1. Jemaa el Fna – the focal point of Marrakech and Africa’s largest square, this UNESCO world heritage site is the vibrant heart of the city attracting street entertainers, hawkers and snake charmers, apothecaries, jugglers, musicians and orange sellers. There’s always something going on here, every day, but the place really comes alive at night when much of the square is transformed into a huge al fresco diner.
2. Souks – Marrakech is renowned for its souks and in the narrow alleyways of this extensive covered market you’ll find everything from herbs and spices to hand-carved wooden ornaments, from traditional Berber clothing to soaps and medicines, beautifully crafted traditional leather goods and jewellery. Each trade has its own area within the market, metalworking, weaving and fabrics, leather goods, carpets, jewellery and woodwork as well, of course, as open spaces selling fresh fruit and vegetables. Even if you’re not planning to buy you’ll find that exploring the souks is an unforgettable and tempting experience.
3. Architecture & History – no visit to Marrakech city centre is complete without exploring some of the city’s ancient historic and architectural sites spanning almost 1000 years. From the Koutoubia Mosque overlooking the central Jemaa el Fna square to the El Badi and el Bahia palaces, from the immaculate Ben Youssef Medrassa to the ornate Saadien Tombs, from a host of museums to tranquil gardens, there is more than enough to savour from Morocco’s rich historic heritage.
4. Hammams – another ‘must-do’ in Marrakech is a visit to a traditional hammam, where locals go to socialise and relax as well as cleaning their pores in steam room sessions via vigorous scrub downs with olive oil soap (‘Savon noir’) using exfoliating gloves. If this traditional treatment sounds rather too energetic for you, there are numerous private spas designed for the tourist where treatment is rather less vibrant and the atmosphere rather more zen, including our own Arganier Spa at Les Borjs de la Kasbah.
5. Traditional Moroccan Art & Music – if possible, do find time to experience some traditional culture in the form of music and crafts during your time in Marrakech. Among the best ways to enjoy both art forms, and more besides, is to attend one of many popular festivals in Marrakech, not least among them being the Marrakech National Popular Arts Festival and the Folk Music Festival, as well as the International Film Festival in December. (See previous blog articles).
6. Jardin Majorelle – if you visit only one garden while in Marrakech it should be the tranquil Jardin Majorelle with its displays of cacti, exotic trees and plants, planted between walkways and ornamental ponds, and exhibition buildings in the cobalt blue of painter Majorelle himself.
For further information about these and other places of interest in Marrakech you need only ask our Reception staff at Les Borjs de la Kasbah who will be happy to help with suggestions and advice.