Meandering The Marrakech Medina – A Photo Walk

Oh how we enjoyed our time in the Marrakech Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I know some of you may be asking, “What the heck is a Medina and why are you meandering in it?”

The word “Medina” means city or town in modern-day Arabic.  A Medina is the old part of a town/city found in many countries of North Africa.  Of course Morocco is in North Africa, so there you go!  The Medina is usually a walled area with a labyrinth of narrow streets, homes, palaces, souks (an Arab market or marketplace; a bazaar), and usually a plaza of some kind. Most areas of the Medina are car free, but as you will see in our photo walk, they aren’t scooter, bicycle, or donkey free.

When presented with the opportunity to meander in a Medina, just go with the flow and allow yourself to get lost.  This is actually our advice for any new location, but it there is a little something special about doing it in a Medina.  Since the Medina is surrounded by high walls, it is like you are in your own little pinball machine.  You can roam until you hit a wall or dead end and just choose another direction.  One way or another you will happen back upon something familiar or you can always ask.

We will share with you a little of our journey through the Marrakech Medina.  We arrived to the city after dark, so our first exposure to the Medina was at night and a bit intimidating.  We were entering through the walls with very low light and pedestrian streets with very few signs.  The directions we were provided to our Riad seemed pretty straightforward.  Enter the archway near Hammam Ziani, make your first right and then your second left,  you will find us there.

As we entered, we followed the directions to a tee, but we didn’t find them there!  The instant mom panic set in and I had no idea how we were going to find this place in a dark maze.  Just then someone walked by and asked where we were going.  We told him and he pointed to the door about 30 feet further down the path.  Yeah! It was our Riad.  We explored the Riad and the roof terrace, then settled in for the night with great anticipation to explore the Medina the following morning.

We roamed around for close to 6 hours and soaked up every bit of color, smell, sound, culture, and feeling.  Then we went back to our Riad to have some Spanish Siesta and homework time.  A few hours later it was back out to experience the Medina of Marrakech at night!.  We will share some of that with you here.

Meandering The Marrakech Medina


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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

8 thoughts on “Meandering The Marrakech Medina – A Photo Walk

  1. Thanks Katie! Yes, the animals did not look in the best of spirits. Of course, why should they be? I preferred roaming the markets and back streets.

  2. Was Rabat a cool place? I bet the Medina’s are all similar. That said, it was a bit different in Essaouira. It was calmer and cleaner there.

  3. We loved the medina in Rabat, Morocco and it looks like the one in Marrakech is equally amazing and fun to wander around in. I really enjoyed just people watching and seeing all the different stuff that could be bought.

  4. My favourite spot to people watch and relax of the madness of the medina was the terrace of Cafe de France – Marrakech is the most amazing place with donkeys competing for space on the road with buses and motorbikes, then the smells, the sounds and the colours of the medina. Wow. And at night time when the street food market comes alive, the heaps of snails, lambs brains and smoking bbq’s – I thought I had seen a lot on my travels but nothing prepared me for this. Loved it. Your photos brought it all back, thank you.

    • Oh that is great, I am so glad it did. We didn’t fall in love with it immediately, but the more we are writing about it we realized we really did. It is the people watching that we love, as well as the splashes of color and just the rawness of it all. Lars tried those snails, but we didn’t see any brains. Maybe next time. We have loads more about Morocco in the hopper, waiting to be published. Stay tuned!

      • It took me a bit of time to get used to it, the first day I clung to my husbands arm! It was just so different to anything I had experienced before. I thought after the bustle of Bangkok, KL and Turkish markets I could handle anything, but this blew me away. Snake charmers and monkeys on leashes, and people trying to sell everything the minute you stopped walking! We did however struggle to photograph anything without being asked for money so my tip is to keep a lot of small change handy if you want to take photos.

        • Exactly. We have a post going out on Wednesday that touches on the snake charmers and the photo taking. We have a list of “tips”, so need to turn that into another post. This is exhausting! LOL

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