A dusty, riot of colour shimmering in the hot North African sun, Marrakech never fails to enchant.
You will be drawn into the winding cobblestone alleys, the crowded souks and the bustling public squares. The city has an incredible heritage that you will feel all around you as you walk past the towering minarets and hear the call to prayer echo through the streets.
So what do you need to know to have the perfect day in Marrakech? First of all, take cash with you – ATMs can be hard to find within the ancient medina and historic streets. Also, dress modestly – Morocco is a conservative Muslim country and it is important to be sensitive to the culture. Also, schedule in some downtime so that you can relax. Marrakech can be a little crazy and chaotic (but exhilarating) and you will need a chance to catch your breath and recharge by sipping some tea in a cafe or lounging by your hotel pool.
The souks (marketplaces) of Marrakech are the beating heartbeat of the city. They are essential to life here and you can find everything from food to jewellery to spices to fine leathers in these labyrinthine corridors.
Find a unique treasure you can bring home as a souvenir of your trip and don’t be afraid to haggle for a better price on it. Wear comfortable shoes – you will be doing a lot of walking. If you get thirsty, you can stop for a drink of mint tea. Life in Marrakech seems to revolve around the ritual of drinking this sweet tea that is brewed with sprigs of mint leaves.
One of the most fascinating archeological sites in Marrakech, the Saadian Tombs were sealed up for many centuries until they were rediscovered in 1917. Their opulent splendor will take your breath away – they are magnificently decorated with elaborate carvings, Arabic script and colourful tiles. Within the awe-inspiring mausoleum there are 66 tombs, with over 100 more outside in the nearby gardens.
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most iconic buildings in Marrakech, built in a traditional Almohad style and topped with four shimmering copper globes. It is visible from almost anywhere in the city, especially since there is a local ordinance in Marrakech that forbid any other building to be higher than a palm tree.
You cannot enter unless you are Muslim, but you are free to walk around the outside and admire the stunning architecture.
Having a tour guide with you as you wander the streets of Marrakech will make your visit so much more meaningful, as you will receive deeper insight into what you are seeing as you explore the city.
For example, you could take the Imperial Cities tour which includes Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat and Fes. You will have an experienced guide who will reveal to you the secrets and the fascinating history behind these cities – helping you make the most of your perfect day in Marrakech.