Morocco’s Red City attracts a diverse crowd when it comes to tourism; with many people eager to experience the city’s exotic ambience, see the fascinating historic sites, dine on delicious Moroccan fare and shop for bargains in the vibrant souks. With something for everyone, here are some of the best parts of Marrakech for younger visitors to add to their list.
Gueliz is the newer, colonial part of Marrakech. It’s home to many up-market shops, if you want a break from the frenetic haggling in the souks, fancy restaurants, stylish cafes, and a variety of small but interesting art galleries. Perhaps more importantly for younger travellers, the largest concentration of bars and nightclubs can be found in this area of the city. While nightlife may be scarce elsewhere, due to the devout Islamic nature of most of the local population, Gueliz is the place to be for loud music and drinks aplenty after the sun goes down.
The old Medina of Marrakech is a magnet for all travellers. While you won’t find lively bars and discos, you can chill out in a tucked-away café, dig into a tasty tagine or tangia in a local eatery, and stay in a traditional riad. Wander through the narrow streets and find hidden gems in the colourful markets; a shisha pipe could make a great souvenir.
Within the medina’s walls, the neighbourhood of Kennaria is close to the famous Djemaa el-Fna, the main square of Marrakech. The many small shops and cafes are enticing, and you can relax on a roof terrace with a glass of mint tea, a banana juice or another fruit juice as the sun starts to fade. Wander to the big square for the evening entertainment from singers, dancers, story-tellers, fortune-tellers, henna artists and more.
Mouassine is another neighbourhood within the old walled heart of the imperial city. It’s a great place for shopaholics to get their fill, with stalls of clothes, footwear, trinkets, lamps and more to catch your eye. It’s also possible to see artisans hard at work in their workshops. There are also some impressive buildings to admire.
The old Jewish part of the city, Mellah is great for history-loving visitors who want to learn more about the city’s diverse past. The Jewish cemetery, several shrines, and old synagogues can be found among the old dwellings; the area is especially known for its spice markets.
Millennials who are in search of chic sophistication and have the cash to splash should head to Hivernage. Hivernage is one of the swankiest neighbourhoods in Marrakech, known for its high-class hotels and villas and its elegant bars and restaurants. Prices aren’t cheap, but it’s a top place for a treat.
Sidi Ghanem Industrial Quarter is an up-and-coming area for the arts, fashion, design and retail. Some of the old warehouses have been converted to stores and workshops, with many items produced for export. Watch how things are made and browse in the varied shops; clothes and household goods are especially prevalent. There are a number of quaint cafes and restaurants too, perfect for breaking up the hours of shopping.
Located a short distance from the heart of the city, Chrifia is where you’ll find two of the city’s golf courses and one of the fun water parks. Take respite on a hot summer’s day at Oasiria and cool down in one of the sparkling pools. There are several slides and chutes, as well as a lazy river and sunbathing areas.
Sports-loving youngsters should head to Ouahat Sidi Brahmin, home to the Grand Stade de Marrakech. The modern stadium was completed in 2012 and is used for various sporting events. It is the home ground of the city’s local football team, Kawkab Marrakech. Ouahat Sidi Brahmin also boasts one of Marrakech’s most popular evening attractions: the Fantasia Dinner Show at Chez Ali. Spend an evening feasting on Moroccan dishes while musicians, jousters on horseback, dancers and other performers keep the crowds entertained.
In addition to fancy hotels, restaurants and a huge area of palm trees, Palmeraie is a great spot for adventurous activities like camel riding, horse riding and quad biking. There’s also a golf course and a selection of nightclubs and bars.