Marrakesh City Guide

Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh is a city of great beauty that centers around the vast space of its central square, the Djema el Fna. There you can browse the famous souks of Marrakesh, spending hours getting lost and haggling for bargains. There are also acrobats, snake charmers, musicians, and all sorts of food and entertainment to keep a visitor busy for at least a full day. The Koutoubia Minaret is nearly 70 meters high and visible for miles, and its design in many ways showcases what has become essentially Moroccan architecture. The Marrakesh Museum features beautiful exhibits of jewelry, art, and sculpture in a restored 19th century palace. Facing the museum is the Almoravid Koubba, the only building in Morocco from the 11th century Almoravid dynasty that still remains intact.

The Saadian Tombs from the 16th century contain tombs of over a hundred Saadian princes and royal household members, their gravestones elaborate tiled and inscribed. The historic El Badi Palace of Ahmed El Mansour now lays mostly in ruins except for the ceremonial part of the palace, as well as a small mosque and minaret. The Dar Si Said palace houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts, and another great collection of Moroccan and Saharan artifacts can be enjoyed in the Maison Tiskiwin.

The most atmospheric place to eat is the Djem el Fna, where food stalls set up around sunset and feature local delicacies like harira soup, couscous, and tagine, as well as more exotic fare like stewed snails and sheep’s heads.

Imlil, a 2 to 3 hour drive from Marrakesh, is the starting-off point for trekkers who want to scale Mount Toubkal, the second-largest mountain peak in Africa. Most visitors choose to travel by day and spend the night at the Toubkal Refuge, and the best views from the heights of Mount Toubkal are in the early morning.