First capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, Marrakech is now one of the most visited cities in the country. Between tradition and modernity, it has managed to skilfully blend its millenary history with the cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere of its new city. If Marrakech is well known for the maze of its medina classified as a UNESCO heritage site, it has many other treasures to discover, such as its sumptuous monuments of Hispano-Moorish architecture or its green gardens. Here is our selection of Marrakech's must-see attractions.
The permanent show in Jemaâ El-Fna Square
Jemaâ El-Fna Square is the nerve centre of Marrakech's medina: by day and by night, it is the most lively place in the city. During the day, monkey trainers and snake charmers take to the stage in front of a dense crowd. At nightfall, musicians and actors take over for improvised shows, there are also many shops offering typical dishes
Haggling in the souks of the medina
Life is in full swing in the labyrinth of the medina. Founded in the 11th century, the vibrant heart of Marrakech is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains the city's most important monuments such as the Koutoubia Mosque and the Saâdian tombs. The medina also houses the souks, the ideal place to buy a souvenir after having traded for a long time with the trader, as tradition has it!
Relax in the hammam
After a long day of visiting, there is nothing better than to enjoy one of the Moroccan pleasures par excellence: the hammam. In Marrakech, you can find all kinds of them, luxurious or traditional. We meet there to exfoliate and relax: there is at least one hammam per district! Don't forget your bucket, towel and black soap to enjoy the benefits of the two or three hot rooms that make up the place
Strolling in the Majorelle garden
How not to fall under the spell of the Majorelle garden? Created in the 1920s by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, the garden was abandoned in the 1960s before Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé became its owners. They have renovated and maintained this haven of peace in the midst of lush exotic vegetation. It is here that the couturier rests, surrounded by banana trees, palm trees and bougainvilleas.
The Ben Youssef Medersa, a place steeped in history
A jewel of Moorish architecture built around 1570, the Ben Youssef medersa is considered one of the most prestigious Koranic schools in Morocco. It has accommodated up to 900 students in hundreds of rooms that can still be visited today. The mosaics of the courtyard of the medersa as well as its prayer room made up of three naves delimited by marble pillars are dazzling
The Bahia Palace, a journey through the Thousand and One Nights
The Bahia Palace was built from 1880 by the great vizier Sidi Moussa for his favorite - bahia means "beautiful". Inspired by Andalusian architecture, it is a true palace of the Thousand and One Nights which was, at the time of its construction, the largest in Morocco. Composed of 150 rooms, a gigantic courtyard and lush gardens, it is true that the dimensions of the Bahia Palace make you dizzy!
The palm grove, a green setting
More than 150,000 palm trees, date production and a vegetable garden occupy the 13,000 ha of the palm grove built in the 12th century. If this green landscape has become sparse over time, marking man's victory over nature, it is nevertheless one of Marrakech's most beautiful postcards at sunset. The spectacle is also striking in the spring when migratory birds come to spend the night
The Koutoubia Mosque, symbol of Marrakech
Built in the 12th century, the Koutoubia mosque and its 77m minaret of shale sandstone dominate the city. The building that we admire today is actually the second mosque built at the request of Sultan Abd el-Moumen. Indeed, the first one not indicating the direction of Mecca, it was ordered demolished and the current Koutoubia was rebuilt. At the time, it was the largest mosque in the Maghreb
Taste the culinary specialities
As soon as you arrive in Marrakech, your nostrils will be filled with spicy smells! Feel free to taste the various specialities of Morocco. We know couscous or tajine well, but many other succulent dishes are part of the culinary tradition such as pastilla, a dish prepared with brig sheets, almonds, honey and chicken, or msemens, delicious cakes to enjoy with honey! Not to mention, of course, the tasty oriental pastries!
The Saâdian tombs, rare remains
The Saâdian tombs mark the golden age of the Saâdian dynasty in Marrakech, between 1524 and 1659. The mausoleums that we admire today were built at the end of the 16th century. Their existence was only revealed to the general public in 1917, since previously only a few faithful people were allowed to enter this enclosure through a back door. The dynasty that succeeded the Saâdians had effectively decided to destroy or conceal the wealth of its predecessors