To speak of Marrakech is to speak of the most attractive city from the tourist point of view, both for its beauty (it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco) and its atmosphere. And precisely for this reason, it is also one of the best cities for the premium traveler, since it has establishments and professionals of the highest quality. On this page we tell you everything you need to know if you plan to travel to this spectacular destination, which you can enjoy in a big way if you put yourself in the hands of Chic Morocco, an agency specialized in this city and in the most exclusive services.
Marrakech is a city located in the south of Morocco, but north of the Atlas, the great mountain range beyond which extend the pre-Saharan valleys and desert. For this reason, the images showing the contrast of a landscape of palm trees with snow-capped mountains in the background, in the distance, are very charming.
However, the Marrakech area is quite arid and in its surroundings we find desert areas, both from a demographic and natural point of view, as can be seen in the Agafay desert, for example.
Marrakech is the capital of the Marrakech-SAfi region and has about 1 million inhabitants, which places it among the 5 largest in Morocco in terms of population. Nevertheless, it is the ‘tourist capital’ of the country, as it receives the most visitors per year: more than 3 million.
It is therefore logical that Marrakech is very well connected to other Moroccan cities and other international destinations, which facilitates direct access from abroad or from any other corner of the country.
It has a large airport, Marrakech-Menara, which handles more than 6 million passengers a year. Airplanes arrive here from the main cities and capitals of Europe, as well as some of the Middle East, such as Madrid, Vienna, Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Jeddah, Istanbul.
It also has a large train station, served by different local and national railroad lines. In addition, the country’s third high-speed line is planned, connecting Marrakech to Casablanca in the north and Agadir in the south, considerably reducing the time of each journey.
And of course, many travelers arrive by road to the city, either on one of the many bus routes that stop at the Supratours Station, or by private car, since several regional and national highways pass through the city: A3, N8, N9…
This is a list of distances that separate Marrakech from other tourist destinations:
Marrakech is part of the group of Imperial Cities: this is the name given to cities that, at some point in their history, were capitals of the kingdom of Morocco or of a kingdom considered to be the precedent of what is now this state. And Marrakech joins Fez, Rabat and Meknes in this select group because it was the capital at the time of the Almoravid empire, which eventually conquered much of North Africa and southern Spain, but also with his successors Almohads and the Saadian dynasty.
It was the Almoravids who founded the city: in the middle of the 11th century they created a camp here, which was eventually endowed with walls and kasbah. In these early times, the most important figures were the warlord Abu Bekr, his nephew Yusuf Ibn Tasfin and his son Ali ibn Yusuf, but the city was greatly enriched by their successors. Artists and architects came here from Cordoba, the refined capital of the ancient Umayyad Caliphate, which had recently disintegrated. During this period, walls, subway irrigation canals, public buildings, a kasbah, etc. were built.
However, since 1121 Marrakech experienced the turbulent change of governors: the Almohads replaced the Almoravids, after a fierce conflict between the two factions. But when the situation calmed down, reconstruction works restored Marrakech to its splendor, with buildings that we can still admire today. These include the Kutubia mosque and a new kasbah. Some important names linked to this period were Abd el-Mumen, Abu Yacub Yusuf and Yacub al-Mansur. It was also a very culturally rich period, attracting personalities such as Averroes, who died here in 1198.
But the Almohad decline, caused in part by the defeats in the Iberian Peninsula (Battle of Navas de Tolosa in 1212), also caused the decline of its capital. That made that in the middle of the 13th century it was taken by the Merinids who dominated Fez, transferring to it the capital of the kingdom.
Marrakech then assumed a more secondary and even decadent role, at least until its conquest by the Saadid dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century. With this new lineage, the city regained its capital and also its splendor, being an important node of the caravan routes of the Sahara, especially in the time of Ahmed al-Mansur at the end of that century. And magnificent new palaces were built, including an imperial residence.
The successor dynasty, the Alaouite (currently on the throne), took the capital first to Meknes and then to Fez, so that it never returned to Marrakech. On the other hand, many of its monarchs did not renounce to spend long periods of time in this city and to invest in it in the form of large infrastructures and buildings, such as the Bahia Palace.
Already in the twentieth century, Marrakech, which was the victim of internal struggles for power, did not oppose too much to the arrival of French troops, leaving the Pasha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, as a strong man in the region and ally of the French Protectorate, until the independence of the country was practically declared.
Today it is a city that lives largely from tourism and is at the forefront of this sector, with an increasing relevance of luxury and premium services, as we show you below.
Marrakech is a city that is armed with reasons to convince the visitor: there are many attractions, and for all types of profiles. Here are some that will convince you. You’ll be sure to choose this unforgettable destination!
The list of attractions in Marrakech is innumerable. Many of them are concentrated in the medina and its immediate surroundings, but there are also monuments worth visiting in other less central neighborhoods. The following are places of great interest that should not be missing in your road map.
The medina of Marrakech is one of the largest in Morocco and therefore has many attractions to visit, whether in the form of historical buildings or open spaces such as squares and neighborhoods. Here is a list of places you can’t miss on your trip to the city.
The Jemaa el-Fna Square deserves special mention: it is a large open space at the gates of the medina and represents a tourist attraction in itself. Not in vain, it was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, thanks to its lively atmosphere at all hours of the day. In its stalls are intermingled the sounds of the popular crowd, musicians and speakers, the aromas of spices and other raw materials for cooking, the colors of various handicrafts … and ultimately, the very life of a people full of energy.
Marrakech also has its modern district: Gueliz. And in this case, it is the epicenter of the most sophisticated and premium Marrakech, not only because its streets and avenues are more spacious and unburdened, but also because the most exclusive brands and the most chic establishments have their stores here. In addition, it has some places of interest from a tourist point of view, especially:
In addition to all this, we must mention the many good museums in the city, scattered in different areas, which will delight the most cultural travelers. In this regard, it is worth mentioning:
As we said, Marrakech is one of the best Moroccan cities for the premium traveler. Although the city still retains a popular and modest side, as is logical, it also has a more modern and exclusive side, which delights those who only settle for the best.
Luxury is increasingly present in the streets of the city, especially in neighborhoods such as Gueliz, but also in iconic corners of the center, whether in the form of fashionable stores, refined restaurants or hotel-resorts. This is a list of proposals that you should not miss if you want to know the most exclusive side of Marrakech:
And if you need help to set up a 5 star experience in Marrakech, you can contact Chic Morocco: we know this city inside out and will book the premium services your trip deserves. Leave in our hands the fundamental issues of the organization, such as transportation, accommodation and restaurants, and we will make your stay in this destination live up to your expectations.