Top 10 Attractions to See in Marrakech, Morocco | Morocco Tour | Marrakech Tour | Free Tour Marrakech
This exciting city is full of north African charm and used to be an Imperial city. It is a melting pot of different cultures and languages, and so you will see signs written in Arab and French. More than that, this city offers many unique historical sites and buildings and also has an incredible intangible cultural heritage that can be found on its squares and streets. I am going to discuss about “free tour marrakech” in this blog. I will emphasize on marrakech tour.
Here are the top 10 things waiting for you in Marrakech
El Badi Palace:
For short periods of time, the grand ruins of El Badi Palace were considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. This was a royal palace from where sultan Ahmad al-Mansoor ruled over Morocco. This place was built with the finest Italian marble and other exquisite materials brought here from all over the world. The construction of this huge palace was funded by a substantial ransom paid by the Portuguese after their defeat by Morocco, but the glory of this place was short-lived. This is one of the best place for marrakech tour and falls in “free tour marrakech” list.
The palace was finished in 1593 and only a decade later Al-Mansoor died. Since he was the last from the ruling Saadian dynasty, the fight for his succession broke out soon. The palace fell into despair and after decades of fighting new ruling dynasty, emerged new sultan and established a new royal city in the northern part of Morocco and re-used it for his new palace.
Dar El Bacha – Museum of Confluences
Besides having very old palaces, Marrakech also has new palaces. This one is almost brand new and it was built at the beginning of the 20th century and the name of the palace means the house of pasha. It was built for probably the most famous pasha of Marrakech that ruled here from 1912 until 1956. He was nicknamed the Lord of Atlas and was famous for his luxurious and grand lifestyle, with magnificent celebrations and receptions with the presence of world celebrities. Today this is a museum with small and exquisite interesting collections.
These are the tombs of the royal Saadian Dynasty that ruled Morocco from Marrakech for over a century. To get to the tombs, you have to go through a narrow passage and there is a good story behind it. When Saadian dynasty built their tombs in the 1500s, they use the finest building materials like Italian marble, amazing woodwork, decorative plasterwork and typical Moroccan mosaics made out of tiles. The most important family members got their own buildings while others were buried in the garden.
When Saadian dynasty lost their power, they were replaced by the new ruling dynasty
that moved the capital city outside of Marrakech. As we have seen with El Badi palace, the new sultan stripped all the important buildings and moved the richness to his new royal city. But the sultan was afraid to destroy the tombs, so instead, he built the walls and sealed the tombs to be out of people’s sights. Over time, people forgot about these tombs, but in 1917 aerial photographs of Marrakech revealed their existence and the tombs were reopened the 1920s.
French painter Majorelle bought this spawn groove and turn it into this amazing garden. In the midst of it, he built this famous cobalt blue villa inspired by typical Moroccan architecture. After the painter’s death, the property fell into despair and was saved from the developers in the 1980s when it was acquired by a famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent. After the designer passed away in 2008, this property was donated to the foundation that looks after culture. The famous cobalt blue villa became a Berber museum. This is one of the best place for marrakech tour and falls in “free tour marrakech” list.
Berbers are the oldest people of north Africa their language history, stories and myths spend over 9 000 years? The Berber language managed to outlive many other languages of antiquity such as Latin Phoenician, ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian. Before the Muslim conquest of Morocco in the 7th century, Berber was the native language of this country. In 2011 Berber became an official language in Morocco sharing its status with the official Arab language.
If you ever looked for accommodation in Morocco then you probably know that here, they have a special type of accommodation called riad. Riads are typical Moroccan houses built around a central courtyard. They are usually up to two stories high and they have a rooftop terrace. Exterior walls have no windows but interior walls are beautifully decorated by plasterwork and typical Moroccan tile work. All rooms open up to this central courtyard, this gives privacy and it keeps temperatures nice and cool in Marrakech medina. Riads were home of wealthy citizens.
When you walk these narrow windy streets, it’s hard to imagine that behind tiny doors you have these beautiful grand houses. Most of the riads in Marrakech were turned into small hotels or upscale restaurants. So, if you plan to spend the night in Marrakech medina, you should definitely try one of the riads.
El Bahia Palace
Since Marrakech is one of the four Imperials cities of Morocco, it’s no wonder it has many palaces. The name of this palace means “brilliance” in Arabic and this place is actually brilliant. This is the most preserved historical site in the city. It is famous for its many courtyards’ extensive gardens and over 150 rooms. It was built in 19th century for the head of the government the grand vizier, who had four wives, 24 concubines and many children. So, no wonder he needed such a big place. This is the finest palace in the country. All of its rooms are decorated with amazing painted and carved out wooden ceilings, typical Moroccan tile work and carved out plasters. Since this place is huge, it is a good idea to visit it with a guide since there are no signage or audio guides to explain what the rooms were used for. This place is one of the best in “free tour marrakech” list.
This is the landmark of Marrakech. This impressive minaret has been defining city skyline for more than 800. It’s built out of sandstone and it is 77 meters or 252 feet high. It remains the highest structure in the city as the building regulation prevent any new building from exceeding the height of this minaret. The spire at the top is decorated by gilded copper balls and apparently, these copper balls are filled with mineral-rich salt from the High Atlas Mountains to prevent oxidizing. This minaret is part of the biggest mosque in the city.
The name of the mosque “Koutoubia” in Arabic means bookseller since here, book vendors were selling manuscripts and books long before they became popular in Europe. The interior of the mosque is open for Muslim visitors only, but the surrounding garden and square is a masterpiece by itself is worth exploring.
These city walls are the landmark of Marrakech and UNESCO protected site. This fortification system was built in the 11th century to encircle and protect the royal capital city. These walls are up to 9 meters or 30 feet high and they are 12 miles or 19 kilometres long. They used reddish-looking clay to build these walls and that’s how they got their distinctive colour and the city got the nickname the red city.
Today, these walls are separating the historic city centre known as medina from modern parts of Marrakech. Since the walls are made out of clay, they need to be maintained that’s why they are you see these holes in the walls that are used to put the wooden scaffolding. The popular way to go around the city walls is by horse and carriage that takes about one hour.
This is the largest and most exotic market in Morocco. The market is called “souk” and here we have several different souks connected together into a never-ending web of colourful shops and lively streets. Every souk is specialised for something else and when you see that the merchandise on the stalls has changed, you probably enter to a new souk.
Some places still produce their goods in the old way handmade. Haggling and bargaining is still an important part of trade here. So, you should sharpen your skills and you will get lost here without a doubt but don’t worry and don’t panic. Enjoy the moment and keep on walking because sooner or later you will either emerge on the big main square or some other familiar medina streets.
Djemaa El Fna
This place will give you a lifetime experience. This square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers its visitors a unique cultural experience. If you are hungry, there are many restaurants to choose from, if you are thirsty, there are many stalls where you can get freshly squeezed natural juice if you need a beauty salon right there on the square. If you don’t feel so well you can find a doctor and you can choose from traditional or modern medicine. You will even find snake charmers and cultural programs from dancers, storytellers and many others. This place comes at first position in “free tour marrakech”.
This place offers everything you ever imagined and much more. This square is amazing! It is changing all the time. Just a few hours ago this was empty space and now out of nowhere the whole town of restaurants emerged here. You can have nice local food at a decent price.
Marrakech offers a unique and exotic experience. Most of trips are like free tour marrakech. There are many more interesting places to see and visit that you can never be bored. Now that you know some of the top attractions to visit in Marrakech, you can use this handy Marrakech travel blog to best of other aspects of vacation in the red city. I hope you must have liked this blog “Free Tour Marrakech: Top 10 Attractions to See in Marrakech”. I have tried to explained all details about Marrakech Tour. If you feel to add review, please comment.