Are you ready for an adventure in Morocco? Marrakesh is the ultimate travel destination, with its enchanting culture, exquisite architecture, and lively markets that are bound to leave you mesmerized. At the heart of this city lies Djemaa El-Fna, a bustling square that is bursting with life, color, and endless entertainment.
From acrobats to musicians, snake charmers, and storytellers, there’s never a dull moment at Djemaa El-Fna. Be sure to try street food from the countless food stalls that line the square. And don’t forget to haggle with the vendors for traditional Moroccan wares, such as carpets, leather goods, and pottery.
But that’s not all! This guide will take you on an unforgettable journey through the best things to do in and around Djemaa El-Fna. So, pack your bags, and let’s explore the vibrant Djemaa El-Fna together!
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Consider taking a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of Marrakesh. This experience offers an unforgettable way to see the city’s famous landmarks, including the Atlas Mountains, the Palmeraie, and the Koutoubia Mosque. Flights usually depart in the early morning, giving you a chance to witness the sunrise over the city.
Visit the Ourika Valley
Need a break from the vibrant city life? Visit the Ourika Valley, a breathtaking natural wonder located just a stone’s throw away from Marrakesh. With its cascading waterfalls, verdant foliage, and charming Berber villages, this valley offers an oasis of serenity and beauty.
Take a leisurely stroll through the valley, or for a more authentic experience, hop on a mule and journey through the picturesque countryside. Along the way, discover hidden gems, such as traditional Berber homes and workshops that offer unique handmade souvenirs.
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most iconic landmarks in Marrakesh, thanks to its stunning minaret, which stands at over 200 feet tall. The mosque was built in the 12th century and is considered a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque, but you can admire its intricate design from outside.
When you visit the Bahia Palace in Marrakesh, prepare to be transported to another time and place. This architectural marvel was built in the 19th century for a wealthy Moroccan nobleman, and it remains one of the city’s most captivating attractions. One of the highlights of the Bahia Palace is its stunning gardens, which are a perfect blend of Moorish and Andalusian styles. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush greenery, fountains, and pools and discover hidden corners that offer peaceful respite from the bustling city outside.
Visit the Tanneries
One unusual but fascinating activity to do in Marrakesh is to visit the city’s tanneries. These traditional workshops are where animal hides are treated and transformed into leather goods, such as bags, shoes, and belts. The tanneries are a bit off the beaten path, but they offer a unique insight into Marrakesh’s artisanal traditions. You’ll likely be struck by the pungent smells and vibrant colors of the tannery pits, and you can watch the skilled workers as they go about their craft.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
The Ben Youssef Madrasa is an impressive example of traditional Islamic architecture, located in the heart of Marrakesh’s medina. The madrasa was once a school for Islamic students and was built in the 14th century. Visitors can explore the school’s intricate tilework, carved woodwork, and ornate plasterwork, as well as its tranquil courtyards and prayer rooms.
The Secret Garden
Tucked away behind unassuming walls in the heart of the city, The Secret Garden is a hidden gem that’s well worth a visit. The garden features a lush and peaceful oasis, with a variety of exotic plants, pools, and fountains. It was originally built in the 19th century for a wealthy Moroccan nobleman and has since been restored to its former glory. Visitors can take a guided tour of the garden and learn about its history and design.
If you’re looking for a luxurious and unique place to stay in Marrakesh, consider Riad Les Trois Mages. This stunning boutique hotel is located in the heart of the medina and features beautiful traditional Moroccan architecture, including a central courtyard and a rooftop terrace with a pool. The hotel also has a spa and offers a variety of services, such as private cooking classes and excursions to nearby attractions.
For a comfortable and affordable option in the heart of the city, consider Riad Al Jazira. This charming riad is located just a short walk from Djemaa El-Fna and features a peaceful courtyard, a rooftop terrace with views of the medina, and comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms. The hotel also offers a variety of services, including airport transfers and guided tours.
For budget-conscious travelers, Hostel Waka Waka offers a great value option in a central location. The hostel features dormitory-style rooms as well as private rooms, and has a lively and social atmosphere. It also features a rooftop terrace with views of the medina, a common area for relaxing and meeting other travelers, and a bar that serves affordable drinks and snacks.
If you’re traveling with kids or looking for a family-friendly option, Hotel Atlas Asni offers a comfortable and convenient option. The hotel features a large outdoor pool, a variety of restaurants and bars, and a range of family-friendly services, such as babysitting and children’s activities. It’s also located just a short distance from the medina and other attractions, making it easy to explore the city with the whole family.
In conclusion, Marrakesh’s Djemaa El-Fna is a vibrant and lively square that offers an abundance of things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, historic landmarks, or cultural experiences, you’re sure to find something that captures your interest. From taking a hot air balloon ride to exploring the city’s tanneries, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your time in this dynamic city. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Marrakesh.