Marrakesh is one of the most famous and best-known cities in Morocco. Marrakesh - like Morrocco - is very much worth a visit. Marrakesh is a location like none other and today it is the gateway to the grand Sahara Desert - just like it has been for much of its history. In the past Marrakesh was an important city for trading with the tribes in the desert and all the way south across the Sahara in Sub-Sahara. Today Marrakesh is UNESCO World Heritage-listed and offers so much to the adventurous tourist - like camel rides in the desert, the impressive architecture of the city, traditional food, stunning performances and culture, and fantastic shopping in its bazaars.

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Marrakesh has been a Berber city and has settled since the Neolithic time. It has been settled as a city since around 1070 AD. It has long been an important Islamic city and a hub for the caravans crossing the Sahara.

  • Visa Requirements: Morrocco Is Visa Free

Eventually, it became under the domain of France and was incorporated into the French Protectorate in Morocco.

About Marrakesh

  • When To Go: Year Round (Though It Will Be Particularly Hot In The Summer)

Jemaa el-Fnaa

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the center of the city and one of the most popular squares in Africa. This square is the linchpin of tourism in the city. Here you will see cultural performances amongst the stunning architecture all around the square. This is the place to come in the evening and try from scores of traditional mobile restaurants that are set up in the evening.

The evening is the time when this square is truly alive. You will see traditional dances; horse and carriage rides; snake charmers; musicians playing the tambourines, African drums, and much more. The square and the tourists also attract monkey trainers, magicians, mystics, and acrobats. With the good comes the bad - there are also pickpockets.

Related: 10 Etiquette Tips For Traveling To Morocco

  • Tip: If You Take A Photo Of A Shop Or Performance You Are Expected Buy Something Or Tip The Performer
  • Tip: Watch Out For Pickpockets

Souks (Baazar)

Just next to the Jemaa el-Fnaa square with its many performers and mobile restaurants are the souks or the bazaar. This is the largest traditional market in all of Morocco. You will find scores of traditional arts and crafts here with many exotic carpets, kitchenware, pottery, incense, traditional clothes, lanterns, and more for sale.

  • Haggling: Bargaining And Haggling Is The Name Of The Game Here. Do It Or You Will Pay Top Tourist Dollar

It's not just whares like clothes and carpets for sale here. There are also insane amounts of fruit and exotic ingredients. You will find pickles, capers, Moroccan coffee and tea, dried fruit, nuts - like figs, dates, walnuts, and cashews. You can even find handbags and purses made of alligator and iguana skin. But remember to haggle and remember to watch out for those pickpockets.

Related: 10 Etiquette Tips For Traveling To Morocco

 Excursions From Marrakesh

Camel riding in the desert is one of the great attractions to Marrakesh. Marrakesh lays close to both the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains. Go at the right time of year and you may see the sunbaked desert and the snowcapped mountains together!

There are scores of rides and tours to chose from. You can go on expeditions to the surrounding sites around Marrakesh - see 100,000 palm trees, visit waterfalls, visit the Atlas Mountains, and much more.

  • Tip: There Are ATMs But Max Withdrawal Is around $200, It Is Best To Take Some Euros Or USD With You

You can have car tours, horse rides, quad-bike tours, but the most popular is camel rides. With camel rides, you can select from riding for an hour or half a day to 4-day camel expeditions across the sand dune desert. The tours here are all very affordable. Be careful about being scammed though. You can either book the tours online or anywhere in the tourist parts of the city the day before. But make sure you familiarize yourself with the going rates so that you don't pay silly high prices.

Two websites you can book through are Marrakesh Desert Tours and Marrakesh Desert Trips.

  • 2 Day Tour: Marrakech To Zagora Camel Tour (55 Euros $65)
  • 3 Day Tour: Marrakech To Merzouga Camel Tour (85 Euros $100)
  • 3 Day Tour: Marrakech To Fes Camel Tour (134 Euros $160)
  • 4 Day Tour: Marrakech To Fes Camel Tour (172 Euros $205)

Other day trips from Marrakesh include:

Day Tour: Ouarzazate & Ait Ben Haddou

  • Fact: UNESCO World Heritage Listed
  • Where: In The Atlas Mountains
  • Includes: A Palace With 300 Rooms
  • Cost: 23 Euros Or $27

Day Trip: Ouzund Waterfalls

  • Surrounded By: Mountains And Thousands Of Olive Trees
  • Waterfall: One Of The Most Spectacular In North Africa
  • Where: In The Atlas Mountains
  • Cost: 23 Euros Or $27

This is only scratching the surface of what there is to see and do in the oasis desert city of Marrakesh. The walls, mosques, and other architecture of this city are just amazing. If you are planning to visit Morrocco, be sure to put Marrakesh high on your bucket list.

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