For most travelers, Marrakesh conjures images of riding horseback through the Ourika Valley, passing emerald hills and lonely villages high in the Atlas Mountains. But while there’s plenty to see beyond your well-appointed riad, most guides would admit that part of the fun is discovering a culture much like our own. Sure, there are obvious differences — Americans aren’t as big on afternoon tea, for example — but the desire to nosh on great food with great company, preferably under the stars, is a universal one we can all get behind.
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Visiting Marrakesh also provides travelers a rare opportunity to see an ancient city embrace modernity. Here it isn’t uncommon to find 16th-century palaces adorned with Pop Art or sweaty nightclubs pumping out old Moroccan ballads. After hours of haggling in the medina or hobnobbing with the creative community, you’ll realize this mix of old and new is just what you needed — and more dynamic than you expected.
Here are 20 exciting reasons, with insight from experts, to visit Marrakesh.