From the bewildering sights smells and sounds of the night market in the action-packed Djemaa el-Fna to the maze of souqs where Berber tribes have traded in narrow alleys for years it’s easy to get lost in Marrakech. Luckily this fascinating city also provides relaxing riadssoothing spas steamy hammams fine dining opportunities and plenty of sugared mint tea to help you find yourself again. With botanic gardens awaiting your discovery in the city beyond the souqs and the beckoning call of the Atlas Mountains in the distance Marrakech is so much more than the hectic city of folklore. It’s a city that delights in its varied facets - and you are invited to experience them all.
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Marrakech
Djemaa el-Fna – The focal point of the city is this huge square in the medina. Lively at any hour the square truly comes to life as night falls. This is when open-air food stalls snake charmers jugglers musicians storytellers acrobats and a cast of eccentrics all descend. The surrounding restaurants mosques and souqs ensure there is never a dull moment and always plenty to see.
The Souqs – From the highest quality crafts to the cheapest tourist tat it’s all here in the souqs – but you must find it first! This maze of alleys can be best navigated on a guided tour initially – they can explain the areas and help you orient yourself. Yet one of the joys is also simply to wander and get a little lost – you never know what you’ll stumble on.
Ville Nouvelle – Things feel a little more cosmopolitan in the new city. You can find some wonderful restaurants and the delightful Jardin Majorelle here – both offer a welcome respite from the bustle of the medina.
Beyond Marrakech – Treks up the Atlas mountains can be arranged as can quad bike adventures in the nearby Palm Grove area and camel rides with Berbers in the Zagora dunes.
Things to See in Marrakech
The Djemma el-Fna cannot but capture your attention regardless of how many times you pass through it yet never far away are the tranquil oases provided by the edifices of ancient mosques madrasas and palaces. The majority of these can only be appreciated from the outside being closed to non-Muslims but for a sense of the beauty of Islamic art visit the Jardin Majorelle where amongst the gorgeous gardens now owned by Yves Saint-Laurent you can see the Museum of Islamic Art.
Things to Do in Marrakech
You could shop in the souqs for days on end haggling with traders and watching craftsmen at work fashioning slippers weaving rugs dyeing textiles and hammering metals. Make sure leave time though to dine in a stylish riad and perhaps book yourself onto a cookery course to learn how it’s done. Steam away the smoke and sweat of the city in a hammam or breathe in the fresh air of the Atlas Mountains on a trek. See how the Berber live on a camel trek in the desert or see how cosmopolitan Marrakech can be in the cafes and eateries of the modern city.