Today I will tell you about Marrakech, a charming city in the south of Morocco, next to the Atlas Mountains.
There are two Marrakech, the modern Marrakech or the new part as they say that it looks quite like a city of more western design and on the other hand the old part in which they try to keep the spirit of the old Marrakech intact.
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What to see in Marrakech?
We don’t visit much of the new part and focus on the old part or old town which is what we’re going to talk about here today.
When you get to the old town of Marrakech, the first thing you feel is that everything is old, very old, and it seems that you would have gone back in time.
Yamaa el Fna Square The center of Marrakech
The Yamaa el Fna square is the nerve center of Marrakech, it is a huge square where you can find many food stalls of all kinds. From stalls selling snails to many stalls of fresh fruit that looked very good or other stalls of nuts among which you could see almonds and figs.
There are also cooked food stalls that prepare you there on the spot and around the square there are plenty of restaurants, most of them fast food where to eat something. It is not very recommended to buy food at the stalls of the square, in the locals no problem.
We also bought nuts, dates, figs and peach that were delicious, especially the latter, because they were very fresh and tender.
Around the stalls you can see people who are attending some street artists, comedians and storytellers. We could also see snake charmers trying to lure you by sounding that kind of trumpets with their signature snake-ridden sound.
Be careful if you take a picture of them because they will quickly come forward to ask you for money. And if they offer you to take a picture of them, when you do, they’ll ask you for money for it. Look, this is a general rule, when someone offers to pose for a photo, they will do it because they expect money in return and will ask you.
The Marrakech Souk
The souk is the main market in Marrakech, each neighborhood also has its main market as well. The streets are narrow and to avoid sweltering heat, they are covered by a roofing so it is easy to disorient and lose track of time.
As soon as you get closer to curious a little, the shopkeeper is already going to quickly come over to insist that you buy and haggle with him. They are quite insistent and on numerous occasions make you feel uncomfortable. So much so that we no longer approached any position so that we would not be persecuted, unless we were looking for something very concrete.
It is seen that the crafts still are maintained and the market is organized by handicrafts, wood, skin, metal, fabrics, spices, food, glass, etc. So when you go through one of these areas you will find many little things of the same theme and craftsmanship.
I was particularly struck by the food market as one is no longer used to seeing the food for sale that way, especially meat or fish, and it can be a small shock to which you must be prepared. The reason is that the hygienic conditions shine through in their absence and the fish and meat are exposed to everything.
The argument I heard is that everything is super fresh and they eat it on the day, well, I’m not convinced and I didn’t like the truth, but it was what there was. We always ate in restaurants that gave us some security, but you never know where he’s bought the food. What is certain is that we do not buy food there except fruit or nuts.
We were also visiting the area of weavers where they make the handkerchiefs and turbans and also teach you how to place them properly. Although to tell you the truth I was not able to learn how it was done although I really noticed it!.
Marrakech Kutubía Mosque
Mezquite Kutubía is located next to Yamaa el Fna Square and is from the 12th century. We didn’t go into any mosques, but we could see them on the outside.
What stands out most is the tower or minaret of this mosque since it is sister of La Giralda de Sevilla. In fact, the architects relied on this tower to design La Giralda.
Bay Palace of Marrakech
This palace was built in the nineteenth century for a vizier of the sultan, who was somewhat like a minister. It is completely visitable and the details of the palace décor are stunning.
In the photo you can see the yard of the harem. This vizier had four wives and about thirty concubines in this harem. As we already know, you could have as many women as you were able to maintain.
The Marrakech Palm Grove
The Palm Grove is a huge expanse of land occupied by palm trees, but it is not easily accessible. It is not recommended to go on your own.
It is better to ask to be taken by taxi and there you will see that you can hire a camel ride through the palm grove. It is the best way to travel, it has a cost of about 30 euros.
The Majorelle Garden or Yves Saint Laurent Garden An oasis in Marrakech
It is a beautiful garden that Jacques Majorelle began to build who was a French painter. He loved Morocco when it was a French protectorate and lived in it for a long time. He bought the estate next to the palm grove and built a villa in it and began to build the gardens.
It was actually a botanical garden with many exotic species that the painter had brought from his travels around the world. The painter Majorelle died and the gardens fell into the absolute abandon until in 1980 Yves Saint Laurent bought it and restored it and expanded it, leaving it in the current state.
It is visitable both the gardens and the museum and the entrance for both has a cost of 100 dirhams (10 euros).
The Saadies Tombs
The Saadies Tombs are an interesting monument found in the souk of Marrakech. They date back to the 17th century but were closed and hidden until in 1917 they found it and opened to the public and began its restoration. They are made of carrara marble and are truly beautiful.
In these tombs are about 60 members of the Saadi dynasty, hence its name and among them is the famous Almanzor.
The Madrasa Ben Youssef
If you visit the Ben Youssef madrasa you will be able to get an idea of what the environment was in which Islam was studied in this school.
They call it medersa, not madrasa which is a Castellanization of the term. It is not currently functioning as a school and is a mere tourist attraction.
I hope our advice will help you to enjoy your visit to Marrakech.
Prepare your trip to Marrakech
- Best insurance trip to Morocco.
- Must-Visit Places in Marrakech
- Guided tours in Marrakech
- Best Riads in Marrakech
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