Want to discover Marrakech? There are a thousand ways to do it. Whichever way you choose to live in Marrakech, you will certainly take a bit of Marrakech in you, it is a place full of surprises! With its innumerable markets, gardens, palaces and mosques, you will have the full view.
Marrakech, also called the red city is the fourth largest city of the Kingdom after Casablanca, Fez and Tangier with 928 850 inhabitants in 2014, it remains the tourist capital of the country. More than a city, Marrakech is a pearl polished by the history and taste of hospitality, knowing how to welcome its guests with open arms for centuries.
The city is subdivided into two distinct parts: the new (or modern) city, there are numerous hotel complexes, luxury boutiques, banks, tea rooms and café terraces and the Medina or historic city (ten kilometers wide), It is easy to imagine the caravans loaded with goods, tools and handicrafts. The Souks offer everything the traveler expects: colors, atmospheres, perfumes, smiling and welcoming faces.
Marrakech is famous all over the world for its palm grove and minaret, this city is a true live show where locals and folklore are skillfully staged in a medieval setting. An impressive cultural heritage with many monuments and museums of quality. It’s just Magic!
Its economy is mainly based on tourism, commerce and crafts. The hotel infrastructure has experienced rapid growth in recent years and is now moving towards luxury tourism.
Also known by the Jemaa El Fna Square, the flagship town of Almoravides was founded around 1070, it is also known by its major events and festivities such as: Festival of popular arts of Marrakech, Marrakech International Film Festival, Arts in Marrakech, Festival Samaa of sacred music, contemporary dance festival, Sun festival: national festival of youth and music.
Marrakech has indeed become one of the favorite destinations for celebrities who love its very well preserved charm that knows how to combine luxury, refinement and authenticity. The city was thus described as “dream of the thousand-and-one nights” by Arielle Dombasle. Marrakech then became a place renowned for its culture, its arts, its traditions and its architectural heritage which gradually attracts a larger number of renowned artists.
WHAT TO SEE / WHAT TO DO MARRAKECH
Located in the heart of the Medina, Place De Jemaa el Fna is both the geographical center of Marrakech and the place of socio-cultural encounter of the city. It is dominated by the minaret of the Quessabine mosque, between the souk and the minaret of Koutoubia. The place Djema-el-Fna has not always been the lively and warm place it is today. Indeed, its name in Arabic means “assembly of the dead”, it was the place of strike where the criminals were executed and their heads nailed to the walls and exposed to the glances of the passers-by. It is here that you will reach the souks with its narrow streets lined with small stalls, public writers, marabouts, sellers of grigris and even tooth-harvesters. Around the square, you will have access to various extraordinary services such as consultations of clairvoyants or recipes of magic. During the day, snake charmers, henna tattooists or monkey owners who offer pictures with their animals rub shoulders with jugglers, musicians and acrobats. It even organizes amateur boxing matches. Do not hesitate to climb on one of the many terraces bordering the square to isolate you for a few moments of this teeming life, to taste gazelle horns accompanied by a mint tea. One of the best hours to admire the square from these cornices is really when the sun begins to set, and where the stalls activate their stoves to prepare the evening meal. The intoxicating smoke, the tamtams, and the gleams of the loupiotes that illuminate the sentries are very suitable for ritual photography. At night, the place deserted by the mountebanks is invaded by itinerant restaurants that offer delicious typical Moroccan dishes for very modest sums. In the evening, you can enjoy traditional meals and without pretentions at unbeatable prices. Hôtels near Jemaa el-Fnaa
GARDENS OF MAJORELLE
Surely the most beautiful garden of the city! It will seduce lovers of nature and birds of all kinds! The origin of this botanical garden belongs to Jacques Majorelle, a famous French painter of the early 20th century. By discovering Marrakech, the latter fell under the charm of Morocco, its bright colors, Berber architecture, civilization as well as its way of life. He then elected residence in the “Red City” and developed his botanical garden where he lodged exotic plants, basins and ceramic decorations. The garden adopted the color “blue majorelle”, which the artist created to express the depth and intensity of the ocean. The botanical garden is regarded by its creator as his main work, to which he devoted his whole life. It opened its doors to the public in 1947. Nowadays, Majorelle gardens are the property of Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint-Laurent who acquired this piece of paradise to protect it and ensure its perenniality. This oriental garden is to be seen without hesitation to cut itself off from the agitations of the city and enjoy the cooing of the birds and the sparkling water of the fountains …Hotels near Gardens of Majorelle
PALAIS OF BAHIA
The “Palais de la Bahia” is not a historic high place like the other monuments that populate Marrakech. On the other hand, the site is renowned for the richness of its architecture. Its construction is recent, 19th century, and was inspired by the Arab and Andalusian styles. The foundations of the palace appeared in 1880 under the will of the vizier Sidi Moussa, at the head of the Moroccan kingdom. The latter wanted the construction of a luxurious residence for the pleasure of one of his companions. He then offered a palace of about 160 rooms! This would provide an explanation in the name of the monument meaning “palace of the beautiful” … Around the building, visitors will be able to walk in the courtyards and gardens that distracted its occupants. An anecdote: The construction of the Palais de la Bahia (7 years old) is at the origin of a famous Moroccan expression: “the Bahia is finally finished”, used when a business remains unresolved for a long time! hôtel near Palais of Bahia
Located a few kilometers from Marrakech, the menara is the most important olive grove of the city, extending over more than one hundred hectares. In the center of this garden was a pond that collects water from the mountains to irrigate the crops. Next to this water point built in the 12th century is a square-shaped Saadian palace with a triangular roof, the former romantic residence of the sultans during the 19th century. The place is ideal for walks. Coupés of the city and its agitations, the visitors will appreciate coming to recharge in this big corner of greenery. hotel near Médina
Without a doubt, the most important religious building of Marrakech. Why? First of all locally because Moroccans, very practitioners, turn to her several times a day during the call to prayer. Moreover, for tourists, the Koutoubia is often recommended to locate and orient itself in the city! Built in the 12th century under the orders of Sultan Abdelmoumen (Almoravid dynasty), the Koutoubia -signifying “The Mosque of the booksellers” – bears its name because of its former location was in the souk of the manuscript dealers! The religious building, built in a rather old style, consists of a large courtyard, a prayer room, the qibla wall (indicating the direction of prayer) and the minaret The call to prayer) reaching 77 meters in height! During the hours of prayer, do not be surprised to see the Moroccans suddenly stop their activities in progress to turn to the Koutoubia and practice their religious exercise. Visitors can not access the mosque, reserved for its faithful. Nevertheless, you can approach the latter to admire its Hispano-Moorish architecture. Hotel near Koutoubia
THE SAADIENS TOMBALS
Enter the Saadian tombs and discover a rich history and stunning ornamentation! The foundations of these tombs date back to the 16th century, and the development of this site grew according to the will of Sultan Ahmed al-Mansur Saadi. The site became a royal necropolis in 1557 following the induction of the first Saadian prince. Nevertheless, these monuments were discovered only in the contemporary period, around 1917. They were then attributed to the services of the Fine Arts for their restoration. The mausoleum contains some 60 Saadians, an Arab dynasty that imposed itself in Morocco from 1524 to 1659 and who took care to embellish the site throughout their sovereignty. The monument consists of a chapel and three funeral rooms. The decoration of the three rooms is inspired by the Hispano-Moorish style. In the courtyard of the mausoleum are grouped the tombs of the Saadian soldiers near the garden of the necropolis. Guides are at your disposal for the visit of the tombs, it is however possible to carry out this discovery by oneself. Hotel near Saadian Tombs
DAR SI SAID MUSEUM
Here is an original museum: the Dar Si Said museum in Marrakech! This tourist place traverses the Moroccan craftsmanship of the wood through the woodwork, ceramics, jewels and other objects coming from the manual labor. A real exhibition of Moroccan decorative arts that highlights the creativity and know-how of Moroccan populations. The museum, inaugurated in 1930, took place in the former residence of Si Said, a Moroccan minister of the 19th century. The building, richly ornamented, testifies to the domestic architectural art that existed before the establishment of the French protectorate. At the entrance of the museum, visitors can rest at the foot of the Spanish fountain with two majestic eagles with wings spread. Hôtel near Dar si said museum
MEDERSA BEN YOUSSEF
The Medersa Ben Youssef, better known as the Koranic School, was built in 1565 under the orders of Sultan Abdellah Al Ghalib, belonging to the Saadian dynasty. The monument has hosted during this period Moroccan students from various formations including theological. La Médersa welcomed more than 900 students, including more than 100 foreigners. Composed of a basin and a prayer room, the school was richly decorated: floral motifs, marble work, cedar decorations, etc. Which it is always possible to admire today. The site was restored during the 1950s but retained all its splendor … It is impossible to forget that the Moroccan sovereigns have made it the most recognized Koranic school in all the Maghreb.