marrakesh medina walls

The old city of Marrakesh, or “medina” is separated from the rest of the city (the Gueliz) by this brick wall that spans about 20 kilometers and has 14 entrances. It was a fairly common setup for Arab cities at the time and provided protection much like the castles did for villages in Europe. It’s still where the action is in Marrakesh and the pace inside the walls is intense. There are vendors, shops, cafes, snake charmers, and people everywhere in the hectic medina.

Around 4pm you’ll see the empty market square begin to fill up with barbecue stands. The food is wonderful and cheap (about $3.60 for a meal). Make sure to eat where the locals are (stand #31 is one of those) and get used to hearing all sorts of hooks to get you to eat. The barbecue guys are the most aggressive (yet creative) of the medina.

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See More Of Marrakesh

I was staying at the Riad Ghallia inside the medina and was surprised to see the sudden calm right outside of the city walls. The Gueliz actually comes across as bland in comparison to the medina, which rarely slows down. You can see some more of my pictures from around Marrakesh here and if you’re headed there brush up on these 4 common scams of Marrakesh so you can avoid them.