The most worthwhile tourist areas in Marrakech are inside a very small area, starting in the north through the town square of Jama El Fna with its crowd of storytellers, musicians and the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque which is visible from practically anywhere in Marrakech.
Marrakech is an inland city, a good 2 hours drive from the coast. The wide sandy beaches of Essaouira are approx 3 hours drive away.
Things to Do
See the famous landmark of Koutoubia Mosque and its symbolic minaret. Take a guided tour of the Bahia Palace and gardens, a good example of Moroccan architecture and beautiful mosaics. Explore the vast ruins of the El Badi Palace and admire views across the Medina from the tower.
Escape to the serenity of the Ben Youssef Medersa, a former school dating back to the 14th century with an attractive courtyard, domed prayer rooms and over 100 student rooms. Take a guided tour to appreciate the history, ornate architecture, mosaics and carvings.
The Jardin Majorelle, whilst not the biggest garden, is famously linked to Yves Saint Laurent and is a popular visitor attraction. Another popular attraction are the Saadian Tombs, which are surrounded by ornate mosaics and flower gardens.
Out and About
The colourful, noisy souks provide endless fascination, set amid the maze of alleys and narrow lanes in the Medina. A fusion of chic boutiques and traditional shops and stalls organised in specialist quarters selling leathers, carpets and fabrics, pashminas and clothing, foods and spices, ceramics and metals. From colourful slippers to silk rugs and raffia baskets to embroidery, you will find plentiful choices of hand-crafted and traditional products.
There are a number of public gardens offering a welcome retreat from the bustle of the streets. Across from the Ensemble Artisanal (craft centre), you can relax under the shade of the orange trees in the well maintained gardens of the Cyber Park and hook up to the free WiFi. Between the Cyber Park and the Jardin Majorelle, the Jardin El Harti has an attractive cactus garden, rose garden and children's play area.
Nightlife is colourful in Marrakech and there are countless bars and nightclubs. In the evenings the Jemaa El Fna square is packed with street performers, snake charmers and acrobats as well as food stalls and street vendors.
For a change of scenery and a fun day out, the Oasiria Water Park is open all year round. The park features thrill slides, an adult only pool, a wave pool, a lazy river, a splash park, a pirate lagoon and mini slides for children, a choice of restaurants and acres of gardens.
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