The “Red City,” the imperial city, the capital of the mid-southwestern region, Marrakesh is Morocco’s most popular tourist destination. Since the 11th century when it was built, Marrakesh has been a political and cultural powerhouse, serving as the capital for three of Morocco’s greatest dynasties. Until the French rule, “Marrakesh” was even used interchangeably to refer to both country and city. Look out of any window in Marrakesh and you will find a postcard view: clay-red houses squared away far and wide, with palm trees sprouting everywhere in between, gardens bursting out of courtyards, and the High Atlas Mountains as a soothing purple backdrop. It’s no wonder French fashion legend, Yves Saint-Laurent found so much inspiration there. In recent years, Marrakesh has created an international airport, a world-class soccer stadium, and an annual film festival, adding a modern flair to its natural and historical offerings.
In short, if you’re going to Morocco, Marrakesh is the right passage. Let’s marvel first at its architectural jewels, including the soaring Koutoubia Mosque. The Bahia Palace, an exemplary specimen of privileged life in the 19th century. Your next stop is at the Tiskiwin Museum (Maison Tiskiwin), which houses an impressive collection of North African arts and crafts. It was founded by a Dutch anthropologist exhibiting artifacts from different towns and regions along the ancient trade route from Marrakesh to Timbuktu. Later you visit Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakesh’s main square, which is filled with orange juice stalls and vendors along with fire-eaters, mime artists, snake-charmers and street musicians performing at every turn. You may also take the opportunity to explore the city’s fabled, labyrinthine souks, their bustling alleyways brimming with all manner of wares. Following your visit, return to your hotel.
The remainder of the day is at leisure, a perfect opportunity to freshen up and get ready for dinner in a local restaurant. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
| Overnight in Marrakesh
| Breakfast, Dinner