With a dazzling culture and a famous medina maze, Marrakech is a bright and vibrant city that’s teeming with enchantment. Whether you want to uncover treasures in the city’s souks or explore Marrakech’s magical heritage, the red city is sure to charm and delight you.
But, one thing that really stands out when visiting Marrakech is its rich and alluring architecture. Brimming with splendour and history, there are many fantastic sights to behold. Built with Andalusian, Berber-Arab and French influences, Marrakech is the perfect stop-off on a luxury cruise.
From the Bahia Palace to the Koutoubia Mosque, we asked travel bloggers which must-see architecture jewels you should visit on a trip to Marrakech.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Travel blogger Abbie from Speck On The Globe visited Marrakech in October 2018. She told us what makes Marrakech unique and why she recommends visiting the Ben Yousseff Madrasa.
“Marrakech is a quintessential Moroccan city. Visitors are attracted to its intriguing culture, inviting cuisine and exotic architectural elements, making for a perfect foray into a North African holiday. The layout of the city allows you to weave between immersion into the old-world aesthetic of the medina and then urban modernism. While many cities boast the ability to provide something for every traveller, Marrakech truly delivers.
“If I could recommend one place to explore while visiting Marrakech, it would be the Ben Youssef Madrasa. Once the largest Islamic school in Northern Africa, the architectural details are ornate representations of the Islamic and Andalusian design and the tile work itself is reason enough for a visit.
“Constructed over 400 years ago, the ornate woodwork and stone carvings are painstakingly preserved and can offer a wonderful glimpse into structure and housing in the region at the time. I recommend looking up their hours and arriving right at opening or not far before closing to avoid the crowds and midday heat.”
Palais de la Bahia
They told us what makes Marrakech is so captivating.
“Marrakech is a mix of ancient and modern. Within the medina the streets are narrow, the colours are bright, and the souks are an experience in themselves! New Town (also known as Nouvelle Ville) is where the modern bars, restaurants, cafes, and French influences are found. It’s not hard to be swept away in the history, architecture, and liveliness of this city!”
Sited on the edge of the medina, Shannon and Sergio recommend paying a visit to Palais de la Bahia (Bahia Palace).
“The combination of Andalusian and Moorish architectural styles sets this palace apart. You’ll find yourself gazing at the expansive, decorated cedar wood ceilings, elaborately-shaped entryways, and bright courtyards that may seem modest until you look closer and see marvellous tile work.”
Musée de Mouassine
“Marrakech is an overload for all senses, something that makes a visit more exhilarating than relaxing! The city has so many architectural marvels, amazing shopping opportunities, and a vibey nightlife. My favourite, however, is simply strolling and getting lost in the medina, a maze of tiny alleys, shops and cats. Don’t worry - nobody stays lost for too long, because all ways lead back to the Jemaa El Fna the big square. This comes to life after sunset with its storytellers, acrobats, and musicians - grab a seat on the roof of Café de France for the perfect overview.”
In terms of architectural delights, Annika recommends visiting Musée de Mouassine.
“Musée de Mouassine is a Moroccan house from the 16th century hidden deep in the medina. Only traditional methods were used to restore the house which has become a walk-in museum today, showing how life in Marrakech was back in the day. It is also home to various exhibitions in collaboration with the Maison de la Photographie.”
Diana blogs about her and her family’s travel adventures over at The Elusive Family. She told us what made Marrakech such a unique experience for all the family.
“Marrakech is a unique experience for families visiting Africa for the first time. The introduction to the hospitable Moroccan culture is remarkable. Families visiting Marrakech will feel welcomed and their children will be treated wonderfully and with great respect. This combination provides for an unparalleled experience where Moroccans treated us like family.”
For a look into Marrakech’s religious heritage, Diana recommends visiting the peaceful Koutoubia Mosque.
“The winding and busy streets of the Jemaa el-Fnaa will certainly be adrenaline-filled as citizens move about their daily life on foot, by motorbike and by donkey cart. The architecture of the Koutoubia Mosque is a true wonder and can be viewed from the outside. The colour of the stone and the cultural importance makes this mosque a wonder to see.”
Are you inspired to visit the exquisite architectural delights of Marrakech? Experience a shore excursion like no other with Azamara’s Magical Marrakech Overnight Adventure. This fantastic trip will let you see Morocco’s authentic side. From marvelling at Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque to navigating the bustling streets of Marrakech’s medina, visiting the Yves Saint Laurent museum and taking part in a traditional Moroccan cooking class.
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