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Marrakech Travel Guide

Marrakech is a former imperial city of Morocco. The name Marrakech originated from the Amazigh words mur (n) askush, which means 'Land of God.' Known as the 'Red City,' Marrakech is the third largest city in Morocco and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Marrakech has recently become Morocco's number one tourist destination, welcoming between 1.5 and 2.5 million visitors each year. The city conjures ancient images and has the largest traditional market. It also has one of the busiest squares in Africa, the Djemaa el Fina.

The population of Marrakech has an official number of 1.07 million in 2004. In 2009, the estimated population for this city was said to be at 34.9 million, where 99% of making up this population are Arab-Berber.

For tourists, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are probably the best times to visit Marrakech for it almost guaranteed sunshine and not too chilly nights. The average January temperature of this city is 54 degrees F (12 degrees C) and the average July temperature is 84 degrees F (29 degrees C). The average annual rainfall is 10 inches (25 cm), and it usually occurs during the winter season (December to February) but is unlikely to last for more than a day or two. As Morocco being the Islamic nation, the month of Ramadan is perhaps not the best time to go.

There is so much to see in this wonderful city. One of which is the world famous Djemaa el Fina, the busiest squares in the world. Djemaa el Fina translates as 'The Assembly of the Dead,' where this is where the heads of executed criminals and rebels were once displayed. The square is full of acrobats, story-tellers, dancers, and musicians during the day and it becomes a festival of food and folklore by night, when snake charmers, storytellers, medicine men, and musicians turn the square into a riot of noise and color. Food stalls are also opens the square at night, making the square turn into a huge busy open-air restaurant, where they serve up a variety of food and drinks to the customers while enjoying the atmosphere of a medieval fairground.

The Saadian Tombs is one of the most visited sites in Morocco. It was dated back from the time of sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603) and it was only recently discovered and opened to the public in 1917. The mausoleum comprises the corpses of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty. Among the graves are those of Ahmad al-Mansur and his family. They have been preserved and were not destroyed due to superstitious reasons. Visitors should expect a long wait unless they visit early to avoid the rush.

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