Known also as the « Red City » was the capital of the Moorish (one of the people of Morocco) empire and an academic center of the medieval world. The empire spanned the enormous area from Spain to East Africa. Originally built in AD 1070, the city has gracious wide avenues (in the modern town), lovely palm gardens and several impressive buildings.
Djemaa el Fna (Court of Marvels) is an experience in itself. It is a market scene straight out of the movies, with snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and story-tellers. Visit the market by day, but also return at night when it’s filled with gaslight restaurant stalls. It feels great to dine on Moroccan fare in the open air, sitting alongside local citizens wearing colorful Jallabas (gown like garments). On other days, visit the impressive Koutoubia minaret (250 ft/77 m tall), the Ben Youssef Medersa (magnificent 16th-century Islamic college), and if time permits, include the Saadian Dynasty tombs, the ruined 16 th century El Badi Palace, the Dar Si Said Museum and the colorful. You might also consider the museum and gardens donated by fashion designer Yves St Laurent. We recommend that you spend as much time as possible in the market and the bazaar north of Djemaa el Fna square---one of the most interesting in Morocco. Be prepared for some rather high-pressure sales tactics.
Day trips out of Marrakesh are as fascinating and varied as the city itself. Excursions include trips to Essaouira, Ozoud Cascades, Orika valley and Oukaimden, a winter resort, with the highest ski lift in Africa and spectacular views.