What to See in Marrakech, Morocco

What to see in Marrakech

This city is the heart of Morocco. Yes, in fact, it is Morocco, because the city has shared its name with the country. Marrakech is considered to be the unofficial capital and is the main face of the Maghreb – the entire north of the African continent, which once fell under Muslim influence many centuries ago. To visit and see Marrakech in one day is unreal. It is like seeing and understanding all of Morocco in one day. You have to stay here for a long time.

The city is huge, and not so much for its size as for its cultural layers. The magnificent gardens and parks of the city. Garden in the hot East – the pride and joy of the owner. The most famous are the Menara olive grove around the lake and the enormous Agdal Gardens.

Architectural attractions in Marrakech

The rich history of Marrakech is reflected in its palaces and museums. The Bahia Palace, whose name translates as “beautiful” is enough to describe it.

Among the architecture of the city, one should pay attention to the Madrasa Al Ben Youssef. It is an educational institution, formerly considered one of the most prestigious in the Arab world and, by the way, perfectly preserved for our contemporaries.

Above the labyrinths of the medina, vast squares and parks rises the Qutubiya, the largest minaret of the Middle Ages in North Africa. It is like a beacon. If you get lost, and this is unusually easy to do in the old part of the city, look for the Qutubiya and start navigating. The minaret is so large that, for example, a muezzin could climb to its top to perform his duties without getting off his horse

Medina – The Old City

The sights, rich in history and intricate Arabic names, begin to tire and the tourist hurries to immerse himself in the medina. This is the old part of the city, walled. Because of the color of the materials of the walls of the medina Marrakech is sometimes called the “Red City”.

Inside there is the same museum. But in the open air, with exhibits on sale right there. Carpets, tin and iron lamps, amazing ceramics and woodwork, musical instruments, perfumes, spices and much more.

It is obligatory to drink the mint tea offered by the owner of the shop and start trading. This is the Orient and the bazaar. Or “souk” in Arabic.

The Medina of Marrakech is a real universe, immersed in small financial relationships. Without bargaining, there is no communication with the seller; without it, the buyer simply does not command respect. Bargaining is in the blood of Moroccans.

If the price is successfully dropped you will be respectfully told: you are not Russian, you are real berber people! Surprisingly, most of the goods are not made in china. It’s all made right here in the medina. Often, right outside or inside the walls of the shop, a tinsmith sits hammering out another pattern or a baker puffs on the stove. Gradually, the medina is no longer perceived as a market universe, but as a universe of artisans.

Visiting tanneries is one of the main attractions in Morocco. Do not miss it here either, but it is worth mentally preparing for what awaits you inside. But you will be absolutely sure that there is no leather substitute in the local shop!

Marrakech Baths

Marrakech is famous for its baths, or hammams as they are called in the Arab world. It is useless to recommend anything in particular. There is a huge selection of options for spa, massage, various therapies and other things on every street and on every budget. It is visiting hammams is one of the main purposes of visit to Marrakech of many tourists from around the world, but usually most of them are from Europe. They fly here just for the weekend, mostly from France and Germany.

It is impossible to pass by the numerous culinary shops, offering an incredible amount and variety of Moroccan sweets. All this should be washed down with tea with fresh mint, the signature Moroccan drink.

Jmaa el-Fna Square

Like the top of Marrakech’s complex and varied pyramid above all its cultural and tourist levels is Jmaa el-Fna Square. A huge empty space in the heart of the city. You can not go anywhere at all, and just spend a few days here.

The square is like a giant circus arena or theater stage. There are more than 1,000 years of performances. Acrobats, jugglers and artists give impromptu performances. Snake charmers and musicians fill the space with a cacophony of wind, string and percussion instruments.

In the evening, there are endless stalls open where you can try anything! The whole range of tagine (a Moroccan way of cooking stewed meat and vegetables, snails, lamb heads, and so on). And of course, mint tea again. There are about a hundred stalls in the square selling freshly squeezed and undiluted juices about 10-20 times cheaper than ours.

Sometimes the Moroccans gather in a circle and someone begins to tell some anecdotes or cautionary tales. A crowd gathers. This square is not only touristy, it is truly its own, Moroccan, which lives its own life. By the way, most guidebooks consider it the main and must-see attraction in Morocco.

The mountains

When you get tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, you can leave the city walls and immerse yourself in a real Moroccan adventure. The city is located in the southern foothills of the High Atlas, which, incidentally, gives citizens a pleasant coolness in the sultry summer.

In the Atlas, you can do simple and complex mountain trails and even ski at the ski resort of Oukameden, which is located in close proximity (150 km) to Marrakech. The ascent to the highest mountain in North Africa – Jebel Toubkal will take 2-3 days and has as its main base also Marrakech, where a couple of hours to get to the mountain village of Imlil, hire a mule and go up.

Marrakech is waiting!

Marrakech is undeniably the center of Morocco. A day’s journey east and you’re swimming in the boundless Atlantic Ocean, a day’s journey west and you’re furrowing the great desert of the Sahara on its one-humped “ships”. Morocco is a country of unimaginable contrasts and Marrakech at its heart awaits you!

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