Marrakech, What to See and Do

1.Jemaa el-Fna Square

Among the things to see in Marrakech, the Jemaa el-Fna Square is in first place. Nerve center of the city, this place is not only a square, but also and above all folklore and entertainment. It is a continuous succession of actors, storytellers, dancers, snake charmers and acrobats, intent on carrying on an ancient tradition. In fact, Berber culture has been handed down over the years exclusively orally, and this incredible meeting point keeps this culture alive. In addition, the square is dotted with numerous stalls selling and cooking dishes of all kinds. All around you will find magnificent terraced bars from which to enjoy the show. Our advice is to go at sunset when, sipping tea, you can admire the beautiful view of the city.

2.El Bahia Palace

The el Bahia Palace is testimony to the fact that not all Moroccan masterpieces date back to the Golden Age. In fact, this wonderful building, one of the main treasures of Marrakech, dates back to 1866. Built by the vizier of Sultan Hassan I, it is a palace with an area of 8,000 square meters and a total of 150 rooms richly decorated with marble and precious woods. All the rooms have been emptied, but the highly decorated harem of the 4 brides and 24 concubines is worth the time of a visit. Absolutely not to be missed are the beautiful inner courtyards and lush gardens that, together with the hammams, make up the complex. Our advice is to visit the interiors with a local guide who will allow you to understand the functions of each room.

3.Koutoubia Mosque

True symbol of the city, the Koutoubia Mosque enters by right among the first choices of what to see in Marrakech. Built during the Almohad period, it was erected at the end of the 12th century by Yacoub el-Mansour, father of the Giralda of Seville. The translation is Mosque of the Booksellers, testifying to the fact that in the past there was a souq here, where ancient sacred books were sold. The minaret, with its 69 meters of height, dominates the scenery of Marrakech and is perfectly visible from every point of the city. Like most of the city’s buildings, it is built of pink sandstone. We remind you that the interiors of the mosques of Marrakech are not open to non-Muslims. We therefore advise you to admire it from the outside and enjoy its beautiful park full of flowers and fountains.

4.Majorelle Gardens

If you’re looking for a bit of tranquility, among the things to see in Marrakech, don’t miss the Majorelle Gardens. This enchanting garden covers 8000 square meters of lush vegetation, dotted with ponds and paths.Hundreds of birds have found a home here and nest, attracted by the benign climate and the different types of plants. The villa that stands there was the home of the famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, whose ashes were sprinkled in the rose garden. On the ground floor of the villa, visit the interesting Berber Museum with its jewelry and fabrics.

5.The Souq of Marrakech

Among the things to see in Marrakech, how can we not include its vibrant, chaotic, and colorful souq? The area extends north from Jemaa el-Fna Square and is like entering a city within the city. Get lost among all sorts of merchandise and choose the purchase that suits you best. Whether it’s scented spices, terracotta tajines, colorful lanterns or the characteristic tipped babouches, always choose the right area. Because here, each congregation of artisans is always in their own place, located at different points within the souq. Once you’ve got your eye on your favorite souvenir, start the art of bargaining. In fact, according to an old Moroccan saying, there are more prices than buyers!

6.Bab Agnaou Gate

Going down towards the south we find instead the Bab Agnaou Gate, which represented the historic entrance to the Medina of Marrakech. In fact, this door was part of a system composed of 19 entrances located within the historic city walls. Its construction dates back to the 12th century, during the golden age of Marrakech. Let yourself be impressed by its floral decorations, and experience the thrill of crossing the border to reach the royal quarters. In fact, even today, passing through this gate means going from the modern city to the ancient one.

7.Madrasa of Ben Youssef

One of the main things to see in Marrakech is undoubtedly the Madrasa of Ben Youssef. The splendid palace rises in the heart of the Medina and is in clear Arab-Andulusian style. Here many young people come to learn the religious disciplines related to the Holy Quran. The 132 austere rooms contrast with the beauty of the inner courtyard, in the center of which you will find a large water basin, once used for ablutions. Going up to the second floor, you can visit a couple of cells that will give you an insight into the life of these students. The elegance of this building will amaze you and give you a wonderful sense of peace in the chaos of the Medina.

8.El Badi Palace

The El Badi Palace is located in the Qasba area and is one of the most important things to see in Marrakech. It is a sixteenth century palace built in the Saadian era to commemorate the victory over the Portuguese in the Battle of Alcazarquivir. What you will find before you is a building in ruins. In fact, in the seventeenth century, the Alawide dynasty decided to move its capital to Meknes, sacking and completely stripping the palace. In its heyday, this architectural marvel included more than 300 rooms beautifully decorated with gold and Italian marble. Rely on a local guide to learn all the secrets of this palace, and admire the Minbar of the Koutoubia Mosque, preserved inside.

9.Tombe Saadiane

Absolutely not to be missed in Marrakech are the Saadian Tombs. This important dynasty made the city prosper, and these royal tombs are a testament to that. Discovered in 1917, they are to this day one of the most visited places in all of Marrakech. Enter the site through the beautiful inner garden, dotted with hundreds of tombs of servants and warriors. After that, enter the main mausoleum and admire the real treasure of this place, the burial place of the sultans. Visit the 3 beautifully decorated rooms and admire the beautiful domed roof made of cedar wood covered with glittering gold filigree. A place that will surprise you with the richness of the decorations and materials used.

10.The Yves Saint Laurent Museum

Last but not least, among the things to see in Marrakech, here we are at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Strongly desired by his partner, the museum is a dedication to the infinite creativity of the designer who had made Marrakech his second home. The building is ochre-colored like the rest of the ancient city, but was built in modern Moroccan style. Inside you can admire iconic pieces from the Parisian archive, such as the famous Mondrial dress. An essential stop for fashion lovers, but not only: in the library, in fact, there are about 5,000 volumes that deal with fashion but also botany, Berber culture, and Arab-Andalusian architecture.

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