Marrakesh City Guide

 

Points covered:

 

  • It’s History
  • Location
  • Local Customs
  • Marrakesh Dishes 
  • Best Places to Visit
  • Travel Advice

 

Marrakech city is the fourth largest city in Morocco. It is the present capital of the mid southwestern region of Marrakesh-Safi in Morocco. Filled with Berber farmers since the Neolithic times, this city is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. In this article, we shall examine the history, location, and climate while discussing the features that makes this city different and unique from its imperial kin, and also talk about why this city is a perfect travel destination with our Marrakech Travel Guide.

 

 

History 

 

The region where Marrakech City stands today was initially occupied mainly by Berber farmers from the Neolithic times. The evidence of the activities of the initial occupants of this city can be found on the numerous stone implements that have been discovered in various places in and around the city. Around the year 1062, the cousin of the king of Almoravid at that time Abu Bakr Ibn Umar founded the city of Marrakesh and became the first ruler of the city. The city then later developed to become one of the four imperial cities of Morocco due to its economic and political power. The development of Marrakech City can be attributed to the great mosques and various other structures that were constructed by Ali ibn Yusuf around 1122-1123. These maze-like structures were constructed in red stones giving the city the nickname of “The red City” making it even more famous. 


After the rapid development of the city of Marrakech, it experienced somewhat of a decline around the 13th century and was replaced by the rival city of Fez as the capital, but in the 16th century, it regained its prominence under wealthy Saadian sultans who reconstructed many ruined moments and built a lot of beautiful palaces. 

 

Today, Marrakech city is a Historical emporium filled with vendors selling exotic goods at their stalls, the medina quarter in Marrakesh, is now a UNESCO world heritage site, making it one of the busiest cities in Africa. The city of Marrakesh now serves as a major economic and tourist destination. 
 

 

Visit the Souqs of the Medina & The Majorelle Gardens with our Morocco Tour Packages starting at 1359$.

 

 

Marrakesh City Guide

 Location 

 

The wonderful city of Marrakesh is located in the western part of the Atlas Mountain in western Morocco. It is situated 580km southwest of Tangier, 327km southwest of the present Moroccan capital Rabat, 239km south of Casablanca, and 246km Northeast of Agadir. This city is home to a large number of mosques, palaces, and beautiful gardens. The medina is filled with closely packed structures with alleys where local artisans sell traditional textiles, pottery, and jewelry. 

 

Marrakesh City Guide

 

Local Customs

 

Marrakech City celebrates a lot of beautiful and colorful festivals most of which are national and Islamic festivals. National holidays are given on the days of the most important of festivals & Celebrations. The Cultural festivals celebrated in Marrakesh include but are not exclusive to the National folklore festival, the Marrakesh festival of popular arts, the Berber festival, and lots more. These festivals bring out the beauty of the city and show foreigners how appreciative the people of Marrakesh are of their cultural heritage. Apart from the amazing festivals celebrated in Marrakech City, the people living in this city also flaunt their culture through their amazing and unique music, dance, and artworks.  There are majorly two types of traditional music associated with Marrakesh and they are the Berber music and the Gnaua Music.  Berber music can be traced to the Andalusian classical music, and it is performed with the Oud in accompaniment. Gnaoua music, on the other hand, is loud with a sound similar to that of the blues. 

 


The arts and crafts made in Marrakesh have had a great influence on the Moroccan handicrafts even to the present day. These crafts were mainly carpet, textiles, ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, and zellij mands from Riad décor. The carpets and textiles are usually weaved, sewn or even embroidered. Due to their great beauty, they were in high demand during the medieval period, and thus, they contributed to the rapid rate of economic development of the city. Woodcrafts made from mostly cedar are also very popular in this city. The large amounts of artisans and craft men that work in this city have transformed it into a rapidly growing market & one of the biggest markets in North Africa. 

 

Marrakesh City Guide

 

Marrakesh Dishes 


The city of Marrakesh is also renowned for its tasty and amazing food that is prepared in the city. Marrakesh’s sensational and tasty meals are something you don’t want to miss as you travel to this wonderful country. Here’s an example of these special delicious local dishes of Marrakesh are listed below.


Tehal 


The Tehal is basically stuffed camel spleen which is synonymous to sausage. The camel spleen is stuffed with beef, lamb and spices; the stuffed spleen is then baked in an oven. The baked spleen can then be served with bread.


Harira 


Often served at the end of Ramadan, Harira is a soupy meal that is filled with lots of meat and spices. It is also served to visitors on special occasions.


Tanjia Marrakshia

 
This is a meal that is special and symbolic to the city, it is prepared with beef, lamb, and spices and then slow-cooked in traditional ovens for a long period of time.


Sample the best of the Worlds Cuisine with our  Spain Morocco Portugal Tours starting at 1959$.

 

Marrakesh City Guide

 

Best Places to Visit in Marrakesh 

 

There are a lot of interesting and fascinating places you can visit as you travel to this wonderful and ancient city and you might even have a hard time when choosing which places to go to. To help you, we have selected the best and most interesting places in this city.


Medina souks 
Koutoubia Mosque 
The Bahia palace
Dar Si Said museum Of Moroccan arts and crafts 
The Majorelle Gardens
 

 

Marrakesh City Guide

 

Travel Advice


As you travel to this wonderful city, it is important that you know that the ancient structures found all over the city are a great and important part of the city’s history and culture. Therefore, respect these structures and do not be careless around them


Even though the city is relatively safe and peaceful, be security conscious as you move around as there is bound to be some criminals lurking around to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.


Finally, try as much as possible to travel with a travel agency that will help you with your accommodation, and that will also provide you with a travel guide. This will make your journey easier and relatively stress-free. 
 

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    FAQs
    Is Morocco safe for travel?
    Yes. Morocco is considered a safe and very welcoming country. But even thought it has low crime rates if compared to other places, of course common sense is applied and we always tell visitors to take care of their belongings and consult their tour guide or leader in case of any concerns.
    What is the best time to visit Morocco?
    Fortunately Morocco is great at any time, therefore our Morocco Tours run all throughout the year. Yet, the favourite time for most visitors is from mid-March to May (spring) and from September to October (fall), when it is a good type of warm weather.
    What is the official currency in Morocco?
    The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the currency of Morocco. The name “Dirham” derivates from the Roman word “denarius”, which means money. Currently 1USD = 9 MAD.
    Will I receive a refund If I am forced to cancel my trip with Memphis Tours?
    If you are cancelling your Morocco Tour Package for personal reasons, the refunded amount will depend on how far in advance you notify us about your change of plans. Nevertheless, if cancelation reasons are weather conditions or circumstances out of your control, Memphis Tours grant you a full refund of the paid amount.
    What are the top activities to do in Morocco?
    There is simple a lot to do in Morocco. On the top of the list is riding a camel in the desert, go sand boarding on the dunes of Erg Chebbi, enjoy a traditional Berber camping, visit roman ruins, have a traditional Moroccan mint tea, walk around the medinas, and even climb and hike in Todra Gorge for the adventure ones. You can check infinite possibilities with one of our Morocco Tour Packages.
    How can I obtain my visa to visit Morocco?
    Tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in Morocco is available to citizens that need one (USD 27) while some should obtain it before departure. Nationals of 67 countries do not need a visa, among them are the UE, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand. Check with the Moroccan embassy or consulate in your country to know if you exempt of VISA or not. Assistance upon arrival is included in our Morocco Travel Packages.
    Is it allowed for non-Muslims to enter historical mosques in Morocco?
    Non-Muslims are mostly welcome to experience everything that Morocco has to offer, and this includes visiting mosques too, except during the five prayers of the day or on Fridays. You will find many of them in our Morocco Imperial Cities Tour.
    Do I have to learn Arabic in order to enjoy my visit to Morocco?
    You don't need to learn Arabic in order to have a great time in Morocco. But in any country that you visit it will always be welcome to know some few words or how to greet people. In some local areas or less touristic places it can also be very useful. Other than that, French is the second language in Morocco.
    Are there any health issues that I should worry about in Morocco?
    If you are having a Morocco Tour during summer take care of your skin by covering it with light clothes and always have sun block with you. Keep yourself hydrate and be away of tap water. Don't eat food from suspicious restaurants or street food as it can cause some gastric disturbance. Other than that, you shall not worry.
    Is there a discount for booking my Morocco vacations tour far in advance?
    Yes. We at Memphis Tours offer deals that are fair to your pocket, and our Morocco Travel Packages come with an "Early Bird" discount for customers that pay the full expenses ahead of time. We grant 5% discount if full payment is received six months prior to the date of your arrival. Be aware that "Early Bird" rates require full, non-refundable prepayment. In case of date changes or refunds, discounted tours are not eligible. Get in contact with one of our tour agents to know more.
    Will I be able to exchange dollars, Euros, or other currencies in Morocco?
    Definitely. You will find many exchange offices and banks that change money for you. Other than that, many restaurants and shops used to tourists will accept Euros or dollars at rates close to the official ones, but it is always better to carry the local currency during your Morocco Tour.
    How common is the use of credit cards in Morocco?
    It is very common. Master Card, Visa, and American Express are the most common types of credit cards used in shops, hotels and restaurants in the country.
    Is it a common practice to give tips in Morocco?
    Tipping is part of Moroccans income, so it is quite customary although not an obligation. Offer tips if you are willing to do so.
    Was Morocco a Spanish colony?
    Yes, but not only. Morocco was France's colony in early 1900 after an agreement between French and Italians. But France also made an arrangement with Spain and the Moroccan territory was divided between both countries. Even after Morocco's independence Spain and France's power continue to be a threaten to them.
    I am a vegetarian or allergic to certain products, any problem?
    It is not a problem, don't worry. Most of meals will be buffet, therefore you feel free to choose what you want. If you have any serious allergies you can always inform your tour leader and he will take care of it at restaurants and inform the staff about special orders.
    Are the taxes included in your prices?
    We always include VAT and Tourist Taxes in our Morocco Travel Packages. The only exception is for Tourist Tax of Cataluña (region where Barcelona is located); this one needs to be paid at the hotel. The current amount is 1 euro per person and per night.
    Is there a ferry from Spain to Morocco?
    There is a ferry. High-speed trains usually depart from Algeciras (Spain) to Tangier (Morocco), and the whole trip takes 2h30 to 3h. It is a relatively cheap choice, although more expensive and longer journey trains are available from Barcelona.
    How far apart are Spain and Morocco?
    Only eight miles separate Morocco and Spain. However, there is a big difference between both countries, apart in religion, style and culture.
    Does Spain have a border with Morocco?
    Funnily yes. The countries share both physical and maritime borders, respectively between Morocco and Ceuta and in the Canary islands area, along the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea. In total the borders are along the north coast of Morocco and from the Spanish side along Melila, Ceuta, and Plazas de Soberanía.
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