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Marrakesh – known as “The Red City” thanks to the hue of the thick walls surrounding the old city – is the fourth largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. Known for its bustling souks, wondrous architecture and world-class hospitality, it has been a popular tourist destination since the 1960s. The city is a fascinating blend of old and new, rich in history and culture, as exemplified by souks, which feature piles of spices, woven Berber carpets and thousands of other exotic goods alongside more modern consumer electronics.

Unlike Fez, you do not necessarily need a guide in Marrakesh. It is relatively easy to navigate the souks and medinas on your own. Exquisite gardens, ornate mosques and towering minarets are all around. The Medina of Marrakesh, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, is a very popular site and hard to miss. You can explore private palaces and regal mansions-turned-hotels (riads) or leave the old city for drinks and dinner in the ville nouvelle (new town). Marrakesh nightlife is now a huge part of the city's charm, with more and more party-goers hitting the town. For a more relaxed time, visit one of Marrakesh’s fine golf courses or one of the many modern hammams (bath houses). We highly recommend more experiential activities in Marrakesh such as a photo tour or cooking classes with a local family or in one of the top restaurants. We also love the photography museum (Maison de la Photographie de Marrakech).

Most hotels are either in the medina or in the outskirts of the city, except for the renowned La Mamounia, which is right on the border of the medina. We highly recommend a 4 to 6 day excursion thru the Atlas Mountains to reach here from Fez. A night out in a tent in the desert (reached on camelback) is not to be missed.

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Jamie Mehrotra