Beautiful, lively and a hot destination amongst style-seekers for years, Marakech is a stunning former Imperial city located in western Morocco. With medieval walls that surround the medina, the city is a key economic centre and home to stunning palaces, verdant gardens and imposing mosques.
Head into the walled medina, which was built in the Berber Empire, and you'll become lost in a maze of colourful, atmospheric alleys, all dotted with traditional souks. These thriving marketplaces sell a wealth of traditional jewellery, pottery, textiles, glassware and more. Look out for the Koutoubia Mosque: a 12-century Moorish minaret which is the city's symbol and visible for miles around. You'll also be spoiled for choice with the delicious cuisine on offer, warm with spices, colour and flavour.
Colour is, in fact, one of the most immediate impressions of this sensuous city. From vibrant green cacti and dusky pink medina walls through to deep blue Moroccan tiles and golden desert sands -- the city reinvigorates and inspires even the weariest of travellers!
Things to Do
There is much more to Marrakech than shopping and spa-going, from Bedouin dessert experiences and incredible candle-lit dinners, through to taking in the fragrance of fresh grapefruit orchards in the spring and wandering around ancient palaces and mosques.
Be inspired by the beauty and splendour of Bahia Palace
This stunning ancient palace has 150 rooms and spans over 8 hectares although only a portion of the palace is open to the public. View incredibly ornate decor, which took Morocco's most talented artisan craftspeople 14 years to complete, and take a guided tour to learn more of the palace's fascinating and colourful history.
Experience the finest Moroccan Art at the Musée de Marrakech,
The museum hosts a huge collection of art, displayed in the intricate salons of the Mnebhi Palace. The central courtyard is a work of art in itself, with stained-glass windows and ornate cedar archways. Look out for zellij tiles and the Fez ceramics display in the main room.
Enjoy drama and entertainment in Djemaa el-Fna
The main square in Marrakech, the Djemaa el-Fna is a constant riot of drama and entertainment, with exciting street theatre, snake-charmers, restaurants and musicians aplenty. The name actually translates as "the assembly of the dead" referring to the square's original site of public executions 1,000 years ago.
Calendar of Events
There is a fantastic calendar of events in Marrakech that spans sport, food, entertainment, culture and more in this vibrant international city. The only challenge will be taking your pick!
- Marrakech Marathon. 8,000 athletes from across the world gather every January under the eye of the king to undertake this gruelling marathon through the city ramparts and palmeraie.
- Marrakech Biennial. Held every two years in the spring, this event showcases literature, art, music, film and more under a theme. Expect salons, talks, events, exhibitions and more.
- Oasis Festival. Held in September, this three-day electronic music event rivals Ibiza for its dance line-up -- there's yoga, massages and swimming to the backdrop of the majestic Atlas mountains.