Marrakech has unique Souqs, the craftsmen have been performing their wonders for centuries in the Medina (old city). Most of the shops at the medina are open between 10 am and 7 pm daily except on Friday afternoon. In Ville Nouvelle (new town) the opening hours of the stores, where they handle fixes prices, will be normally from 9.30 am to 6 pm or 7 pm from Monday to Saturday.
The ideal way to discover this historic city is by simply booking a cultural tour on your first day. We utilized DMA, Icho was our guide during our visit. He’s been a guide for over a decade with a massive knowledge.
During our walking tour, Icho shared both the historical and cultural background and in addition showed us a large number of sites such as mosques, hammam’s, bakery, pottery, etc. along with the common sights like Ben Youssef Madrasa.
Apart from the significant sights which you could easily walk into, one noteworthy landmark is Jardin Majorelle that is situated outside the medina. This is the home of the legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. This was the first time we used the taxicab in Morocco. We negotiated the ride out of Jemaa el-Fna to Jardin Majorelle for 50 dirhams for a single way.
Jardin Majorelle is painted in stunning cobalt blue color with a garden and museum and a little accessory store. There was a very long line for tickets which took approximately 45 minutes, but it had been worth the wait particularly since we already decided to walk there. The admission to the museum and garden was 100 dirhams per person. You have the choice to bypass the museum and save 30 dirhams, but it is well worth checking the artifacts out as you’re already there.
Another noteworthy attraction is the Bahia Palace together with the huge gardens and remarkable architecture. The entrance is 10 dirhams per person. Useful tip is to visit the palace a few hours before closing time to beat the crowds.
Finally, our tour leads us to the Koutoubia Mosque. The Koutoubia mosque was built in the twelfth century under the reign of Ya’qub al-Mansur and is today the largest mosque in the city. The building stands 69 meters above the surrounding city. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside because the mosque is still used for worship but we could enjoy its stunning architecture from the outside
When we had more time we would have liked to learn more about the new areas of the city. However, with such limited period, begin with a cultural tour to familiarize yourself with the most thing to do in the medina.