Guided walking tour of Marrakesh - 1 day
Marrakech is probably best known for central Djemma El Fna with its juice stalls, dried fruit and nut stalls, women applying henna, snake charmers, story sellers and the myriad of nightly food stalls. It is a city increasingly popular for short stays in its beautiful traditional riads and for international conferences in the larger hotels. With the increase in air traffic, it is a popular place to set out on day trips into the Atlas Mountains or the coast, or for longer trips into the Sahara.
The main tourist attractions are the following:
The Majorelle Gardens is a serene garden originally designed by Jacques Majorelle and owned by Yves Saint Laurent. The garden boasts fish pools, little bridges and paths, cacti, plants and trees as well as a small shop and relaxing café and restaurant. Many plants are set in pots painted an unusual and striking tone of blue, so special and unique, it is named Majorelle blue. It i s copiously copied all across the city and beyond.
The Koutoubia Mosque is a land mark in the city and also its largest. Its name originates from the Arabic "al-Koutoubiyyin" as it served as the site for many bookshops and book - sellers. You will see miniatures sold all over Morocco as it is so well-loved and revered. The mosque is built in a traditional Almohad style and the tower (69m) is adorned with four copper globes.
El Bahia Palace, “the palace of the beautiful” was built for Ahmed Ibn Moussa between 1894 and 1900 in the then popular Alaoui style. There are 160 different rooms in the palace around little courtyards, which were occupied, chiefly, it is claimed, by an increasing number of concubines. The beautiful decorations to surprise and delight are stucco panels, zellij decorations, tiled floors, smooth arches, carved cedar ceilings, shiny marble finishes (a special Marrakesh finish called tadelakt and used in all the city's riads’ bathrooms) and painted ceilings. The palace is surrounded by an eight hectare garden.
The Qoranic School, the Ben Youssef Medersa, was founded by Sultan Abou el Hassan (1331–49), but rebuilt in the 1560s, under the Saadians. The school is where some 800 students learned the Koran by heart through repetition and diligence. You can see their tiny dormatories on the first floor. This is undeniably one of the most stunning and beautifully decorated buildings in Marrakesh, even in Morocco. It has very fine examples of typical Moroccan styles; zellij tiling, stucco plasterwork and carved cedarwood. (Zellij is the tiling work of small individual tiles placed together to make the most intricate geometrical designs). The central courtyatrd invites the visitor to gaze at length and in wonder at its intricate masterfully crafted beauty.
The Saadian Tombs date back from the time of Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). After they were rediscovered in 1917 and carefully restored, they became a major attraction for visitors to Marrakech. The mausoleum is a last sanctuary for the mortal remains of about sixty members of the Sa’adi Dynasty, which originated on the other side of the High Atlas Mountains in the Dra’a Valley, leading south to the Sahara.
The Jewish Mellah. All Moroccan cities have a Jewish quarter and many of the synagogues are still standing though far fewer still in use. There are even Jewish quarters in small villages throughout the country and often forgotten. The Mellah district in Marrakesh was an area inhabited by all non-Muslims, not only Jews.
The soukhs are the buzzing, bustling, throbbing heart of Marrakesh and provide the shopper on the look-out for some special handicraft to take home, a view of the handicrafts specific to Morocco and Marrakesh, the spices and traditional medecines and remedies of Morocco, hours of entertainment and enjoyment. Here you will find the famous babouches, (Moroccan slippers), other leather goods, textiles as garments, cushion covers and throws, traditional djelleba for men and women, fine pottery and tajine dishes, basket work, silver jewelry and much, much more. Here you can try your hand at bargaining, which needs to be done in a sense of fun and the hope of beating the seller to achieve a real bargain.
Prices per person
- Tips and entrance fees are not included.