The Kingdom of Morocco is the perfect place for a truly unique vacation. Old world allure meets modern comfort in the remarkable Red City of Marrakech. Spend the day exploring the ancient walled city and markets, the afternoon being pampered in a hammam, and the evening in a world class restaurant or club. Welcome to Morocco!
Marrakech has a wealth of interesting sites, from the ancient Medina to the French built Centre Ville. There is something for everyone!
Djemma Al Fna & the Souks
No trip to Marrakech is complete without a walk through the famous Djemma al Fna. Listen to storytellers, see snake charmers and monkey handlers, and stop for a bit of Moroccan street food or fresh squeezed orange juice. From here wander the labyrinthine markets, or souks, where vendors sell artisanal goods from across the centuries. Find the perfect one-of-a-kind keepsake from your trip.
Visitors can often orient themselves by the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque. The minaret is the tallest building in Marrakech and was built in the 12th century. Though non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the mosque, visitors can admire the four different faces of the minaret while wandering the recently renovated gardens.
The illustrious dynasties of Morocco have left behind impressive palaces decorated with the best examples of decorative Moroccan architecture. The 19th century Palais Bahia, near Djemma al Fna, is one of the best preserved examples of ancient splendor, with intricately decorated rooms opening onto a palatial courtyard. Only ruins remain of the Palais El Badi, built in the 16th century and located in the Mellah neighborhood, but the site gives visitors a sense of the scope and size of ancient palaces.
Ben Youssef Medersa
The spectacular Ben Youssef Medersa, nestled away in the souks, is an old Koranic school and one of the most beautifully restored sites in Marrakech. The expansive courtyard showcases gorgeous examples of zellij tile and traditional stucco work. Peek in to the tiny chambers where students formerly slept and studied and peer through arabesque arched windows overlooking the stunning courtyard. If you purchase a combination ticket you can also visit the Musee de Marrakech, a magnificently restored mansion, and the Koubba el Badiyin, one of the sole surviving structures of the Almoravid dynasty.
La Maison de la Photographie
Tucked away near Medersa Ben Yousef, this relatively new museum offers a unique
perspective of Morocco. First opened in 2009 the museum is housed in a gorgeous fondouk, or caravan boarding house. The extensive collection of over 5000 photos and 2000 photographic glass plates covers images from 1862 through 1950 and offers a rare glimpse if Moroccan life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The mysterious and atmospheric Saadian Tombs were built in the 16th century and house the graves of over 100 royal family members and servants. The tombs were hidden for hundreds of years, and only rediscovered in 1917. The elaborate mosaics and plaster work have since been restored to their original splendor.
The Majorelle Gardens are a breath of fresh air in an often chaotic city. The gardens date back to the 1920’s, but were restored in the 1980’s by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. These exquisite gardens are home to over 300 species of plants from five continents, as well as turtles, frogs and birds. Winding paths lead you past fountains and ponds, through groves of bamboo and succulent plants. There are also a museum of Berber culture and a café nestled in the garden.
The expansive Menara Gardens are a popular local destination. The gardens have row upon row of olive trees and are a great place to have a picnic. There is a beautiful Saadian era garden pavilion located on the edge of reflective basin, with views of the majestic Atlas Mountains towering behind.
The Centre Ville, or new city, extends in wide avenues from the Medina. Built by the French during the years of the French Protectorate, the Centre Ville is now home to sidewalk cafes, fashionable boutiques, trendy restaurants and many of the city’s best bars and nightclubs. Stroll down Mohamed V or Mohamed VI Avenues, or through Marrakech Plaza to see city street life at its best.