Photograph by Peerakit Jirachetthakun, Getty Images

 

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The Menara Gardens stand at the base of the Atlas mountains.

Photograph by Peerakit Jirachetthakun, Getty Images

 

Everything to Know About Marrakech

Marrakech is the city of legends today more than ever.

Colorful, chaotic and bustling with life, Marrakech is one of the most visited cities in Morocco and was once an important stop on trade routes. Today those traditions are kept alive in the souks of the city.

When to Go

Summer months can be oppressively hot due to the inland location of the city and winter brings the rainy season. Opt to come in fall (October/November) or spring (April/May) when you're likely to have beautiful temperatures and sunny skies.

Celebrate

It often feels like there's always something happening in Marrakech so it's truly worth checking what's happening before you book. One of the newest festivals is the Oasis Festival located just outside the city. If you love music and dancing, visit Marrakech in mid-September when the three-day event kicks off. Live DJs and music acts as well as champagne and hookah bars, great food, and an onsite spa bring the gathering to life under the Moroccan sun.

What to Eat

The signature dish of Marrakech is tangia, not to be confused with tajine. Slow-cooked lamb is placed in a clay urn along with pieces of preserved lemon, garlic and saffron and then cooked in charcoal until fork tender.

Souvenir to Take Home

Argan oil is a prized commodity but don't be swayed by the lure of "argan cooperatives," especially not in the city. To get good quality, test the oil by giving the bottle a shake. See bubbles at the top? It's been cut with another oil. Pure argan won't do this.

Sustainable Travel Tip

Animal lovers may be overwhelmed with the working life of macaques, snakes, donkeys, and horses. Work is being done by local and international organizations to combat the exploitation of these animals. Avoid photographs with these animals and consider visiting refuges like JarJar Mules who specialize in care for abandoned and injured animals.

Instagram-Worthy View

For great pictures of the medina of the city visit the Jardin Secret and purchase access to the tower; this is the second highest point in Marrakech, after the Koutoubia Mosque, with views across the entire medina.