Gauss-Telegraph: World trip from home in 30 days – Marrakesh
by Andrés Muñoz
My impression of Marrakesh
Marrakesh (مراكش / ⵎⵕⵕⴰⴽⵛ) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco. It is located in central Morocco and provides a gateway to the High Atlas region. Morocco’s warm temperatures make it a marvelous destination to escape Europe’s winter. Marrakesh used to belong to the French protectorate. Therefore, French is still widely spoken in the region. Nevertheless, it is also very common to hear the locals interacting in Spanish with other tourists. The medieval architecture in Marrakesh will certainly amaze you and the scents will heighten your senses. Most sights are concentrated within the Medina (old city), but make sure to have an offline map on your phone, since the streets are like a labyrinth.
Djemaa El-Fnaa is the heart of the Medina. It roughly means „the gathering area“. The place is occupied by snake charmers and different stalls selling fresh drinks or leather items during the day and later in the evening, as the area becomes more crowded, there’s music, story-tellers and food. Behind Djemaa El-Fnaa lies a world of alleys filled with souks, where you can buy sweets, souvenirs, clothing, spices, perfumes and leather goods, among other things. You can also find the Koutoubia Mosque with its 70-meter-tall minaret nearby, which is one of the city’s landmarks. However, non-muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.
Another famous attraction are the Menara garden, established in the 12th century, or the Majorelle Garden, created by a French architect in the last century. The Saadian Tombs are also a tourist magnet due to its beauty. Located on the Kasbah Mosque, the complex is the mausoleum of the Saadian dynasty. The interior of the chambers is decorated with marble and colorful tiling, while the surfaces on the exterior are characterized by detailed arabesque carvings.
A visit to the village of Aït Benhaddou is a very popular excursion from Marrakesh. This fortified village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was established on the former caravan route between Marrakesh and the Sahara. The Ksar is a group of earthen clay towers, gates and merchants’ houses.
Best attraction in the city
One of my favorite attractions was El Badi Palace, built at the end of the 16th century. Though the palace is mostly in ruins nowadays, the complex houses a museum and some restored exhibitions. The highlight of a visit to El Badi Palace is the wonderful view across the Medina and the Atlas Mountains from the top of the walls. The entry costs only around 1€.
Favorite local dish
The food from Morocco has been ranked one of the best cuisines in the world. Moroccan couscous (كسكسي) served in different variations is one of the most popular dishes. However, Tajine (طاجن) was my favorite dish, which is a slow-cooked stew made with vegetables and/or meat. This dish is named after the clay pot in which it is cooked. It is traditionally eaten directly from the pot using pieces of bread.
Note: Due to the spread of the coronavirus, we don’t recommend to travel until the all restrictions have been lifted.