My heart stayed in Marrakech. My wish is one day to go back and to embrace again its imperial glory and oriental colors and aromas for at least one week. Because one-two days are not enough to dive deep and feel the real Marrakech – the city of kings and French movies stars. Marrakech has many faces: the face of the workers that are on the squares every day from early morning to look for a job; the face of the imperial palaces and luxurious hotels that looks like palaces; the chic boutiques selling haute couture fashion and the huge villas in Arabic style but implemented with French chic. Marrakech is one of the places that you never forget. Yes, it can be noisy, messy, dusty… but it is also full of life and buzzing of people that grasp the life and dance with it in any possible way. Moroccans are survivors and skillful people. Their skills and hard work make Morocco such a multicolored beauty, same like the famous Moroccan lantern. The whole Moroccan exuberance and abundance can be seen at one place – Marrakech. But as I guess you don’t have the whole time of the world, these are the 5 places in Marrakech that you should, in no way, omit to see. You can do this even in one day, but if you are from the few lucky with more time to explore the city, enjoy the visits in African way – leisurely.
Places in Marrakech – Koutoubia Mosque
Koutoubia Mosque is the religious and cultural heart of Marrakech. It is called ‘the booksellers’ mosque’ because in the past the area around it was known as the souk where the booksellers were selling their books. Koutoubia is also the largest mosque in Morocco but in my opinion, the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca is more beautiful. However, the park around is pleasant for a walk and even to sit and enjoy the beautiful North African weather, to listen to the call to prayer of the muezzin. In whole Morocco, the non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosques, so you can enjoy their beautiful architecture only from far but you can always stop and observe and try to feel the atmosphere and understand better the country and its people.
Places in Marrakech – La Mamounia
At few minutes walk from the Koutoubia mosque you can find La Mamounia, the most famous hotel in the Moroccan history. It is not a hotel, it is an institution. Thanks to its past as a palace and its prominent clientele of movie stars and politicians the hotel is a favorite stop for many visitors, even if it’s just for a coffee at the terrace. But I think that its purest charm is in the Moroccan style hospitality and identity that you will find all over the place.
Places in Marrakech – Majorelle Gardens
Oriental blue, this is the color that is all over in these gardens. Don’t ask me why they called Oriental? I have no clue, but the French are always right, right? They know style and colors. First created by the French painter Majorelle, later home to the fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent, the gardens are a synonym of bold style and artistry. In the gardens, there is also organized Berber Museum that shows the life of the Morocco’s nomadic tribes. It sounds very interesting as I know how fascinating are the Berber people living in the desert but I didn’t have the chance to see it. Surely next time!
Places in Marrakech – The Medina
Medina means “old city”. Most of the big Moroccan cities have medina that is usually the noisiest, crowded and dirty place at the destination. Often, it is also a little bit adventurous (not to say dangerous) for a woman alone to explore it. But it is the only place where you can feel as a girl in the cave of Aladdin – the small shops are full of amazing stuff like handmade colorful babush (traditional slippers), beautifully colored Moroccan scarf, spices, different wooden items and so much more. Read my post about visiting the medina as a woman.
Places in Marrakech – El Bahia Palace
This is one of the places that are sort of a surprise here in Marrakech. Not so luxurious and glamorous like the Mamounia and Majorelle gardens, the palace represents the Moroccan style in a much-subdued environment. The rooms are empty (regrettably) but the beautiful Moroccan tiles and woodwork are can steal your heart! The courtyard, like in most Moroccan houses, is the center of the palace where you can feel the peace of slow pace, characteristic of Moroccan way of life. Walking around the palace, you feel its melancholy.
Have you been to Marrakech? What is your favourite place in the imperial city?
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