Category Archives: Top 10 attractions in Marrakech

The Secret Garden in Marrakesh

The Secret Garden in MarrakechOpposite the popular Café Arabe, in Marrakesh,  you will find yourself in paradise – a welcome rest especially after a day traipsing the dusty, narrow streets of the souks and being hustled by overzealous stallholders.

Le Jardin Secret was just that: a mysterious place that existed behind a 30ft-high wall deep in the medina of Marrakech.

This historic riad garden has been recreated and is now open to the public.

We would add it to our list of top ten things to see in Marrakech.

10 great reasons to visit The Secret Garden in Marrakech

  1. It is an historic site that features lovely gardens and a Palace.
  2. There is only one tower at The Secret Garden: its height exceeds certain minarets of the city! It offers stunning views over the rooftops of the medina and the Atlas Mountains. A great place to view Marrakech and its surroundings.
  3. There are several gardens including the new historic site “The Secret Garden”: the first garden is called “exotic” and collects plants from around the world and the second “Islamic”, symbolizes a representation of the Muslim paradise on earth.
  4. The Secret Garden features plants from the 5 continents
  5. The “Islamic” garden is divided into four beds separated by beautiful fountains
  6. There is a lovely terrace café where you can eat and stay for hours and hours
  7. There is a fabulous shop to buy interesting souvenirs of your visit.
  8. You will want to visit and revisit this natural setting within the Marrakech medina.
  9. Lovely place to take photographs
  10. It is not expensive

A bit of background from over the centuries:

16th century: Sultan Moulay Abdallah began the urbanization of the Mouassine district and erected a splendid palace on the ground of the current Secret Garden

19th century: After the destruction of the palace during the decline of the Saadian dynasty, the Qaid al-Hajj ‘Abd-Allah-U Bihi begins the reconstruction of the Palace following the plans and designs of the Saadian era. Lush gardens are planted near the new palace. Qaid is poisoned for political reasons by the Sultan Muhammad IV who hated him: the property returns to the hands of the qadi (judge) Moulay Mustapha.

1912: The judge exchanges his palace for the house of al-Hajj Muhammad Loukrissi, a resident in Fes head of the corporation of watchmakers of Marrakech. He lived there until 1934, the year of his death.

From 1934 to 2000: The land was no longer maintained and was gradually falling apart.

2008: The idea of restoring the garden and palace gains ground with a passionate team of history buffs interested in Marrakech.

2016: The Secret Garden is opened for the pleasure of travelers to Marrakech.

2017: There is already talk of night visits being organized … stay tuned.

The shop and café are open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to the garden is 50 dirhams per person – 25 dirhams for Moroccan residents (ID required) – children enter for free.

Admission prices for a guided tour of the palace is 30 dirhams per person – children below 12 years of age 20 dirhams

The Secret Garden Marrakech

Mouassine street

Medina – Marrakech

Tel: +212 (0) 5 24 39 00 40

www.lejardinsecretmarrakech.com

 

Mouassine Museum – new museum in Marrakech

Musee de Mouassine Marrakech

Marrakech has another new, interesting museum – the Mouassine Museum – set in a magnificent 17th-18th century building. Until April 2016 the museum has as its inaugural exhibition “The Festival season” –marriages, the harvest, the fantasias. Featuring exceptional items from the collection of Rabii Alouani Bibi and using music, documents, photographs, you get a sense of the context in which these treasures were created.

 

http://www.douiria.com/

www.museedemouassine.com

Derb El Hammam, Rue Mouassine, Marrakesh, Morocco

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Fridays

Close to Mouassine Fountain

Tel 05 24 37 77 92

http://www.timeout.com/city-guides/things-to-do-in-marrakech-museums-and-art-galleries/ 

 

One of the best things to do in Marrakech

Caleche ride in Marrakech

One of our recommended things to do in Marrakech

As from last month, we at Riad Sapphire and Spa are offering our guests a unique way to visit the Red city. The ‘calèche’ is an age-old form of transport and is a fabulous way to see Marrakesh from the comfort of your own horse and carriage. It’s a good idea to go late afternoon just before the sun goes down and you’re tired from walking but would still like to see more.

We offer a scenic tour (approx. 75 minutes) which includes the Winter Garden district (Hivernage), La Mamounia, the Royal Palace, the Mellah (Jewish quarter), King’s Palace, the old Pasha of Marrakech’s residence, Koutoubia mosque and finishing by the main square, Place Jemaa El Fna’. Prices are £15 per person (minimum 2 people). We can’t guarantee the drivers speak English, so a guide would need to be booked if you wish commentary in English.

In addition, we can also book a romantic calèche ride to your pre-booked restaurant for the evening. Prices are £10 per person (minimum 2 people) per trip. Please note, no carriages can be booked after midnight as the horses have to go to bed!!

A UK charity – Spana regularly checks the condition of the calèche horses in Marrakech, so one can rest assured they are well looked after…

Koutoubia mosque, Marrakesh

Marrakech landmark, Koutoubia minaret, next to Place Jemaa el Fna', Marrakech
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  Koutoubia mosque is the largest in Marrakech and located just next to the main square, Place Jemaa el Fna’.  It derives its name from the Arabic for books “kutub” as there was formerly a book market nearby – way back in 1150. The tower is almost 70 m high and serves as a useful landmark for tourists.

The design of the minaret was highly influential and you see many other mosques with a similar design, most notably the Hassan minaret in Rabat and the La Giralda in Seville, Spain.

The minaret has three copper balls of decreasing size topped by a pointed one at the pinnacle (like one of Hershey’s kisses); legend has it that this was a gift from Saadian ruler Yacoub el Mansour’s wife as an offering for breaking her fast for three hours during Ramadan.

View courtyard Koutoubia Mosque MarrakeshInside Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech

One of the top ten places to visit in Marrakech – unfortunately if you are not Muslim you cannot go inside, but there are very pleasant gardens to stroll in around the outside.

Koutoubia mosque MarrakechInside Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech

Marrakesh the city

Marrakech has over 300 days of sunshine and is a year-round destination.

Ideal for friends or family reunions, romantic getaways or just getting away.

Chill out or celebrate in exotic Marrakech, Morocco.

 

menara gardens in Marrakesh
Menara gardens in Marrakech
Marrakesch city walls
Part of the ramparts of the city wall in Marrakesh

Marrakesh the city: A mixture of the exotic and the familiar — the old city of Marrakech with its narrow alleyways and enticing markets offers us a glimpse of a different way of living. The Marrakech medina (old city) has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

 

Place Jemaa el fna', main square, Marrakech, by day
The main square, Place Jemaa el fna’, Marrakech, by day
main square place jemaa el fna' marrakech by night
The Main Square Place Jemaa el Fna’ by night

Marrakech by night

Enjoy fresh orange juice from one of the stands in the main square, Place Jemaa el Fna’.

orange juice stand, main square, Marrakech, Place Jemaa el Fna'
Orange juice stand Place Jemaa el Fna’, Marrakech

The new town, Gueliz, in Marrakesh

The new city, Gueliz, with its restaurants, boutiques and outdoor cafés, looks and feels European.