At first glance, Marrakech may seem like a hectic city. There is, of course, the Djemaa el Fna, the main square where snake charmers, storytellers, acrobats, and monkeys can be seen arriving at midday as stalls are being set up, but it is after dark that this square comes alive! The city is also composed of the souks that are surrounding the famous Djemaa el Fna.
Unique handmade and crafted goods are for sale within the maze of markets, and there are bargains to be had, remember to haggle! The souks are also a spectacular sight and photographers will find themselves captivated within. It is important always to ask the owner of a stall if it is possible to take a picture, it is rude not to, and they will not hesitate to say approach you about this.
Marrakech is certainly unique… you will see another side to this remarkable city
Besides, the electrified streets of the Medina, Marrakech has a lot more to offer that might make you forget just how busy the city is. Not far beyond the souks, is the Musée de Marrakech. The museum is in a Palace that was renovated in the late 1990s into a museum of Moroccan culture. There is a large courtyard surrounded by rooms that hold each of the artifacts. The museum consists of traditional Moroccan artwork, various aspects of Moroccan life and visitors can get a look at the Berber lifestyle. Old Berber attire, jewellery, and coins are on display.
The museum is open daily, and there is an entrance fee of 50 Dirham. (approx. £4/€5) The museum is located just around the corner from the captivating Ben Youssef Madrasa. It would not be hard to walk past this stunning school as it is hidden away behind the busy streets of the Medina but it is what I would consider being ‘a hidden gem’. An ancient Islamic school built in the Saadian era. It is the Courtyard that captures people’s heart. It is beautifully decorated, each wall and doorway embellished with exquisite detail surrounding a reflecting pool. This piece of history is open daily, and it costs a mere 20 Dirham to enter. (just little over a pound and just under two Euro)
Morocco is great during the day. But, it is at night that this country comes alive!
If you want to take a moment away from the madness and step into a place of serenity. Take a trip to The Jardin Majorelle. It is a stunning 12-acre garden, that was designed by French painter Yves Saint Laurent. Which was then gifted by him to the city of Marrakech. Within the gardens itself, is a vast range of flora, cacti, and buildings of a bright electric blue colour – known now as Majorelle Blue.
It is a must-see in Marrakech and not just if you are a plant enthusiast, as I do not have much interest in that myself, I just loved the freshness of the whole place and taking in the vibrant colours around me. Photographers will also lose themselves within the luminous gardens. The Gardens are situated in the Ville Nouvelle and are easy to locate. If told by any local that the gardens are closed today, do not believe them. As the gardens are open daily, and this is more than likely a ploy to defer you to somewhere else. The entrance fee is 70 Dirham (approx. £5.50/€6.50)
Marrakech is certainly unique. It is often first perceived as a bustling city comprising of dusty streets that at times can seem over-crowded with passer-by’s, motorbikes speeding through the narrow gaps and local men transporting goods on donkey-back. However, dig a little deeper and seek out all the hidden wonders that Marrakech has to offer. Trust me; you will see another side to this remarkable city.