Marrakech Travel Guide and Tips for Your Trip : Marrakech is only few hours from Europe ( 14 kilometeres from Spain ) . However , It is an absolute different world . Therefore, it is one of the mindblowing cities in North Africa .You may like it and probably you may hate it .
Our Marrakech Travel Guide blog will explain all this in details and give you some travel tips too.
Marrakech is a paradoxical city in every sense of the word .
contrast is a thing that you can feel all over the city :
If you visit Gueliz (the western part of the city) and get inside the walls of the old Medina , the atmosphere is completely different .
Some streets inside the old medina are maze-like, noisy , dirty and very rustic .
Inside some other places , scarcity , poverity is everywhere.
If you get inside a riad , it is clean , comfortable , well decorated and so sophisticated ,though .
Marrakech relies heavily on Tourism industry and it is blooming incredibly.
For the last 2 decades , the number of tourists who come to Marrakech has increased , as a result .
It is no wonder some people, inside the souk , will push as much as they can to sell you something .
Besides , you may notice that there are more men than women inside the old medina , especially in coffeshops .
The Arab Culture make men to be in control , especially inside the souk where most vendors are men .
Yes Marrakech is safe even for solo women travelers , though.
Let go all these negative pictures of Marrakech and you will draw a nice experience to you, for sure .
The trip to Marrakech is an adventure and you have to look at the positive side of it , nomatterhow.
All in all , you have to know the tricks to deal with your adventure to have a good experience in Morocco.
It takes few days to have a good stay in Marrakech , preferably 3 days .
The secret of the enchanting city is its location :
40 kilometeres to Agafay
90 kilometeres to Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains
560 kilometeres to Merzouga
191 kilometeres to essaouira
In Our Blog , we recommend you stay in marrakech 3 or 4 nights to have a fullfleged picture of the red city.
Furthermore, if you plan a trip to Morocco, it is much better to start first with Marrakech .
Marrakech Travel Guide : Best Places To Visit
The Jamaalfna Big Square : comes at the top of the list in Marrakech Travel Guide blog :
There is nothing like the square on earth ,a very unique place .
Snake charmers, watersellers , monkey tamers,acrobats, musicians,traders, tourists,drummers entertain passers-by every day.
During day time , the square is not crowded but you can t find your out of it at night time .
Our blog tip is : everything has a price in the square.
- Expect to give some money if you take pictures of entertainers.
- Have a cup of mint tea on the rooftop which looks upon the hustle and bustle of the square.
Recently, tripadvisor has described the square as one of the Top Rank Places in Morocco. Don t miss it please.
The Maze of the old medina :
The old medina is so vast ,big and its labyrinth is confusing .There are many streets , alleyways, dead ends and nowmatter what you know , you get lost .
If you want to venture inside the market , please book a certified guide .
Our blog tip is to take a private tour guide to show you around the main spots .
You can book the tour here
Bahia Palace :
A showcase of the beautiful palaces which combines andalusian and moorish architecure , a masterpeice.
The place dates back to the late 19 century and was owned by the chamberlain of the king at that time .
The courtyards in it , the tiles ,the marble , the painted cyderwood- ceilings and the carved plaster add up to the place s beauty and splendour.
The place extends over 8 acres and has more than 150 rooms that worths a tour .
The bahia palace was thought to be the first conscruction in north africa to use the stain glass for its embellishment.
If you love taking pictures of palaces , i think you are in the right place .
Our blog tip is to take a certified tour guide to know more about the history of the palace .
Koutoubia Mosque ( Al Mohads dynasty) :
You can t say Marrakech without mentioning the Koutoubia . Actually ,the mosque is the largest one in the city and its minaret has 77 metres high .
Accordingly , nothing should be higher than the minaret as a gesture to humble down to it. The word Koutoubia is derived from the word Koutoub , meaning books .the reason behind the name is :around the mosque there was a market for selling books .
Today, the mosque still stands majestically and it is a syombol of Marrakech and its glorious past .
Having said that , make sure you don t miss it please.
By the way , non muslims can t get inside the mosque .
La Maison De Photographie :
The house of photography opened its doors in 2009 and becomes one of the main sites in Marrakech .
Actually , the museum has, apprixamately , 10000 documents and photographs which depict Morocco (1870-1950).
In otherwords, the house gives a clear picture how marrakech looked hundered years ago .
At the second floor , you will have a chance to see a documentary film which explains ,meticulously ,the life and history of the berbers.
The documentary film(1957) revolves around the of the high atlas mountains berbers and their landscape .
Travel Guide Marrakech blog recomends tourists to have a nice view from the roof top , an absolute must see spot .
Menara Garden :
The Menara garden is a spacious ,beautifil heaven , away from the noise of the old medina and it dates back to the 12 th century.
History has it that Almohads use the pool inside it to train the soldiers on swimming to be well prepared for war battles .
Today , the garden is a place of disconnection , meditation and relaxation .
the old olive trees ,the landscape , the pavillion which was built in it refects itself on the water of the basin is a view not to miss.
Sultan Abd al Rahman used the pavillion as a summer risidence .
Our blog tips :
- Buy some bread inside the garden and feed the carp fish inside the Menara pond.
- use a hat because it is hot on summer time .
Evyes Saint Laurent Garden :
Originally , the garden is named after the french painter Jack Majorelle ,who came to Marrakech during the 1920 s .
The garden has ,approximately, 350 botanical plants and the most dominating colour in it is dark blue.
Besides , it is a peice of heaven on earth and it is the right place away from the hustle and bustle of the old medina .
Travel tips : the Beber museum is very intersting as it will help you to understand the berbers better .Don t miss it please.
The garden has also a souvenir shop and Evyes Laurent s artwork to have a look at .
Finally , make sure to go early to the garden, during the high season, to avoid the long lines of visitors.
Anima Garden :
Another world of art and nature is a Anima Garden ,which is considered as one of the beautiful gardens in the world .
An excursion to anima garden is a journey to peace, wonder ,inspiration , tranquility and art .
On your way to ourika valley, the high atlas mountains , the gadren is an apportunity for you to walk along the shaddy paths.
The garden has more 250 types of plants and it contains Pablo Picasso and Keith Haring artwork .
If you want to sip a cup of mint tea or eat authentic Moroccan dishes , the coffeshop is the right place for you .
(All the spices including saffron , vegetables , mint ,olives are collected from Anima Garden ).
A note : the Garden provides tourists with a free shuttle bus and we recommend you to check the time in advance .
The Secret Garden
Marrakech is not only markets and crowded narraow streets but very green gardens too, such as the secret garden .
History has that it was one of the beautiful palaces of an affluent political figure in Marrakech and Morocco.
Loukrissi (the owner of the palace) lived with his 3 wives and his children for years .
After the owner s death , the whole place fell into oblivion til 2007.
An italian couple came along and converted it into one of the most mesmerizing gardens in town .
the garden provides its visitors with many shaded places , seating chairs ,a rooftop , a cooffeshop and a souvenir store .
Our blog advise : don t miss the rooftop for some drinks or the view ( the highest one after the koutoubia mosque )
Actually , you can spend more than 1 hour to marvel and relax in this miraculous garden .
Stay in a Traditional Riad
The best way to experience Marrakech city is to stay in a tradional riad inside the old Medina .
The word riad means a garden on the inside with a fountain and an open ceiling .
Originally , riads were owned by the rich families in Marrakech and other cities as well .
Today , riads (guest houses) are one of the lucrative businesses we have in the city and most of them are owned by the French.
The charm of riads is that they look so shabby but once you step inside , they are beautiful and enchanting .
inside riads , it is so quite , peaceful and it is the right place to escape from the noisy ,narrow streets of the old medina .
To sum it up : staying in a riad inside the old medina of Marrakech is an authentic and unique experience . Go ahead and do it .
The souk :
One of the main tourists attraction in Marrakech is the market that we recommend it highly to see .
The history of the souk dates back to the foundation of the city during the almoravid and almohad dynasty.
Yes Marrakech was and still is a thriving trade center and the souk is the premordial heart of the old medina .
Therefore , prepare all your sense to work once you venture into this huge market , which has more than 2000 stores .
The smells of spices , the vivid colours of the scarves , the hustle and busle of the streets , the atmoshere of the whole place is miraculous .
The souk has everything and anything you want to buy or look at (rugs , slippers, caftans , spices , lamps and much more) .However, the whole market is divided into sections depending on the items for sale .
Having said that , start from the square Jamaalna to get inside the souk and get a map .
Besides , negotiation is a must .
If you want to know more about shopping ,haggling and the souk , click here please
The Saadian Tombs :
The saadian tombs is one of the highlights of the kasbah and our blog recomends it highly to anyone visiting Marrakech.
The whole site dates back to the 16 th century when Morocco was at the pinnacle in culture, architecture and power .
The french excavated the royal family cemetery in 1917 and opened it to the public , afterwards .
The 12 columns chamber is the best within the whole graveyard and it holds the most important members of the royal family :
Ahmed Al Mansour Dahbi .
Don t miss to see the golden ceiling ,the colourful tiles and carved- marble walls of the middle chamber .
Travel guide tips : you should also go early to visit the site to avoid the long queues during the high season.
The Traditional Hammam :
Marrakech can be so chaotic , noisy , hot , dusty, stressful and the best way to feel good is to indulge yourself in a hammam.
The Marrakechi people go to the public bath at least once in a week and our Marrakech Tour Guide blog recomend it for you too .
A comunity hammam is fine but if you want some privacy or 5 stars treatments , we recommend the private bath for you .
The unique experience of the Hammam will make your body and mind releived and rejuvenated .
In Marrakech, hammam varies from affordable to luxury ones .
Blog tips : do some researchs on line before you go through the experience .