Marrakech is a wonderful city known for many things, whether that is the Marrakech Express made famous by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, or the great architecture of Islamic history. Whatever your reason for visiting, you will find no lack of attractions to draw you to it. Here are five of the most interesting things to do in Marrakech to make the most of your time in this amazing place.
Photo credit: Stefano
SHOPPING AT THE SOUKS
Souks are open air marketplaces found in most Middle Eastern and African cities. Otherwise known as bazaars, these marketplaces are amazing in variety. It’s important that you learn the art of haggling as quickly as possible so you can get the best deal. With the same mix of African and Arabic architecture, these bazaars make visitors feel as if they’ve been whisked away to another time and place – and within these walls, you might meet anyone from famous American actresses to Italian fashion gurus.
PAY A VISIT TO THE SAADIAN TOMBS
Much like the pyramids of Egypt, the Saadian Tombs of Marrakech are the final resting place of many of its former leaders – over sixty in fact. Even the famous Sultan Ahmed El Mansour was laid to rest here. While many of the former architectural wonders have been destroyed, the Tombs have always been a place of mystery and superstition, and it is likely that this superstition saved them from damage and destruction from war.
HANG ON IN JEMMA EL FNA SQUARE
Jemma El Fna Square is the town square of old Marrakech, hundreds of years old and full of activity. All the well-known elements of Arabia are here; snake charmers, medicine men, even belly dancers. Acrobats and musicians dance beside food stalls that cook delicious kebabs. If you’re in the mood for entertainment, there is plenty to be found in the street theater groups that stake out claims in the square. Some rooftop terraces are available where you can dine and overlook the activity in the square and soak in the local atmosphere.
Photo credit: Vincent van der Pas
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY IN PACHA
Pacha is a huge complex that holds two well-known restaurants in addition to lounges, dance floors, and a swimming pool. A place for a bit of modern partying, Pacha offers everything you might find in a city like New York or London. Pacha contains many separate establishments including Jana and Crystal. It also boasts a dance floor capable of holding 3,000 people. If that isn’t enough for you, consider Palais Jad Mahal, another restaurant offering live entertainment with a dance club below, or Theatro, perhaps the most modern club where the hippest of the hip hang out.
VISIT THE KOUTOUBIA MOSQUE
For those seeking a religious experience, the Koutobia Mosque is the best place to go. Built in the 12th century, this minaret stands tall over the city with architecture from a thousand years ago. If you are not Muslim, you cannot go inside, but the gardens and courtyard outside the mosque are open to the public to pay a visit to.