Marrakech is known as the Red City, or in Arabic as Al Medina al-Hamra, because of its rose-tinted buildings. Because of maintaining traditions and folklore, as well as the unique architecture, Marrakech is one of the centres of Mediterranean tourism.
The exciting, appealing and exotic Marrakech is the red jewel of Morocco and we can say it that is a city of contrast, as it is located at the foot of the snow-covered Atlas Mountain, and at the border with the largest desert, the Sahara. Its beauty is contained in a dynamic and lively atmosphere that revealing the true spell of the Orient. The most remarkable is the old part of the city – the Medina, which, because of its attractiveness and significance, found on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Marrakech has charmed many tourists, particularly the main square called Djemma el-Fna one of the busiest and liveliest squares in Africa surrounded by numerous souks (traditional Arab markets).
It is located in the centre of the old part of the city, in the part called Medina.
Djemma el-Fna is a place where you will find fakirs with flutes who perform a dance with snakes, monkeys, jugglers, acrobats, male dancers, musicians, colourfully dressed vendors with fresh food and drink. There are also fire eaters and oriental storytellers.
Many sellers of handicrafts, various merchants, makers of carpets and tapestries are right here. You can buy literally everything. From clothing and footwear (of course in the Arab style), beautiful jewelry, decorative rugs and carpets, to fine ceramic pots, bowls, decorative plates, and of course the inevitable spices. Did you know that the Moroccan markets, the famous “home of spices“ have absolutely all supplements that exist in the world and they are in original forms?
Every evening, the square turns into the largest open-air restaurant. Shouts and laughter echoing into the late night revealing the true magic of the Mediterranean east.
From the town square, various bus lines drive to various parts of the city. If you want a little more romantic tour you can drive in a small carriage pulled by horses. Carriages are at bottom of the market and be sure to agree fare before you get in one.
Near Djemaa el Fna is situated beautiful palace El Bahia whose construction was completed in the 19th century. In the complex of the palace, there are numerous buildings, pavilions and gardens. Here you can see the luxurious marble floors and painted walls, and get to know how Moroccan lived nobility in the 19th century. Today the palace is the place where the Moroccan Government welcomes the high foreign guests.
In Medina be prepare for complete disorientation. In the network of streets, only the smartest will always know where they are! But this labyrinth of small streets offers charm and beauty of the Medina. In Medina lot of old houses are converted into hotels and hostels. Medina is surrounded by 16-kilometer long reddish wall which takes you through numerous city gates.
Within the walls, there are a number of important Islamic buildings, the most important being the Koutoubia mosque from the year 1162. It is hard to miss 77 – meter high minaret. Tourists are not allowed into the mosque.
Outside the walls of Medina lies the new part of town, Gueliz with numerous palms trees. There is also a very exotic Majorelle botanical garden, which is one of the more expensive attractions of Marrakech.
Eat and Fun
One of the best restaurants in Marrakech are Comptoit Darna, located in the city centre and offers great food in a beautiful Moroccan ambience and has a phenomenal show with belly dancers.
Another restaurant worth visiting is the Bo Zin located 3,5 km from Marrakech on the way to Ourika. A speciality of this restaurant is a beautiful garden – a combination of a small lake, exotic garden and sand with palm trees. Dining table in the garden is set with mattresses, open fires, torches, and canopies.
Each guide will recommend you to see Chez Ali Fantasia show. Chez Ali Fantasia show is one of the most popular evening shows in Marrakech. It takes place within half an hour drive outside Marrakech city in the Palmerie.
The show presents Moroccan Berber Folklore including music, dance, horseriding show, fireworks and acrobats while enjoying your dinner meal under caidal tents.
The show finale is the electrifying Fantasia show, recreating the war ceremonies of horsemen, and the fierce battles between Berber and desert knights. Thrill as large formations of horses and horsemen in traditional dress charge across the arena to the sounds of exploding gunpowder.
In a land full of wonderful surprises, there are many top luxury hotels in Marrakech, diverse as the landscape in Morocco.
The Hivernage Hotel & Spa, set in the heart of Marrakech, is a magnificent hotel surrounded by lush gardens and stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. High ceilings, marble columns and extravagant fabrics give this hotel its character.
Amanjena Resort, which translates to “peaceful paradise” was built in 2000, and is the first of the Aman Resort on the African continent. Known for offering exclusivity and privacy, this resort is set within an oasis of palms and mature olive trees.
Hotel La Mamounia has quite a reputation, in years past, for conducting stately dinners for which men dressed in top hats and tails and women, adorned with jewels, wore long evening gowns. This hotel is set amid tranquil gardens almost three hundred years old and is known as one of the world’s grandest and most exquisite hotels.
For sheer diversity, it would be hard to imagine a more perfect destination than Marrakech.