City description

Marrakech, the “Red City”, certainly lives up to its poetic nickname. The medieval walls around the historic old town are perfectly preserved. They give the city a fascinating look and come into their own at dusk, when they slowly start to illuminate as the sun sets. The Medina, with its ochre shimmer, has been burnished by the sun. Next to the Ben Youssef Madrasa, the Koutoubia Mosque is another building modelled out of this red earth. With its stunning minaret, it is one of the symbols of a city that has been able to blend its past with its present. South of the Medina, Jemaa el-Fnaa is the epitome of this, with its artists, storytellers, snake charmers and street sellers.

The iconic Jemaa el-Fnaa is the beating heart of the city and the gateway to the Medina and its souks, where the hustle and bustle reaches fever pitch. In this microcosm that seems at first glance to work in mysterious ways, all of the different facets of the country are represented. Tourists and locals, goldsmiths and skilled craftsmen, colourful spice merchants and caravanners: they can all be found here, united by the thrill of bartering to spice things up.
Marrakech is also a city that boasts contemporary charms. Guéliz comes straight out of the imagination of the French architect Henri Prost, and was the first neighbourhood to have introduced the city to modernity. With its western shops and Marrakech Plaza, a large shopping centre selling European brands, it’s one of Marrakech’s shopping hot spots. 33 rue Majorelle is a concept store next to the Majorelle Garden that’s also popular with fashionistas.

The Red City also has a sporty side for anybody able to see it as a playground with a whole realm of possibilities. Fancy a run around the Palmeraie, before taking part in the Marrakech marathon, alongside 6,000 other runners? Golfers will find the ultimate greens on which to practice their swing at the Royal Golf club. And then there’s the Marrakech Grand Prix, which gets the whole city in a party mood.

As you enjoy a stroll around town to discover its architectural treasures, watch out for El Badi Palace or Bahia Palace, the Maison de la Photographie and the Museum of Marrakech for a fantastic opportunity to discover the richness of a secular culture and the energy of the new local arts scene. The latter is also demonstrated through a number of ambitious events that punctuate Marrakech’s annual calendar, like the International Film Festival, the Marrakech Jazz Festival and the Marrakech Art Fair.

Last but not least, you can’t leave Marrakech without trying some of its generous, exotic culinary delights. Touches of modernity have in no way compromised on its character, where the focus is on tasty local ingredients, spices and cosmopolitan influences. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, from Dar Yacout in the Medina to Al Fassia and Nomad.
When the sun goes down, the city loses none of its daytime vibrancy. At the Theatro, the city’s legendary nightclub, night owls from around the world get together to share the experience of Marrakech by night, a mix of DJs and oriental dancing. You’re guaranteed a rich and intense experience in Marrakech.
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