Situated in the mid-southwest of Morocco, Marrakesh is known as the “pearl of the south”, and is one of the country’s four imperial cities, together with Fez, Mequinez and Rabat. The fourth biggest city in Morocco, it is also the one that attracts the most tourists, especially in the spring and autumn, since the temperatures in the summer are so high that they make any tour unpleasant. The same happens in the winter, with severe cold. To facilitate life for tourists, we’ve listed below the main attractions of the “red city”, renowned for its gastronomy, popular markets, mosques and museums.
The seasonings of Marrakesh
Your senses of taste and smell will be sharpened by Moroccan cuisine, world renowned for its richness. The variety of spices includes cinnamon, chili, Guinean pepper, nutmeg, Vitex agnus-castus, and turmeric, among other smells and flavors. Special attention should be given to the tanjia marrakshia, a symbol of the local cuisine. It’s made of beef, spices and a fermented butter called smen, all this cooked slowly in a traditional oven in hot ashes. There are options for fish and chicken. For vegetarians, the tip is for briouates, chamucas with lemon filling, which can be cooked with turmeric , almonds, grapes and other spices. For desert, place your bet on chebakia, dried fruit pasties and cheesecake with dates.
Starting with the Cutubis, the city’s largest mosque, situated to the southwest of the medina. The oldest mosque in Marrakesh is the Ben Youssef, built in the 12th century. A bit later, the Mouassin was built, which shelters, besides the Mouassin Fountain, the largest and most important in the city, a library, a hamam (Turkish bath) and a madrassa (Muslim school).
Situated in the center of the medina, the Marrakesh Museum is in the Menebhi Palace (Dar). This construction, from the end of the 19th century, is a lovely example of classic Andalusian architecture, and has expositions of Moroccan art, both traditional and modern. Visitors also find exemplars of local historical books, as well as coins and ceramics from various peoples. Another “must” is a visit to the Dar Si Said Museum, the Museum of Moroccan Arts. Situated in the Bahia Palace, its collection is considered the best in Morocco. Lastly, the still unfinished Marrakesh Museum of Photography and Visual Arts, which intends to be one of the largest photographic museums in the whole world, with exemplars dating from the 19th century.
Shopping in Marrakesh is done in the souks, which form the largest traditional market in Morocco. The most outstanding are Souk Semmarine, Ableuh, Souk Kchacha, Crill Berbiere, Souk Cherratine, Ensemble Artisanal, Souk Siyyaghin and Souk Belaarif.