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Never-sleeping Marrakech

Atmospheric Morocco

Marrakech is a major city in the northwest African nation of Morocco. It is the fourth largest city in the country, after Casablanca, Fes and Tangier.

Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakesh has an old fortified city packed with vendors, bordered by modern neighborhoods. Today it is one of the busiest cities in Africa.

The Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakech's most famous landmark with its striking, 70 m tall minaret visible for miles in every direction. Local Marrakesh legend tells that when first built it, the muezzin (man who calls the faithful to pray) for this mosque had to be blind as the minaret was so tall that it overlooked the ruler's harem.

The Badii Palace is one of the two principal monuments of the Saadian era. Today it survives only as a ruin, but once it was a model of triumphal ostentation.

To experience Marrakech at its most medieval, visit the tannery district. The tanners have been here since the city was founded and their work remains a pre-industrial process.

One of the most pleasurable ways to spend time in Marrakech is by wandering around the maze of markets in the Medina. The further in you go, the more interesting they become.

Green spaces are rare in Marrakech, so it's good to know where to seek one to rest from the African sun. Just outside the Medina is the glamourous, world-famous La Mamounia with its equally famous gardens.

The Marrakesh Museum has a vast collection, which ranges from contemporary art to Qur'anic inscriptions with local ceramic work, textiles and coins.

This lovely old palace of Dar Si Said is home to the Museum of Moroccan Arts and Crafts and has a wonderful collection of jewellery, oil lamps, pottery artifacts, embroidered leather, and marble. There is also a display of Moroccan carpets.

For a culinary journey par excellence clear your schedule for the tasting menus. Or for low-key, family run, there's nothing better than the traditional rabbit tagine.

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