Marrakech, Morocco: A Magical Fairytale Destination – Ultimate Travel Guide

A few months ago I had the chance to travel to the impressive Morocco in North Africa. It is a country with an extremely intense oriental element. People are very friendly and there is always an intimate and congenial smile on their faces.

Dirham is the official currency of Morocco. Apart from the airport, currency exchange is also available at hotels or banks throughout the country. Even though there is almost always an additional cost using credit cards,these are accepted in the largest cities as well as in stores thereof.

Marrakech Airport is extremely busy due to its numerous international flights, apparently on a daily basis. As soon as you arrive at the airport, you will be subject to a standard passport controland fill in a few documents provided to you.

You can reach the city of Marrakech by taxi (you must be careful of an extra and, apparently, out of reason charge). In case though, the hotel, in which you will stay, may arrange your transfer from/to the airport, then it is strongly recommended to avail yourself of this arrangement. An alternative option I would suggest is renting a car for the main reason that the use of a car is exceptionally useful because of the lack of public transport, while simultaneously, is of great essence for your comfortable visit to the sights of Morocco, including, of course, other cities. Consequently, you will surely enjoy your trip more and you will explore Morocco better.

The city of Marrakech combines spectacular gardens with well-preserved palaces and traditional markets and old-fashioned Moroccan houses, named as riads. These houses are built around a central courtyard with windows facing inwards for the purposes of protecting privacy.

Best Things to See and Do in Marrakech

1. Jemaa el-Fnaa

It is worth visiting the famous central square of Marrakech, named as Jemaa el-Fnaa, and the mosque of Koutoubia, where believers are gathered and worship during Ramadan. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square will fascinate you with the Arab culture, which is pervasive everywhere, i.e. shops, restaurants etc. Taste the traditional Moroccan cuisine. Zaalook (eggplant smoked dip) is probably the most well-known and delicious food. You can also taste a traditional stuffed meat pie, the well-known b’stilla. In addition, try to taste couscous. Without doubt though, the most tasty dish is meat tagine, which is the Moroccan specialty. Specifically, this special dish is meat in the hull, which is served in a clay pot and accompanied with vegetables and nuts, all cooked in the meat broth.

Wandering in the huge Jemaa el-Fnaa square, you will see snake charmers, street vendors and carriages. It is also worth tasting the refreshing juices sold in the square. The special sounds and melodies render the square really vibrant and you will certainly love its intense liveliness.

2. Market of Medina (Old Town of Marrakech)

Jemaa el-Fnaa Square is located near the Medina (old town) market in Marrakech. It is worth wandering through the stalls of the market, where various spices with irresistible smells are on sale. However, you should take care of your personal belongings because of the presence of numerous pickpockets. You can buy traditional handmade products, such as leather bags, sandals as well as natural perfumes and oils produced in Morocco, such as the well-known argan.

3. Bahia Palace

Built in the late 19th century, Bahia Palace was the residence of the Grand Vizier Bou Ahmed, who was known as Sultan Moulay al-Hassan I. The interior decoration has been designed with great details. There are zellige tiles, painted ceilings and ornate wrought-iron features. The main courtyard in the center of Bahia Palace has been created using marble. Here, many visitors take photos.

4. Majorelle Gardens

In these tropical gardens full of cacti, painter Jacques Majorelle lived and created many of his artworks. He came from Nancy in France, but he decided to come to Marrakech for his health. As painter, he was very popular in Morocco. After his death in 1962, the famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent bought the house and stayed until his death in 2008. Except for the gardens, a museum that houses exhibits related to Yves Saint Laurent’s life has been built as well.

5. Ben Youssef Madrasa

Built in 1565, the Madrasa of Ben Youssef is the largest theological school in Morocco. The interior decoration is outstanding and the architectural design of courtyards is so impressive. It is one of the must-see sights in Morocco.

6. Saadian Tombs

Visit Saadian Tombs that dated back to 16th century. Here, sixty-six members of the Saadian dynasty (1524-1668) have been buried. You will feel so strange, when you will visit this place, because of its atmosphere.

Day Trips & Must Sightseeing Tours

1. Aït Benhaddou