Marrakech, the ‘Red City’ of Morocco, is a beloved destination of tourists. Marrakech travel presents ornate regal palaces, impressive mosques and energetic markets, on the lovely backdrop of the snow-clad Atlas Mountains. Its current monarch, Mohamed VI, is a strong supporter of tourism and development of hotels and real estate is growing with tremendous speed.
Marrakech is extremely popular among French celebrities and many of them own properties here.
Marrakech is also a well known center for Sufism and its ‘Seven Saints’ are famous.
The original inhabitants of Marrakech were Berber farmers from the Neolithic Age. In 1062, Abu Bakr ibn Umar founded the city. The red walls around the city were built by Ali ibn Yusuf.
You will see two distinct parts of the city during Marrakech travel, the old historical Medina and the new modernized European part, Ville Nouvelle or Gueliz.
Africa’s busiest square, Djemaa el-Fna is in Medina and is surrounded by an intricate labyrinth of bazaars (souks) and alleys.
During the day, you can see incredible sights in Djemaa el-Fna like acrobats, snake charmers, musicians, food stalls and soothsayers, while the square comes more to life as sun sets. The atmosphere is filled with mesmeric music and mouthwatering aromas.
Street stalls in Djemaa el-Fna are the best places to eat out during Marrakech travel. Beware of the staff, who may try to cheat you for extra money.
Try dishes like tajines, offal and egg sandwiches. Harira is a tasty soup of lamb/beef, vegetables and lentils. And you should not miss the ginseng tea added with ginger and cinnamon. Orange juice also is a must-have. Take care to use clean glasses.
The wall around the city made with distinct red clay, after which the city is nicknamed as Red City, has nine historic gates and about 200 towers.
Take the pleasure of lovely gardens during your Marrakech travel, like the 12th century Menara gardens, Majorelle Garden, Agdal Gardens and the breathtaking Koutoubia Gardens behind the majestic Koutoubia Mosque. Majorelle Garden has an astounding collection of plants from five continents and it hosts the Museum of Islamic Art.
Don’t forget to visit the grand Royal Palace, Badi Palace and Bahia Palace.
Enjoy staying in a Moroccan house, called Riad. Externally, it looks very simple, while internally it is very cool and a great place to relax.
You should also visit Ben Youssef Mosque and Mouassine Mosque and also the Seven Saints Tombs, Saadian Tombs and Mellah (Jewish Quarter).
Visit Marrakech Museum in the magnificent Dar Menebhi Palace and also Dar Si Said Museum.
Marrakech hosts many of Morocco’s football clubs like Najm de Marrakech and Chez Ali Club de Marrakech.
Marrakech Street Circuit plays host to Formula 2 races, World Touring Car Championship and Auto GP World Series.
Marrakech Marathon is a big affair held every January and over 5,000 runners participate in it.
Marrakech is also fond of golf and hosts three golf courses, located in scenic settings of thick forests, on the lovely backdrop of Atlas Mountains.
Though nightlife and selling of alcohol is very limited in Medina, the new Gueliz has no scarcity of bars with alcohol, Ibiza-style discos and belly dancers. Marrakech presents extremely melodious music of two major types, viz. Berber and Gnaoua.
You can also enjoy performances of opera, comedy and dance in Arabic and French.
Marrakech has Morocco’s largest Berber souk (market). You can buy here anything from a traditional Berber carpet and handicrafts to the most sophisticated consumer electronics. Souk Semmarine, Souk Ableuh, Souk Kchacha and many other souks are famous and sell a variety of goods like bejeweled sandals, leather goods, kaftans, jewelry, olives, pickles, chilies, tea, and fresh and dry fruits. But don’t forget to bargain.
Marrakech is a city of festivals. July is the time for the exciting Marrakech Festival of Popular Arts, while September is the month of National Folklore Festival. The International Film Festival of Marrakech, held in November-December attracts eminent international film celebrities.