurant on the rooftop that resembles a Berber desert camp.
The simple yet elegant Riad Manthan is another hotel that caters to budget travelers. It’s located within walking distance from Jemaa el-Fna and the Maison de la Photographie gallery. The minimalist hotel has very few staff but they are always on hand to help guests out. The rooftop of the hotel overlooks the Medina.
What to eat?
Whenever you travel, trying the local cuisine is one of the main highlights. Marrakech is no exception. The city is the perfect place to try out new food and experiment with your palette.
Try the iconic tagine (Moroccan clay pot) dishes, one of Morocco’s most famous dishes. It can be made using any kind of meat or vegetables.
Moroccan mint tea
Moroccan mint tea is a must-have if you are in Marrakech. This sweet and hot tea with mint leaves can be found in tea stalls throughout the city.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, try the extremely addictive chebakia. It’s a Moroccan sesame cookie that resembles a rose and coated with syrup or honey.
After a hearty meal or on a hot day, refresh yourself with a cup of fresh fruit juice from the juice stalls that are everywhere around the city.
Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup made using lentils and tomato. This hearty soup is eaten as a snack or a starter before a meal and is particularly popular around Ramadan.
Another Moroccan delicacy that is a must-try is the Msemen, a stretchy flatbread that goes great with jam or butter and a hot cup of Moroccan mint tea.
Getting around Marrakech
The best way to get around Marrakech is on foot. That way you’ll truly get a taste of what the city is all about. All the main sights are in and around the Medina which is accessible only on foot.
A special feature of Marakkech is its green-colored horse-drawn carriages known as the Calèche. They are mostly available in and around the tourist areas and are especially to fun to ride.
There are two types of taxis in Marackkech, the smaller taxis are called ‘petit taxis’ and the big taxi are called “grand taxi”. The smaller taxis are used mostly in the city center. The larger ones are for longer trips. Make sure to negotiate with the taxi driver before getting into one.
There are plenty of local buses around the city. But they don’t run on a fixed schedule so its best to leave the bus to the seasoned locals. Or, if you are feeling adventurous you can try it out.
Is Marrakech on your list of dream destinations? Share your thoughts about this bustling city in the comments!