Popularly called the “Pearl of the South”, the city is the third largest in the country and has already been elected the best tourist destination in Africa for two consecutive years at the World Travel Awards.
The vibrant city of marrakech is the most tourist destination in Morocco and despite receiving thousands of tourists annually from all over the world, the immense metropolis still preserves its exotic and striking essence. Unique features that were left as a legacy by the various peoples who lived in this region of the country such as the Berbers, Moors, Spaniards and French.
Known as the “Red City” for the colors of its imposing buildings and walls, the charming marrakech It has important monuments that portray the city's heyday in the past. The vast majority of these attractions can be visited in the Medina or in the so-called Old Town, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
marrakech It is one of the metropolises known as imperial cities – a designation given to the municipalities that were once capitals of the ancient dynasties that reigned in North Africa, and today it is the great center of economy, culture and religion of the country.
THE Jemaa el-Fnaa square it is the heart of the Medina and the main postcard of Marrakech, a great place to start a tour of the city. It is around it that some of the city's main attractions are located, such as Koutoubia Mosque, several restaurant options and the famous souks, a kind of street market where you can find all the spices, handicrafts and typical products of Arab culture.
The most modern part of the city can be seen in the Guéliz district, affectionately called “Ville Moderne”. The neighborhood brings together modern buildings and a wide variety of designer stores, renowned restaurants and large hotel chains. A super cosmopolitan area of marrakech which can be compared to the large urban centers of any European capital. Don't forget to walk on Avenue Mohammed V and on Rue de la Liberté, where great shops and some art galleries are concentrated.
Moroccan cuisine is another attraction in itself. Remarkable flavors reveal an authentic and diversified cuisine, fully elaborated with spices and typical products of the region. One of the typical dishes associated with the Moroccan people are couscous, harira, a traditional soup that is usually served as a starter and tajine, made up of lamb, beef or fish that are cooked in a clay pot and accompanied with vegetables, almonds and plums, and wrapped in cinnamon or saffron.
Contrary to what many tourists visiting the country believe, language is not a barrier to visiting the destination. Because it is world-renowned and receives many foreigners, most merchants in Marrakech speak more than two languages besides Arabic and Berber, which are considered the official languages of the country.
What to visit in Marrakech
Jamma El-Fnaa square
Situated within the city's medina, Praça Jamma El-Fnna brings together all the country's exoticism in one place. Snake charmers, healers, artisans, monkeys, street artists, storytellers, street vendors, mobile restaurants and tents with typical products, share the same space, drawing the attention of all visitors who pass through the city.
The square is simply the Heart of the City, and a great place to start a tour and discover other must-see attractions in Marrakech, such as the souk and Medersa Ben Youssef.
Medersa Ben Youssef
An unmissable point to observe the fascinating Moroccan architecture, the old building founded by Abu el Hassan, was completed in 1565 and served as an Islamic school until 1960. Medersa Ben Youssef has a beautiful patio decorated with tiles that form incredible mosaics, leaving the incredibly detailed construction, even more beautiful. Those who visit the school can also see some of the 140 cells that served as dormitories for the students.
The gigantic 69 m high pastel-toned minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque can be viewed from different parts of the city. The most important temple in Marrakech, completed in 1158, it is located right in front of the Plaza Jamma El-Fnaa.
The Moorish construction is so beautiful that it served as an inspiration for other famous constructions such as the one of Servilla, known as Giralda and the Hassan Mosque in Rabat. The attraction can only be seen from the outside, only practitioners of the Islamic religion can access the inside of the mosque.
Built at the end of the 19th century, the majestic Bahia Palace brings together an incredible set of beautiful buildings interconnected by beautiful patios and gardens. The attraction is located inside the medina of Marrakech and for more than a decade, it was the great dream of Sultan Abdelaziz Si Moussa, to build the most impressive palace of all time.
The palace has 8 hectares with buildings that display examples of Islamic and Moroccan architecture in all of its 150 rooms.
The garden is among the most beautiful in the world, and brings together several species of rare and exotic plants. The space was founded by the French painter Jaques Majorelle, and served as a residence for Yves Saint-Laurent and his companion Pierre Bergé.
Located in the former palace where Mehdi Mnechi lived, the Museum of Marrakech displays weapons, clothing, Berber jewelry, ceramics, rugs and other traditional Moroccan objects.
The souks are veritable labyrinths that bring together the best handicrafts in the country. Walk fearlessly through the streets dedicated to local commerce and observe the daily life of Moroccans and the beautiful work done by the country's artisans.
This is the best place to shop in town, and the rule is simple: haggle to the max! The art of haggling is almost another attraction in the souks, talking a lot with the sellers it is possible to reduce the value of some object to 1/3 of the offered price.
Other attractions to visit in Marrakech
- Boucharouite Museum
- Maison de la Photographie
- Mouassine Museum
- Saadian Tombs
- Museum of Moroccan Arts Dar Si Said
- Toubkal National Park
- Menara Gardens
- Rahba Kedima Square
- Marrakech Train Station
- Hammams and Turkish Baths
How to get to Marrakech
The company Royal Air Maroc has regular flights departing from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with a stopover in Casablanca. Another possibility is to travel to a European country and from there to Marrakech.
There is also the possibility of arriving by car from Spain. The crossings are made by Ferry Boat and the most common means are Algeciras-Ceuta and Tarifa-Tanger. There are several fast ferry companies with journeys that last between 45 minutes and 1h30. Timetables and ticket reservations are available through their websites: FRS, Acciona Transmeditarranea and Balearia.
Best time to visit Marrakech
The geographic diversity of the country means that each season of the year has very different climates. The best time to visit Marrakech is in the spring and autumn months when temperatures are mild. The days are usually clear skies with moderate heat.
The hottest season is between the months of June and August, when the thermometers can reach 40ºC, making it difficult to carry out outdoor activities. In spring, from March to mid-June, the average temperature varies between 22ºC and 28ºC. Between the months of November and March, temperatures are milder, reaching 12°C during the day and dropping dramatically.
Where to stay in Marrakech
* This trip was made at the invitation of the Official Delegation of Tourism of Morocco in collaboration with the airline Royal Air Maroc Brasil.
» Morocco: tips on how to plan a trip around the country
» Itinerary in Morocco: discovering the south of the country
» Ksar Aït Ben Haddou, a journey through the history of Morocco
» What to see in Casablanca, Morocco
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