Wes and I have seen our fair share of old churches and castles but the palaces of Marrakech were unlike anything we’d seen before. As you walk through and admire the level of detail and unique architecture, you really feel like you’ve been transported to a different era.
When we first arrived to Marrakech, the sights, scents and sounds of the medina where overwhelming. The markets and maze-like streets had us feeling out of sorts at first but a few days into the trip, we ventured off to explore the palaces and grand buildings of the city.
One thing to note when you’re planning to visit the main palaces and points of interest in Marrakech is that they can be tricky to find. The tourist maps really don’t compare to those of European cities and so at times we felt like we were walking in circles trying to figure out a) where we were on the map and b) how to get to where we wanted to be!
A second thing to note is that the palaces and mosques are off limits to tourists during certain times of the day. We asked for tips from the staff at our riad and they were helpful in suggesting where and when to go.
El Badi Palace
All that remains of El Badi Palace are the ruins but it was still Wes’ favourite of the structures we saw. It didn’t take long to forget about the bustling city and enjoy the peace and quiet as we roamed through the grounds at our own pace. The ancient palace is of great historical significance and also hold art exhibits. Be sure to check out the upper floor for great views of the city and the nesting storks.
Ben Youssef Medersa
Even though it’s not actually a palace, I found the Ben Youssef Medersa to be the most impressive of the buildings we saw in Marrakech. It used to be an Islamic college that would host hundreds of students from all over the world. The intricate detail in the wood carvings and the colourful mosaics were really extraordinary (which is not a word I use often!).