The Marrakech Medina is the city’s walled-in historic district. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is an important area for tourists in Morocco, with a better selection of hotels Medina than anywhere else in Marrakech. Accommodation in this area gives guests an inside perspective on daily life in Marrakech, and visitors can choose from comfortable boutique hotels or quaint, family-run bed and breakfasts.
At the center of the Medina is Jemaâ El Fna, a city plaza where snake charmers, buskers and merchants set up during the day. Coffee houses around the square have terraced balconies where customers can watch daily life unfold. Near the plaza is Koutoubia Mosque, a centuries-old structure with a towering minaret that’s visible from nearly anywhere in the Medina.
Alleyways radiate from Jemaâ El Fna in all directions. Guides for hire are readily available, and it’s not a bad idea to hire one. Not only does this help with navigating the maze of alleys, but it also keeps other would-be guides from following tourists around. Public fountains like the Fontaine El-Mouassine are excellent stopping-off points.
To the south is Kasbah, where the ruins of El Badi Palace are located. Farther on is the Royal Palace and Agdal Gardens, which features olive groves that were planted in the 1100s. This is a lovely place to ride a rented bicycle, though it’s only open on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
Accommodation in the Medina caters for tourists on any budget. There are comfortable five-star hotels on offer, set back from the noise of the main streets and plazas. Opposite this, budget hotels are in lively neighborhoods where guests can actively participate in daily life.