Most interesting things to do in Marrakech
There are very few cities in the Northern Africa that have the same charm and beauty as Marrakech. Even despite the fact that it’s the fourth biggest city in Morocco – after Casablanca, Fez and Rabat – it is an ancient settlement with old fortresses, numerous markets of spices, impressive mosques, and friendly people. In fact this wonderful city has a lot to offer the tourists. Check out our list of most interesting things to do in Marrakech before you leave the city.
Take a look at the Koutoubia Mosque
Koutoubia Mosque is something like the tower of Eiffel in Paris; it is the highest building in the city. The mosque serves as a landmark in Marrakech and is located in the north-western part of Medina. Koutoubia Mosque has the highest minaret in the whole city. It is surrounded with picturesque orchards you would enjoy walking about.
Discover traditional riads!
Despite the fact that there are plenty of comfortable and luxury hotels in Marrakech, it is also a city of mini-hotels in traditional style – riads. These are improved and rebuilt into hotels old mansions that always attract tourists’ attention. For example, Dar Baraka & Karam have very comfortable suits located around a courtyard. Riad Enija is a more luxurious option; it is a 280 year old mansion that provides six various suites and nine gorgeous VIP suites.
Hamam plays an important role in everyday life of Morocco. If you decide to visit hamam, it would be not only a great opportunity to have rest and “recharge your batteries” but also some kind of social excursion. Locals usually visit hamam once a week, spend several hours soaking and cleaning themselves until they literally start beaming.
There are numerous hamams in Marrakech, but Les Bains de Marrakech is one of the most popular and visited of them. Occupying approximately 6000 square meters, this hamam uses only 100% natural products. Les Bains de Marrakech includes an outdoor pool, four steam rooms, four massage rooms, all of them having a Moroccan interior.
Have dinner at the Jemaa el Fna square
It would be very strange to cross thousands of kilometers and in the end go and eat in the nearest McDonald’s. Marrakech gives the tourists a great opportunity to taste some exotic dishes from the local cuisine: boiled goat head and snail soup for people who like something unusual and extreme, and fish or meat on a roasting jack for more conservative tourists.
You should definitely try harira, which is considered to be the Moroccan contribution to the world’s art of soup making. Lens and tomatoes are a part of harira’s recipe. The soup has a very special flavor, which comes from the spices – ginger, pepper and cinnamon, mixed with fresh greenery – coriander and parsley. Pastilla – pastry filled with pigeon meat and pistachio – is also considered to be very popular, even as popular as tangia – dried meat with vegetables.
Try out caliche
Caleche is a light four-seat carriage, which is used for tourists’ transportation around the town’s ancient (XII century) walls. The walls were initially used to defend the town from its numerous enemies. With the length of approximately nine kilometers they also have 200 towers and 20 gates. We advice you to take this ride on the sunset, when the wall looks especially romantic and impressive.
Take a look at Marrakech through the lenses of professional photographers
Maison de La Photographie, opened in 2009 by Patrick Manakh and Hamid Mergani, offers the visitors to take a glimpse in the town’s colourful and bright past. There are lots of pictures of indigenous local tribes and high Atlas Mountains all of them being taken from 1870 to 1950.
The museum is opened daily from 9:30 to 19:00.
Explore famous palaces of Marrakech
Badi palace and Bahia palace are among the most impressive landmarks of Marrakech, along with the third one – the royal palace Dar el-Makzhen, which is closed for public.
The Badi palace was built in 1578; its construction lasted for approximately 25 years. It was built in honour of Ahmad-al-Mansur’s victory over the Portuguese in the battle of Three Kings. Currently this palace is where the annual folk festival of Marrakech is held.
The second palace was built a bit later – in the 19th century. The Great Vizier of Marrakech Si Ahmed ben-Musa built it for his four official wives, 24 concubines, numerous children and himself.
Take a walk along the Jardin Majorelle
Jardin Majorelle, the botanical gardens in Marrakech, was created by a French artist Jacques Majorelle. After 40 years of hard work and absolute dedication his dream finally came true. Occupying more than two hectares, the botanical gardens abound with beautiful exotic flowers and local plants.
There is a fountain at the entrance of the garden. Go along the trees and cactuses until you reach the museum of Berbers, which exhibits ancient everyday objects of art and craft of Northern African indigenous Berber tribes. In such a noisy and busy city as Marrakech, botanical gardens are like an oasis of peach and quietness, filled with birds’ singing.
Visit local traditional markets
Do you remember the “Sex and the city” movie? The one where Carry, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda were walking along Abu Dhabi in their designer’s dresses and impeccable hair-dos? Well, the truth is that it was Marrakech, because the movie’s director was banned from filming it in Emirates. You don’t have to wear designer’s dress too as the TV show’s heroines, but you can follow their example and explore the local bazaars.
However, you should be careful, because in real life the markets are not as they are shown on the screen. Truth be told, they are for more overcrowded than it was shown in “Sex and the city”. There are specialized shops with almost anything you like – carpets, perfume, spices, and lots of other things. Just choose what your heart desires most! They say that you enter the bazaar being one man, and leave it being a completely different person.
Buy a souvenir
If you have a burning desire to stop at each and every shop and buy something – keep calm and take a hold of yourself. The secret of successful shopping in a place like Marrakech is the clear understanding of what you really need. So don’t pay attention to various sundries, but find something special, something that will make you think of Marrakech, when you use it or simply look at it. Marrakech is famous for its marvelous carpets, decorative lamps, and spices. You may want to buy some argan oil, which is considered to be very useful for hair. By the way, Morocco is the only place where this oil is produced.
Listen to the undulating notes of a snakecharmer’s flute, hear the buzz of voices calling out their wares, and open all your senses to the sights, sou Read more.