Inaugurated on 19th of September 2001 by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Théâtre Royal de Marrakech has worked to secure the red city’s reputation as one of the major artistic and cultural focal points of the world. Inside it’s impressive 1200-seat open-air theatre and 800-seat opera house, the theatre hosts a variety of national and international cultural events including opera, ballet and musical performances. Although the majority of these performances are in Arabic or French, even if you are not gifted with the ability to speak either language the Royal Theatre still has a lot to offer. The entrance hall often houses a variety of painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions. Indeed, the impressive architecture alone is worth the visit.

Built by Tunisian architect Charles Boccara, the Royal Theatre combines the traditional aesthetic design of arabic architecture with traces of modern influence. The imposing dome and grand marble pillars provides an immediate sense of awe which is matched by the interior entrance hall and auditorium. This is a truly outstanding monument; it is easy to see how this building has become the pride and joy of the Marrakchis.

Located in the modern Guiliez quarter, across the road from the Marrakech central train station, our Riad staff are happy to help you find transport to the theatre and can even call ahead to inquire about which performances and exhibitions that are available during your stay.

A welcome addition to the street scene in Marrakech are the bright canopies of the charity motorcycle taxis no located on the South side of the main Jema Al Fnaa square near to the horse and carriage rank. The three wheeled vehicles are ideal for negotiating the small streets of the Medina and the drivers are handicapped or otherwise disadvantaged people.

Experience the Real Marrakech in our fabulous Riad hotels.

Actress Nicole Kidman is currently in Morocco shooting the biopic ‘Queen of the Desert’ based on the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell a writer archeologist and diplomat who played a key role in establishing the modern states of Jordan at the end of the nineteenth century.


Storyteller of Jemaa El-Fnaa

The tradition of storytelling is a Moroccan practice which has been taking place in the central square of Marrakech for many hundreds of years. Much like snake charming, acrobatics and copper working, good storytelling is a revered art which demands natural talent as well as many years of practice.

Across the corners of Morocco, storytelling or ‘Hakawti’ in Darija Arabic fuses comedy, music and local news. In Jemaa el-Fnaa, the beating heart of the red city, two renowned storytellers and friends Abdelilah Amal and Mostafa Dardak have been enthralling the crowds of the square for over 25 years.

Abdelilah and Mostafa use a tambour and a flute to add a musical layer to their storytelling, as well as performing some basic acrobatics dressed as clowns to keep the crowd on their feet! Abelilah and Mostafa’s stories are all in the Moroccan Darija form of Arabic, so the guardian of the Riad Dar Habiba kindly helped to translate their tales, which ranged from the arisen difficulties of the amount of languages spoken in the red city to local mishaps in the square.

You can find the two storytellers between the third call to prayer ‘Al Aser’ and the fourth ‘Al Maghreb’ as they showcase their performance in the square for exactly three hours. This is the ideal time for the Marrakshi locals looking to break the days and routine and keep up to date with the chatter and buzz of the Jemaa el-Fnaa. 

Abdelilah and Mostafa’s popularity throughout Marrakech has led them to be asked to participate in television programs such as ‘Alhalka’ on the Medi1 channel, as well as a variety of festivals and comedy shows across the red city.

It’s impossible to know what to expect from Jemaa el-Fnaa, a five minute stroll through it’s centre can have you encountering anything from bird trainers to storytellers like Abdelilah and Mostafa. Create your own story by exploring the red city through the comfort and tranquillity of a Hotel Riad today.


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The Medina Mosque overlooking the Marrakech central square at dusk

Overshadowing the central square of Marrakech is the stunning sight of the Medina, or Argana Mosque.

Hugging the North-Western reaches of the Jemaa el-Fnaa aside of Souk Jdid, the Argana Mosque has no Qur’anic school and exists solely as a space of prayer, acting as a key religious location for local Marrakshi, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

As the sun sets over the red city and the smoke from the Jemaa el-Fnaa food markets forms a sultry haze over the square, the sight of the Argana Mosque can still always be seen as it’s highest reaches soar over the movement below.

The luxury Hotel Riad Dar Habiba is but a few minutes walk from the thriving centre of activity that is Jemaa el-Fnaa, explore the magic of Marrakech for yourself today.

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Mens  Djellaba

New fashions come and go through the red city of Marrakech, yet there is one piece of clothing with has stayed for centuries, this is the traditional Moroccan Djellaba. Worn by both men and women, you can expect to see Djellabas worn on a day to day to basis in the streets of the red city and also at religious ceremonies, parties and weddings.

Mens  Djellaba

The Djellaba has a history that traces back to Berber traditions of clothing, and is worn in different styles and variations across the Maghreb region of North Africa. As well as being ceremonial, the long, loose fitting robe has a practical design which protects the wearer from strong desert winds as well as the icy climes of the mountain regions across Morocco and Algeria.

In Morocco, the exact style and design of the Djelleba differs from city to city. In Fes for example, the robe takes on the iconic design of a flowing white garment, whereas in Marrakech the Aboallouia style of Djelleba is preferred, which favours broader shoulders and a shorter hood.

Womens  DjellabaThe female design of the Djelleba perhaps sees the greatest range of stylistic variation, where alterations between the colours, patterns and sleeve length are vast.

From the local culinary delicacies to the world of fashion, Marrakech is a corner of the globe with a rich and vivid cultural identity. Explore the magic of the red city for yourself through the luxury and comfort of a Hotel Riad in the heart of the Marrakech Medina.about he Moroccan people.

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There are a number of key religious celebrations that take place in Morocco, the exact dates of which constantly change in keeping with the Islamic calender which follows the lunar cycle.

One such celebration is Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī (the festival of the birth of the prophet Mohammed) which takes place in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic calender. The exact nature of the celebrations differ in various corners of Morocco, but in the red city of Marrakech the festival is honoured by locals visiting holy shrines to ask for blessings, and also to give offerings to those worse off within community.

Traditional sweets, cakes and cookies are made by families and distributed, and new clothing for children is purchased. Adults also spend a portion of the day at local mosque’s, reciting poems and prayer.

One custom which some locals practice in the city is the crafting of fans, it is believed by a few that the day of the prophet Mohammed’s birth was exceptionally windy, and this tradition commemorates that.


As the festival draws to a close, families cluster across the leafy shades of the Menara Gardens to the modern parks of Gueliz and all the public spaces in-between to round off the days celebration with a picnic. Which is often accompanied by the dish Tanjia, a culinary delicacy unique to Marrakech.


During festivals such as Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī, Marrakech becomes even more charged with life and movement than usual. Experience the astounding culture of the red city for yourself today, through the comfort of a luxury Riad Hotel in the very heart of the Marrakech Medina.

Two young men boxing in the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, Marrakech

For many hundreds of years, the Jemaa el-Fnaa square of Marrakech has played host to a wide range of markets, a plethora of unimaginable spectacles and all forms of entertainment imaginable. Indeed, in the red city today, very little has changed. A short stroll through Marrakech’s central square could involve an encounter with anything from a Berber snake charmer to a boxing match.

This is not an exaggeration. If you journey to the very centre of the square you will find Hassan Kata, a boxing pioneer who has been active in Marrakech since the 1980’s and has become something of a local celebrity in the red city.

Hassan organises a boxing ring of spectators in the square, encouraging volunteers from the crowd to try their hand at the sport, supplying them with boxing gloves and acting as the resident referee whilst rallying the crowds of Jemaa el-Fnaa to get behind the boxers.. Spars only take place after the third daily prayer and last a maximum of fifteen minutes, so viewing this unique event is a case of being in the right place at the right time.

However, Hassan Kata’s boxing matches aren’t exactly comparable to Brad Pitt’s Fight Club. Nobody walks away from the ring injured as Hassan Kata’s matches are not the real thing, but rather a spectacle that celebrates the sport of boxing which which has a long and illustrious history in Morocco.

This is just one example of the many secrets Marrakech has to offer. So, why not explore the ancient central square of Marrakech for yourself through the luxury and convenience of a Hotel Riad in the centre of the red city.

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If you step out of the doors of the Riad Cinnamon and stroll past the Ben Youssef mosque, you will encounter the numerous scarf stalls that line the walls in the direction of Souk Semmarine.
The stalls showcase kaleidoscopic arrangements of vivid colours and patterning,
the likes of which can not be found in the city market districts of Europe. Most of the scarves are locally sourced from near Marrakech, however some salesmen choose to import from Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
And as well as being a fashion accessory, scarves offer protection against the often harsh conditions of the Moroccan climate and have been a fundamental aspect of Islamic identity in Morocco for many hundreds of years.
The scarves on offer in this district of Marrakech are all of the highest calibre of quality and are very reasonably priced, ranging from prices of 20 (£1.47) to 120 (£8.83) Moroccan dirhams depending on the size and design.
An authentic Moroccan scarf is an accessory that’s truly unique to this corner of the globe, explore the magic of Marrakech through the comfort of a luxury Riad Hotel for yourself, and take a piece of Morocco home with you.

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In the North-Eastern reaches of the ancient central square of Marrakech between Souk Semmarine and Café de France you will discover Souk el Bahja.

Meaning literally ‘up and down’ in the Moroccan Darija dialect of Arabic, Souk el Bahja gets its name from the three floors of iron stairs that allow you to traverse through the labyrinthine market district.

Babouche from Souk el Bahja, Marrakech

Souk el Bahja is ancient and traditional market district which specialises in female clothing and jewellery. Everything from bracelets to wedding rings can be found here, and the vast amount of jewellery on offer has earned the Souk the nickname the ‘place of lovers’ amongst locals.

Lose yourself in Souk el Bahja and the many others like it on a trip to the red city today by staying in any one of our four luxury Riad Hotels, all located in the very heart of the Marrakech Medina.

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Bird trainer, Jemaa El-fna Marrakech

At the very centre of Marrakech is Jemaa el-Fnaa. For hundreds of years this central square has acted as the beating heart and mouthpiece of the red city, and is home to markets, food stalls and street performers of a huge variety.

One individual you might expect to encounter in the square is Ba Mahjoub the bird trainer. Ba can be found close to Rue Jamaa Kharbouch and Café de France, encircled by his birds who pace calmly around him despite the roaring twenty four hour bustle of the square.


Ba’s birds are named Voyageur, Khaloui, Nhassi, Berouita and Taousi and for many years he is trained them and others similar to respond to his commands through a series of simple gestures, claps and whistles.

Ba Mahjoub is renowned throughout the square for being able to make his birds soar onto the terraces of any one of the large café restaurants that hug the perimeters of Jemaa el-Fnaa square, only to recall them in an instant.

Explore the mysterious world of the red city of Morocco for yourself today through the comfort of our luxury Riad Hotels, all located within a few minutes stroll from Marrakech’s central square.

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Marrakech Mirror Market - Header-1

Snugly located by the main entrance of the Souk Ouarzazi and the Bab Ftouh arch is the Marrakech market of mirrors. Built like a miniature square, the tiny shops of the mirror market hug the corners around it’s centre in close proximity, giving the space a warm and intimate feel.

The mirrors found here takes on a huge variety of different forms and styles. You’ll find craftsmen using ancient Berber techniques to hand-chisel frames out of wood, alongside contemporary Moroccan-Arabic designs that favour tin, silver and copper as materials which are all shaped and decorated by hand. 

The mirrors that deck the halls of our luxury Riad Hotels, as well as many others throughout the red city of Marrakech are all sourced from the mirror markets and others like it.

The skills used to create the mirrors of the red cities markets are wrought with secrecy and passed down through families, generation after generation. So you can be sure that a purchase made here for a loved one back home will be truly unique in it’s nature.

Explore the magic of the Marrakech mirror market through the comfort of a luxury Riad Hotel today.

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Rue Moulay Rachid or L’Prince as local Marrakshi call it, stretches from the reaches of the hotel Grand Tazi to the Café Grand Terrace. You will discover L’Prince to be a thriving area of the red city, where the huge of variety of shops, restaurants and café’s keep the district humming with activity all through the day.

An abundance of banks and bureau de change’s also make L’Prince an ideal place to draw out or exchange money, and you’ll find the financial institutions in this district will accommodate numerous currencies from around the globe. 

By nightfall, the district takes on a very different appearance. As the restaurants and clothes shops slide down their shutters, the pavements flood with the activity of the cities street salesmen. If you take a stroll down L’Prince at this time you’ll find your path lit by the glow of hundreds of Moroccan tin lamps, an astonishing spectacle truly unique to this corner of the world.


L’Prince, and many other districts like it are all walking distance from any one of our luxury Hotel Riads. Book now and discover the magic of Morocco. 

. or L’Prince as local Marrakshi call it, stretches from the reaches of the hotel Grand Tazi to the Café Grand Terrace. You will discover …. to be a thriving area of the red city, where the huge of variety of shops, restaurants and café’s keep the district humming with activity all through the day.

An abundance of banks and bureau de change’s also make L’Prince an ideal place to draw out or exchange money, and you’ll find the financial institutions in this district will accommodate numerous currencies from around the globe. 

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

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During the chilly winters of Marrakech, where the temperature drops from 40°C Summer highs to below 8°C, there is one Moroccan delicacy that you will see on almost every dinner table, this is Harira soup.

Any local Marrakshi will tell you that the best harira soup is home-made, usually consisting of flour, lentils, cermicelli, beans, tomatoes and occasionally meat balls. The ingredients to Harira can often change depending on which corner of Morocco it’s being made, but it’s nearly always fragrantly seasoned with pepper, ginger and cinnamon.

There is a tradition within the communities of Marrakech whereupon the ingredients for Harira are always purchased after the day of work and before the start of the evening.

In a corner of the Dar Habiba district, there lives an old woman named Fatima and her daughter. Every day Fatima sells more than 150 bowls of harira soup, served with traditional Moroccan bread and eggs.

Harira soup is available at most restaurants and open air stalls in Marrakech, explore the red city and Moroccan cuisine today in one of our luxury Hotel Riads.


About 30 kilometres to the South of the red city of Marrakech in the direction of Lalla Takerkoust lake, a small festival takes place in memory of the saint Moulay Abdellah Ben Hussain. This festival is called the Tamaslouht Musem (festival) and Tbourida (fantasia) and it occurs on the last week of January.

On the first day or Tamaslouht, occurs the Tbourida, or fantasia.  This is where the various clans of Marrakech have the opportunity to compete against each other using Berber horses, which are known throughout Morocco for their strength and beauty.


The competition determines the strength of the relationship between rider and horse, and the coordination skills of a score of riders representing a clan. The riders leader, called a Cheikh or Kaid is responsible for organising the clan into a circular ring (called a Serba) and instructing them to watch carefully for his signal once the competition begins.

When the competition is in full effect, the riders must be ready at a moments notice to recognise the Kaid’s secret signal, so that they can rally their horses shoot the gunpowder they use (called Baroud) into the air in complete unison.

Both rider and horse don the colours and style of their respective tribes, and where in centuries past these competitions were engaged with only by men, in modern times women too are allowed to try their hand.


After the first day of Tbourida draws to a close, festival goers then join the Musem, involving children’s games and circus acrobatics. Another important feature that plays into effect over the course of the four days is the trance-like music of Gnawa and Issawa, which is played ritually throughout the Musem. This music is intended to incite a spiritual and calming atmosphere, whereupon festival goers can invoke the blessing of the saint Moulay Abdellah Ben Hussain.

The Tamaslouht Musem and Tbourida festival, and many others like it are commonplace in the ancient city of Marrakech. Explore the red city today in one of our luxury Riad Hotels.


In the hustle and bustle of Marrakech’s central square, you can find everything from snake charmers to magicians. That’s not to say that Jemaa el-Fnaa is a space strictly for the weird and the wonderful, one public game that you will find being played day or night by tourists and locals alike is ‘chasing lemonade’.

The game costs but 5 dirhams (£0.37) to play,  consists of being able to loop a hook tied to a long piece of bamboo round the top of various bottles of lemonades and cola. Though it seems easy, it of course is not! Not many pass through Jemaa el-Fnaa with the patience and coordination to walk away a winner.

The creator and invigilator of the game Badr, explains how he believes that the game can act as a test of the psychological well being of the player. He says that if a contestant is “truly at peace” with his surroundings, he will gain where the opposition loses.

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the beating heart of the red city of Marrakech, and is but walking distance from any one of our luxury Riad Hotels.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

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