Marrakesh or Marrakech is a country of unbelievable exotic charm, as well as rich and colorful culture, exquisite mosques, and posh living. Despite the hustle and bustle of the city, the charisma of the old and new cultures beautifully blending together bears that unmistakable appeal that only Marrakesh has. Snake charmers, charming shops with quaint crafts, the scenic desert and the camel rides, and its vibrant soul all vie for attention – you wouldn’t dream of missing anything when you’re here.
The shops’ wares and crafts are colorful and exotic. The iconic monuments, museums and the local culture are all worth experiencing. Marrakesh is also the portal to the country’s High Atlas region, a place where the picturesque mountain scenery will feel and excite your soul’s hunger for natural drama. Wherever you go, expect your days to be full and thrilling, yet satisfaction is far as your sense of eagerness is heightened.
How do you start a refreshing holiday in Marrakesh?
Ali Berrada attempts to share what may seem like the best way to enjoy the city in her CNN post What to Do in Marrakech: 10 Amazing Attractions. Berrada writes:While many visits to Marrakech revolve around the imposing Koutoubia mosque or Jemaa el Fna, the bustling central square filled with snake charmers and storytellers, there’s plenty to do beyond these landmarks.
For those willing to delve deep into the narrow streets around the square or into the desert and mountains outside the city, Marrakech rewards with stunning scenery, unforgettable flavors and luxurious indulgences.
Here are some of the city’s highlights.
- Getting lost in the backstreets: Just exploring would yield so many pleasurable finds. If shopping is in the agenda, the best way to find the best buys is by visiting those small, seemingly less flashy boutiques selling the most unique souvenirs, such as “… djellaba robes, spices, babouches (Moroccan slippers), old carpets and colorful ceramics.” Learn to haggle; it can be the most rewarding experience you can have to hunt down great bargains. Don’t miss La Porte d’Or at La Porte d’Or 115 Souk Semmarine, Marrakech
- Wandering through the Jardin Majorelle: Once you feel dizzy with all the great finds and attractions, you’ll find the tranquility in this garden. This 12-acre botanical creation was bestowed to Marrakech by Jacques Majorelle, a famous French painter and Yves Saint, an icon in the field of high fashion. Find this Moorish garden with touches of art deco at Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech.
- Eating a sheep’s head: You have to try the exotic Moroccan dishes. While there are a number of earing spots around the city, don’t head home without savoring the gastronomic offerings Marrakech'. The sheep’s head and the tanjia are exotic dishes that are attracting foodies; try them while you are here. One eating place you must pay homage to is the 40-year old Dar Rhizlane Bejgueni at Jamaa el Fna square.
- Getting pummeled by a stranger: is being scrubbed in a public bath a squeamish thing for you? Shed your inhibition and experience “steaming in a traditional Hammam or public bath,” an essential element of Moroccan life and culture. For the best experience, head to Les bains de Marrakech at 2 Derb Sedra, Bab Agnaou, Kasbah, Marrakech.
- Visiting or staying in a palace: Feeling royal is quite attainable in Marrakesh. There are several palaces that can offer you the experience – El Badi Palace, Mamounia Palace, Namaskar Palace.
Berrada also suggests relaxing in a riad. These are traditional Moroccan houses, which may have remained old fashioned in keeping with the custom or have been upgraded with modern conveniences. El fenn at Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, Bab el Ksour Medina, Marrakech would be a good place to stay if you like spending a few days in a maze-like, 22-room luxury boutique hotel.
If you are adventurous, you can’t ignore the beckoning of the Atlas Mountains. After the heat and the dust of the city and the desert, it is a cool haven that would be hard to resist. Two spots you can include in your itinerary are the town of Lalla Takerkoust or the Valley of Ourika, in the Atlas foothills.
More shopping and bargains await at Bab El Khemis. “The souk here is open every day, but on Thursdays … it becomes a truly Moroccan experience.” The place wonderfully transforms into a “bargain land” of used treasures and goods – vintage carpets, doors, crafts, textiles, etc.
If you have the courage to view Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains from an altitude, go fly in a hot air balloon. The adventure has emerged as a well-sought activity around here having, not only spell-binding panoramas, but also a perfect weather – cloudless skies and little rain. If you so decide to go on a balloon ride, ride only with the professionals, such as Ciel d’Afrique.
If these are still not making your adventurous spirit satiated, one destination to keep in mind is Terres d’Amanar. It is a huge (about 173 acres) adult playground that’s bursting to the seams with adrenaline-pumping outdoor fun.
With long stretches of beach, nearby imperial cities of Meknes and Fez, lavish oases, ancient and modern architecture, fishing ports, and the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is a destination you will likely enjoy regardless of your interest. There are plenty of attractions and a diversity of things to do. For more attractions you may want to include in your bucket list, check out Touropia’s 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Morocco, which lists Djemaa El-Fna, Ait Benhaddou, Fes, Erg Chebbi, Draa Valley, Essaouira, Todra Gorge, Chefchaouen, Volubilis, and Meknes.