The secrets of Marrakech revealed in ten very cool places to visit in the city

marrakech it has popular markets that are almost a thousand years old, commerce is the historical essence of the city that has become world-renowned for its centuries-old culture. In marrakech There are many places really touristy, but without a doubt, worth knowing. These places show a bit of Moroccan customs and history and can be a good alternative for those who don't have many days to enjoy the city. This is one of the most important Muslim regions in the world and has become one of the biggest economic centers in Africa precisely because of its strategic location with Europe.

The Moroccan city still maintains a preserved tradition, whether in religion, in everyday customs or simply in the symbolic act of bargaining before closing any purchase. Visit marrakech is to go beyond hundreds of years of history, getting to know one of the most traditional cities in Morocco and World Heritage Site. Are you ready for such a trip?

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This is one of the most historically important Moroccan imperial cities and, despite being very traditional, today it is also one of the most touristy in the country, bringing together such a great trajectory that only a city from the 11th century could have. marrakech it is almost always a mandatory stop for those looking to discover truly authentic places in Morocco, experiencing more of the Arab and Berber culture. Without a doubt, the best way to get to know the most visited country in Africa.

10 places to visit in Marrakech

walls of marrakech

places to visit in Marrakech

Gate of Agnaou, at the entrance of the royal kasbah, one of the 19 gates of Marrakech. Photo: stock

marrakech it is also known as the “red city”, one of the reasons is the frequent red-orange adobe buildings found throughout the city. The immense 19 km wall that surrounds the entire medina like an imperial fortress. The wall is on average 2 meters wide and 9 meters high, all made of clay, an adobe construction characteristic of the architecture of the south of morocco that still stands for hundreds of years. This style of construction is found throughout the country and is typical of Moroccan imperial cities, coloring all regions in a pastel landscape.

Jemma El Fna square

places to visit in Marrakech

Jemma El Fna square at night. Photo: Cristiane Mattos

At Jemaa El Fna square, founded in twelfth century, it is easy to notice all the eccentricity of marrakech in one place. A large central square surrounded by cafes and streets that invite us for endless walks between the shops and alleys that emerge. Even close to Europe, for us Westerners, an Arab country is completely different. In the center of the square, monkey tamers share space with street performers, dancers, musicians, sword swallowers, snake charmers, artisans, carts and tourists, all spread out in the midst of this seemingly controllable little chaos. A quick visit to the main square is enough to see how marrakech can be surprising.

Souk – Marrakech Market

places to visit in Marrakech

Marrakech sells different products of the local culture, including the famous Arab lamps. Photo via: Atom Travel

Following one of the ends of the Jemma El Fna square, on the opposite side of the Koutoubia Mosque, after crossing the entire cobbled area, a large complex of traditional shops and tents begins to form in a popular fair that dominates blocks. It is also at Jemma El Fna Square that access to the souk begins (as the traditional markets of marrakech). This souk near the square is the largest in the city. The big market it is also one of the oldest in the world, carrying almost a thousand years of existence. A true consumer dream for lovers of decoration, handicrafts and other traditional souvenirs. At the souk everything has an Arab influence, including when it comes to trading: ceramics, hookahs, rugs, lamps, fabrics, spices and a multitude of things from Moroccan and African culture that can be purchased with up to 50% of the initial price.

Koutoubia Mosque

places to visit in Marrakech

Photo: Yolo Travel

Also on the axis of Jemma El Fna Square, another well-known point in marrakech where families and the local Moroccan population are concentrated, is the Koutoubia Mosque (or Kutubiya). This is a place you will inevitably visit if you visit downtown marrakech. Getting there is quite easy: the Mosque was also built in the 12th century, and it is the largest mosque in the city and from afar it is possible to see the 69-meter-high gazebo that stands alone in the sky. Daily a voice echoes from the top of the viewpoint calling Muslims to pray. This is also the tallest building in marrakech, as it is forbidden to build buildings larger than this.

Ben Youssef Madrasa

places to visit in Marrakech

Central courtyard of the Ben Youssef Madrasa. Photo: BeeFortyTwo / Flickr

Ben Youssef Madrasa is an Islamic school founded in fourteenth century and is located in the center of marrakech. One of the greatest icons of Moroccan art and architecture attracts tourists who want to see up close the artistic riches of the historic building, one of the best preserved in the city. At the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a former reading school, there lived students who shared dormitories in the building itself, where they also studied the Koran and spent most of their time. The school functions as an annex to the Ben Youssef Mosque. In the mansion, the high-relief details are everywhere: on the doors, windows, columns and on the walls that go up to the ceiling. This is one of the mansions that is an example of the detailed architecture of the Moroccan people, with drawings and writings that practically cover the entire complex.

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace main area another example of Moroccan architecture. Photo: Chris Griffiths

THE Bahia Palace is located in the historic center of marrakech, also known as the medina. In Arabic, bahia can be translated as “wonderful place”. And in fact, the palace is another important piece of architecture in the Arab-Andalusian style, another recommended stop for those who are passionate about the colors, symmetry and textures of Moroccan secular art. Strolling through the courtyard built in XIX century we can see the cultural and economic strength of marrakech in ancient times, it served as one of the main political and economic centers of Morocco.

Rahba Kedima

places to visit in Marrakech

Souk da Rahba Kedima, specializing in rugs and spices, located in the heart of Marrakech. Photo: Marc / Flickr

Unlike the more famous souk, the marrakech market, close to Jemma El Fna Square, the souk of Rahba Redima (or Square of Spices) is more specialized in the sale of rugs, handicrafts in general, seasonings and spices as the name implies. This souk is distributed in a courtyard in the heart of Marrakech, the colors are up to the stores that display the products at the entrance, making everything even more colorful. Access can be a little bad to get there, but if you have a cell phone with mobile internet, just look for it on the street Rahba Lakdima that you will easily find. Close by, it is also worth enjoying a viewpoint to see this little piece of Marrakech from another angle. The restaurant terrace cafe des épices overlooks the souk, ideal for a break between shopping.

La Mamounia

places to visit in Marrakech

Interior area of the luxurious La Mamounia hotel. Photo: Disclosure

The history of luxury hotel La Mamounia began a long time ago, more precisely in the 18th century when Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, the Moroccan sultan, gave his son a huge garden on the outskirts of marrakech. There were 15 hectares with beautiful plant species. Two centuries later, in 1923, the hotel was built on the same land. La Mamounia, probably the most luxurious of marrakech. The garden was maintained and started to share the space with the details of Moroccan architecture that spreads through the common areas of the complex. The hotel is of a high standard and has hosted world-renowned icons such as Charlie Chaplin, Nelson Mandela, Elton John, Tom Cruise and several other Hollywood stars.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum

Facade of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Photo: Disclosure

famous stylist, Yves Saint Laurent, one of the greatest fashion geniuses, forever marked the history of the Moroccan city when he visited Marrakech for the first time and chose the country as his residence and second home. It was in 1966, together with his partner Pierre Bergé, when he fell in love with Morocco and acquired a house in the country, living for more than a decade in a large house in Marrakech. Today the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, located in the central region of the city, is a great tribute to the stylist that houses a permanent exhibition with some of the artist's most iconic creations, along with a photographic collection and original pieces that marked the life of Yves Saint Laurent. .

Majorelle Gardens

Majorelle Gardens where visitors can find a wide variety of cacti and exotic plants. Photo: Disclosure

With a great botanical variety, the Majorelle Gardens were originally opened to the public in 1947, created by French painter Jacques Majorelle. There are countless species of cacti, exotic plants and trees that fill the entire garden in a majestic way. After the painter's death, the space was abandoned until the mid-1980s, when Yvess Saint Laurent, together with his partner Pierre Bergé, bought the property from the heirs and restored the houses and the garden, opening it again to the public. You Majorelle Gardens it's the Yves Saint Laurent Museum are very close to each other and can be visited at the same time.

Did you like these tips? Read more in our category about Morocco. * This trip was made at the invitation of the Official Delegation of Tourism of Morocco in collaboration with the airline Royal Air Maroc Brasil.

Read too:

» Morocco: tips on how to plan a trip around the country
» Itinerary in Morocco: discovering the south of the country
» The film sets of Ouarzazate, Moroccan Hollywood
» Ksar Aït Ben Haddou, a journey through the history of Morocco

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