The name “Marrakech” comes from the Berber “Mour” which means “country” and “Akouch” which means “God” which means “the Land of God”.
Founded in 1062 by Yusuf ibn Tachfin, the first ruler of the Almoravid dynasty, Marrakech owes its first glory to the Almohads, especially in the second half of the twelfth century, at the time of Sultan Abd al-Mumin, who undertook the construction of the Koutoubia, the style of which is found in that of the Giralda in Seville.
After its conquest by the Merinids in 1269, Marrakech experienced a decline of more than 2 centuries. The rebirth of the city is the fact of the sovereigns of the dynasty of Saâdiens (1510-1659).
Under their reign, Marrakech was the center of an artistic explosion of an extreme refinement whose best preserved heritage is constituted by the Saadian tombs and certain fountains of the Medina.
Of their sumptuous palace, the El-Badii Palace, which was long considered the wonder of the Muslim world, only a few remains remain today.
The prestige of Marrakech was definitively established when the Alaouites and King My Hassan I came to power in 1879. He undertook the restoration of the city walls and the Kasbah, ordered the construction of new buildings and mosques.
Marrakech, the Pearl of the South, is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat, it is located near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, its ideal location makes it a good starting point for travel in Morocco. The city is divided into two distinct parts: the Medina, which is the historic city, and the new city, which includes the districts of Guéliz and Hivernage. The medina is full of narrow passageways, quaint little shops and historical sites such as the Saadian tombs; while Gueliz is a modern western-style city.
It is the most famous religious monument of Marrakech. This mosque of great architectural allure and decorative wealth has a complex history. Its construction was decided in 1158 by the Almohad Sultan Abdel Moumen immediately after his conquest of Marrakech. Its construction was completed in 1199 with the construction of its famous minaret ordered by the grandson of the sultan, Yacoub el-Mansour. It is a religious building representative of the art of the Almohads.
This enclosure is 10 km long with a height varying between 6 and 9m, while its thickness varies between 1.60m and 2m. It is reinforced by long towers and pierced by monumental doors of which the most imposing are Bab Doukala, Bab Aghmat, Bab Aylane and Bab Agnaou.
A true architectural masterpiece, the Palace, built in 1880, was the rich residence of Ba Ahmed, grand vizier of the sultan. The best craftsmen of the time participated in its construction.
Open every day from 8:45 am to 11:45 am and from 2:45 pm to 5:45 pm.
Address: Rue Riad Zitoune el Jdid, near the Place des Ferblantiers.
Phone: +212(0) 524 38 95 64
This vast garden, planted with hundred-year-old olive trees irrigated by a vast basin 200 m long and 150 m wide, also houses a pavilion, built in 1870 by the Saadians.
Free entrance for the garden, 15 Dirhams for the access to the pavilion.
Address: Airport Road, La Menara Avenue.
These gardens, which abound in rare species, were created in the 1920s by the painter Jacques Majorelle. They were bought after his death by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé who donated them to the municipality. The Art Deco villa houses a museum of Islamic arts.
Open every day from 8am to 6:30pm.
Address: Avenue Yacoub El Mansour.
This garden-cemetery houses the marble tombs of the Saadian kings and their families, buried here from the 16th century. It bears witness to the power and refinement of the dynasty.
Open every day from 8:30 am to 11:45 am and from 2:30 pm to 5:45 pm.
Address: District of the Kasbah.
Built in 1570 by the Saadians, this old Koranic school, the largest in the Maghreb, housed up to 900 students. It is still today a jewel of traditional architecture.
Open every day from 9 am to 6 pm. Closed for religious holidays.
Address: Place Ben Youssef.
Phone: +212(0) 524 39 09 11
This former property of the Pasha El Glaoui is officially destined to become an archaeological museum and for good reason, this palace is probably one of the most beautiful in Marrakech.
Address: 1 Dar El Bacha street, entrance by Sar El Batha street, near Bab Doukkala.
Built between 1568 and 1603 by Sultan Ahmed El Mansour, this ancient palace is a jewel of Islamic art. One can admire there magnificent marqueteries as well as a minbar coming from the Koutoubia.
Open daily from 8:30am to 11:45am and from 2:30pm to 5:45pm.
Address: Place des Ferblantiers, medina.
This traditional 19th century house houses the Marrakech Museum and its temporary exhibitions devoted to contemporary art, in the douiria and the hammam, and to the Moroccan cultural heritage, in the covered patio and the adjoining rooms.
Open every day from 9am to 6:30pm.
Address: Place Ben Youssef.
Tel : +212(0) 524 44 18 93
This sumptuous 19th century palace, which extends over 2000 m2, houses a museum entirely dedicated to the work of wood in the Moroccan decorative and religious arts.
Open every day except Tuesdays, from 9am to 12:15pm and from 3pm to 6:15pm.
Adresse: Derb El Bahia – Riad Zitoun el-Jedid.
It is a significant and authentic example of the richness of the performing arts in Morocco.
This square is the main tourist attraction of Marrakech. A real “court of miracles”, it is animated by an intense life where onlookers, musicians, shopkeepers, dancers, snake charmers, beggars, healers offer a hallucinating show, and form a heterogeneous and colorful crowd. At nightfall, the gargotiers set up shop and the square is transformed into a vast open-air restaurant where you can taste all the local specialties.
Marrakech, nicknamed the red city because of the color of its walls and the roofs of its medina, is known for its scorching summers. The sky is usually of a limpid blue. We understand why the famous palm grove of Marrakech is so talked about. In summer, it is the only cool oasis in the city.
In winter, the mornings are cool. At noon, temperatures reach 20°C and decline quite rapidly in the evening. If you decide to visit Marrakech in winter, keep in mind that the evenings are very cool and that the temperature difference between day and night is quite important.
The best time to visit this wonderful city is undoubtedly spring. The temperatures are pleasant all day long. At noon, the maximum temperatures vary between 22° and 27°C.
In summer, the climate is pleasant in the early morning and in the evening. At noon, it is not uncommon to see the mercury reach 45°C. The afternoons are hot and stifling.
In autumn, temperatures are about the same as in spring.
Tourist Office: +212(0)5 24 43 08 86
S.O.S Doctors: +212(0)5 24 40 40 40
International Clinic: +212(0)5 24 36 95 95
Polyclinique du Sud: +212(0)5 24 44 79 99
Chifa Clinic: +212(0)5 24 43 30 06 / +212(0)5 24 43 14 14
SOS Accident: +212(0)5 24 40 14 01
Central Police Station: +212(0)5 24 43 00 89 / +212(0)5 24 43 05 70
Tourist Police: +212(0)5 24 38 46 01
Police Emergency: 119
Marrakech Airport: +212(0)5 24 44 78 55
ONCF Railway Station: 090 20 30 40
$1 = €1 = 10 Dirhams approximately (Depending on the current exchange rate). There are bills from 20 to 200 dirhams and coins from 0.5 to 10 dirhams in Morocco.
The official language in Morocco is Arabic, but most people speak French or have at least some knowledge of it.
By cab: If you don’t want to use public transport, take a cab, but ask for the meter which some people forget even if this practice is less and less common.
Prices are very low (compared to America or Europe for example).
Small cabs cannot leave Marrakech, only large cabs are allowed to do so. After dark the price is legally increased by 50% but often you have to negotiate the fare, especially at the exits of the discos.
By Bus: About thirty lines share the network. Tickets can be purchased on board. Average fare: 3.50 Dhs for a trip in the city center. The Bus is the most used means of public transport by Marrakeshis, comfortable and sometimes air-conditioned.
By Carriage: Marrakech is one of the few cities in Morocco to have preserved this mode of transport, full of charm. For those who are nostalgic, it is a great way to get around the city (you can take 4-5 people), as long as you discuss the price and fix the amount before leaving.
By Car: Traffic in Marrakech is sometimes surprising, with frequent traffic jams on Friday and Saturday nights. The problem is to synchronize the rules of the road for mules, horse-drawn carriages, cabs, buses, cars, cyclists, pedestrians… It is therefore necessary to be patient and pay close attention.
A car rental service is available at the hotel reception.