History and Culture

At Marrakech Riad we pride ourselves on offering our guests as much support and information as they require to help them to plan their perfect stay in our beautiful Medina accommodation. Marrakech Morocco, a world heritage site
Marrakech is a culturally rich and diverse city, it has fascinating and complex historical influences. The culture, architecture, cuisine and people of this great red city all reflect the influence of traders, inhabitants and rulers who have gone before. We research and write about interesting facets of this rich historical background. We hope that these pieces of information will help you to gain an understandingof Marrakech before and during your stay with us.

Ramadan is a holy month in the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. It is a time of reflection, prayer, and giving to those in need. Visiting Marrakech during Ramadan can be a unique and rewarding experience, as the city takes on a special atmosphere during this time. In this blog […]

Maakouda, maqouda or maakouda  is not a traditional moroccan recipe and can be found in other north-african countries, but is a fantastic starter and is cooked in Morocco especially during Ramadan. This is what you need:  500 grams of potatoes A knob of smen (or ghee, or any other clarified butter) A small handful of […]

Moroccan lamps

Lamps have held a hugely high value in Moroccan architecture and design for hundreds of years and are used in all four corners of Morocco to decorate shops, restaurants and houses. Hand-crafted Moroccan lamps come in all shapes and sizes and often take a painstakingly long time to complete. Within 10 minute walk from our […]

Marrakech food stalls

Your Marrakech visit won’t be complete without eating out in the central square of Jemaa El Fnaa at least once.

Gnawa musician Jemma el Fnaa

Gnaws are a group of musicians that descend from the dark-skinned slaves brotherhood from Ghana, Guinea and Mali several centuries ago. The Gnawa can be seen in Marrakesh and Essouira. Every year especially in May the town of Essaouira hosts a festival of Gnawa and world music. Here is a video about Gnawa in the […]

Khatt, moroccan caligraphy

Calligraphy, known as Khatt in Arabic, is very much part of the Arab identity. On your trip to Marrakech, you will see that it is all around you: on shop signs, newspapers, books and advertising. It has become a way of communicating through art. Come and experience this in Marrakech. Our riads are the perfect […]


The Red City, the Ochre City, The Land of God, or as we all know it Marrakech, Marrakesh, Marraquexe. This amazing, vibrant city hosts Africa’s busiest square, the Djemma el fnaa, an unesco world heritage site. But what does Marrakesh actually mean? Well, this is still under debate, some say it comes from the amazigh […]

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Why do we need help? The pause in tourism due to COVID 19 has been acutely felt in the medina of Marrakech. The Henna Café Soup Kitchen is a short term project but an urgent, time-sensitive one to prevent starvation and ill health especially of those most vulnerable in this wonderfully warm and resilient community. […]


A new museum will soon open in the Heart of Marrakech. The Jemaa El Fna Museum of Tangible and Intangible Heritage in Marrakech, located on the on the edge of the famous UNESCO world heritage site, the Djemma el Fnaa square in the old bank al Maghreb headquarters. The museum will exhibit a collection of […]


Argan oil is referred to as the “liquid gold” of Morocco because it is so rare. The delicate trees it comes from only grow in a very specific microclimate of Morocco: the Sous Valley south and east of Essaouira. The rich cosmetic oil has recently attracted great attention in the beauty industry because it is […]


Tagine is the dish that most often comes in mind when traveling to Morocco, but all locals in Marrakech recommend foreigners try a Tangia. Tangia a dish that is specific to Marrakech. You can’t find it outside of the city. The Tangia itself is a clay pot that is loaded up with ingredients, taken to […]

Ibrahim, Metalworker

Ibrahim is 74 years old and works in the souks of Marrakech. He is a metal worker specializing in teapots and trays. He has been in the souks since 1975 doing many different jobs such as selling or wrapping up items for customers. He is a very hard worker because he wants to provide a good […]


If you like clay pots, tagines, lamps or anything else to do with handmade clay items from Morocco, you should visit Souk Rabeaa, not far from the famous Marrakech tannery and Souk Khamis. The displays throughout the shop are laden with every clay and ceramic ware imaginable.  The space used to be a vegetable market, […]


The tagine is by far the most popular cooking item in Morocco. No matter where you are in the country, you will find one in the kitchen. The word “tagine” specifically refers to a clay pot with a cone-shaped lid that slowly cooks meats and vegetables until they are moist and oh so tender. After […]

Majorelle Gardens 2

Most people who have an interest in visiting Marrakech have heard of the Majorelle Gardens. The sprawling expanse of plants from all over the world, the Majorelle blue accent walls, and the Yves Saint Laurent museum garner hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. A lesser known (and much cheaper) element of the space is […]


What’s incredible about Morocco (that perhaps people don’t realize) is that the stunning mosaics and expertly carved wall accents you find in many Riads aren’t just reserved for upper-class homes or tourist-y hotels. These incredibly detailed artworks cover the surfaces of everyday homes that people have lived in for millennia. Most homes, which look humble […]

Marrakech Cat

Cats are all over the place in Marrakech. You’ll find them relaxing in the streets, playing with one another by shop entrances, and even coming up to you for some cuddles! The whole city is their stomping ground. Cats are in cafes, restaurants, and, sometimes, we are pleasantly surprised to find a furry feline friend […]


Every home in Morocco always has two ingredients on hand: olive oil and olives. These products are essential to Moroccan cuisine and culture. At breakfast, traditional breads and pancakes are dipped in olive oil to start the day; at lunch, olives are presented as an appetizer; at supper, coffee and mint tea are served alongside […]

Madonna in ait herbil headdress in a piece of art by Ghita Benlamlih

Recently Madonna posed wearing a headdress from Morocco during her birthday celebrations. The headdress was the same one that she wore during the MTV Vma awards ceremony where she gave a tribute to soul icon Aretha Franklin. Some people called the act of wearing the piece inappropriate or cultural appropriation, yet if we look a […]


The queen of pop celebrated her 60th birthday in Marrakech, and chose a traditional riad as the palatial setting for the party. Madonna, has always embraced all that is bold and powerful. Conical bras and corsets were her trademark look in the 1990’s, so it is no surprise that she chose a powerful and iconic […]

al-Qarawiyyin Fez Historical Library

Perhaps not what people first consider when thinking of Morocco, is the rich history of book trade and literature in this most curious country. We are walking through an age where tablets and smartphones dictate much of our lives. Designed to make all of our needs accessible in one portable device, our phones make it […]

Sahara Tent Camel Hair

The gate to the Sahara, and the expansive sands that follow, are lit up in a spectrum of colour for a brief and melodic moment. Of festivals in Morocco, The International Festival of Nomads is one to add to the bucket-list. The return of this festival in 2018, sees the 15th edition of the event, […]

1-54 Art Fair MACAAL Launch Marrakech

The Kingdom Of Morocco is a wonderful host of amalgamating traditions and peoples; which merge and attribute to a vibrant and diverse set of cultural realities. Morocco is the country which sits on the edge of North Africa and just kisses Europe, meaning that the history of this land has played a pivotal role in […]

Marrakech Kaleche

The word “Caleche” may not be familiar to you, if you’ve never spent a week or two in Morocco before. The word itself is a french, feminine noun which found it’s way to Morocco during the French Colonisation in the 1950’s.  The term Caleche is now a commonly used name for what is formally known […]

Marrakech Railway Station 2008

Morocco is a vast & complex country, and yet it is highly unlikely that you will ever find yourself unable to negotiate travelling between one city and another. Despite expansive areas of empty desert plains, scarcely populated farming districts and technology-free mountainous ridges; from every main city there are an abundance of transport options which […]

Bab El Khemis Marrakech today

Located in the North Western corner of the medina, in the direction of Rue du Fez, stands Bab El Khemis. Bab El Khemis literally translates to “The door of the fifth day”, and in the Islamic calendar, the fifth day is Thursday. One of just 19 gates which puncture the 19km long ramparts of the […]

The Orientalist Museum Door

Just next door to the stunning Riad Star, in the tiny derb to your right (before the mosque), is a brand new museum set inside another ancient Riad. The Orientalist Museum is fresh on the Marrakech art scene and officially opened in February 2018. The exhibitions on offer here take a closer look at the […]