Mysterious and seductive, that’s the city of Marrakesh. Often referred to as “The Red City, Marrakesh is one of the most visited cities in Morocco. It is rich in culture, history, and colorful backgrounds! A visit to Marrakesh is not your typical getaway. It is a city that you can see, feel, smell, taste and hear! When visiting Morocco, if you want to explore like a local, a stay in a riad is a must. It is more affordable than a hotel and offers a lot more. The rooms are full of character, the staff is friendly and always willing to make you feel like home.
During my stay at the Itrane Riad, breakfast was by the pool. A friendly staff set your table with delicious authentic food: crepes, preserves, yogurt with fruits and orange juice. My favorite drink was the traditional mint tea; it is merely pleasant so make sure you ask for it.
The city may overwhelm you with so many things to see. I recommend to get a city guide and highlight the places you are most interested in visiting. Also, it will prevent you to get lost. Shopping in Marrakech is a delight, the city is packed with vendors and their stalls. You will find the largest Souk (market) and Medina quarters in Marrakesh. A single-walled narrow street with vendors all along, offering all kind of handcrafted items, fabrics, rugs, ceramics, silver, gold and leather at affordable prices.
These are the highlights of my four days stay:
The Majorelle Garden
About 2.5 acres of land with a mirage of 300 plant species from 5 continents. It took 40 years for Jacques Majorelle to build this exotic place, a French artist with a botanical passion. The garden was his most beautiful work.
A very relaxing place where you can spend a day admiring the artist vivid creations throughout the property and listening to frogs croaking, birds singing and the soothing sound of the fountains. Within the garden, you will find the Barber Museum, Boutique Majorelle, Cafe Bousafsaf, Gallery Love and the Pavillion. The Majorelle Garden is open seven days a week. For more information feel free to visit the official website.
In 2011, Jemaa el-Fna was declared a Masterpiece of World Heritage. It is the city main square and open-air theater. It was the place of public executions around AD 1050, currently the social center of the city. The performers started gathering in the plaza around 10:30 am, from snake charmers to dancers and fire eaters, everybody in a festive mood; vendors, musicians, magicians and dozens of food stalls are part of this fascinating community. It is a must do during your visit to Marrakesh.
For my last day in Marrakesh, I took a tour where I could interact with the locals in a more intimate setting, and I had lunch with a Barber descendant family, I drank mint tea listening to one of the elder storytellers. Finally, a raw camel ride completed my journey in the city of Marrakesh. A memorable trip to the Red City.