There’s something mystical and enchanting about this desert oasis, which for thousands of years served as a vibrant trading post for camel trains connecting Sub-Saharan Africa with Europe.
In its ancient history Marrakesh has switched hands many times, but no matter who the invader is, it kept its Berber identity, painted with the natural hues of roses and pinks and reds that reflects the iron in the High Atlas Mountains just beyond.
The medina (the old city) with its narrow, cobbled streets is home to traders in exquisite handicrafts, fruits of the desert and delectable sweet treats, for an absolute shopping delight. There are museums and ancient palaces, where you can glimpse the fabled lives of the concubines of the harem, and the caliphs, and the sultans.
The souk is an ancient covered market where you can haggle with the vendors, feasting your eyes on gorgeous selections of handicrafts, herbs, ointments, clothes, and whatever else you can imagine.
Because of the decades of the French Protectorate, there is modern elegance and technology in line with the ancient city. Five star restaurants, bars and cafes; art museums; music, film and cultural festivals; grand hotels…. Marrakesh has something to delight everyone.
Visit the famed Marjorelle Gardens, built by French artist Jacques Marjorelle, who gifted to Morocco its ubiquitous “Marjorelle Blue.” This building is the only building in all of Marrakesh that is not a shade of red! His home and property that was later owned by Yves St. Laurent, who gifted it to the Moroccan people. It includes a wonderful museum of Berber artifacts.
Enjoy a quick trip to the 16th Century Sadiaan Tombs which inspire and captivate, and the Koutoubia Mosque, finished in 1199, which was the largest mosque in Morocco until the Hassan II Mosque was built in Casablanca in recent years. Its sister citadel is La Giralda in Seville.
Marrakesh is a city for wandering, getting lost, and discovering the unexpected. It’s an excellent spot for relaxation, fine dining, and world class entertainment.
You can dress as you like! As a highly touristic city, Marrakesh is accepting of all traditions; however to enter religious buildings, women will need to have their hair and arms and legs covered. For fine dining you would dress as you would in any respectable establishment.