Red baked-mud medina palaces beneath the snow-capped High Atlas and a powder-pink ring of ramparts around 19 kilometers of seething souqs, Marrakech is Morocco’s most memorable experience. Founded almost 1000 years ago on the edge of the Sahara, this southern market town grew to become one of the great cities of the Maghreb and a Unesco Heritage site to boot. But Marrakech isn’t some petrified piece of history that tourists come to gawk at, it’s bursting at the seems with an intense density of life and modern entrepreneurialism that puts Manhattanites to shame. This isn’t a place where you can gracefully glide through. Instead you’ll find yourself telling jokes with snake charmers, dining outdoors in the Djemaa el-Fna, hankering after the latest henna tattoos and getting a hands-on scrub down in the local hammam. Pause for unexpected beauty and banter often with multi-lingual locals.
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The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words amur (n) kush, which means "Land of God." It is the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Fez, and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. It is a few hours from the foot of the Sahara Desert. Its location and contrasting landscape have made it an enviable destination in Morocco. The city is divided into two distinct parts: the Medina, the historical city, and the new European modern district called Gueliz or Ville Nouvelle. The Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways and local shops full of character. In contrast, Gueliz plays host to modern restaurants, fast food chains, and big brand stores. Follow our tailored guides to have the best experience in this exotic city.