History Of Marrakesh
Around 1000 BC Marrakesh was a campsite for nomads who were crossing the dessert and were trading with African tribes, the city was founded in 1062 by Ben Youssef during the Almoravid dynasty. Marrakech was the capital of Almoravidian Empire until 1258, Fez then became the capital of the Marinade Empire. In 1554 the city was given it’s capital status back during the Saadian dynasty – which lasted till 1917, where it became the a protectorate of France until 1956.
Currency: Moroccan Dirham
Population: 35,739,580 (2017)
Religion: Islam (93%)
Coolest Month: 13c average
Hottest Month: 29c average
Emergency Number: 150
Key Phrase: Afek / Shukran (Please / Thank You)
Marrakech serves as a major tourist attraction and cultural center in Morocco. We have put together a list of places to visit on your next trip to magical Marrakesh.
Exploring Marrakesh – Morocco – 20 Things To Do & See
The magical city of Marrakech is packed with things to do and see from breathtaking Islamic art work to souks stacked high with spices, leather goods and lanterns. There are plenty of things to do in Marrakech, a wonderful city to get lost whilst taking in the fantastic traditional architecture. Outside the 12th-century city is the French-founded New City (Ville Nouvelle) with its stylish boutiques, art galleries, alfresco cafés and restaurants, there is plenty to keep you occupied. Don’t forget your camera as Marrakesh is a photographers dream.
20 Things to Do & See In Marrakesh
The Jemaa el-Fnaa is Marrakech’s main square and the most important part of the medina. It has become the symbol of the city and is always full of life.
The souks of Marrakech’s Medina are a maze of market stalls where the vibrant colours blend with the smell of spices and shouts of merchants. Tourists will find all sorts of souvenirs in the souks.
The Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakech’s most important mosque and was one of the largest house of worship for followers of Islam when it was completed in 1158.
Built in the late nineteenth century, the Bahia Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Marrakech. It was built with the idea of being the most impressive palace in the world.
The Ben Youssef Madrasa was the largest and most important Islamic school in Morocco. It has over 130 rooms and housed over 900 students.
The Saadian Tombs are one of the most popular tourist sites in Marrakech. They were open to the public in 1917 when they were discovered and is the resting place of the Saadi dynasty.
El Badi Palace was built at the end of the sixteenth century to commemorate the victory of the Battle of the Three Kings against the Portuguese. Currently the building is in ruins, but it is enough to get an idea of how stately “The Incomparable” was.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, This captivating museum showcases finely selected collections of haute couture clothing and accessories that span 40 years of creative work by legendary fashion designer Yves St Laurent. There is also on site a research library, bookstore and terrace cafe serving snacks.
Housed in the Dar Menebhi Palace, dating from the nineteenth century, the Marrakech Museum features various collections of weapons, pottery and other objects. It is worth visiting mostly because of the palace
The Dar Si Said Museum is officially called the Museum of Moroccan Arts, which features antiques, arms and some of the oldest objects in Marrakech.
The Menara Gardens are Marrakech’s most popular landscaped garden located to the west of the Medina, and it is a popular spot to visit, it has been in the city for centuries and during he 12th century it was used as an orchard of palm, olive and fruit trees. It has a formal pool overlooked by a pavilion (minzah) which was previously used by the sultan and his family.
The Jardin Majorelle was designed in 1924 by Jacques Majorelle, a French painter that had settled in Marrakech in 1919. Less well known than the famous Menara Gardens, the park is more colourful and beautiful.
Marrakech’s Palm Grove has over 100.000 palm trees and is the ideal place to relax and get away from the chaotic medina.
Gueliz is the heart of the modern part of Marrakech and represents the rise of capitalism in Marrakech. Its main avenues are Mohammed VI and Mohammed V.
Beldi Country Club is a fantastic place to stay at or spend the day in relaxing in the lush tropical gardens. The country club is situated 10 minutes form the Medina and the layout resembles a old traditional village. On site you will find beautiful gardens, pools, restaurants, souks and a spa.
The Sahara Desert
You can book tours from Marrakesh to visit the Sahara Dessert and see the stunning sand dunes, as well as villages and pints of interest along the way. Marrakesh is located about 360km from the Sahara Desert and it is recommended to take a two night tour to the area, due to the distance to get there. Two nights are also preferred over a 1 day tour as you can visit the local tribes in the area and explore at a more relaxed pace. Other popular activities are sand boarding, camel trekking and watching the stars at night.
The Tiskiwin Museum also called Maison Tiskiwin is a must see in Marrakesh. The museum belonged to or belongs to Bert Flint, a Dutch anthroplogist and collector of North African Art and features art from the sahara, Morocco, Mali and nearby. The museum is open to the public and exhibits basket works, jewellery, textiles and many other things. Each room has on display different artifacts from carpets, fabrics, clothes and jewellery from a different town or region, including the south and sub-Sahara.
Ourika valley day trip is the closest day trip destination from Marrakech, due to its many waterfalls and wonderful nature, it is a very popular attraction , the Ourika valley is at the foot of the Atlas mountains and about 64km from Marrakesh. Inn the area you can see interesting prehistoric rock carvings and the picturesque village of Ourika, the villages are still inhabited by berber villagers living in a traditional lifestyle. There are also lots of treks you can go on in the area, ensure you wear comfy clothing and footwear if taking part in one of the treks.
A day trip to Ouzoud Falls is an incredible adventure to go on, it is located about 93 miles north east of Marrakesh, where you will be able to see the 330ft waterfall. The area has lots of scenic spots to relax in and it is a wonderful activity to do for a day to get out the hustle and bustle of the city.
Have you been to Marrakesh? What are some of the best places you have visited? Share any suggestions in the comments below.
Look out for our accommodation guide to Marrakesh coming out soon.
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