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MARRAKECH

Much Mor in Morroco

Dazzling Marrakech

Prepare for your senses to be slapped. Marrakesh's heady sights and sounds will dazzle, frazzle and enchant. Put on your babouches (leather slippers) and dive right in.

THE AREA

Bahia Palace and the Dar Si Said are a riot of tilework and intricate floral painted-wood ceilings, the Saadian Tombs are enriched by an opulent bounty of marble, while the Musée de Mouassine and Musée de Marrakech are a showcase of swirling stucco and carved-wood design. And if you choose to bed down for a night in a riad, you'll be able to sleep amid some of this splendour too. Marrakesh is a city steeped in ancient artistry that continues to thrive, kept alive by the modern craftspeople of the souqs and the contemporary art and design scene of the Ville Nouvelle.

CULTURE

You’ll understand how religion permeates the rhythms of daily life when you hear the sonorous call to prayer echo out from the mosques. As an old imperial capital, Marrakesh is home to some beautiful examples of Islamic architecture, most impressively the Ali Ben Youssef Medersa and the Koutoubia minaret. The city also holds on to a heritage of the other religious communities that once helped it become a vibrant caravan town. Head to the old Jewish district of the mellah to visit the Lazama Synagogue and the Miaara Jewish cemetery to gain a greater understanding of Marrakesh's cosmopolitan past.

Magical Merrakech

Within minutes of arriving in Morocco you’ll learn a new word: ‘Balek!’ Rough translation: ‘Move it or lost it, donkey coming through!’ This is a city on the move, so you better budge and watch in awe as Marrakech rushes ahead. But where is everyone going in such a hurry? As Africa’s first Capital of Culture, Marrakech has a hot date with you, actually. There are new museums to curate, rooftop restaurants to open, riads (courtyard mansions) to renovate and souks to supply. Luckily, showing guests a good time comes readily to Marrakchis. The Jemaa el-Fna has enchanted visitors for a millennium with its chorus of chefs and Gnaoua musicians banging out funky freedom songs on ginbris (three-stringed banjos). So, settle in for the ride of your life – you sure as hell won’t forget this trip.

Jardin Majorelle

Created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, this botanical garden is home to more types of cacti than you can shake a terrarium at, and has a stunning indigo blue art deco house as its centrepiece.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent

The French designer loved spending time in Marrakech so much he actually bought Jardin Majorelle in 1980. Opened next door to the gardens in 2017, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent is dedicated to Yves’s couture legacy and has a permanent display of hundreds of garments spanning his 40-year career.

Bahia Palace

This 150-room palace was home to slave-turned-vizier Abu ‘Bou’ Ahmed, who spared no expense in its gorgeous decoration. The painted, gilded ceilings, polychrome zellige tiling and carved stucco still have the intended effect – which is just ‘wow’.

Travel to Marrakech

AIRPORTS

The fastest way to get from Fes to Marrakech is by plane. Flights depart frequently from the Fes airport, and the flight itself is less than two hours. The travel time is significantly shorter than any other mode of travel between the two cities, and requires no logistics, preparation, or navigation beyond purchasing tickets and arriving at the airport.

TRAIN

The train is the least convenient way to get from Fes to Marrakech. Travelers can opt to purchase a first-class ticket at a small premium in order to select their seats in advance, which can be a good way to secure a window seat in order to watch the countryside go by.

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