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As with all major Moroccan cities, Marrakech is a city divided – both geographically and psychologically. There’s the Medina (the old city), where ancient rituals still play out, and the decidedly modern neighborhoods of the Ville Nouvelle (new city), where the pace of life seems more European than Moroccan. Beyond these two sections of the city, there’s little to lure visitors.

Marrakech Neighborhoods

Medina (the old city)

Marrakech’s heart and soul (and the biggest tourist draw) is the medina, where mud brick ramparts enclose winding narrow streets packed with shops, food vendors, mosques and homes.


South of the medina, the Kasbah, or former royal quarter, is a hodgepodge of narrow winding streets. Here, find two of Marrakech’s most important tourist sites: Palais El-Badi and the Saadian Tombs.


East of the Kasbah, Marrakech’s mellah, or Jewish quarter, houses the city’s small Jewish community. Enclosed by walls and entered via two gates, the mellah is far less touristy than the medina.


The French Protectorate’s early-20th-century legacy is evident in Gueliz’s wide, leafy boulevards in the Ville Nouvelle. The haggle of the souks seems worlds away here, as hip Marrakshis linger over coffees and fresh juice at cafes.


Hivernage, also in Ville Nouvelle, is the city’s most elite residential neighborhood. Upscale western hotels and nightclubs lure travelers, but count on a long walk from Hivernage to Marrakech’s best sites.


A 15-20 minute taxi ride from central Marrakech, the Palmeraie is a green oasis of date palms and upmarket hotel complexes. Outside of the resorts, however, there’s not a lot to see.

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