It’s not Morocco’s capital city (that’s Rabat). It’s not the country’s largest metropolis (that’s Casablanca). It’s not even the African nation’s oldest city (that’s Fes). But Marrakech triumphs over other Moroccan cities as the unofficial cultural center thanks to the winding alleys of its 11th century world heritage site UNESCO medina, contrasted with the modern malls and restaurants of the Nouvelle Ville, juxtaposed yet again with the luxurious palm tree-lined resorts and villas of its Palmeraie district.

Marrakech (مراكش‎‎, Murrākuš; Meṛṛakec, ⴰⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛ) is an appealing location that hosts plenty of academic conferences every year. Marrakech is the largest metropolitan city in Morocco, constituting the country’s cultural and historical heart. With a population of 341 000, it is one of the four largest cities in Morocco. It is located 2 hours (by car) to the south of Casablanca and half an hour from the base of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakech is 1 hour from beautiful beaches, bush walks, and a stunning port and castle of Essaouira.

In 2015, Marrakech was rated the world’s best destination by TripAdvisor users. More significantly, in 2015, Marrakech Celebrated 30 Years as UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO declared the old town area of Marrakech as World Heritage Site in 1985. Over the past three decades, Marrakech, Morocco’s fourth largest cities, has been maintained and rehabilitated structurally, including its world-famous medina, its gardens and various historical sites, all considered a world patrimony. It’s not surprising then that Marrakech was selected to host the Conference of the Parties (COP22) on climate change between 7th and 18th November 2016.

Local Attractions

Marrakech is offering a rich and secure cultural experience for all. Situated in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the “Ochre City” was once a desert paradise before it became the favorite destination for the rich and famous, as it is known today. A day or two will not be enough to discover everything. We suggest you a few things that you can do during your stay in Marrakech to make your visit more pleasant.

Atlas Mountains

One of Marrakech’s key attractions is that it lies within easy reach of the Atlas Mountains, meaning that cool retreats from the heat and dust of the city are close at hand. Toubkal is one of the highest mountain in Africa (4,167 metres / 13,671 ft). The valley of Ourika, in the Atlas foothills 60 kilometers to the south of Marrakech, is a popular escape to see Berber villages surrounded by waterfalls and rivers. The town of Lalla Takerkoust, 43 kilometers (27 miles) to the southwest, is chiefly known for its nearby dam and lake and is a great place for quad biking, camel riding or simply admiring view of the peaks.

Djemaa El-Fna

This main square is the ‘heart of the city. It is a part of Marrakech that presents an ever changing character with the rising of the sun and well into the night. It is a cultural mix of color, scents, sight and sound and is one of the liveliest attractions in Morocco. Visitors and tourists should not miss the opportunity to spend time in Djemaa el Fna, not only by day, but also at night. Djemaa el Fna is also one of the safest and most secure attractions in Morocco.

Majorelle Garden

This 12-acre botanical creation was bequeathed to Marrakech by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later saved from development by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who bought it in the 1980s and, following his death, had his ashes scattered among its plants. The garden, which blends Moorish and art deco features, is filled with rare flowers. A startling electric blue villa looks down upon the scene.

El Badi Palace

may be in ruins, but it’s still possible to get an idea of the former glory of this sprawling 16th-century sultan’s home. Today it survives only as a denuded ruin, but once it was a model of triumphal ostentation. Walls and ceilings were encrusted with gold from Timbuktu, while the inner court had a massive central pool with an island, flanked by four sunken gardens. At the centre of each of the four massive walls were four pavilions, also flanked by arrangements of pools and fountains.

Marrakech Medina

Founded by Almoravids dynasty in the 11th century, Marrakech Medina remains a political, economic and cultural center for a long period. It has several impressive monuments dating from that period: The Koutoubiya mosque, the Kasbah, monumental doors, gardens, the Saadian tombs, Ben youssef Madrassa. The Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways and local shops full of character.

El Badi PalaceRiads & La Mamounia

The ‘Pearl of the South’ does not cease to earn recognitions from the world’s top publications praising its luxurious accommodations, world-class entertainment, five-star services, landscaped gardens, and exclusive sites, among others. From its world-renowned medina, its Moroccan ‘Riads’ (traditional Moroccan houses built around a central garden or courtyard) and one of the best hotels in – “La Mamounia” (this five-star hotel has been a Marrakech institution for the best part of a century, receiving famous guests such as Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin.