The imperial city of Marrakech is also the cultural centre of Morocco, being full of history and bustling markets with incredible architecture. But despite all this tradition, it’s also certainly part of the modern world.
In the old fortified city of Marrakesh, it’s in the Medina district that you’ll find most of the city’s activities and attractions. It's where you can enjoy a traditional Moroccan experience. Walk over to Djemaa el-Fna, the main square at the entrance to Medina, and enjoy a fresh orange juice while you're taking in the daily bustle. You'll find everything here, from dentists to snake charmers to henna tattooists. Look to the west and you’ll see the Koutoubia Mosque, one of the tallest buildings in the old town, standing proudly over the city – a spectacular sight.
Walk north from Jemaa El Fna Square and you'll encounter the famous souks - or markets - of the city. Marrakech has the largest traditional souks in all of Morocco.
Although Medina might be considered the main event by most tourists, there’s still plenty to do and see off the beaten track. Visit the Bahia Palace, with its beautiful courtyards, and Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, an ancient Muslim school known for its interior and detailed wall decorations. The adjacent Musée de Marrakech is also worth a visit, with grand collections of Moroccan and Islamic art.
Looking for a more European experience? Try visiting the newer areas of the city for trendy boutique shops and restaurants.
When evening descends, visit Djemaa El-Fna, a city square packed with local outdoor eateries and stalls. Spices and smoke fill the square while thousands of locals and tourists cram in for a bite to eat. The stalls are supervised by the government, but it's still a good idea to pay attention to what you eat.
Marrakech sits at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, which, if you’re a more determined hiker, are well worth a climb. Of course, long hikes and exploring cities is much harder under a blistering sun, so we recommend visiting during the winter when daytime temperatures are milder and the evenings are cool.