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Marrakesh is a bustling, cosmopolitan city beloved by tourists and travellers from around the world. The fourth largest city in the Morocco, it houses a population of almost 1 million, regularly augmented by foreign visitors.

The city of Marrakesh actually comprises two cities. The Old City, known as the Medina, dates back to the 11th century and is known for its narrow, winding streets, breathtaking mosques, and bustling souqs, where you can buy anything from Berber carpets to argan oil to leather pouffes. The Lessane Arabi Center is located in the adjacent, modern city, whose wide lanes may be less daunting to a Western visitor. Here you will find shops, cinemas, and chic cafes, as well as landmarks such as the famed Majorelle Gardens.

Morocco is a progressive country and Marrakesh, as a major tourist hub, is quite liberal. You generally won’t have to worry about the way you dress (i.e. as a woman, you do not have to cover your hair). However, it is a good idea to be sensible and avoid dressing in a particularly revealing way, especially as a single woman traveller, if only to avoid verbal harassment. That being said, there is a high chance you will, as a foreigner, experience some of the latter regardless of how you look. Usually there is nothing to worry about and you should ignore any verbal taunts or cat-calling.

Alcohol is legal and widely available, although it may be frowned upon in public places. Generally, people in the Medina tend to be more conservative than those based in the New City.

Temperatures are very high from May through to October, usually exceeding 30 and frequently 40 degrees. If you’re coming here between November and February, expect occasional rain and relatively low (under 10 degrees Celsius) temperatures at night. Not all accommodation offers heating, so be prepared and bring a warm jumper or two.

Marrakesh, especially the Old Medina, can be a bit of a shock to a Western tourist at first due to the constant hustle-and-bustle and incessant attempts to grab your attention. However, it is an exceptionally safe city (as long as you have your wits about you) and you should get used to the different pace of life after a few days. Our Center’s location in the quiet, leafy neighbourhood of Arset Sbaai gives you a vantage point from which to explore the city at your own pace.