For those who have a trip to Morocco's vibrant ochre city of Marrakech on the cards, a stroll through the ancient district of the Kasbah is an absolute must. This fortress, steeped in history, is home to various major landmarks including the Saadian Tombs and the King’s Palace. Ideally located in the UNESCO world heritage site of the Medina of Marrakech, Kasbah is a charming district to visit with children due to its safety. Since the aforementioned King Mohammed VI’s Palace is located inside the historic fortress, the district is safeguarded day and night every day, guaranteeing its visitors a pleasant visit.
To enter this fortress, visitors enter through a large gate called Bab Agnaou. The latter is one of Marrakech’s 19 doors, which was built in the 12th century. Upon entry, visitors will be charmed by the traditional shops dotted all around, where vendors sell all sorts of local products including the renowned spices.
The Kasbah is home to various sites which characterise Marrakech, including the Saadian Tombs. These were built in the late 16th century and restored in 1917. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire the tombs of approximately 60 Saadians including the Sultan Al Mansour as well as his family and successors. The historic Tombs are spread across 3 rooms including the renowned 12 columned room which contains beautiful tiles.
After a visit to the Saadian Tombs, visitors can also head for the famous high walls of El Badi Palace, a beautiful palace built towards the end of 16th century where the previously mentioned sultan Al Mansour once resided. The French festival held by Jamel Debouze ‘Marrakech du rire’ takes place every year inside the El Badi Palace, a truly spectacular venue for such a great festival.
The Kasbah Mosque is another must-see found within the fortress. Also referred to as the Golden Apple Mosque, it is the second biggest mosque in Marrakech, behind the splendid Koutoubia Mosque. With an 80 metre tall minaret, you can't fail to see it while taking a stroll in the gorgeous Moroccan sunshine.
Last but not least, Kasbah is home to the wonderful architecture of the King’s Palace, a favourite among art lovers. King Mohammed VI however does not stay in this palace when in Marrakech. However, the public is made aware of his presence by the raising of the Moroccan flag on top of the Kasbah palace.
This most magical of cities is the perfect location to experience a taste of the finest North Africa has to offer. From countless beautiful gardens, chic roof terraces and elegant patios to museums brimming with african art and artifacts - not to mention sublime year-round climate - Marrakech is an ideal location for a city break with your family or with a loved one.
Whether you are gazing in awe at the famous Koutoubia mosque, being amused by the snake charmers in the main square of Djemaa el-Fna, or bartering over rugs and leather goods in the bustling souks of the old medina, this heady mixture of historic sites and new sensations is sure to live long in the memory. And once you have had your fill of the city, there is the option to spend a few days in the spectacular Agafay Desert. Villanovo can help you organise a number of trips and excursions, including on bikes, to a desert camp or even in a hot-air balloon.
What's more, Moroccans are famously hospitable, ensuring that when you are on your trip to Marrakech you'll be met with the warmest of welcomes.
A leisurely stroll around the old city will fascinate and delight in equal measure. We have mentioned the wonders of the Kasbah and the Koutoubia mosque, the main square of Djemaa el-fna and other must-see sites of the old Medina, but no trip to Marrakech is complete without a visit to its exquisite gardens, such as Le Jardin Marjorelle, situated outside but still within walking distance of the Old Medina.
This breathtaking, brilliant blue garden was designed and built back in the 1930s, and changed hands several times, falling into disrepair before the designer Yves Saint Laurent purchased and restored it in the 1980s, After his death in 2008, his ashes were scattered in the famous blue garden. As part of his legacy, it has been opened to the public since 2017 and is not to be missed on any trip to the old city. There are a great many delightful gardens to visit throughout the city, such as the Menara and Agdal gardens, to name but two.
Of course, the image we perhaps associate most with Marrakech is that of the colourful and lively souks of the old city. The souks are a chaotic network of market stalls and caravans from which traders and locals barter for goods and in which you can find stalls where merchants are looking to trade anything from leather goods to rugs, spices, perfumes, clayware and other more exotic items. A wander around the stalls of this labyrinth of colour and fragrances is an absolute must for any visitor to the Ochre City.
Away from the main square of Djemaa el-Fna and other tourist attractions you can find a multitude of charming bars, cafes and restaurants ain which to pause and try the local delicacies, whether indoors or atop one of the building's roof terrace. there really is nothing quite like sipping a refreshing mint tea atop a roof terrace, while luxuriating under the warm Moroccan sunshine!