Photographers flock to Morocco. I suppose it’s a playground of sorts for those with cameras. The Medina is full of activity, colour and a variety of textures. The notion of possible super photos in Marrakech sold me. I was off to Morocco with my camera in hand thinking I’d capture the very same photos as so many other photographers.
During my first day, I abhorred Marrakech and the Medina. Everything seemed like complete chaos and I couldn’t take a good photo to save me. In my mind, the journey was a complete disaster.
And then, I randomly met Hakim, who promptly changed my view of Marrakech. His smile, his warmth and his humour immediately turned the day around and I began to open my eyes to the city. There is more to the Hakim story which I will share in future posts. I will say here, you never know when you will meet your brother and long lasting friend. Hakim has done more to help me grow as a person than almost anyone else I’ve met while travelling. I owe a huge debt to him.
Visit the tantalising Red City of Marrakech. Get lost in the Old Medina while visiting Ben Youssef Madrasa, El Bahai Palace, Jamaa el Fna, the Saadian Tombs and more. Marrakech easily became one of my favourite cities in the world when I first visited. Consider my list of the Top 12 Things To Do In Marrakech ::
:: Entrances and doorways throughout the Medina are works of art and simply beautiful.
:: It is easy to get turned around in the Souks in the Medina. You’ll think you’re completely lost, but you’re not. Keep going and you’ll find your way.
:: The colourful carpets and rugs are lush and strikingly beautiful. Stop and listen to a carpet sellers sales pitch. Ask for a drink. You’ll be there a while.
:: Jamaa el-Fna is a feast for all of your senses. Just remember when you pull out your camera, you should expect to pay to take a photo.
:: You’ll find colour everywhere throughout the Medina. Colour in the clothing, scarves, rugs, spices, fruits, hats and so much more.
:: Musee de Marrakech. Learn about Marrakech history and architecture. The museum is well worth a stop.
:: Make a grand entrance through Bad Agnaou, the official entrance to the Old City of Marrakech.
:: Ben Youssef Madrasa is an old school where young Muslims would study the Quran. Don’t miss this spectacular destination in Marrakech. The tile work, architecture and stunning wood carvings will leave you speechless.
:: The delicious patterns in the tile work throughout the Medina is worth a day to explore.
:: Palais El Badii will give you an idea of Marrakech’s splendid past. The palace is a ruin that was built at the end of the 16th century by the Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour to commemorate the victory of the Battle of the Three Kings against the Portuguese.
:: Stay in a Riad and you’ll be treated like royalty. So divine.
:: Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle is worth every minute you spend in the gardens. You won’t believe you’re in the desert.
Map Showing Location of Ben Youssef Madrasa
Map Showing Location of El Badi Palace and Musee de Marrakech
Facts About Marrakech Population: 1.70 million (city), but over 2 million including suburbs
Area: Marrakech is the capital of the mid-southwestern region of Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, close to the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. The Jemaa el Fna is the heart of the city, which is divided between the medina, the French-built New Town (Ville nouvelle), Gueliz, and the suburbs.
Language: Arabic is the official language, but many people speak Amazigh (Berber language) and French. English is increasingly spoken in tourist areas.
Climate: Marrakech has a dry climate with hot summers and cool winters. The best time for visiting is between March and June and from September to December. There is usually snow on the High Atlas from December to April/ May.
Number of food stalls in Jemaa el Fna: over 100
Destination: Marrakech Morocco