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Marrakech what to see

Marrakech what to see – Tips and information

Marrakech what to see – Tips and information

Like the cities of Fes, Rabat, and Meknes, Marrakech has the privilege of being a majzen city, that is, an imperial city, and the successive dynasties that have populated it have gradually enriched it. It also has a special status: giving its name to the whole country. One of the most significant cultural hubs in all of Morocco is Marrakech. In addition to being a very vibrant and well-known city, it is also Morocco’s tourist hub and the country’s primary travel destination.for its markets and festivals.

Legend has it that when the Koutoubia was built in the heart of this city, it began to bleed in such a way that it was dyed red, a color that predominates in the city and its surrounding houses, as well as in the country’s national flag . In the following lines we tell you everything you need to know about this city, such as what to see in Marrakech, some advice on choosing the hotel and the flight.

Although its origins are unknown, it is generally accepted that the renowned Almoravid chief Abu Bekr constructed the city as a military garrison around 1070. It is his cousin and successor, Yusef Ben Tachfin who begins the task of turning the primitive oasis into a capital worthy of its empire, which stretched from the Sahara to the Ebro and from the Atlantic to Algeria. The Almohad conquest almost made the first buildings disappear, which were replaced by others, many of which we can still admire today.

In its hectic urban center is the famous square of Marrakech, the Djemaa el Fna. This cultural space, which is also called Jemaa el-Fna Square, is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Humanity. This huge open space, located inside the old quarter of the city, plays host to jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers, magicians, acrobats, and a whole range of harmless lunatics.

Its souks (markets) are characterized as being among the best in the country. For this reason, Marrakech is one of the cities preferred by Spanish tourists.

Marrakech what to see

To visit Marrakech and all its corners properly, we recommend hiring a private_guided tour of the most interesting places in the medina, which will allow you to learn about its history and all its cultural and artistic wealth.

When to visit Marrakech

The best season to visit Marrakech it is during the warmer months. The best time to do it is from September to May so that we are not overcome by the heat. The city’s main cultural festival, which takes place at the beginning of June, can also be a good time to visit.

How to get to Marrakech

By plane: Marrakech International Airport is located just 6 km from the city center. In addition to Iberia and Royal Air Maroc, low-cost airlines Ryanair, Easyjet, and Vueling are also valid for trips to Marrakech, linking different parts of Spain with this airport. There are very. cheap regular flights from Spain, as you can check here

The best way to get from the airport to the center is by taxi or by private transfer. If you decide to travel by taxi, the journey from the airport to the medina is around 80 MAD during the day and about 100 MAD at night. It must be taken into account that a large part of the medina is not passable by vehicle, so if your accommodation is inside it and the taxi cannot access it, it will have to leave you at some point in it and you will have the rest of the route. How to proceed on foot Going on a private transport has the advantages of having someone follow you to your accommodation and avoiding haggling, which is common with taxis.

By car: in addition to a vehicle rental or flights to Marrakech, and reaching the city by road can also be an option, which gives you more freedom and allows you to visit all the towns you come across on the way. Of course, if you wish, you can also reach Morocco with your own car, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. It will be perfect option if you plan to spend a lot of time in the country because going with your owne car it will not be expensive as renting one in Morocco.

By train: from Casablanca and other major cities, the railway lines communicate with Marrakech, and the train leaves you almost in the center of the city (in the new part, not in the medina). The prices are affordable (check the schedules on the Moroccan railway’s website ).

Train and bus services offer regular routes connecting this inland city with Casablanca and Rabat.

how to get around

It is a city to be explored basically on foot, since its main attractions are located inside the medina or old city, easily accessible on foot and largely prohibited to motorized traffic. The problem when visiting Marrakech on foot lies in its labyrinthine urban planning, so it is essential to get a detailed map of the medina, which we can get at our hotel. The new city, built in the 19th century under the French protectorate, is a half-hour walk from the old city (medina). If you want to move around the new city you have several options:

City buses

You will not find a map with the bus stops in Marrakech, so to find them it is best to ask at your hotel. The most outstanding are: from Jemaa el Fna number 11 that leads to the airport, and number 19 of the Alsa company. You may get to the train station by dialing numbers 3, 8, and 10.

The little taxis

They are small taxis that for very little money will take you to different parts of the city, they are useful if you are going to travel to very remote places or through the new city. If you are more than three passengers or you want to leave the city, you must take a Grand Taxi.

Horse Carriages (Buggy)

The carriages are also cheap transportation and a nice way to travel around Marrakech. To take a horse-drawn carriage you can find them in the section that connects the Jemaa el Fna square with the Koutoubia Mosque.

What to visit in Marrakech

Marrakech is a city that is enjoyed walking around and immersing yourself in its atmosphere. The best places to visit depend on the time we have to see it. It can be seen ‘good’ in two or three days, depending on your rate of visits. We advise you to visit it enjoying its corners, if you do not have a lot of time it is not worth getting overwhelmed trying to see everything because in this way we would be missing the essence of the city. To serve as a reference, these are some essential places on trips to Marrakech.

The Koutoubia Mosque

It is a symbol of the city, which is among the biggest and most significant in the Muslim West. The Koutoubia minaret can be seen from almost anywhere, becoming the central axis of the city. With its almost 70 meters high, it is the tallest building in all of Marrakech, and it is forbidden to build any other that exceeds it. It was built before the construction of the sanctuary by Abd el Mou and was completed by his youngest son, Yacoub El Mansour (1184-1189). Its name comes from “kutubiyyun” for a book market that existed around it. For this reason, it is also known as the Booksellers Mosque. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the Koutoubia Mosque, as is the case with all mosques except for a few exceptions,

Marrakech what to see

The Menara Gardens

One of the most popular and frequently captured gardens. Next to the garden, we find a beautiful pavilion covered with green tiles, also called Minzah, and it is one of the most beautiful typical images of the city, with the stunning Atlas mountains serving as a backdrop that is entirely blanketed in snow. These gardens are regularly visited by Marrachí families who come here to spend time with their family and relax from the bustle of the city. These gardens are located at the southern end, about a 45-minute walk from Jemaa el Fna square. They are made up of a huge fence 3 km long and 1.5 km wide, which are mainly populated by fruit 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 water from the melting of the Atlas mountains here through a series of underground channels to irrigate the olive groves and orchards. It was conditioned (enabled) in the 19th century by order of Moulay Abd er Rahman (1922-1859).

Marrakech what to see

El Badi Palace

It is a short distance from the well-known Jemaa el Fna square. This palace was built at the end of the 16th century by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour five months after having defeated the Portuguese troops in the famous Battle of the Three Kings, on August 4, 1578, with the idea of building the most luxurious and grand ever seen. This is where the name El Badi comes from, which means “The Incomparable”. Currently, it is practically in ruins, leaving only a large esplanade full of oranges and the walls of the building from which we can obtain beautiful views of the city and its surroundings. Just for all the history that it keeps inside, it already deserves to be included in your list of What to see in Marrakech. The grandiose ruins of this palace served as the setting for the annual Moroccan folklore festival.

Marrakech what to see

The Saadian Tombs

It is one of the most visited monuments and is located in the Kasbah neighborhood. They were built by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, the creator of the El Badi Palace during the 16th century, but they were not discovered until 1917 after some air flights carried out by Frenchmen. It is one of the few remaining vestiges of the Saadies who ruled the city during their golden age, from 1524 to 1659. These tombs are surrounded by a high wall that isolates the Kasbah from the mausoleums. In addition, we may see a beautiful garden with more than 100 mosaic-decorated tombs.

Ben Youssef Madrasa

It is located next to a mosque that bears the same name and is one of the most remarkable and beautiful monuments, also essential on any list of what to see in Marrakech. This school of Koranic theology was founded by the Mérinide sultan Abou el Hassan, in the middle of the 14th century, becoming the most important in all of North Africa. It included a house and a university dedicated to the Koran. This school hosted more than 900 students from all over the Muslim world. Its subtle architecture and decoration is characterized by the harmony of the alliance between stucco and mosaics, marble and cedar wood. The most notable is its interior patio and the decoration and recreation of the rooms, which will make you feel as if you had traveled back in time.

Ben Youssef Madrasa

Dar Si Said

It is located near the Bahia Palace and was also built in the mid-19th century by order of the vizier Ahmed Ben Moussar and the same artisans of the Bahia Palace. One of Marrakech’s most exquisite palaces is this one. Today the home to the Museum of Moroccan Artists. Your visit constitutes a true initiation to Moroccan crafts because in addition to being able to appreciate its beautiful architecture and decoration you will also be able to enjoy masterpieces of Moroccan art such as rugs, pieces of wood, jewelry, fabrics, and many other pieces.

Jemaa el Fna square

Jamaa el Fna square is the famous square in Marrakech and its true heart, this square gives us the best example of its way of life and culture, used equally by locals and tourists. During the day it is full of orange juice stalls, which in autumn and winter also offer tangerine and grapefruit juices. In the square, there are all kinds of characters, jugglers, snake charmers, monkeys chained and trained to appear in tourists’ photos, water carriers, storytellers… At dusk, The square is at its peak when hundreds of well-known restaurants start serving their delicacies. To capture its essence, you have to walk through 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 Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Bahia Palace

It is a beautiful palace that is located less than a kilometer from the Jemaa el Fna square and is an example of a rich, princely and realistic dwelling, constructed for the sultan’s personal use around the end of the 19th century by Ahmed ben Moussa, a grand vizier. The design and construction of the palace were the work of the great Moroccan architect Muhammad al-Mekki, who summoned the best craftsmen for its construction. It has 160 rooms all arranged on one floor, due to the obesity suffered by the vizier and which prevented him from climbing stairs, with a beautiful 8-hectare garden. According to legend, Ahmed ben Moussa gave his favorite of his harem’s 24 concubines and 4 brides a place in this lovely mansion.

The Bahia Palace

The walls

One of the city’s defining features is it. Built in adobe and maintained over the centuries, the walls of Marrakech change color tones depending on the weather and daylight. They encircle the intricate network of alleyways of the medina, preserving its secrets and enclosing its nine-door old quarter.

The Majorelle Garden

Guéliz It is located in the new city. This beautiful garden was designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint-Laurent). It is a natural reserve of cactus, bamboo, bougainvillea, and many other plants that surround a cobalt blue Art Deco chalet. The gardens are renowned for harboring a big collection of birds as well. A modest museum devoted to Islamic art is located inside the grounds. It is a good place to rest after the hustle and bustle of the city.

Marrakech what to see

The Mellah of Marrakech or the Jewish quarter

This neighborhood was created in 1559 and until 1936, it was the most important Jewish neighborhood in Morocco, reaching a population of 16,000 inhabitants. Muslims have made up the majority of the population since 1956. Currently, it is said that there are just over 300 Jews living in the city and they do so mainly in Guéliz. Mellah, is the name by which the Jewish quarters of Morocco are known, and it is believed that its name comes from some salt pans that existed where the Jewish quarter of Fes was later installed. The Mellah of Marrakech is attached to the Royal Palace, a strategic location that provided them with security, and was also surrounded by walls with only two gates. The medina was accessible through them; it was guarded by soldiers, closed at night, and reopened the following morning.

Koubba Baadiyn

Also called Qubba Ba’Adiyn or Almoravid Koubba, it is a recently restored small dome-shaped building, dating from the early 12th century and built by the second Almoravid king, Ali Ben Youssef. It has the value of being the only example of Almoravid architecture in Morocco and the founder of Marrakech and also has the added value of being a sample of the highly advanced techniques that the Almoravids used to supply the city with water. Because the ground level has risen in the city over the years, we have to go down some stairs to access it.

Other interesting places to see in Marrakech

The ski resorts of Ouikameden and the Ourika Valley

are also nearby.

• The Royal Palace, Dar el Makhzen, of Almohad foundation, was enlarged and embellished under each dynasty. It has been restored at the beginning of the 1960s by King Hassan II.

• Nor should you forget to visit the souks of the city.

• If the trip coincides with the month of June, you cannot miss the National Folklore Festival, which brings together the best expressions of popular music, song, and dance in Marrakech.

• As the tourist capital that it is, it offers very particular accommodations. A truly famous hotel in Marrakech is La Mamounia. But there are also campsites and youth hostels, luxurious Moroccan specialty restaurants with folkloric and fantasy shows, as well as French, Italian, Jewish, and international cuisine. Discos, casino and nightclubs complete the nightlife offer.

• The city is also the starting point for numerous excursions of great architectural, cultural, and landscape interest. The Palm Groves, the routes of the High Atlas, and numerous towns such as Tameslouht, and Amizmiz Asni offer varied possibilities of enjoyment to the curious traveler.

This is how our trips to Marrakech

At bestmoroccotravel.com we organize trips of all kinds to the so-called Red City, which mainly fits into three

modalities:

• Trips to Marrakech all-inclusive and tailored

• Premium or luxury travel

• Wider circuits with Marrakech as a starting point

Below we explain each option in more detail.

Trip to Marrakech all inclusive

At bestmoroccotravel.com we can help you prepare and carry out your all-inclusive trip to Marrakech from the moment you set foot in the country. Get in touch with us and we will start working on the program that best suits you, as we handle proposals for all tastes and budgets.

premium travel

If you are a traveler who wants to enjoy an unparalleled experience in Marrakech, we can organize a premium proposal for you. This city is the spearhead of the country as far as luxury tourism is concerned. It is the one that offers the best infrastructures, with the most qualified and specialized workforce in a demanding and exclusive client profile, who only settles for the best.

In your premium trip, we will include high-end services and a wide level of professional accompaniment. These are some of the services that can be part of your Premium trip:

• 5-star hotel, either a riad in the medina or a resort on the outskirts

• High-end private vehicle with a driver in your language

• Select restaurants to enjoy the best local and signature gastronomy

• Shopping tourism in Marrakech, either with suggestions for free time or with the advice of specialists, such as personal shoppers

• Wellness plans, such as hammam and spa circuits

• Private one-day excursions to any of the proposals mentioned above or to places proposed by the client.

• Leisure and adventure activities, always with accredited professionals and under maximum security conditions. Examples of this can be quad routes and camel rides

Trips to Morocco from Marrakech

If you plan to visit Marrakech and want to start your route through Morocco from here, we offer you numerous tours of Morocco departing from the city of Marrakech with tours that include the main cities and tourist destinations in Morocco, such as the imperial cities, the most beautiful Cities on the country’s Atlantic coast, charming towns, the Sahara desert, arid passages, fortifications and Berber villages, sand dunes, and the most inhospitable lands. Find the best Morocco trips and book the circuit that best suits your needs If the circuit does not suit your interests or tastes, ask us for your tailor-made trip, request information and enjoy a tailor-made trip that you will never forget.

Tours to Morocco

Many of the trips to Marrakech organized by our agency serve as a starting point for numerous tours of Morocco with tours that include the main cities and tourist destinations in the country. This is so because the Menara-Marrakech International Airport is the largest in the country, which is served by numerous air routes from different airlines. For this reason, although it is an inland and fairly southern city, Marrakech is also a great gateway for tourists.

These circuits and tours throughout Morocco cover very different aspects and themes: monumental, archaeological, nature, getaways, and beaches… Some examples of this can be the imperial cities, the most beautiful cities on the Atlantic coast of the country, charming towns, the Sahara desert, arid landscapes, fortifications and Berber villages, sand dunes, and the most inhospitable lands. If instead of an all-inclusive and personalized trip to Marrakech you prefer to base yourself on the previous experience of other clients, choose one of the already designed packages and reserve the circuit that meets your needs the best. Whichever option you choose, this city will win you over.

Where to eat in Marrakech

Marrakech, thanks to the fact that it is the most touristic city in the country, is also the one that offers the greatest variety of possibilities. For all tastes and for all pockets. For this reason, in this section, we have organized the proposals according to the type of client: cheap restaurants and premium restaurants.

Cheap restaurants in Marrakech

One of the gastronomic proposals in this city is to eat in the multiple stalls that are in the Djemaa el-Fna square. Quality, variety, and cheap prices. The fun is jumping from stall to stall and trying a little of everything. This square, at sunset, looks like a smoky industry from which the most varied aromas come out. You can complete your diet with splendid natural orange juice. Without leaving this square, here are some proposals:

• Chez Chegrouni: It is a really cheap restaurant, located in Jemaa-el-Fna, Featuring a delectable balcony where you may enjoy the meals and the nighttime activity of Morocco’s most significant plaza.

• Café de France: We highly recommend it. One of

the most renowned cafes in Marrakech, also located in Jemaa-el-Fna, and with a terrace in the square itself, which will make you enjoy the most authentic and bohemian atmosphere at night, enjoying a coffee or tea.

Jemma-el-Fna Restaurant: Located in the square of the same name, it is a really authentic and popular restaurant, so hygiene is not its best asset, but its especially traditional and popular dishes are. In this restaurant, there is no cutlery or plates (well, there are if you ask for them, but we don’t recommend them), so you will have to eat with your hands and use the bread. Quite an experience.

• Le Marrakchi Restaurant: Quality traditional cuisine enlivened with dance shows. 52 Rue des Banques, next to the square.

Beyond this symbolic square, you can take note of the following affordable proposals for any pocket:

• Pizzeria Venezia: If one day you want to escape from traditional cuisine and its spicy dishes, a cheap option is this pizzeria located on Avenue Mohammed V. It has a terrace in front of the Koutoubia mosque and serves a broad selection of expertly prepared pizzas and salads.

• Dar Marjana: In front of the Glaui palace.

• Palais Jad Mahal: It is one of the trendy restaurants, located in the Fontaine de la Mamounia, in the Bab Jdid area. Although it is not the cheapest, it is quite economical if we compare it with other restaurants in its category, with international cuisine, especially Indian.

• Dar es Salam: is Another of the restaurants that, without being exactly one of the cheapest, is worth it for its value for money. At Riad Zitoun el Quedim.

Premium restaurants in Marrakech

• Riad Tamsna Restaurant: It is located at 23 Derb Zanka Daika, in the Palmeraie area. It is a restaurant with a jazz atmosphere, very quiet and with international food, its specialties being North African cuisine. The restaurant is pricey, yet it is still worthwhile going to. Remember that wine is always included, so if you do not want it, you must indicate it beforehand.

• Marrakech Casino: belonging to the Hotel La Mamounia. Between games of blackjack and roulette, you can have a menu with a good belly dancer show.

• Le Stylia: Fixed menu dinner. Excellent traditional food in a 15th-century house in the heart of the medina. 34 Rue Ksour.

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