East meets west in Marrakech and you'll be mesmerised by the sights and sounds of this fascinating city. Here's why you should go...
Visitors looking for a taste of Moroccan life should head to the Djemma el Fnaa Square to sample the traditional food and street life. In the evening, the square fills up with musicians, story-tellers and dancers eager to put on a show for tourists and locals alike.
Once you have arrived, it is easy to get around the city on foot. If you want to explore more distant attractions then you may want to make use of the city's bus system, or take a taxi. For a more romantic trip around the city, consider renting a Caleche (pronounced kutchee). This is a small horse-drawn carriage. Usually, the carriage drivers charge a flat fee per hour.
For a taste of history, head to the Saadian Tombs. These tombs were discovered only recently and the art work and tiles are incredibly well preserved. Another amazing historical sight is the ruins of the El Badi palace. The terrace offers a majestic view of the city and exploring the underground passageways is an interesting way to pass the afternoon.
The Dar Si Said Museum offers an interesting insight into the history of Morocco and in particular the traditional crafts of the region.
Other interesting attractions include the picturesque Marjorelle gardens and the attached Museum of Islamic Art, the gorgeous olive groves and orchards of the Menara Gardens, the Ben Youssef Madrassa (which is one of the largest Madrassas in North Africa) and the ornately decorated, imposing El Bahia Palace. Try to get to see the Koutobia Minaret.
If you prefer to head out of the city, a visit to the Rif Mountains of the Atlas Mountains will provide you with some amazing photography opportunities. The nearby oasis villages offer the perfect retreat for tourists looking to enjoy the Moroccan countryside and pleasant weather.
Flights to Marrakech will get you over to your destination and exploring in no time. Here are your options...
Several major airlines serve Menara Airport (RAK) and there are Marrakech flights from Birmingham (BHK), Manchester (MAN), London Gatwick (LGW), London Heathrow (LHR), Bristol (BRS), London Luton (LTN) and London Stansted (STN).
Airlines include easyJet and Ryanair, which operate a number of flights from around the UK. British Airways has daily flights from Gatwick, and Royal Air Maroc also flies from Gatwick, as well as from Heathrow via Casablanca.
Thomson, a holiday airline, also offers charter services from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports.
Once you touch down, you'll want to ensure your onward journey is hassle-free. Here are your options...
The city centre is only four miles from the airport and therefore easy to get to. You could opt to continue your journey by taxi or car rental, or you could take the shuttle bus - this is the number 19 and it runs every 30 minutes.
If you do decide to travel by taxi, be sure to agree the fare before you set off. It should cost around £10.
Marrakech offers a variety of accommodation, whether you want to be in the hub of the city and close to the action or a bit further out. Here are some options...
Marrakech offers an Eastern extravaganza and a holiday here will certainly allow you to get absorbed in the city's energy. From the bustling souks and the Djemaa al Fna Square to relaxing 'hammans' and historical buildings, just one visit here will have you hooked.
The old part of the city, or 'medina', is where to stay if you want to explore ancient Marrakech. Here, there are various types of accommodation, including 'riads' which are old buildings built around a central courtyard. Opting for this type of stay would give you the opportunity to sample real Marrakech.
The newer hotels are located in the 'ville nouvelle,' while if you want to stay away from the chaos then the Palmerie is located around 15 minutes from the medina. Book this area if you're looking for luxury high-end hotels.