Serving as the capital of southern Morocco, the city of Marrakech is one of the country’s most visited and this colourful oasis retains a rather exotic flavour, with some 16 km / 10 miles of mid-brick ramparts still standing adding an undeniable feeling of the past. Marrakech is now something of a Moroccan tourism Mecca and is home to the south’s premier souq (market).
Founded almost 1,000 years ago, the character of Marrakech remains quite unchanged, being hot, full of energy and somewhat African. However, the city of today has been greatly influenced by arriving Europeans and features outdoor swimming pools, mountain parties, and street cafes, as well as Moroccan palaces, mosques and kasbahs, spread around the Medina and its centre Djemaa El Fna square.
-Djemaa El-Fna : is the highlight of any Marrakech night. Musicians, dancers, and story tellers pack this square at the heart of the medina, filling it with a cacophony of drum beats and excited shouts. Scores of stalls sell a wide array of Moroccan fare and you will almost certainly be accosted by women wanting to give you a henna tattoo. Enjoy the various shows, but be prepared to give some dirhams to watch. By day it is largely filled with snake charmers and people with monkeys, as well as some of the more common stalls.
-The Souks : (suuqs), or markets of Marrakech, just adjacent to Place Djemaa El-Fna, are where you can buy almost anything. From spices to shoes, jellabas to kaftans, tea pots to tagines and much, much more. Undoubtedly, being a foreigner means you will end up paying higher prices than a native would, but be sure to bargain nonetheless.
–Koutoubia Mosque : right besides Djemaa El-Fna, is named after the booksellers market that used to be located here. It is said that the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque is to Marrakech as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. The minaret is visible from Gueliz which is connected to the Medina by Avenue Mohammed V. At night, the mosque is beautifully lit.
-Saadian Tombs : were not discovered until the beginning of the 20th century. They have been preserved just like they were during the glory days of the Saadian rulers. Unlike the El Badi Palace, they were not destroyed, probably for superstitious reasons. The entrance was blocked so they remained untouched for hundreds of years. Inside you will find an overload of Zelij (Morrocan tiles) and some beautiful decoration. It doesn’t take a lot of time to explore, but it is definitely worth the visit. While here, look for the tombs of Jews and Christians; they are noted by their different markings and direction of the tomb.
–Majorelle Gardens : in Gueliz has an entrance fee of Dh 40 and is more expensive than other attractions. However, it provides an excellent respite from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The park boasts a collection of plants from across the globe, including what seems like every cactus species on the planet. Get here early to avoid the crowds. Inside the gardens is also the Museum of Islamic Art, for which an additional entrance fee is charged.
–El Bahia Palace : is an ornate and beautiful palace, popular with guided tours and stray cats. The palace is well worth a visit and gives a great impression of what it must have been like to be a 19th century nobleman in Morocco. There is a nice garden with banana flowers, tranquil courtyards, and other lovely plants.
–Menara gardens : which are located west of the city, and consist of a mixture of orchards and olive groves surrounding a central pavilion which is a popular sight on tourist postcards. The pavilion was built during the 16th century Saadi dynasty, and renovated in 1869. It has a small cafe.