Located in the southwest of Morocco, Marrakech is located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains through Morocco and is known as the “Pearl of the South”. Marrakech is Berber, which means “Land of God.” Marrakech has the largest Berber market in Morocco and it’s an open market. There are also the most popular squares in Africa. Marrakech is famous for the leather industry. It’s also well-known for its winding streets, courtyards, bustling and noisy markets and exotic buildings. Here is the list of top 10 attractions worth visiting in Marrakech.
1. Djemaa el- Fna
The first thing you must not miss is Djemaa el – Fna, which is the largest square in Africa with a reputation as the ‘heart of the city’ and was included in the World Cultural Heritage in 2001. Marrakech is a place where many movies were filmed, and the earlier one is “The Murder”. Marrakech is Berber, which means “red “. Because the walls of old time were made of crimson rock and have been basically preserved so far. During the day, you will see numerous juice stalls, Indian painters and snake charmers. People jostle each other in a crowd. At night, food vendors, music artists and fortunetellers gather here. The fragrance of spices fills the air, and the square instantly becomes a gourmet paradise for the foodies. You can enjoy a cup of mint tea at a coffee shop at the top of roof and enjoy the view of the city.
2. Koutoubia Mosque
The Koutoubia Mosque is the symbol of Marrakech and the center and the highest point of the old city of Marrakech. It was once a symbol of the Moroccan dynasty and was used as a large library. It is worth noting that it only opens up the interior space to Muslims, but all visitors are welcome to visit the peripheral park. The park is built in the French style. It is full of flowers and cats occasionally appear. It is a good place for tourists to visit the mosque and take a break.
3. Marrakech Souk
Going to the market is the best way to fully experience the folk customs and exotic atmosphere! There are plenty of fresh ingredients, local specialties and irresistible meal. The market is like a microcosm of the city culture. What you only need to prepare for the market is the empty stomach, the sportive legs, the empty suitcase, and of course, the money! The Marrakech Market is Morocco’s largest traditional open-air market. Every day, people are in an endless stream, and it is a great place to experience the North African style of Morocco. Tourist often get lost because there’s no rules for the layout of the market. You see a wide range of goods, including spices, leather goods, ceramics, lamps, shawls, carpets and so on. You can bargain with the enthusiast and friendly merchant and enjoy the shopping!
4. Bahia Palace
Don’t miss the Bahia Palace if you are a fan of the architecture. This beautiful 19th-century palace is an model work of Islamic and Moroccan architecture, with carefully drawn ceilings, arches, stained-glass lights and exquisite floor tiles. “Bahia” in the name of the Bahia Palace means “wisdom”. Compared to other buildings in Morocco at the same time, the Bahia Palace aims to create the style of Islamic and Moroccan architecture. In addition, the palace is for private use. Some people say that the palace is the aesthetic of the parvenu, and some people say that the palace itself is still artistic and aesthetic.
5. Badi Palace
The palace originated from the 16th century and was built with a large amount of precious metals and stones, but it was robbed of everything 75 years after its completion. A feature of the palace is that the Koutoubia Missionary Station is set up with exquisite mosaic art and gold and silver printed calligraphy. The historical significance of this building is to celebrate the victory of Jacques Emansol. The construction of the palace was funded by the ransom of Portugal after the Battle of Three Kings, and the overall design style was influenced by the Alhambra Palace in Granada. There are originally 360 rooms, a 135-meter by 110-meter courtyard, and a 90-meter by 20-meter swimming pool. What’s more, the Badi Palace is decorated with Italian marble and a large amount of gold imported from Sudan. In addition, the Royal Palace has an underground, which is used like a small tunnel prison for the king to detain his prisoners.
6. Majorelle Gardon
The Majorelle Garden is a 12-acre botanical garden dating back to the 1920s. The garden is the most complex and great work done by the French artist Jacques Majorelle and it’s restored by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé. It has a variety of rare flowers, garden trails and marble pools. There is also a Berber Museum in the Marjorie Blue (Cobalt Blue) villa. The blue walls and the vibrant green cactus complement each other, and the latter rear high like a totem pole, which present a stunning sight.
7. Jardin Menara Garden
The Menara Garden is an oasis of historic origin from the 12th century. There is a gazebo in this desert garden. You can look out over a vast artificial lake surrounded by olive trees and orchards in the pavilion. The Menara Garden is a botanical garden with palm, olive and fruit trees. The Saad dynasty continued to expand the garden in the 16th century. Its name comes from the pavilion with a pyramid-shaped green tile roof in the garden, which means a lighthouse. There are many people in the garden. Some women are in the woods and fields to find the flowers, grass and plants that they use for beauty after lunch. Other women have fun on the swing and chat with each other.
8. Médersa Ben – Youssef
This Joseph Theological Seminary is the largest scale seminary with a history of more than 600 years in the North African region and one of the architectural masterpieces of Morocco’s heyday. The building is decorated with exquisite carvings and unparalleled decorations. The pattern of Islam is one of the most beautiful in the world. The design and sculpture of the seminary assemble the characteristics of the Islamic Art. A lot of geometric patterns are used in the interior of the seminary, and it is said that many movies are taken here, which is a good place to take pictures.
9. Bab Agnaou
The Babb Agnaou is built at the Almerhad Dynasty in the 12th century, which was one of the nineteen gates of Marrakech. Bab means the Arabic door. When the door of Baber Robb was the official entrance to the city, the Agnaou Gate was the gateway to the Royal Palace. As an entrance to royal palace, the function of the door is mainly for decoration. The horse-shaped gate pioneer and the corners of the Quran inscriptions can be found in the Mesquita in Cordoba, which has many similarities with Rabat’s contemporary Bab Er-Rouah. The surrounding of the huge horseshoe arch consists of stone and brick, and the gate is made up of three carved nested arches. The corner at the top has floral decorations and the arches are made up of three panels with inscriptions from the Quran.
10. Tombeaux Saadiens
Tombeaux Saadiens built in 1557 are mausoleum of the Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603) family of the Saad dynasty including himself. When the Sultan Moulay Ismaïl Murray Ismail (1672-1727) of the Allawi dynasty invaded Marrakech, they destroyed the Badi Palace but retained the tomb. However it rests only one entrance to the Kasbah Mosque and the other entrances were sealed up. It was restored in 1917 after being discovered by a French flight search and opened to the public, showing its beauty decorated with colorful puzzles and exquisite carvings. There are 3 rooms where about 66 members of the Saad royal family are buried. The most famous is the room with the exquisite decorative carvings in the middle where the Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur and his children are buried. There is also a garden in the mausoleum where about 100 Sudanese soldiers and his entourage are buried. It is recommended to visit it early in the daytime, and it’s crowded when you go there later. The main tomb or the twelve rows of the room is very beautifully carved. The wood carvings on the ceiling are exquisite and gorgeous and the various mosaics are elegant, which shows the excellent skills of Arab craftsmen.
Of course, there are still plenty of things to do and to see. Don’t hesitate to rent our pocket wifi to discover the great city and stay connected there!