Places To Visit In Marrakech
With its rich cultural offerings, salmon-pink walls, and stunning architectural feats, Marrakech continues to be an ever-popular destination for travellers. As the fourth largest city in Morocco, it is overflowing with opportunities for discovery and its relative affordability makes it easy to have an unforgettable experience regardless of whether you are seeking to shop, relax, discover new flavours or learn more about the countrys history. Here are five things to do in the mesmerising North African city.
The Saadian Tombs are one of Marrakech’s lesser-known attractions. Dating back to the 16th century it is comprised of the graves of about 60 members of the Saadi Dynasty. It was the Saadians who created much of Marrakech’s grandeur. However, many traces of the dynasty were destroyed
by the Sultans that preceded. Rediscovered in 1917, the tombs are one of the last traces of the Saadi era and exploring them is almost like unearthing a spectacular secret. Around each corner is a new and seemingly hidden archway decorated with grand yet intricate carvings, tiling, and inscriptions.
Marrakech is famous for its labyrinth of souks – There’s something quite enchanting about the seemingly endless trail of cubicles with offerings ranging from glowing golden lanterns to hand painted ceramics and brightly woven tapestries. Hidden in this maze you can also discover the
mesmerising Dyer;s Souk. Here you can learn about the natural dye powders used to give colour to the materials used to produce the multi-coloured fabric goods sold throughout the souks while watching the incredibly skilful act of dipping the wool into dangerously hot vats of dye.
The decadent late 19th-century beauty that is Bahia Palace features a large interior garden adorned with fragrant cypress, orange, jasmine and banana trees as well as a grand marble courtyard. At the time of its construction, it was intended to become the ‘greatest palace of its time’, and whether or not you have explored many 19th century palaces, you will surely be taken in by its charm.
Stepping into the walled grounds of the Jardin Majorelle (Majorelle Garden) is synonymous to stepping into a Moroccan wonderland. Designed and constructed over a span of 40-years by French painter Jacques Majorelle, the garden is scattered with an assortment of luscious foliage from across
the world. The contrasting yellow and cobalt blue exterior of the iconic villa that sits at the centre of the garden is like nothing else in the city, it exudes a unique blend of Moorish and Art Deco architecture. Following Majorelle’s death in 1980, French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his close friend Pierre Berge purchased the garden, preventing its sale and replacement with a hotel. A visit to the garden will present no doubt as to how much of a tragedy this would have been.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Founded in the 14th century and re-built by the Saadians in the 16th, The Ben Youssef Madrasa was an Islamic college of science and theology. During its operation, it was one of the largest theological colleges in North Africa. The central attraction here is the bright, airy courtyard that is decorated with carved cedar and marble in traditional Islamic geometric designs. Beyond the courtyard, you can explore the dormitories once occupied by the college’s students, and, from the windows gain an unforgettable birds-eye view of the grounds.