Marrakech, also known as the Pearl of the South, has been transformed over time into a luxury residence, a sublime and brilliant city which attracts thousands of people every year. Much of its tourism success is due to its Medina, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Marrakesh is a constant spectacle of mosques, colors, squares and souks. Inside, hides the old city that houses the Medina, with attractions such as the Koutoubia Mosque, the vast Jamaa el Fna, the Badi Palace and the labyrinthine set of palaces, mosques and small alleys that make up the splendid historic center.
Marrakesh is one of the most important cities in Morocco, and also one of the four imperial cities of Morocco (alongside Meknes, Fez and Rabat). It was founded in 1062 by the Almoravids and was the capital of the Islamic empire. It is located in the extreme southwest of Morocco, between the Sahara and the Atlas and Anti Atlas. Its medina is part of the World Heritage Site and is the country’s largest and most populous.
This city is completely unique and different from others. People describe it as a wonderful sensation and a must-see; and it has become the favorite city when visiting the African continent.
The city boasts the nation’s largest traditional market and one of the most visited squares in Africa and the world, the Jamaa el Fna square. In this square come together storytellers, acrobats, dancers, musicians and sellers of water; and at night, it fills with food stalls, becoming a huge open-air restaurant. Its color and the hues of its buildings and structures have garnered this city its colloquial nickname of The Red City.
Marrakesh, like other imperial cities, is divided mainly into two parts: the Old City, which is the central area, with the great Medina; and the New Town, outside the city walls, built by the French during the colonial rule. Today, it is a mythical city, a cultural capital and a top tourist center worldwide.
WHAT TO SEE IN MARRAKESH
Marrakesh is not a city of great impact for its monuments nor does it have amazing museums to visit, it is rather a journey to a different and magical world. Here are the essential visiting points of the city:
- The Jamaa el Fna square is the most important place of the city, being the center of public life of the inhabitants of Marrakech.
- The souk of Marrakech is where Moroccans shop and where shopkeepers do business with tourists.
- The Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech and was one of the largest in the world when it was built.
- Bahía Palace: Built in the late nineteenth century, the Bahia Palace was built with the goal of being the most impressive palace of all time.
- The Medersa ben Youssef is the largest and most important madrasah in Morocco, where up to 900 students came to study.
- The Saadian Tombs are one of the most visited places in Marrakech. It is a small cemetery where the Saadi Dynasty is buried.
- The Dar Si Said Museum, officially called the Museum of Moroccan Arts, is the oldest and largest museum in Marrakech.
- The Menara Gardens have accompanied the city since ancient times and is one of the most visited places in the city and one of the iconic images of Morocco.
- The French Quarter of Gueliz with the Majorelle garden and colonial buildings. · With more than 100,000 palm trees, the Marrakech palm grove remains a very special place and a camel ride among the palms is one of the activities most demanded by tourists.
- The new part of the city with the great avenues of Mohamed V and Mohamed VI represents the arrival of capitalism to Marrakech.