Marrakesh Things to Do Tips by iwys
Marrakesh Things to Do: 726 reviews and 1,693 photos
Jardin Majorelle was created by the French artist, Jacques Majorelle. It is now looked after by Yves Saint Laurent. It is an exotic garden in an exotic city: an odd mixture of desert cacti and tropical trees and shrubs. It is quite small and you can see it all comfortably in 20 minutes. In fact, you could walk around it four or five times in that period. There are, however, benches, where it is nice to just sit, relax and enjoy the view. Peer through the fence to the right and you will see one of the grandest private houses in the world. It is based on a traditional kasbah design. I wonder who it belongs to? Yves St. Laurent perhaps?
When you look at how perfect the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque is, it's hard to believe that it is as old as it is. At 70m, it has dominated the skyline of the Medina since the 12th century.
It was built between 1150 and 1199, mostly during the reign of Sultan Yacoub el Mansour.
Non-muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque, but you can wander around the adjacent gardens. and take lots of photos. The minaret is particularly photogenic at sunset.
Directions: 5 minutes' walk from Djemaa el-Fna.
Bab Agnaou is the most beautiful of the gates in the massive walls that surround the old city of Marrakech. It is best seen just before sunset, when it takes on a lovely pink hue. Along with Koutoubia, it was one of the first two stone structures built in the city.
Souq Smarine is the first souk you will walk through when you enter the labyrinth of souks that runs north of Djemaa el Fna. It was originally for textiles and there are still quite a few stalls selling these, but an increasing number are now given over to all manner of tourist-oriented souvenirs, many of which accept credit cards.
Address: Rue Souk Smarine
The Saadian tombs were rediscovered following a French aerial survey in 1917. Sultan Moulay Ismail had sealed them up, in his attempt to erase all memories of the Saadian dynasty. The earliest tombs here date back to 1557. The first mausoleum you see when you enter is the one that houses the tomb of Sultan Ahmed el Mansour. Altogether the tombs of more than a hundred members of the Saadian royal family are located here. These are the people who used to live in the adjoining El Badi Palace.
Open daily 08.30-11.45 & 14.30-17.45
Admission: 10 DH.
Directions: In the Lower Medina, near El Badi Palace
Tihs medersa or religious school was founded in the fourteenth century. At one time it housed more than 800 students. You can visit their rooms, even their bathroom, and see examples of how they were typically furnished. Admission 40dh (60dh for Ben Youssef Medersa, Marrakesh Museum and Almoravid Koubba)
Phone: + 212 (0)44 39 09 11/12
The Kasbah Mosque is one of the oldest and biggest in Marrakech. It was built in the 12th century.
Address: Rue de la Kasbah
Directions: Northern edge of Kasbah, between the Saadian tombs and Bab Agnaou
El Badi Place was constructed between 1578 and 1594 for Ahmed el Mansour, who ruled Morocco for 25 years. It was also known as "The Incomparable" because it was so magnificent. It was later destroyed and stripped of all its wealth by Sultan Moulay Ismail. Today there are still impressive ruins of this huge palace complex to be seen.
Admission: 10dh or 20dh with the minbar
Bahia Palace is the most beautiful building complex in Marrakech. It was built in 1886-87 for Si Moussa, a former slave. If you ever wanted to see a rags to riches story, then this is it.
El Djemaa el Fna means the Assembly of the Dead, in Arabic. but, it is a square which is full of life. It has hundreds of food stalls, fresh orange juice sellers, acrobats, musicians, transvestite dancers, fortune tellers, snake charmers, henna painters, story tellers and traditional medicine vendors, as well, of course, as lots of tourists. You will find little circles of local men gathered around the various performers. If you join one of these circles and take a photo or even catch the eye of the performer, he will ask you for money.
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